College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Clemson trustees approve new degree programs, including nation’s first Ph.D. in Digital History


CLEMSON – The Clemson University board of trustees recently approved new academic degree programs in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, including the nation’s first Ph.D. program in Digital History.

A student works with ceramics in this photo.
Clemson University trustees recently approved two new academic degree programs, including a new Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design.

Trustees also voted to create a new Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design.

“We continue to expand the world-class opportunities available to students in the arts and humanities at Clemson University,” said Richard E. Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “As one of the most innovative public universities in the United States, we’re particularly proud to create the first Ph.D. program specifically focused on digital history.”

The two new degrees will be offered in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Name change

Trustees also approved a name change for an existing degree program in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; the Bachelor of Arts in Language and International Trade will now be known as the Bachelor of Arts in Language and International Business.

The program combines intensive foreign language study with a professional business concentration in applied international economics, international trade or tourism.

“We feel the new name more accurately portrays the nature of this major, combining not only language and culture but also a business component through an internship with an international company,” said Lee Ferrell, director of the program.

If approved by the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, the name change would take effect in fall 2019.

Digital History Ph.D.

Digital history is a dynamic new field that integrates computing technology and humanities scholarship for the creation and dissemination of knowledge in digital mediums. Historians need digital training to study emails, texts and social media communications, much as scholars have had to master Latin to study ancient Rome.

“Over the past decade, historians have increasingly been using digital tools such as text mining, data visualization and graphic information systems to conduct research and present scholarship, and this trend is only going to accelerate in the foreseeable future,” said James Burns, chairman of the history and geography department. “However, there are no Ph.D. programs in the U.S. that give degrees in digital history. Our program connects history to Clemson’s formidable strengths in technology.”

The department of history also recently created a digital history concentration for its undergraduate majors.

New degree in Art and Design

The Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design was proposed in response to the popularity of the art minor at Clemson University, which has grown more than 150 percent since its inception in 2013-14. Complementing the art department’s intensive, nationally accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs, the B.A. will be interdisciplinary in focus, facilitating double majors and minors so Clemson students can broaden their skillsets and career opportunities across multiple disciplines.

“The new Bachelor of Arts program in Art and Design will seek to cultivate an innovative mind, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for the arts as principles of success across a broad spectrum of creative careers,” said Valerie Zimany, chair of the department of art. “Creative jobs will be more resistant to automation, and the B.A. in Art and Design is a natural fit with interdisciplinary tracks in design, business and humanities.”

Want to Discuss?

Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.

Or email us at

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.