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Department of History


    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.

    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, Kent Germany, Valinda Littlefield, Lauren Sklaroff, Mark M. Smith, and Patricia Sullivan 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.


    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.

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