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Department of History

Public History

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Pursue your passion and give yourself an edge on the job market by studying Public History at the University of South Carolina!

Begun as the Applied History Program in 1975, our Public History Program is today one of the oldest and strongest in the country. Over five decades our program has produced nearly 300 graduates who have gone on to shape the field through professional careers in archives and libraries, museums, historic preservation agencies, historic sites, documentary editing projects, state and national parks, consulting firms, and colleges and universities. Not only does USC provide excellent training and real-world experience, it also provides full funding to most of our Master’s and PhD students.

Our graduate studies in Public History serves both those who come to USC for the M.A. in Public History as well as many Ph.D students who choose to have a field in Public History or earn the M.A. in Public History on their way to the doctorate.


Opportunities for Intensive Study 

 There are several additional concentrations you can pursue during your graduate studies in Public History. 

Many of our students also choose to pursue an interdisciplinary graduate certificate. A designated faculty member for each of our two concentrations supervises coursework, internships, advising, and job placement: museum studies and historic preservation.

USC Public History Alumni @ Work

Architect of the United States Capitol, Curator’s Office, Washington, D.C.

Fort Gordon, Augusta, Georgia.

General Federation of Women's Clubs, Washington, D.C.

Monticello, Virginia.

National Archives, Washington, D.C.

National History Day, College Park, Maryland.

National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia.

National Park Service, Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston, South Carolina.

National Park Service, National Center for Preservation Technology, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

National Park Service, Northeast Museum Services Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

National Park Service, Sagamore Hill, New York.

National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office, Atlanta, Georgia.

National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, Drayton Hall, Charleston, South Carolina.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, James Madison’s Montpelier, Orange, Virginia.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, Eastern Field Services, Charleston, South Carolina.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, Southwest Regional Office, Fort Worth, Texas

Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Princeton University, New Jersey.

Save America’s Treasures Program, Washington, D.C.

United States Army, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, Ohio.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C.

United States Department of State, Office of the Historian, Washington, D.C.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

United States Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, D.C.

Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

Alabama State Archives, Montgomery.

Alabama State Historic Preservation Office, Montgomery.

Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage Development Initiative, West Memphis, Arkansas.

Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix.

Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Indianapolis.

Florida Historic Capitol Museum, Tallahassee.

Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka.

Library of Virginia, Richmond.

Maryland State Highway Commission, Baltimore.

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Boston.

MinnesotaPedia: The Minnesota Encyclopedia, Minneapolis.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Jefferson City.

Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.

Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln.

New York State Historic Preservation Office, Albany.

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Historic Sites, Raleigh.

North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh.

Ohio Historical Society, Columbus.

South Carolina Arts Commission, Columbia.

South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, Columbia.

South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia.

South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Columbia.

South Carolina Heritage Corridor, Columbia.

South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston.

South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, Columbia.

South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, Columbia.

South Carolina State Library, Columbia.

South Carolina State Museum, Columbia.

South Carolina State Parks Service, Columbia.

South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, Pierre.

Texas State Archives, Austin.

Texas State Historical Association, Denton.   

Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Richmond.

Albany Institute of History & Art, New York.

Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Amelia Island Museum of History, Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Amherst County Museum, Virginia.

Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina.

Atlanta History Center, Georgia.

Augusta Museum of History, Georgia.

Aurora History Museum, Aurora, Colorado.

Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture, Charleston, South Carolina.

Baranoff Museum, Kodiak, Alaska.

Berry Museum, Rome, Georgia.

Birmingham Public Library, Alabama.

Bostonian Society, Massachusetts.

Camden Archives and Museum, South Carolina.

Capital Area Preservation, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Carolina Raptor Center, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, Middletown, Virginia.

Chesterfield County Library System, South Carolina.

Chicago Academy of Sciences, Illinois.

City of Columbia Historic Preservation Office, South Carolina.

City of Montgomery Planning and Development Department, Alabama.

Clinton County Historical Society, Wilmington, Ohio.

Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina.

Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia.

Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, Billups-Garth Archives, Mississippi.

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.

Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.

Diocese of Charleston Archives, South Carolina.

Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, Georgia.

East Albemarle Regional Library, North Carolina.

Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, South Carolina.

