A 50 kV silicon carbide photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) is presented. The SiC PCSS device is fabricated from semi-insulating 4H-SiC in a newly-proposed rear-illuminated, radial switch structure. The improved structure reduces the peak electric field within the switch, extending the blocking voltage to over 50 kVdc. Electrostatic field simulations of the PCSS are presented along with experimental blocking curves. The PCSS demonstrated low on-state resistance, delivering over 27 MW of peak power into a 31 ω load. Device modeling was performed to further optimize the switch for peak efficiency when illuminated with 355 nm light, a common laser wavelength. The switch structure was modified for peak operation at 355 nm and the experimental and theoretical results are compared.