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History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American Studies

One of USC Upstate's most diverse departments

The department of history, political science, philosophy, American Studies, and religion is part of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and represents one of USC Upstate's most diverse departments.

History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies offers both Bachelor of Arts degrees and minors in history and political science, along with minors in philosophy, pre-law, American studies, Southern studies and religion. The department offers upper and lower-level courses in military science.

Southern Studies

The new southern studies minor started in fall 2014. Requiring 21 hours of study, the minor offers students an opportunity to examine the South through its history, literature, geology, geography and government. The minor offers opportunities for independent studies and internships and is a complement to majors in history, political science, English and other fields. Contact Dr. Carol Loar for more information.


Interested in history? The History Club is interested in you! For club information, please contact club adviser Tammy Pike.

Political Science

If you are interested in USC Upstate's highly successful Model United Nations team, please contact Dr. Trevor Rubenzer.

Scholarship Opportunities

Students are eligible for University scholarships and are especially encouraged to explore the scholarship opportunities available under the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences listing and the general scholarships available to USC Upstate students.


Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will demonstrate a satisfactory level of general historical knowledge.

1.1 Students will develop general knowledge based of United States, European (from the late middle ages to the present), and Non-Western History

1.2 Students will be able to identify the major historical eras and themes in each sub-regional history.

 2. Students will demonstrate the ability to identify and analyze research materials.

2.1 Students will locate and identify primary, secondary, and tertiary historical data.

2.2 Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze historical data.

2.3 Students will evaluate the quality of historical data.

2.4 Students will demonstrate the documentation techniques of the historical profession.

3. Students will apply historical knowledge base, research methods, and appropriate writing skills t produce original scholarship.  3.1 Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct research and write an original research paper that employs historical data and adheres to the scholarly canons of the historical profession.

The history major is divided into three major geographical regions: Europe, Non-Western, and the United States. In addition, there are specific course offerings on women's history and African-American history, as well as special topics courses and opportunities for independent study.

Students must complete a total of 39 credit hours with a grade of C or better in all courses including at least one course in each region at the 300-level or above as well as four other 300-level or above courses of their choosing, U.S. and World History surveys, required courses in historical methods and directed research in senior seminar. 

Students pursuing a B.A. in History or Secondary Education History must complete 12 credits of history at the 300-or above level and directed research in the required senior seminar. A minimum of 12 credits at the 300-level or above must be completed before enrolling in the senior seminar.

Political Science

Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to write and think critically about political phenomena.

1.1 Students will be able to locate and gather academic information relevant to political science.

1.2 Students will be able to develop, elaborate, and defend a thesis on a political subject.

1.3 Students will be able to conduct research and present research findings in political science.

 2. Students will have an understanding of politics as the means by which values are maintained for the whole society.

2.1 Students will demonstrate a substantive knowledge of key concepts of political science: authority, institutions, policy, representation, participation.

2.2 Students will be able to interpret, analyze, and explain political phenomena.

3. Students will have a basic understanding of the academic study of politics.

3.1 Students will be able to select and use a methodology appropriate for studying political phenomena.

3.2 Students will be able to distinguish between empirical and normative approaches to the study of politics.

3.3 Students will be aware of current and continuing issues in the academic study of politics.

Because the subject matter of politics includes many diverse elements characteristic of human beings, the study of politics is equally diverse. Political science is divided into numerous sub-fields; these include comparative politics, international politics, statistics, methodology, political theory, public policy, and American politics.

The political science department at USC Upstate is particularly fortunate to have faculty who have specialized in many of these sub-fields. Faculty interests include Asian, Mid-eastern, and European politics; each of the sub-fields in American government is represented, as are both "traditional" (that is, political theory) and statistical approaches to the study of politics.

American Studies

American Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to culture and identity, particularly that of the United States, but also including other countries, indigenous people, diverse sexualities, ethnic minorities and regions of the North and South American continents.


The philosophy minor provides exposure to the major fields within the discipline: Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and logic.


This text "Pre-Law is a 22-hour interdisciplinary minor for students who are considering attending law school after graduation."


Explore why religion has become such an important and controversial part of modern life around the world.

Southern Studies

Southern Studies offers students an opportunity to examine the American South through its history, literature, geology, geography and government.