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An overview of Augustana College

2024-25 Academic Catalog

Augustana is a college of the liberal arts and sciences related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Founded in 1860 by Swedish university graduates who immigrated to the United States, Augustana has an enrollment of about 2,500 students and a faculty of more than 300. Located on 115 wooded acres in Rock Island, Ill., the college attracts students from diverse backgrounds.

Mission and purpose

Augustana College, deeply rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and an inclusive expression of Lutheran higher education, is committed to offering a challenging education that develops the qualities of mind, spirit and body necessary for students to discern their life’s calling of leadership and service in a diverse and changing world.

The purpose of Augustana College is to afford an opportunity for a higher education in the liberal arts that provides for the development of all dimensions of human existence, in a manner consistent with the higher education values of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a community dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, Augustana prizes interfaith engagement, commitment to justice, spiritual exploration, reasoned examination and vocational discernment. Freedom of academic inquiry and expression is assured in carrying out this purpose.

The goals of Augustana College are:

• To develop in students the characteristics of a liberally educated person through a program of general studies.

• To develop in each student expertise in a major field of study.

• To encourage each student to confront the fundamental spiritual issues of human life by discerning their individual and communal callings, supported by the academic study of religion and the campus ministry program.

• To supplement students’ formal curricular programs with a full range of opportunities for personal growth and vocational discernment through participation in co-curricular activities.

• To encourage the personal and social growth of students through its residential life programs and extracurricular activities.

• To offer the church and local communities the benefit of its programs and staff within the context of its basic mission as an undergraduate liberal arts college.


Augustana’s curriculum has been carefully developed over the years. Changes have been evolutionary, as the success of graduates continues to reflect strong academic programs.

In 2012, the faculty approved nine college-wide student-learning outcomes grouped within three broad categories — intellectual sophistication, interpersonal maturity and intrapersonal conviction — which reflect the range of abilities expected from each Augustana College graduate. 

Every Augustana graduate should expect and be able to demonstrate high levels of competency in disciplinary knowledge, critical thinking, information literacy, quantitative literacy, collaborative leadership, intercultural competency, communication competency, creative thinking, ethical citizenship and intellectual curiosity. Our college-wide student-learning outcomes connect all aspects of an Augustana education both inside and outside of the classroom. 

The college’s ongoing commitment to the liberal arts is expressed in its general education requirements. Students take courses within a broad range of fields and meet academic requirements in writing, quantitative reasoning, a foreign language, the fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

Each student must complete study in at least one major field within the humanities, the natural or social sciences, or in one of the pre-professional categories. As seniors, all Augustana students create and complete a Senior Inquiry capstone project, working with a faculty mentor in their major field. Athletics are incorporated in the curriculum through courses in physical education.

For more, see Academics

Augie Choice

All students have access to Augie Choice: $2,000 to support a high-impact learning experience such as international study, an internship, or research with a professor during their junior or senior year.

Faculty and students

Augustana’s size and environment foster close working relationships between students and faculty. Many faculty members are engaged in research, but their primary goal is teaching. All faculty members teach students at all levels, and more than 80% also serve as student advisors.

Students also are involved in the operation of the college. They are represented at meetings of the Board of Trustees and on committees that carry on the academic and administrative work of the college.

Honor Code

The Honor Code “sets the foundation and boundaries to ensure academic excellence and stability in an evolving and dynamic world.” The code cites the need for honor and integrity in carrying out the college mission of “offering a challenging education that develops mind, spirit and body,” concluding, “the Honor Code holds each individual accountable to the community of Augustana College.”