Share your love for great ideas and classic texts with this minor. Share your love for great ideas and classic texts with this minor. Share your love for great ideas and classic texts with this minor. Share your love for great ideas and classic texts with this minor. Share your love for great ideas and classic texts with this minor.
College of Arts & Sciences Department of History

History of Ideas


Undergraduate Admission
(630) 637-5800

Why choose history of ideas at North Central College?

This is the perfect minor for you if you like to discuss great ideas and classic texts from cultures and traditions all over the world and want to get a good grasp of “the big picture”—the ideas and trends that mark major world religions, art, philosophy, literature and the social sciences. You will discuss great ideas in small, seminar-style classes that focus on discussion of some of the greatest texts from a wide variety of diverse cultures. This is an excellent minor if you expect to attend graduate school.

You can also:

  • Attend campus lectures that complement your studies.
  • Travel, study and work internationally through our study abroad and international internship programs.
  • Participate in the College Scholars Honors Program.

More Department information

History of Ideas Minor

The History of Ideas program provides an opportunity to explore some of the most influential works in world history. Students will engage in the "close reading" of primary source texts from antiquity to the present with a focus on ideas central to religion, philosophy, art, literature and the social sciences. Small class sizes and a student-centered pedagogy encourage lively discussion and the development  of critical thinking and writing skills.

For additional information on this program, see History of Ideas.

Minor Requirements

A minimum 20 credit hours, including:

  • IDEA 100 - Authority and Freedom

    IDEA 100 - Authority and Freedom

    4.00 credit hours

    This gateway course to the History of Ideas program exposes students to some of the most influential texts in world history. Students explore fundamental questions about the human experience by highlighting the various ways that the ancients contemplated the relationship between submission to authority and the pursuit of freedom. Students develop critical thinking and writing skills by engaging in the "close reading" of primary source texts, student-centered class discussions, and writing exercises that help students develop their own perspectives on the relationship between authority and freedom.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)

    Schedule Of Classes

  • IDEA 210 - Cultures in Contact

    IDEA 210 - Cultures in Contact

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the expanding networks of cultural, commercial and religious exchanges that mark the millennium between 500 and 1500 CE. This is a period in which major events and trends confronted people with the problem of negotiating cultural difference and led to the development of new social and cultural forms. This course examines how such encounters were experienced and interpreted during some of this era's major historical turning points.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Global Understanding.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • IDEA 220 - Power and Statecraft

    IDEA 220 - Power and Statecraft

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of influential accounts and critiques of the relationship between power and statecraft in various cultural traditions, both Western and non-Western, from 1500 to 1800. Particular emphasis is given to the development of Western imperialism as the dominant global force during this period.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)

    Schedule Of Classes

  • IDEA 230 - Revolutions

    IDEA 230 - Revolutions

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the revolutionary ideas that transform politics, economics and aesthetics from 1800 to the present in the context of a globally connected but deeply unequal world, marked by divisions of race, class, gender and sexuality.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)

    Schedule Of Classes

  • IDEA 390 - Advanced Seminar

    IDEA 390 - Advanced Seminar

    4.00 credit hours

    An advanced level seminar that provides the opportunity for students to engage in the in-depth study of texts or other creative works associated with a major thinker, tradition or theme in intellectual history.

    Schedule Of Classes

History of Ideas Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in history of ideas have been accepted at:

  • University of Chicago
  • Chicago Theological Seminary
  • University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Southern Illinois University


Recent history of ideas minors include:

  • Application analyst, Navistar, Warrenville, IL
  • Staff accountant, Borhart Spellmeyer & Company, Elgin, IL

Invest in your future

Choosing the right college is a big decision. Don’t make it alone. North Central’s admission and financial aid team is here to help you design a financial aid solution that works best for you and your family.

Merit scholarships, grants, loans, campus employment - these are just some of the resources available to you. Over 95 percent of students and 100 percent of all eligible students receive aid. Let our team partner with you in finding the best value for your education.

Learn more about financial aid and costs for North Central College

Apply to North Central College

The first step to becoming a North Central student is reading the application instructions specific to you. Find out everything you need to know about applying by selecting the group you belong to below.

Related Programs

Explore Similar Programs