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updated January 9, 2009

Admissions

General Information

An application for admission must be submitted and approved and an official notification of acceptance issued by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions before any person may enroll in an undergraduate course. Before action can be taken on an application for admission, all credentials required by University policy must be received by the Admissions Office, which has responsibility for evaluation of credentials for the purpose of admission.

First-time applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee specified on the application form. Application forms may be obtained from the Admissions Office.

Selected applicants who present evidence of special talents for University programs requiring such special talents may be evaluated on the basis of these talents as well as high-school grades and entrance examination scores. The University reserves the right to place conditions on the admission of any student. In the event such action is taken, the conditions will be clearly explained in the letter of acceptance.

Proof of immunization and residency are required before enrolling at USC Union.

Campus visits can be arranged through the Admissions Office. The Admissions Office is usually open year-round except for Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving day and the following Friday, and 10 days at Christmas.

Categories of Admission

In keeping with its mission to provide accessible higher education to students in a seven-county service area (Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Laurens, Newberry, Union, and York counties), USC Union is committed to an admissions policy which ensures access while only admitting students who have a reasonable chance of academic success. As a means to this end, we have developed specific policies to govern admission to the various admissions categories.

Freshman Admissions

Freshman applicants must have either a high-school diploma or its equivalent (GED) prior to enrolling. Accepted applicants must have senior grades and a verification of graduation sent as soon as they are available. Applicants who did not graduate from high school must send transcripts of all available work and a copy of a GED certificate or satisfactory GED test scores.

Freshman applicants must submit:

1. completed application

2. specified nonrefundable application fee

3. official high-school record complete up to the time of application

4. official entrance examination scores (either SAT or ACT).

Prospective students must have adequate preparation for the curriculum in which they plan to enroll. At a minimum, applicants for admission are required to complete a college preparatory program with units distributed among the following academic subjects:

1. English (4 units). At least two units must have strong grammar and composition components, at least one must be in English literature, and at least one must be in American literature. Completion of college preparatory English I, II, III, and IV will meet this criterion.

2. Mathematics (3 units). The three units of mathematics must include Algebra I, Algebra II, and geometry. (Applied Mathematics I and II may count together as a substitute for Algebra I if a student successfully completes Algebra II.) A fourth, higher-level mathematics course is strongly recommended (i.e., Algebra III/ trigonometry, precalculus, or calculus).

3. Laboratory Science (3 units). Two units must be taken in two different fields and selected from among biology, chemistry, or physics. The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, or physics) or from laboratory science for which biology and/or chemistry is a prerequisite. Courses in earth science, general physical science, or introductory or general environmental science for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite will not meet this requirement.

4. Social Studies (3 units). Three units of social studies. One unit of U.S. history is required; a half unit of economics and a half unit of government are strongly recommended.

5. Foreign Language (2 units). The two units of foreign language must be in the same language.

6. Academic Elective (4 units). Four college preparatory units must be taken from at least three different fields selected from computer science, English, fine arts, foreign languages, humanities, laboratory science (excluding earth science, general physical science, general environmental science, or other introductory science courses for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite), mathematics above the level of Algebra II, or social sciences. It is suggested that one unit be in computer science which includes programming, and one unit be in fine arts (appreciation of, history, or performance).

7. Physical Education (1 unit). One unit of physical education or ROTC is required.

Units Required: 20

In addition to completion of the above units, students must meet requirements based on entrance examination scores and weighted core GPA.

Applicants must complete additional units to meet or exceed state and local high-school graduation requirements. In choosing these electives, students should consider the recommendations given in the preceding listing for specific prospective majors.

Freshman applicants are encouraged to apply in the fall prior to the fall for which they seek admission. Applications will be considered after January 1 only if places are available in the incoming class.

Applicants must apply for and take the required entrance examinations well in advance of the term for which they seek admission, and they are responsible for having the results of these examinations sent to the University. Applicants over the age of 25 may not be required to submit entrance examination results; however, they must submit other credentials which give evidence of reasonable academic potential. Entrance examination scores may be required in the absence of satisfactory credentials or evidence of potential. Some programs require entrance test scores for all students, regardless of age.

