University of South Carolina


Honors College Requirements

Profile: 2014 South Carolina Honors College Class*

Class Size: 436
Average Weighted Core GPA: 4.69
Interquartile SAT* Score: 1390-1470
Interquartile ACT Score: 31-33

* All 2014 data are preliminary.
** On the critical reading and math sections combined.

Honors Admissions Information

Admissions consideration requires excellent high-school grades and strong scores on the SAT or ACT. You must submit the freshman application and Honors supplement by November 15th. If you complete the admissions application online, and your self-reported scores are high enough, you will be invited to apply for the Honors College and top scholarships at the point of application. All supplemental materials (including application fee official fee waiver, test scores, two letters of recommendation, and personal statement) must be postmarked or submitted by November 15th as well.

Note: The November 15th deadline is designed to give Honors College applicants more time to complete their essays. Honors College applicants should submit their general University application and the Honors College/Top Scholars supplemental application together as one complete document. Those who meet the November 15th deadline will receive a decision on their University admission status during the week of December 15th (same timing as for October 15th Early Answer applicants).

If you are an Honors College applicant, you must have two letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. We prefer your recommenders complete the Honors College Recommendation form generated by USC's online application. Be sure to have the name and email address of each recommender while completing the Honors portion of the application. This will help your recommender submit your recommendation in a more timely fashion. If letters are mailed, then they must include “ATTN: Honors College Processing” on the envelope to ensure delivery. US Mail is our least preferred method of delivery since it slows processing time.

Honors Essay Prompts

The South Carolina Honors College application involves answering short answer prompts and a full-length essay, so be sure to allow enough time to provide thoughtful responses. For your reference, this year’s full-length essay prompts are listed below. You are expected to answer one of these prompts along with approximately 6 short answer essay prompts that appear on the online application. Do not answer these prompts independently of the actual application. You must complete the online honors application supplement in addition to the regular application for admissions consideration.

  1. We often use metaphors to help us understand our world and persuade others. Write about a metaphor that you think is powerful, and explore its potential to be helpful and/or harmful in your thinking.
  2. What’s that sound?
  3. Imagine that it is the year 2050. You are the head of an elite team of scientists, and you have made a remarkable discovery. What have you discovered, and what are the consequences of your discovery?
  4. This is a two-part challenge: First, if you had the opportunity to speak to every person on earth, simultaneously and in each person’s native tongue, what would you say? Provide us with the text of your speech. Second, discuss briefly your thinking in proposing this speech.

Scholarships at USC


Based on merit, need and resident status, the state of South Carolina, the University and many of our academic colleges and departments offer scholarship opportunities.

...non-resident awards

...SC resident awards

AP, IB Credit

Discover how to receive USC credit for Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.

USC Gardening

Sustainability at USC

One of your living options is the Green Quad residence hall, where student maintain an organic garden and practice sustainability.

...learn more