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Why study history at South Carolina?

Why USC?
While members of the department bring a wide variety of interests to the graduate program, we have made a collective effort to establish USC as one of the strongest schools in the country in several 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 Bobby Donaldson, Don Doyle, Walter Edgar, Lacy K. Ford Jr., Wanda Hendricks, Daniel Littlefield, Valinda Littlefield, Pat Maney, Mark M. Smith, Marjorie Spruill, and Patricia Sullivan provide USC 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 USC 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
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 technology, and on environmental history.

European History + Language
Our distinguished faculty in European history includes specialists in the medieval and early modern periods and leading historians of modern Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. We have particular concentrations of strength in religious history, military history, economic and consumer history, and the history of science and technology. The department welcomes Ph.D applicants in modern European history and also has a special European History + Language program for M.A. students. 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. The History + Language option prepares students to advance to the Ph.D. level either at South Carolina or, if appropriate, at another institution better suited to their career goals.

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 Mexico to the Andes to the Caribbean. We have particular concentrations of strength in cultural history, race, ethnicity, slavery, legal history, 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 and also has a special Latin American History + Language program for M.A. students. 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
USC 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 two Student Project Awards from the NCPH. The master's degree program in Public History trains students for careers in museum administration, historic preservation, and archive management. Candidates for the Ph.D. may choose Public History as one of their minor fields, which expands the skill set our graduates bring to the job market and prepares them to enjoy wide-ranging professional experiences.

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