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Department of History


Graduate

Graduate study in history at University of South Carolina provides training for a variety of rewarding careers. By concentrating our efforts in the areas of specialization in which we have significant advantages, we are able to prepare students for a challenging profession. Through this strategy we have become an innovative leader in the field of history, including the rise of new intellectual approaches to the discipline and the increased commitment of historians to reach broader public audiences.
Department of History Graduate Handbook

Our Areas of Specialization

Over the years we've been building a deep specialization and faculty expertise in five historical areas.

Southern History

Our faculty is especially deep in the field of Southern history, including the experiences of African Americans and women in the region. Professors Thomas Brown, Bobby Donaldson, Don Doyle, Lacy K. Ford Jr., Kent Germany, Wanda Hendricks, Daniel Littlefield, Valinda Littlefield, Lauren Sklaroff, Mark M. Smith, Marjorie Spruill, Patricia Sullivan, and Robert Weyeneth provide the university with leading specialists who range from the colonial era to the contemporary era and who take interest in many different aspects of the South. The study of Southern history at UofSC is further facilitated by convenient access to some of the richest research libraries on the topic, particularly the university's South Caroliniana Library and the state's Department of Archives and History.

Comparative Thematic Curriculum - "Culture, Identity, and Economic Development"

While we cultivate the advantages of our location in the South, our curriculum is at the forefront of academic efforts to transcend geographic barriers and achieve a global perspective. This strategy helps to keep our students at 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.

Latin American History + Language

Our faculty in Latin American and Caribbean history includes specialists who research and teach on the colonial and modern periods, and whose expertise covers a geographical range from Brazil to the Andes to the Caribbean. We have particular concentrations of strength in cultural history, race, ethnicity, slavery, and nation-state formation. The department's faculty in Latin American history serves to complement and reinforce the existing strengths of the University of South Carolina's programs in Southern history, African-American history, and transnational and comparative history. The Latin American history program also contributes to and builds on strengths and course offerings in other departments and programs, such as Anthropology, Spanish, and the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies. The History Department welcomes M.A. and Ph.D. applicants in Latin American history. 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.

Public History

UofSC offers one of the most successful public history programs in the country. It is the only graduate program to have received the Robert Kelley Memorial Award, presented by the National Council on Public History for outstanding achievement in the field, and the only program whose students have received three Student Project Awards from the NCPH. The master's degree program in Public History trains students for careers in museum administration and historic preservation. There is also a joint degree program for an M.A./ Masters in Library and Information Science degree from the School of Library and Information Science. The public history program welcomes Ph.D. applicants who can choose public history as a minor field (including an internship) or who can complete the M.A. in Public History en route to the Ph.D., which expands the skill set our graduates bring to the job market and prepares them to enjoy wide-ranging professional experiences.

History of Science, Technology, and the Environment

UofSC supports graduate students in any area of the History of Science, Technology, Medicine, and the Environment (STE) in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, there are several more history faculty who help bring STE into broader cultural contexts by looking at gender, consumer society, warfare, race and ethnicity. We are also actively cultivating an emerging strength in the public history of science - that is, using the history of STE to engage the public in science and engineering. We hold weekly informal seminars to discuss both published work and works-in-progress by our faculty and students. A monthly colloquium series brings scholars from around the world to the university to present cutting edge research. UofSC offers training in interdisciplinary science studies within a top-ranked history department.

 

Our Field Schools

Knowledge and experience in the preservation or museums concentrations can be enhanced by taking advantage of these field courses

Charleston Field School

The Charleston Field School is a course based around a series of day-long site visits to Charleston, South Carolina to study various aspects of historic preservation and historic site interpretation.  The field school allows participants to see current issues in historic preservation in action and meet with professionals who are actively engaged in historic preservation. 

Comparative Public History in the United Kingdom

Since 1990 the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina has offered an international summer program in comparative public history practice.  The purpose of the course is two-fold:  to give students an understanding of the international professional dimension of the museums and historic preservation fields and to provide an opportunity to see how the work of these fields is inter-related.

 

Dual Degree

This program, offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Library and Information Science, culminates in a Master of Arts in Public History and a Master of Library and Information Science.