Assessment of Academic Records

Freshman applicants who satisfy the course requirements listed above will be evaluated on the basis of high-school grades, class rank, and entrance examination scores. These factors will be used to determine the applicant’s probability of completing the requirements for the desired degree. Exceptions to admission requirements will be considered for applicants who present extenuating circumstances.

Transfer Admissions

An applicant who, having graduated from high school, has attended another regionally accredited postsecondary institution and attempted one or more courses is a transfer student, regardless of credit earned. If fewer than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level work have been attempted, the applicant must meet both transfer and freshman entrance requirements.

Transfer applicants for admission must submit:

1. completed application forms

2. specified nonrefundable application fee

3. complete official transcripts from postsecondary institutions through the time of application; these must be supplemented by final transcripts that reflect complete academic work prior to beginning classes in the University

4. complete high-school records including entrance exam results if less than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level work have been attempted in a regionally accredited college or university.

Applications should be submitted before these deadlines:

Fall term: August 1
Spring term: December 1
Summer terms: two weeks prior to registration for the term.

All applicants for transfer admission must be eligible to return to the last institution attended as a degree-seeking student.

The applicant must submit official transcripts of all previous college courses attempted whether or not credit was earned and regardless of whether the applicant wishes to transfer any credit. An official transcript must be sent directly to the admissions office from each institution attended. Failure to report all attempted college courses may constitute sufficient cause for later dismissal from the University.

Transfer applicants from regionally accredited colleges and universities are required to have a minimum grade point average of 2.25 (on a 4.00 scale) on all college-level courses attempted.

In addition to the general requirements for admission outlined in this section, some departments and colleges within the University set additional requirements that may be higher than the University's minimum standards. For more specific information concerning entrance requirements for individual colleges and departments, refer to the program section of this bulletin.

For the purpose of admission, a transfer grade point average is calculated using all credits attempted and all grades earned on college-level courses at other institutions. These credits and grades also will be included in calculating honors for graduation from the University. Colleges within the University have the right to consider all attempted college-level work in determining admission to particular programs and/or advancement into upper-division or professional-level courses. Transfer students should consult the section of the USC Columbia bulletin for the college in which the student plans to study for further information about the use of credits and grades from previous college work. For regulations on graduation with honors, see "Academic Regulations."

Regardless of the point in an academic career at which students enter the University, all must complete the final year (the last 30 semester hours before graduation) enrolled in classes approved by the appropriate dean of the college, school, or campus from which the degree will be granted. Some USC colleges require half of all degree credits to be earned while enrolled at this University.

Evaluation of transfer credits. Transfer credits to USC must be from regionally accredited institutions for academic courses completed with grades of C- or better. Applicability of credits toward a particular degree is determined by the college or major in which the student enrolls. The number of credits acceptable to the University and the number which may apply toward a particular degree may differ.

Students transferring from nonaccredited colleges may be allowed to validate credit after admission to the University. Details of the validation procedure vary and may be obtained from the dean's office of the college in which the student is enrolled.

Original records are required for courses exempted at a previous college. Exemption credit or acceptance of transfer credit by another college has no bearing on the evaluation of transfer credit at the University of South Carolina.

Generally, credits earned in courses that fall into one or more of the following categories are not acceptable in transfer to the University:

1. courses that are occupational or technical in nature

2. courses that are essentially remedial in nature

3. courses from a two-year institution which are considered upper division or upper level at the University

4. courses from a two-year institution that are not listed as part of that institution's college parallel program.

Exceptions to this rule may be made only by the designated academic official(s) on the campus where the student is majoring and only in specific cases where such courses are judged to be uniquely relevant to the student's degree program.

A maximum of 76 semester hours may be transferred for degree credit from a junior college or two-year institution which is accredited by a regional association such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit by correspondence and credit awarded for educational experiences in the military may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. The 30 semester hours of credit which may be awarded for educational experiences in the military should be in accordance with recommendations published by the American Council on Education and be consistent with University policy on the transfer of credit but will only be applied to a degree program upon the approval of the dean of the college from which the degree is to be awarded.

