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History, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

Take your skills for historical work to the highest level as you conduct research that explores the complex past and informs solutions to challenges in the present.

History doctoral students conduct hands-on research in aspects of history most interesting to them. They become well-informed scholars who work in academia, museums and other cultural institutions, and USC's public history track opens doors to more opportunities writing and presenting history to the public.

Program Highlights

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    Collaborative Research

    Conduct independent research with guidance from faculty mentors, learning grant writing and other skills critical to advanced research.

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    Ideal Location

    In South Carolina’s capital city, you’ll have access to historical archives and resources on campus and off.

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    Public History Integration

    Join one of the few graduate history programs offering public history training, to prepare for a fulfilling career in public-facing history.

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    Teaching Opportunities

    Become a teacher on campus or online, and work in local programs that connect the general public to history.

What You’ll Study

Select your field and advisor from department strengths in U.S. History; Public History; Science, Technology, and Environment; and Culture, Identity and Economic Development. Study historiography and the process of research in addition to many topical courses. Write a doctoral thesis and pass a comprehensive exam in three fields.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Cultural Awareness

    Learning about and respecting diverse cultures and beliefs

    Public Speaking

    Delivering a message or presentation to an audience effectively and persuasively


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

  • Interpersonal Skills

    Communicating and interacting effectively in a variety of social and professional situations


    Creating professional written content for inclusion in scholarly journal articles, books and reports

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Faculty
  • Historian
  • Researcher
  • Writer
  • Archivist
  • Policy Maker

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Teacher
  • Historical Writer and Editor

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $83,995

Workplace Settings

  • Higher Education
  • Historic Sites
  • Museums and Libraries
  • Research Institute
  • Nonprofits
  • Tourism

Employers of Alumni

  • South Carolina State Museum
  • University of South Carolina
  • Historic Columbia
  • Augusta University