Why study history at Southern Miss?
What makes the history program at the University of Southern Mississippi’s unique is the breadth of courses offered by our talented faculty, coupled with their dedication to closely mentoring graduate students at every level. Our graduate students regularly present their work at conferences and actively publish their scholarship. We have had students go on to outstanding universities for further study and have placed students in notable academic, military, and public history jobs across the country.
The size of the history program allows for close faculty-student interaction and mentoring on issues such as historic content and historiography, research methods and digital scholarship, writing and editing, teaching, and professional development. Our students work closely with their chair, graduate committee members, and other members of the faculty throughout their time in the program. We care not only about what our students learn in the classroom, but also their ability to be productive and fulfilled scholars, teachers, and citizens when they leave Southern Miss.
The History program at Southern Miss is home to a vibrant and diverse group of graduate students (both Masters and PhD) working in a number of different fields on exciting and ground-breaking scholarship. To learn more about our current students, click the following link: History Graduate Student Profiles.
The History program at Southern Miss offers a Graduate Certificate in Public History (GCPH) designed for those interested in being trained for careers in public history, including museums, historic sites and parks, libraries, archives, historical societies, and other non-profit historical organizations. The Public History Certificate can be taken in conjunction with the Masters or doctorate (or as a stand alone program). The GCPH program is an interdisciplinary program which gives students the ability to tailor their studies in public history to their specific interests and career needs. Coursework will expose students to the methods and materials of public history and prepare them for a future in public history positions. GCPH students have gone on to careers in museums and historical associations throughout the region.
The faculty supports graduate research in many ways, from teaching research methods in most classes to making available several graduate research travel grants every semester, which allow students to travel to archives and libraries across the country and abroad. The University Libraries at Southern Miss, especially Special Collections at McCain Archives, provide an excellent research base for historical scholarship. The university’s Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage is internationally known for its vast and significant historical collections. Lastly, USM’s central placement in the Gulf South region allows for easy access to a number of outstanding libraries, archives, and research centers.
In addition to its competitive assistantships, the history program has several scholarships and specialty fellowships available for its graduate students, including the Lamar Powell History Graduate Scholarship and the Jay Washam Memorial Scholarship. The Center for the Study of the Gulf South and the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society offer additional fellowships to augment assistantship funding: the Baird Fellowship for students working on Southern history and the Colonel Wayde Benson Fellowships, the Dale Center Graduate Fellowship, and the Margaret Boone Dale Fellowship for Research in Women and War for students working on war and society topics.
Internships in Public History allow students to gain hands-on, real world knowledge and skills such as exhibit design, archival work, historical preservation, historical interpretation, and many others. Our Public History students have interned at many different institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (Washington, DC), the Vicksburg National Military Park, the National WWII Museum (New Orleans, LA), NPS’s Maggie L Walker National Historic Site (Richmond VA), the African-American Military History Museum (Hattiesburg, MS), the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center (Fort Benning, GA), USM’s Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, and USM’s McCain Archives.
History graduate students have unparalleled opportunities to study history where it happened. Study abroad courses allow students such varied experiences as studying the lives of the soldiers of World War I while on the battlefield of Verdun, experiencing the sites of the Cuban Revolution in Havana, or learning the art of primary research amid the documents of the British National Archives. These courses also allow students invaluable chances to meet and work with field area experts from institutions such as the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; King's College London; and the University of Hanoi. A Study Abroad scholarship is frequently available.
The History program offers a number of different courses (both required seminars and electives) every semester. To see the current course offerings, click here: History Graduate Course Descriptions
The History Graduate Society at the University of Southern Mississippi was founded in 2009 to serve the needs of history graduate students. The HGS's mission is to assist current graduate students as they pursue their education, research, and career goals. The society promotes cooperation between faculty and students by supporting professional development workshops and by organizing social events throughout the academic year.
A Faculty of Award Winning Scholars and Teachers
Our faculty earned their degrees from some of the finest universities in the country. They are highly-productive scholars and award-winning teachers. They regularly publish acclaimed books and articles, receive prestigious national and international grants and fellowships, present their research at conferences around the world, and serve significant academic organizations. In their teaching and research, they offer wide coverage of geographic regions and time periods, and expertise in a range of historical themes and methodologies.
- College and University Teaching
- Professional Military Education and Research
- Public History (Museums, Archives, etc)
- Private Sector Employment
- Government and Non-Profit Research
- Higher Education Administration
- Samantha A. Taylor, 2017,
Visiting Professor of National Security Studies, U.S. Army War College
- Joel Bius, 2015,
Deputy Chair Joint Warfighting Department and Assistant Professor of National Security Studies, Air Command and Staff College
- Karen Cox, 1997,
Professor of History, Author, and Director of the Public History Program, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- Patricia Buzard-Boyett, 2011,
Director of Women’s Resource Center, Loyola University, New Orleans
- Colin Colbourn, 2018,
Lead Historian, Project Recovery at the University of Delaware and Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Robert Thompson, 2016,
Historian on the Documentary Film Team, U. S. Army University Press, Fort Leavenworth