Go to USC home page USC Logo USC Sumter Academic Bulletin
USC Sumter Academic Bulletin
The University
Academic Regulations
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Academic Programs
Course Descriptions
Academic Calendar
updated October 2009

The University

University of South Carolina

Mission Statement

The primary mission of the University of South Carolina, a multi-campus public institution serving the entire state of South Carolina, is the education of the state’s diverse citizens through teaching, research and creative activity, and service.


The University is committed to providing its students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world. A particular strength of the University of South Carolina is the excellence, breadth, and diversity of its faculty.


Convinced that research and scholarship, including artistic creation, are essential for excellent teaching, the University pursues aggressively an active research and scholarship program. The University is dedicated to using research to improve the quality of life for South Carolinians.


Another important facet of the University's public mission is service--to its community, state, nation, and the world in such areas as public health, education, social issues, economic development, and family support systems.

Founded in 1801 in Columbia, the University of South Carolina began providing programs in communities statewide in the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, a network of campuses was established in response to community initiative and support for accessible, affordable educational programs principally for local citizens. In the 1970s, the Aiken and Upstate campuses were granted the authority to award baccalaureate degrees. While the regional campuses, the senior campuses, and the Columbia campus all pursue teaching, research, creative activity, and service, they do so with an emphasis suited to their individual campus missions.

Columbia Campus

As a major teaching and research institution, USC Columbia has long offered a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs through the doctoral level. With a mission of teaching, research, and service, USC Columbia addresses the state's needs for master's level, professional, and doctoral education, for conducting and sharing research, and for responding to statewide and regional demands for educational resources and professional expertise.

USC Columbia aspires to national and international stature as it provides equitable access to its opportunities, resources, and activities.

Senior Campuses

Separately accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate take as their primary mission the delivery of basic undergraduate education to their respective areas. These senior campuses also offer graduate-level course work through the University's Extended Graduate Campus program and offer master's degree programs in response to regional demand.

Regional Campuses

Accredited with USC Columbia by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional campuses of Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union principally provide the first two years of undergraduate education, as well as selected associate degree programs mainly for their locales. The regional campuses also provide for the completion of a bachelor's degree by offering selected upper-division course work in conjunction with the Aiken, Columbia, and Upstate campuses as well as some graduate education through the University's Extended Graduate Campus program. In addition to providing these programs, the regional campuses bring the resources of the entire University to citizens throughout the state.

University of South Carolina Sumter

Purpose of the Institution

The University of South Carolina Sumter strives to provide intellectual leadership and create a higher educational environment that will promote learning.


The University of South Carolina Sumter, a regional campus of the University of South Carolina, has as its mission to provide higher education and intellectual leadership for the Sumter area. At the heart of this mission is a faculty of high quality, dedicated to excellence in instruction, scholarship, public and professional service, and creative endeavors that enrich the classroom experience. USC Sumter offers a varied curriculum rooted in the liberal arts and aimed at preparing students to continue their education in the University and throughout life. The University of South Carolina Sumter recruits students prepared to begin or planning to complete a baccalaureate-level education. While USC Sumter does not offer remedial instruction, it is nonetheless able to admit most students who apply because of the close working relationship between students and faculty. Enrollment varies with community need but is expected to remain near 1,000 full-time enrolled students.

The University of South Carolina Sumter was established to encourage higher education in Sumter and adjacent counties. It primarily serves students from Sumter, Lee, Clarendon, Williamsburg, and Kershaw counties. The design of the early institution incorporated a flexibility that has allowed changes in institutional capability with increasing educational demand of constituents.

The institution itself grants the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and provides for the completion of selected bachelor degrees on campus through cooperative agreements with other institutions. Graduate education is coordinated at USC Sumter through the University’s Extended Graduate Campus Program. USC Sumter also provides access to a wide variety of baccalaureate degree programs on other campuses by teaching some courses that must be taken by students in these programs. The mission includes other appropriate upper-division course work as well as noncredit courses, seminars, and workshops made available to the community for cultural enrichment and professional development.

The traditions of cultural diversity and freedom of thought are valued at USC Sumter. In an atmosphere that develops respect for this diversity and an awareness of individual, societal, and global responsibilities, USC Sumter promotes courses, activities, and attitudes which favor the development of men and women who continue learning throughout life.

USC Sumter emphasizes the development of the whole person. The institution especially seeks to foster in students the disciplines essential to an educated citizenry. These include the ability to communicate through effective writing and articulate speech, as well as quantitative competence, creative and critical thinking, and the integration of knowledge. Classroom experiences, student activities, and physical education programs provide opportunities for cultural enrichment, leadership development, intellectual growth, and interpersonal relationships contributing to self-reliance and self-esteem.


