University of South Carolina

Reach, relevance, and impact:
Improving lives every day in South Carolina

For more than two centuries, the University of South Carolina has delivered quality education and service to the people of South Carolina. With eight campuses distributed across the state, it is difficult to imagine an institution that has a greater reach or impact on the state than Carolina. Watch videos to learn more about the University's impact.

How does the University improve lives in South Carolina? Consider first our mission to educate professionals for the full spectrum of the workforce. Our eight campuses provide unparalleled access to higher education for South Carolinians--an important consideration for a state that lags the national average in the percent of its population with bachelor's degrees.

Through our mission to conduct relevant research and bring those discoveries to the marketplace, our faculty are creating start-up companies and jobs for the knowledge economy. Now, more than ever, that economic development is key to the state's future.

Some examples of our impact:

  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Economic Growth


  • The University annually awards nearly 40 percent of all baccalaureate and graduate degrees in the state of South Carolina.
  • Nearly 5,500 K-12 teachers in South Carolina classrooms earned their degrees at Carolina.
  • A current College of Education program to enhance teacher recruitment and scholastic performance resulted in state science test scores improving 30 percent at an elementary school in Calhoun County.
  • Greater access to higher education for all South Carolinians by forging the first full-scale Bridge Program with all of the state's 16 technical colleges. More South Carolina residents receive their education at the University of South Carolina now than ever before.

Health Care

  • Our nursing programs in Columbia, Spartanburg, and Aiken have awarded more than 3,200 baccalaureate and advanced nursing degrees in the past decade, helping the state to address a critical shortage in nursing professionals.
  • Nearly 75 percent of all alumni from the University's School of Medicine who currently practice medicine in the Palmetto State are in primarycare or needed specialties--many of them in non-metropolitan and underserved areas.
  • More than 5,300 licensed pharmacists in South Carolina earned their degrees and received their clinical training at Carolina.

Economic Growth

  • In the past four-and-a-half years, faculty at Carolina have started 25 new technology companies and spurred job creation by commercializing discoveries from their laboratories.
  • The University's Technology Incubator has graduated more than 20 companies and has helped create several hundred high-paying jobs in the past several years.
  • The latest study shows that Carolina's eight campuses and its alumni have a total economic impact to the state of $4 billion, which supports nearly 50,000 jobs.

Carolina is maintaining its reach, relevance, and impact in the Palmetto State despite a steep decline in state funding for higher education. Click here to see a graphic depicting declines in higher education funding across the country. South Carolina has reduced its investment in higher education more than any other state.

US Map

View map of state funding cuts for higher education


Nationally Recognized

While the percentage of funding cuts for higher education in South Carolina is the highest in the nation, the University of South Carolina remains resolute in its commitment to the people of the Palmetto State and its prosperity.

Our momentum and commitment to quality is reflected by national recognition of Carolina's achievements:

  • Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as the only university in South Carolina to receive highest research designation, and one of 62 public universities nationwide. Carolina's external research funding has increased 89 percent in the past six years, with a record $206 million in 2008.
  • Named among the nation's leaders in providing programs that benefit and engage communities by the Carnegie Foundation.
  • Ranked No. 19 among 155 national universities for the number of start-up companies created, tying with Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and Northwestern universities.
  • Ranked among the Top 10 "Most Promising and Innovative" national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2009 America's Best Colleges guide.
  • Ranked among the "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
  • Recognized by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges for the University 101 freshman seminar as an "academic program to look for."

Our return on investment to the state of South Carolina is further reflected by these achievements:

  • 396 national scholarship and fellowship awards--including the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Madison, Fulbright, and Goldwater--won by Carolina students in the past 15 years
  • A consistent No. 1 national ranking for the international business programs by U.S. News & World Report. The Financial Times of London ranked the graduate international business program No. 2 in the world.
  • A 70-point increase in our entering class SAT score during the past six years


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One-year changes in state funding for higher education

Levels of state support for higher education

10-year National comparison

State appropriations

Decline in state funding as percentage of university budget 1990-2009

Dr. Pastides' past budget communications