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College of Arts & Sciences
Institute for Southern Studies

Minor in Southern Studies

The minor in Southern Studies requires a minimum of 18 credit hours, which must include SOST 301, SOST 302, and four additional courses in at least two fields. The additional courses may be SOST courses, Honors College proseminars or departmental courses that focus on the South, or special courses for which a student may receive credit upon petitioning the Southern Studies program (e.g., Topics or Independent Study courses).

This program is designed to serve students with a variety of goals and interests:

Regardless of a student's educational and career plans, the minor in Southern Studies program offers an excellent academic framework for looking back on a southern upbringing or looking beyond college to years when southern identity may serve as a focus for reading and other intellectual pursuits, as it does for many USC graduates. SOST 301 and SOST 302 provide historical surveys of the southern experience and familiarizes students with classic works of regional culture. The elective courses in the program enable students to pursue interests in southern folklife, southern music, southern religion, southern history, southern literature, southern politics, the southern landscape, and other topics.

For students considering graduate or professional school, the minor in Southern Studies offers additional advantages. The core SOST courses are designed not only to cover particular substantive topics but also to provide training in academic skills and methods. SOST 301 focuses on the American South from contact through the end of Reconstruction, and SOST 302 focuses the American South during the 20th century. In choosing elective courses, students may prepare for further study by receiving credit for intensive work in their major field or they may focus on developing a cross-disciplinary strength. For example, a Southern Studies minor considering graduate study in his or her major field of History may meet the elective requirement of the Southern Studies minor by taking additional courses in History or may use the elective courses to build expertise in related fields like English or Anthropology. In addition to preparing effectively to undertake advanced work, including independent research projects, participants in the Southern Studies program benefit from opportunities to establish valuable relationships with the many USC faculty members whose research and teaching interests center on the South.

For more information about the minor in Southern Studies, call Bob Ellis at 777-2340 or send him an e-mail message at