Veteran students may receive credit toward graduation for training received under many of the armed forces college training programs. University credit also may be given for specialized and technical training done under the auspices of the armed forces and for courses taken through the United States Armed Forces Institute/DANTES. This training may be accepted by the University for credit only if it is at the college level, if it is approved by the University, and if it is appropriate to the particular University course of study in which the student enrolls. Armed forces training will not be evaluated until the applicant has been accepted for admission; however, credentials should be submitted with the admission application. No credit is given for high-school or college-level GED tests.

(Information regarding educational benefits to veterans and the children of deceased or disabled veterans may be found in the section on financial aid. Additional information for veterans is available from the Office of Veteran Student Services, University of South Carolina Columbia.)

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit earned while classified as a nondegree special student in the University may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree.

A student planning to pursue work at other institutions or through correspondence must complete this work before attaining senior classification (90 semester hours). Courses completed at any institution while the student is suspended by the University will not be accepted toward a degree at USC.

Transfer: State Policy and Procedures

Background

Section 10-C of the South Carolina School-to-Work Transition Act (1994) stipulates that the Council of College and University Presidents and the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, operating through the Commission on Higher Education, shall develop better articulation of associate and baccalaureate degree programs. To comply with this requirement, the commission upon the advice of the Council of Presidents established a Transfer Articulation Policy Committee composed of four-year institutions' vice presidents for academic affairs and the Associate Director for Instruction of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. The principal outcomes derived from the work of that committee and accepted by the Commission on Higher Education on July 6, 1995, were:

  • An expanded list of 86 courses which will transfer to four-year public institutions of South Carolina from the two-year public institutions;
  • A statewide policy document on good practices in transfer to be followed by all public institutions of higher education in the State of South Carolina, which was accepted in principle by the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs and the commission;
  • Six task forces on statewide transfer agreements, each based in a discipline or broad area of the baccalaureate curriculum.

In 1995 the General Assembly passed Act 137 which stipulated further that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education "notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, shall have the following additional duties and functions with regard to the various public institutions of higher education." These duties and responsibilities include the commission’s responsibility "to establish procedures for the transferability of courses at the undergraduate level between two-year and four-year institutions or schools." This same provision is repeated in the legislation developed from the Report of the Joint Legislative Study Committee.

Act 137 directs the commission to adopt procedures for the transfer of courses from all two-year public to all four-year public institutions of higher education in South Carolina. Proposed procedures are listed below. Unless otherwise stated, these procedures shall become effective immediately upon approval by the commission and shall be fully implemented, unless otherwise stated, by September 1, 1997.

Statewide Articulation of 86 Courses

1. The Statewide Articulation Agreement of 86 courses already approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for transfer from two- to four-year public institutions shall be applicable to all public institutions, including two-year institutions and institutions within the same system. In instances where an institution does not have synonymous courses to ones on this list, it shall identify comparable courses or course categories for acceptance of general education courses on the statewide list.

Admissions Criteria, Course Grades, GPAs, Validations

2. All four-year public institutions shall issue annually in August a transfer guide covering at least the following items:

    A. The definition of a transfer student and requirements for admission both to the institution and, if more selective, requirements for admission to particular programs.

    B. Limitations placed by the institution or its programs for acceptance of standardized examinations (e.g., SAT, ACT) taken more than a given time ago, for academic course work taken elsewhere, for course work repeated due to failure, for course work taken at another institution while the student is academically suspended at his/her home institution, and so forth.

    C. Institutional and, if more selective, programmatic maximums of course credits allowable in transfer.

    D. Institutional procedures used to calculate student applicants’ GPAs for transfer admission. Such procedures shall describe how nonstandard grades (withdrawal, withdrawal failing, repeated course, etc.) are evaluated; and they shall also describe whether all course work taken prior to transfer or just course work deemed appropriate to the student’s intended four-year program of study is calculated for purposes of admission to the institution and/or programmatic major.

