Program Introduction

Established in 1975 as the Applied History Program, the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina admits six to eight graduate students each year. The program offers an M.A. in Public History with a concentration in either historic preservation or museum studies. Students in the history Ph.D. program may select public history, historic preservation, or museum studies as one of their fields of study. At any one time, there are about fifteen Ph.D. students who have declared public history as one of their fields.

Degrees Offered

  • B.A. in History
  • M.A. in Public History
  • M.A. in History
  • Ph.D. in History
  • Ph.D. in History with a Certificate or Concentration in Public History
  • Other

Program Strengths

  • Historic Preservation
  • Historical Administration
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Library Science Program
  • Local/Community History
  • Material Culture
  • Museum Studies
  • Oral History

Credit Hour Requirements

30 for M.A. in Public History. The optional certificate requires additional coursework.

How Many Students are Admitted Annually




MAs produced last year


Financial Aid Available

Assistantships (teaching, research, work with community partners)
In-State Status
Tuition Waiver

Deadline To Apply

Once per year in early January. Check university deadline.

Internship Requirements

The internship is arranged by the student in consultation with his/her Public History faculty advisor. It is a program requirement but not a tuition-paying course. Students work 145 hours in a professional capacity in an historical institution or agency. Internships can be paid and unpaid.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

• Bermuda National Trust
• Bowes Museum, England
• National Museum, Ghana
• Yad Vashem, Israel
• National Park Service
• Smithsonian National Museum of American History
• Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation
• South Carolina Department of Archives and History
• South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office
• South Carolina State Museum
• City of Columbia Planning Department
• Historic Charleston Foundation
• Historic Columbia Foundation
• Jamestown Foundation, Virginia
• Maine Preservation
• Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Office, Florida
• Museums of Old York, Maine
• Nantucket Historical Association, Massachusetts
• Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island
• Preservation Society of Charleston
• Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Job Placement Assistance

Close consultation with faculty advisor; professional workshops and the portfolio presentations; in-house and alumni listservs; 225+ alumni network; multiple opportunities for hands-on experience in assistantships, internships, courses, field schools.

Employers Who Have Hired Graduates from this Program within the Past Five Years

• National Archives
• National Park Service
• Smithsonian National Museum of American History
• Mississippi Department of Archives and History
• New York State Historic Preservation Office
• Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
• South Carolina State Museum
• South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office
• Texas Department of Transportation
• Aurora History Museum, Colorado
• Baranov Museum, Alaska
• Columbus Museum, Georgia
• General Federation of Womens Clubs, Washington, DC
• The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson, Tennessee
• Historic Charleston Foundation
• Historic Columbia
• Historic Macon, Georgia
• Low Country Digital Initiative, South Carolina
• The Mob Museum, Las Vegas
• Nantucket Historical Association, Massachusetts
• Tryon Palace, North Carolina
• Emory University Libraries
• University of Georgia Libraries
• University of Houston Libraries
• University of South Carolina Libraries
• Multiple Regional, National, and International Historical Consulting Firms