More possibilities for your degree
The history department at the University of South Carolina offers a program of coursework and research with several options for graduate degrees:
- Ph.D. in History
- Ph.D. in Public History
- Master of Arts in History
- Master of Arts in Public History
- Dual enrollment in the School of LIbrary and Information Sciences
Everything has a history
As a historian you build on the work that has come before to carry stories of the past into the future. The history department at USC values the perspective and innovation you’ll bring to your research and area of study.
With an awareness of our strengths in specialization, our faculty bring experience and expertise in five historical areas:
A master's degree in public history prepares you for a variety of careers, such as museum administration and historic preservation. UofSC’s is the only graduate program to have received the Robert Kelley Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in the field, and the only program whose students have received three Student Project Awards, presented by the National Council on Public History. This prestige and national recognition are part of what draws talented students and faculty to our renowned history department.
Ph.D. applicants may choose public history as a minor field (including an internship) or may complete the M.A. in Public History en route to the Ph.D. This extra area of study expands your skillset and prepares you to enjoy wide-ranging professional experiences. You may also benefit from the joint degree program for a Masters in Library and Information Science degree.
Our faculty is especially well-versed in the field of Southern history, including the experiences of African Americans and women in the region. Notable professors include Thomas Brown, Bobby Donaldson, Kent Germany, Valinda Littlefield, Lauren Sklaroff, Mark M. Smith and Patricia Sullivan. These experts in the field provide students access to leading specialists who range from the colonial to the contemporary era and who study many different aspects of the South.
The study of Southern history at USC is further facilitated by partnerships with some of the most substantial research libraries on the topic, including the university's South Caroliniana Library as well as the state's Department of Archives and History.
Our faculty in Latin American and Caribbean history includes specialists who research and teach on the colonial and modern periods with expertise covering a geographical range from Brazil to the Andes to the Caribbean. Areas of faculty specialization include cultural history, race, ethnicity, slavery and nation-state formation.
The Latin American history program reinforces the strengths of our programs in Southern history, African-American history and transnational and comparative history; it also builds on the offerings of other programs, including the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies. Welcoming Ph.D. and M.A. applicants, this initiative ordinarily provides three years of M.A. funding to promising students who need extra time over the course of their degree program to improve their language skills.
Our department supports graduate students in any area of the history of science, technology, medicine and the environment (STE) in the 19th and 20th centuries. Our faculty are bringing STE into broader cultural contexts by examining gender, consumer society, warfare, race and ethnicity. We also center the public history of science, using STE to engage the public in science and engineering. We hold frequent seminars to discuss work by our faculty and students, and scholars from around the world visit to present their research.
We are open to applicants who wish to specialize on any historical topic. Through our comparative curriculum, we offer a unique course of study that transcends geographic barriers and promotes a global perspective on historical events – locally, nationally and internationally. This approach keeps our students on the cutting edge of scholarship and introduces them to outstanding faculty members who work on geographic areas in which we do not specialize for doctoral training. Recent comparative courses have focused on the history of gender, consumerism, tourism, nationalism and religion.
History is everywhere
Since you can study the history of any topic, you can make your degree your own through interdisciplinary study with other departments at USC. From literature, languages and art to science, technology and environmental studies, the university community offers a wealth of expertise and opportunities to learn more.
You can also take your degree further by earning a Museum Management Certificate or by taking part in an interdiscplinary certificate program, such as the program in historical archaeology and cultural resource management.
A dual degree means more to explore
If you are aiming for a specialized career, such as archivist, historic preservationist or special collections librarian, take advantage of our dual degree program to earn a Master of Arts in Public History and a Master of Library and Information Science information science.
Offered with the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Library and Information Sciences, this dual enrollment option combines your area of research in the field of public history with the skills essential to the field of library science.
Learn more about our programs
For details on curriculum and official requirements, please view the academic bulletin. You can find additional information in the department of history’s graduate student handbook.