    E. Lists of all courses accepted from each technical college (including the 72 courses in the Statewide Articulation Agreement) and the course equivalencies (including "free elective" category) found on the home institution for the courses accepted.

    F. Lists of all articulation agreements with any public South Carolina two-year or other institution of higher education, together with information about how interested parties can access these agreements.

    G. Lists of the institution’s Transfer Officer(s) personnel together with telephone and fax numbers and office address.

    H. Institutional policies related to "academic bankruptcy" (i.e., removing an entire transcript or parts thereof from a failed or underachieving record after a period of years has passed) so that re-entry into the four-year institution with course credit earned in the interim elsewhere is done without regard to the student’s earlier record.

    I. "Residency requirements" for the minimum number of hours required to be earned at the institution for the degree.

3. Course work (individual courses, transfer blocks, statewide agreements) covered within these procedures shall be transferable if the student has completed the course work with a "C" grade (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or above, but transfer of grades does not relieve the student of the obligation to meet any GPA requirements or other admissions requirements of the institution or program to which application has been made.

    A. Any four-year institution which has institutional or programmatic admissions requirements for transfer students with cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) higher than 2.00 on a 4.00 scale shall apply such entrance requirements equally to transfer students from regionally accredited South Carolina public institutions regardless of whether students are transferring from a four-year or two-year institution.

    B. Any multicampus institution or system shall certify by letter to the commission that all course work at all of its campuses applicable to a particular degree program of study is fully acceptable in transfer to meet degree requirements in the same degree program at any other of its campuses.

4. Any course work (individual courses, transfer blocks, statewide agreements) covered within these procedures shall be transferable to any public institution without any additional fee and without any further encumbrance such as a "validation examination," "placement examination/instrument," "verification instrument," or any other stricture, notwithstanding any institutional or system policy, procedure, or regulation to the contrary.

Transfer Blocks, Statewide Agreements, Completion of the A.A./A.S. Degree

5. The following Transfer Blocks/Statewide Agreements taken at any two-year public institution in South Carolina shall be accepted in their totality toward meeting baccalaureate degree requirements at all four-year public institutions in relevant four-year degree programs, as follows:

  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Established curriculum block of 46-48 semester hours
  • Business Administration: Established curriculum block of 46-51 semester hours
  • Engineering: Established curriculum block of 33 semester hours
  • Arts and Sciences, curriculum II: Established curriculum block of 48-51 semester hours
  • Teacher Education: Established curriculum block of 38-39 semester hours for early childhood, elementary, and special education students only. Secondary education majors and students seeking certification who are not majoring in teacher education should consult the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences or the Math and Science transfer blocks, as relevant, to assure transferability of course work
  • Nursing: By statewide agreement, at least 60 semester hours shall be accepted by any public four-year institution toward the baccalaureate completion program (BSN) from graduates of any associate degree program in nursing (ADN), provided that the program is accredited by the National League of Nursing and that the graduate has successfully passed the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and is a currently licensed registered nurse.

6. Any "unique" academic program not specifically or by extension covered by one of the statewide transfer blocks/agreements listed in #4 above shall either create its own transfer block of 35 or more credit hours with the approval of CHE staff or shall adopt either the Arts/Social Science/Humanities or the Science/Mathematics block by September 1996. The institution at which such program is located shall inform the staff of the CHE and every institutional president and vice president for academic affairs about this decision.

7. Any student who has completed either an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree program at any public two-year South Carolina institution which contains within it the total course work found in either the Arts/Social Sciences/Humanities Transfer Block or the Math/Science Transfer Block shall automatically be entitled to junior-level status or its equivalent at whatever public senior institution to which the student might have been admitted. (Note: As agreed by the Committee on Academic Affairs, junior status applies only to campus activities such as priority order for registration for courses, residence hall assignments, parking, athletic event tickets, etc., and not in calculating academic degree credits.)

