University of South Carolina

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Highlights: Rankings

University of South Carolina

USC is one of only 40 public universities in the nation and the only one in South Carolina to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s highest research designation and to be named among the nation’s leaders in providing programs that benefit and engage communities.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked the University of South Carolina No. 42 among public universities in the nation in its 2011 list of “Best Values in Public Colleges.” The list recognizes top public universities for their top-flight academics and affordable costs.

The Princeton Review’s “Best Value Colleges for 2012” list recognized USC as one of the 75 best value public universities in the U.S.

USC is home to some of the South’s best doctoral programs, according to a 2010 report from the National Research Council. The University has nine programs that rank among the Top 10 in the South in their respective disciplines; 12 programs are ranked among the nation’s top 50. Top academic programs include electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineering; geography; biological sciences; chemistry; English; comparative literature; history; pharmacy; and philosophy.

The university is ranked among the top up-and-coming national universities according to the U.S. News & World Report 2010 “America’s Best Colleges Guide.”

USC students have won 538 prestigious national scholarship and fellowship awards in the past 18 years, earning more than $15 million for advanced study. During the 2010-11 academic year alone, 48 awards and $1.3 million were won by USC students.

Moore School of Business

U.S. News & World Report’s college and graduate school guides rank the Moore School of Business No. 1 in the nation for its undergraduate international business program (fall 2011) and No. 1 among public universities, No. 3 overall, for its graduate IB program (spring 2012). The Moore School has 15 consecutive No. 1 rankings for the undergraduate program and 23 consecutive years with a top-three overall ranking for the graduate program.

The Moore School ranks as the No. 2 school in the world for international experience in the 2010 "Global MBA Rankings" by the Financial Times of London. In the annual report, Moore's MBA program also ranks 2nd in the international business subject area category.

The Moore School was ranked 30th by The Aspen Institute’s 2010-11 "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" alternative ranking of business schools. The biennial survey examined data from 149 schools worldwide to determine how well each are preparing future business leaders for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. The Moore School ranked 42 on a list of the top 100 business schools (23 among U.S. schools).

According to The Princeton Review's “Best 296 Business Schools: 2009 Edition,” the operations management education at the Moore School is among the top 15 U.S. graduate business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Honors College

The South Carolina Honors College was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 2012 “Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs.”

University 101

University 101, a freshman seminar that introduces students to the campus and emphasizes time management, communication, and critical thinking, earned Carolina a spot as one of the best first-year experiences in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2010 “America’s Best Colleges Guide.” U.S. News also recognized the senior capstone experience, which brings the various elements of a South Carolina education together in a final project, thesis or work of art.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The National Science Foundation reports that South Carolina’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is rated 38th in the nation in federally funded research, ahead of institutions such as the Georgia Institute of Technology (39), Emory University (40), the University of Southern California (45), and the University of Pittsburgh (47). The department is also ranked among the top 50 chemistry departments in the nation. The department is ranked in the top 20 nationally for the number of doctoral graduates it produces annually.


The National Science Foundation ranks several USC engineering departments in the top 35 in the nation based on faculty research productivity. Electrical engineering ranks in the top 10; mechanical engineering, in the top 30; and chemical engineering in the top 35. All programs were ranked No. 1 in the state.

In U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the best graduate programs of 2014, USC's College of Engineering and Computing ranks in the top 100 in the nation; our chemical engineering programs rank in the top 55, our civil engineering programs rank in the top 75 and our environmental and mechanical engineering programs rank in the top 100.

Exercise Science

The university's Department of Exercise Science’s doctoral program is ranked No. 3 in the nation in kinesiology and exercise science, according to the 2007 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index by Academic Analytics. The index of doctoral programs at research universities considers journals and publications, citations of journal articles, research funding and other awards and honors.

Health Education

The Arnold School of Public Health is ranked 23rd in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Library and Information Science

South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science is ranked 17th in the nation in overall excellence. The program school library media ranked No. 2 and health information ranked No. 11 in U.S. News & World Report's annual graduate school guide (spring 2012).

Nuclear Engineering

South Carolina’s Nuclear Engineering program has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in the most recent Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.


USC’s College of Nursing graduate program is ranked No. 79 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report (spring 2012).


The Sociology Department has received a No. 4 ranking for its graduate training in social psychology in U.S. News and World Report's annual graduate school guide (spring 2012).