University of South Carolina


International Freshman Admission Requirements

The University of South Carolina welcomes the applications of international students. Since you will have many arrangements to make in order to attend the University, it is important that you apply at least nine months before the semester in which you plan to begin your studies. International freshman applicants must be high school graduates (students that have completed about 12 years of schooling in their home countries).

Applying as an International Transfer student? Click here. International Transfer refers to any non-U.S. citizen who has attempted any college work at a college or university after graduating from secondary or high school.

Are you interested in the English Program for Internationals and conditional admission? Click here.

Admission steps to complete:

  • 1

    Fill out the University's application form completely (there is a $100 application fee for international students) at

  • 2.

    Submit your official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic Test scores to the University of South Carolina - Columbia. English proficiency is measured through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A score of at least 550 on the paper based exam or 77 on the internet based TOEFL is required. USC also accepts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the PTE Academic Test. Students must score at least a 6.5 on the IELTS, or at least a 53 on the PTE.

    Please note that citizens from the following countries are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement:

    American Samoa
    Canada (note: Quebec students must
          take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE)
    Grand Cayman
    New Zealand
    Sierra Leone
    United Kingdom

  • 3.

    Submit official (or attested copy) transcript(s) from all high school records in their native language. In addition, if your transcript is not in English, you must submit a certified transcript translated into English by a school official.

  • 4.

    Submit a professional credentials evaluation with a GPA reported on a U.S. grading scale. If you have attended any school outside of the United States, you must submit an official professional credentials evaluation. Freshman (first-year) applicants must submit a document-by-document or course-by-course evaluation. An admissions decision will not be made until the evaluation and all transcripts are on file. US citizens (freshman or transfer applicants) who have attempted any courses outside the United States must submit a credentials evaluation and transcripts from their international work with a GPA reported on a U.S. grading scale. More information on the credentials evaluation process can be found below.

    Please note that citizens from the following areas are exempt from needing to submit a credential evaluation:

    • State of Rhineland-Palatinate/Rhineland Pfalz, Germany
    • State of Thuringen, Germany
    • State of Brandenburg, Germany
    • State of Queensland, Australia
    • Province of Taiwan, Republic of China

  • 5.

    Submit official SAT or ACT scores (with writing section) if you are applying for admission to the South Carolina Honors College or want to be considered for any departmental scholarships. The University of South Carolina-Columbia’s SAT code is 5818. For the ACT, it is 3880.

  • 6.

    If you apply for admission before graduating from high school, you must submit an official (or attested copy) of all final transcript(s) and an updated credentials evaluation after you graduate from high school. Your transcript(s) must include a graduation date.

  • 7.

    Submit financial certification if you are offered admission. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions must receive official documents (photocopies are acceptable) which certify that the student will have sufficient funding to attend the University of South Carolina for one academic year. This evidence will be used to issue the student an immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) which will be required to obtain the F-1 or J-1 student visa at a US embassy or consulate. This process is done after a student has been offered admission.

  • Information about the credentials evaluation requirement:
    Please note that a fee from the student is required for the evaluation of credentials. The payment and all contact regarding this process is done directly with the evaluation service of your choice. We will consider an evaluation from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). The web address is

    Below is the contact information of two companies that frequently provide us with evaluations.

    Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
    International Educational Consultants
    7101 SW 102 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33173
    Phone: 305-273-1616

    World Education Services, Inc.
    P.O. Box 5087
    Bowling Green Station
    New York, NY 10274-5087
    Phone: 212-966-6311