Related Reports and Statewide Documents

8. All applicable recommendations found in the commission's report to the General Assembly on the School-to-Work Act (approved by the commission and transmitted to the General Assembly on July 6, 1995) are hereby incorporated into the procedures for transfer of course work among two- and four-year institutions.

9. The policy paper entitled State Policy on Transfer and Articulation, as amended to reflect changes in the numbers of transfer blocks and other Commission action since July 6, 1995, is hereby adopted as the statewide policy for institutional good practice in the sending and receiving of all course credits to be transferred.

Assurance of Quality

10. All claims from any public two- or four-year institution challenging the effective preparation of any other public institution’s course work for transfer purposes shall be evaluated and appropriate measures shall be taken to reassure that the quality of the course work has been reviewed and approved on a timely basis by sending and receiving institutions alike. This process of formal review shall occur every four years through the staff of the Commission on Higher Education, beginning with the approval of these procedures.

Statewide Publication and Distribution of Information on Transfer

11. The staff of the Commission on Higher Education shall print and distribute copies of these Procedures upon their acceptance by the commission. The staff shall also place this document and the Appendices on the commission’s Home Page on the Internet under the title "Transfer Policies."

12. By September 1 of each year, all public four-year institutions shall on their own Home Page on the Internet under the title "Transfer Policies":

    A. Print a copy of this entire document (without appendices).
    B. Print a copy of their entire transfer guide.
    C. Provide to the staff of the commission in satisfactory format a copy of their entire transfer guide for placing on the commission’s Home Page on the Internet.

13. By September 1 of each year, the staff of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education shall on its Home Page on the Internet under the title "Transfer Policies":

    A. Print a copy of this document (without appendices).
    B. Provide to the commission staff in format suitable for placing on the commission's Home Page of the Internet a list of all articulation agreements that each of the sixteen technical colleges has with public and other four-year institutions of higher education, together with information about how interested parties can access those agreements.

14. Each two-year and four-year public institutional catalog shall contain a section entitled "TRANSFER: STATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES." Such section at a minimum shall:

    A. Publish these procedures in their entirety (except Appendices)
    B. Designate a chief Transfer Officer at the institution who shall

    • provide information and other appropriate support for students considering transfer and recent transfers
    • serve as a clearinghouse for information on issues of transfer in the State of South Carolina
    • provide definitive institutional rulings on transfer questions for the institution’s students under these procedures
    • work closely with feeder institutions to assure ease in transfer for their students.

    At USC Union the transfer officer is the director of enrollment services.
    C. Designate other programmatic Transfer Officer(s) as the size of the institution and the variety
    D. Refer interested parties to the institutional Transfer Guide of the state's four-year institutions
    E. Refer interested parties to the institution's and the Commission on Higher Education's Home Pages on the Internet for further information regarding transfer.

Other Admissions Opportunities

A variety of admissions opportunities are available for those students who do not meet regular freshman or transfer requirements stated above. Please see the Admissions Office for complete details.

Admission to South Carolina Honors College

Regardless of career plans, qualified students at USC have the opportunity to participate in the University's Honors College. Most students in the college enter as freshmen, but students who have already completed at least one semester--at USC or elsewhere--may also apply. Details are provided later in this bulletin; please consult the index. Those who wish to participate in the college should contact the coordinator of admissions for South Carolina Honors College in the undergraduate admissions office.

Admission as a Nondegree Candidate

Applicants who wish to attend the University for one semester or on some limited basis may be approved to do so upon submitting an application accompanied by an explanation of their educational goals. The admissions office reserves the right to determine the proper category of admission and to determine what credentials may be required.

Special Students. This category is for part-time applicants who are not interested in earning a degree at USC. A maximum of 30 semester hours may be earned in this category. Applicants who have been officially denied admission as degree-seeking students are not eligible for admission as special students. Courses completed as special students carry full University credit; however, none of the hours is applicable to a degree until the student applies and qualifies for admission to a degree program. Usually no credentials are required if the applicant has no plan to seek a degree.

