Department of History
Surrounded by some of the richest historical sites and research libraries, students get
a unique view of history. A broad world view with a particular emphasis on the rich
story of the South.
Award-winning historian William H. Freehling has said that the history program at the University of South Carolina offers its students and the broader public a “varied feast” in the “ways to practice history.” This academic smorgasbord includes one of the History department’s greatest strengths: Southern history, including the experiences of African-Americans and women in the region. The study of Southern history is facilitated by convenient access to some of the richest research libraries in the area.
More than 400 undergraduate majors and some 60 graduate students focus on American, European, non-Western, or Public History under the direction of 34 faculty members who collectively cover an unusually broad array of topics and interests. The History department is a pioneer in the region in developing a faculty with global expertise, offering courses in the history of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East for more than three decades.
The department’s acclaimed faculty have been honored with many prestigious awards and fellowships, including four National Endowment for the Humanities Research fellowships and highly competitive grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Undergraduate students can choose from a wide array of courses. A selected number of history majors or minors spend their junior or senior year (or a spring or fall semester) at the University of Warwick, Coventry, England, while maintaining their normal progress toward graduation. Warwick has the United Kingdom’s second-highest-ranked History department.
Depending on their interests, graduate students can earn the Ph.D. in History, the M.A. in History, or the M.A. in Public History. The Public History degree, one of the oldest programs in the country, trains students for careers in museum administration, archive management, and historic preservation. It is the only Public History program in the country to win the prestigious Robert Kelley Memorial Award, recognizing its “distinguished and outstanding achievements in public history.”