The citizens of Sumter and adjacent counties saw a need to provide higher-education opportunities at an affordable price. In 1965, by an act of the state legislature, the Sumter County Commission for Higher Education was created and granted authority to establish in Sumter County facilities to offer standard freshman and sophomore courses and such other courses as were deemed desirable. To fulfill this purpose and objective, the commission entered into a long-term contract with Clemson University for the purpose of operating the new educational facilities.

A local bond issue was passed, and with federal assistance a physical plant, with capacity for 550 to 600 students, was erected on an attractive 35-acre tract of land located in the Palmetto Park area, made available jointly by the city and county of Sumter.

In August 1966 Clemson University at Sumter opened its doors to its first class, and in December 1968 the campus was officially accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The campus has retained its accreditation since that time.

On July 23, 1973, after negotiations between the Sumter County Commission for Higher Education and officials of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina, operations of the Sumter campus were transferred to the University of South Carolina. This change was recognized by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, and after evaluating a self-study and visiting the campus in 1975, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools officially accepted the change. In 1996 the Sumter County Commission for Higher Education was restructured as the Mid-Carolina Commission for Higher Education.

In the fall of 1978, USC Sumter developed a new evening program of courses designed to meet the needs of adult students. This evening program consists of two eight-week sessions per semester and one eight-week summer session, thus enabling students to carry a full-time load solely with evening hours. An identical program is also offered primarily for military personnel at Shaw Air Force Base, but with an emphasis on upper-level courses not regularly taught at USC Sumter.

Student enrollment has increased steadily from the original class of 97 students to nearly 1,300 undergraduates and 100 graduate students in the fall term of 2000.


The University of South Carolina Sumter is situated on 50 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, with eight modern and attractive administrative and academic buildings.

The Administration Building houses the offices of the dean; associate dean for academic affairs; assistant dean for University advancement; assistant dean for administrative and financial services; assistant dean for student affairs; director of the Extended Graduate Campus Program; director of marketing and public relations; director of admissions, services, and recruitment; admissions; financial aid; records; business; advisement/counseling center; and others. It also has conference rooms and a faculty lounge.

The Business Administration Building contains classrooms and a computer instructional lab. It also houses the Opportunity Scholars Program.

The Science Building has three lecture rooms and fully equipped laboratory facilities for astronomy, chemistry, physics, botany, and zoology. Also in the Science Building are offices for the science faculty and a lobby with tables for group study.

The Anderson Library of the Sumter campus provides a pleasant setting for faculty and students to read and study. The 70,000-volume collection is especially selected to assist students in their undergraduate studies. Recreational reading is also provided. The library houses resources in many formats, including books, periodicals on microfilm, cassette lectures, microfilm readers, and a microfiche viewer. Services offered by the library include photocopying, microfilm copying, online indexes, databases, full-text journals, the University of South Carolina Access Network (USCAN), and bibliographic instruction for groups or individuals. For more information or to use online services, go to www.uscsumter.edu/~library/. Requests concerning additional library services should be made at the circulation desk or e-mailed to the librarian at JaneF@uscsumter.edu.

The Anderson Library also contains computer labs and two computer instructional labs. The Office of Distance and Continuing Education and the Computer Services Division are located in the library. Art displays can be seen in the University Gallery located off the main lobby. The Anderson Library also has private study rooms for students, a conference room, and a lounge area. The rear of the building contains six large classrooms and lobby space for studying.

The Student Union Building features the campus bookstore, a food court, and an open commons area with an adjacent outdoor terrace, as well as meeting rooms for student organizations. The commons area and terrace offer students a place where they may gather to eat, talk, or study. This commons area can also be used for dances and other recreational programs. The building also contains a lounge area for relaxation, reading, and viewing television; a game room with pool and ping-pong tables and electronic games; and two specialized classrooms.

The Schwartz Building houses the Division of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education. It contains an enhanced classroom with two-way compressed video and audio capabilities, as well as classrooms, faculty offices, and two conference rooms.

The Nettles Building contains the campus recreation and physical education department facilities, which include a wellness center, three racquetball/handball courts, a multiprogram gym, a first-aid facility, and a 500-seat auditorium.

The newly renovated Arts and Letters building is the home of the Division of Arts and Letters. The building also contains a lecture hall/conference center with small break-out rooms, a banquet hall, and faculty offices, classrooms, and art labs.

Dormitory facilities are not available at the Sumter campus. Students whose homes are not in the Sumter area may find rooms in private homes or apartments.

A limited number of classrooms are also provided by the United States Air Force for USC Sumter’s use on Shaw AFB, as well as office facilities for the Shaw coordinator.