Concurrent. High-school juniors and seniors who have excelled in their studies may enroll in appropriate courses at the University upon recommendation of their counselors or principal and with approval of the USC department in which courses are to be taken. Interested students must submit high-school records that show exceptional performance. Concurrent students must have a minimum SAT score of 1150 (115 or better on the PSAT if SAT scores are not available) or a minimum ACT composite score of 25. In addition, students must have a cumulative high-school GPA of 3.30 or higher.

Auditor. An auditor may apply as a special student (see above).

Military Special. Certification of active duty military status is required.

Persons attending the University in any of these categories will be nondegree candidates. Credit earned while attending as a nondegree candidate may be used toward a degree only after the student has applied for and been accepted into a degree program. An applicant denied admission to any degree category is not eligible for admission as a special student. The period of enrollment in these categories is limited by either time or number of allowable credits. The official acceptance letter explains all enrollment restrictions for the category in question. Nondegree students are not eligible for financial aid, veterans benefits, or on-campus housing during the fall or spring terms. Rooms on the campus may be available to students in the summer whether or not they are working for degrees.

Readmission of Former Students

An application for readmission must be submitted by any former student who wishes to return to the University after missing a major (fall or spring) semester. Summer sessions do not count as a major semester in this instance. Applications for readmission are obtained from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and when completed should be returned to the admissions office at the campus where the student expects to enroll. Readmission to the University and to the program in which the student was previously enrolled is not automatic. An interview may be requested and some basis for a favorable decision may be required.

Students who attend the University as special students (including probationary or nondegree candidates) are not considered for "readmission" because these students were not fully admitted to the University originally. If special students wish to return to the University as degree-seeking candidates, they must apply for regular admission as freshmen or transfer students, furnishing all official transcripts and any entrance test scores which may be required.

Students who leave the University in good standing, miss one or more major semesters, and attend another institution while away must submit the application for readmission and official transcripts of all college-level work attempted during their absence from the University. Such applicants must meet the same requirements as transfer students.

A student who leaves the University on suspension must apply for readmission upon completion of the period of suspension and qualify for readmission to the major program requested. To attempt to return to the University prior to the completion of the suspension period requires:

1. an application for readmission and a petition for reinstatement if a major semester has been missed; or

2. a petition for reinstatement if the attempt is being made after notification of suspension but prior to missing a major semester. A petition for reinstatement is made to the University college from which the student was suspended.

If students attend another college-level institution while suspended from the University, they must maintain a satisfactory average at that institution in order to retain the privilege of being considered for readmission at the conclusion of their suspension. The University does not transfer credit earned during a period of suspension, but the quality of grades could affect the decision on readmission.

Applications should be submitted before these deadlines:

fall term: August 1
spring term: December 1
summer terms: two weeks prior to registration for the term.

Admission to Other Programs

Evening Program. Application should be made through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and all usual requirements for admission must be met.

Senior and Regional Campuses. For complete information, consult the admissions office on the campus where the student plans to enroll.

Summer School Admission

New undergraduate students entering the University for the first time in a summer term who expect to continue studying toward a degree submit only one application. They must meet all requirements for admission as degree-seeking students before the beginning of the summer term. These students should not submit a separate application for the summer term.

Summer Attendance Only. Students who wish to attend the University for the summer only should apply as special students under the "Admission as a Nondegree Candidate" paragraph included in this section. Students enrolled in degree programs in another college who wish to take summer courses at USC as transients should seek written approval to take specific USC courses from a dean or department chair in their home college.

Admission of International Students

The University of South Carolina welcomes the applications of qualified international students.* At least 90 days before the beginning of the semester they wish to enter, students must send a complete application, including standardized test scores, school records, and financial statements, to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

International applicants must be proficient in the English language. A score of 550 or above on the paper version of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required (a score of 210 on the computerized version is required). TOEFL scores are not required for international students from countries where the primary language of instruction is English nor from graduates of high schools in the United States.

An English proficiency test will be administered to international students, except those from English-speaking countries, upon arrival at the University. All international students must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in written and oral English to progress at the University level. Students who are not proficient in English will be required to take noncredit, concentrated English language training until proficiency is demonstrated.