First Citizens Bank, South Carolina.

Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach, North Carolina.

Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, Virginia.

Gaston County Museum of Art and History, North Carolina.

German Village Society, Columbus, Ohio.

Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina.

Greenville Museum of Art, South Carolina.

Handley Regional Library, Winchester, Virginia.

The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson, Nashville, Tennessee.

Historic Annapolis Foundation, Maryland.

Historic Beaufort Foundation, South Carolina.

Historic Columbia Foundation, South Carolina.

Historic Latta Plantation, North Carolina.

Historic Macon Foundation, Macon, Georgia.

Historical Center of York County, South Carolina.

Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, Indiana.

John Marshall House, Richmond, Virginia.

Kaminski House Museum, Georgetown, South Carolina.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia.

Lexington County Museum, Lexington, South Carolina.

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, Sterling, Virginia.

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville, Kentucky.

McFaddin-Ward House, Beaumont, Texas.

Main Street Program, Lancaster, Texas.

Main Street Program, Laurens, South Carolina.

Main Street Program, Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Mansfield Economic Development Corporation, Texas.

Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Virginia.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.

Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, Texas.

Museum of South Texas History, Edinburg.

Museum on the Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia.

Nantucket Historical Association, Massachusetts.

North Central Library Service Area, Iowa.

Old Salem, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Pendleton District Historical, Recreational and Tourism Commission, South Carolina.

Perquimans County Restoration Association, Virginia.

Preservation Society of Charleston, South Carolina.

President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Pineville, North Carolina.

Public Archaeology Laboratory, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Richland County Public Library, Columbia, South Carolina.

Saint John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia.

Scarborough-Hamer Foundation, Eastover, South Carolina.

Seattle Art Museum, Washington.

Sherwood Forest Plantation, Charles City, Virginia.

St. Margaret’s School, Tappahannock, Virginia.

Stafford County Department of Planning and Community Development, Virginia.

Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York.

Sumter County Museum, South Carolina.

Surratt House Museum, Clinton, Maryland.

Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Virginia.

Town of Leesburg, Virginia.

Tryon Palace, New Bern, North Carolina.

Valentine Richmond History Center, Richmond, Virginia.

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut.

Washington, D.C. Public Library, Washingtoniana Division.

The Whalehead Club, Corolla Island, North Carolina.

William Trent House, Trenton, New Jersey.

Brockington & Associates, Inc., Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

CRA International, Boston, Massachusetts.

Cultural Resources, Inc., Richmond, Virginia.

HarpWeek, Richmond, Virginia.

Historical Research Associates, multiple locations

The History Factory, Chantilly, Virginia.

New South Associates, Columbia, South Carolina.

Radio Shack Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas.

S&ME Inc., Columbia, South Carolina.

TRC Companies, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina.

Weintraut & Associates, Inc., Zionsville, Indiana.

Wilbur Smith Associates, Lexington, Kentucky.


Bridgewater College, Alexander Mack Memorial Library, Virginia.

Clemson University Department of Historic Properties, South Carolina.

Clemson University Libraries, South Carolina.

College of Charleston, South Carolina.

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Emory University, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta, Georgia.

Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Public History Program.

Iowa State University, Ames.

James Madison University Special Collections, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives, Baltimore.

Michigan State University Archives, East Lansing.

Mississippi State University, Congressional and Political Research Center, Starkville.

Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln.

New York University School of Medicine, Ehrman Medical Library Archives.

South Carolina State University Archives, Orangeburg.

Stanford University, Hoover Institution Archives, California.

University of Georgia, Richard B. Russell Library, Athens.

University of Idaho, Department of History, Moscow.

University of Kentucky, Lexington.

University of North Carolina Wilson Library, Chapel Hill.

University of South Carolina, McKissick Museum.

University of South Carolina, South Carolina Political Collections.

University of South Carolina, South Caroliniana Library.

University of South Carolina, Thomas Cooper Library.

University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.

West Virginia University, Department of History, Morgantown.

Wilmington College Peace Resource Center, Ohio.

Wilmington College Quaker Heritage Center, Ohio.

Wofford College Archives, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

For more information about the MA program in Public History, please contact Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Joseph November (


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