In some of our University programs, minimum Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores are required for admission. It is therefore recommended that international students take the SAT before applying to the University.

In addition, freshman applicants must have completed a level of education equivalent to that of students entering from accredited secondary schools in the United States and have superior grades on their school work. Applicants who seek to enter from another college or university in the United States must meet transfer admission requirements.

International applicants will not be allowed to enroll in classes until they establish their ability to pay education expenses (approximately $22,750 for each year of study). The policies of certain countries have created financial difficulties for their citizens studying at the University. Applicants from these countries will be so notified and required to make an advance deposit of expenses. Applicants from other nations must submit certification of financial support to satisfy this requirement. International students should not expect to obtain any financial assistance from the University.

*Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Placement Examinations

Advanced Placement by Examination

Baccalaureate degree candidates may qualify for degree credit and/or advanced placement through successful completion of the following exams:

1. The College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Examinations are offered in American government and politics, American history, art history, art studio (drawing and general), biology, chemistry, comparative government and politics, computer science (A and AB), economics (macro and micro), English language and composition, English composition and literature, environmental science, European history, foreign languages (French, German, Latin, and Spanish), human geography, mathematics-calculus (AB and BC), music (theory and listening and literature), physics (B, C part 1, C part 2), psychology, and statistics. Questions concerning credit awards should be referred to the Office of Student Orientation and Testing Services located in Room 345, Russell House.

2. International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examinations in biology, business and organization, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, French, geography, German, history, Latin, mathematics, music, physics, psychology, and Spanish.

3. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject examinations are offered in accounting (introductory), American government, American history, American literature, general biology, business law (introductory), calculus with elementary functions, chemistry (general), college algebra, college algebra-trigonometry, educational psychology, English literature, freshman college composition, information systems and computer applications, literature (analysis and interpretation), management (principles), marketing (principles), psychology (general), trigonometry, and Western civilization. CLEP examinations cannot be repeated. No credit is given for CLEP general or foreign language examinations.

4. Departmental examinations for chemistry and music, among others, are offered to new students prior to fall and spring registration. Contact the appropriate department for test schedule and information.

5. New student tests in foreign languages and mathematics are required of all freshmen. Transfer students may be required to take the same tests. The schedule of tests is mailed with orientation materials to new students prior to the opening of each semester and is available in the Office of Student Orientation and Testing Services.

Candidates who do not pass a particular test are not permitted to repeat that test. The required credits must be obtained instead by enrollment and satisfactory completion of the course(s) involved. Specific information about test content and policies may be obtained from the appropriate department. 

Extended Campus Program

The Extended Campus serves the greater University community by administering graduate programming (course work as well as degree programs) offered by USC Columbia anywhere away from the Columbia campus, regardless of delivery mechanism. Programs offered through the Extended Campus are designed to meet the needs of traditional and nontraditional students, businesses/organizations, and the community at large.

Credits toward graduate degrees in business administration, education, engineering, journalism, library and information sciences, nursing, public health, and social work may be earned on the Union campus through the Extended Campus. Graduate credit meeting other requirements (such as certification and licensure) may also be earned through the Extended Campus.

Utilizing the entire range of educational technology, from live instruction to Web-based instruction, television, and videotaped course work, residents of the region are able to take advantage of the resources of a much larger university without leaving their home area. Students interested in additional information regarding the programming opportunities available in their region should contact the Extended CampusProgram Office at USCU, located in the Main Building.

Applying to The Graduate School

Applying to a Degree Program

The most convenient and secure way to apply for admission to a degree program is to complete the online application on the World Wide Web. Applicants should go to the homepage of The Graduate School at www.gradschool.sc.edu and click on "Admission," or go directly to the application at web.csd.sc.edu/app/grad. Llinks to the application may be found on the homepage of the University of South Carolina (www.sc.edu) and the homepages of several departments and colleges. Complete instructions precede the online form. Paper application packets may be obtained from The Graduate School by calling 803-777-4243 or writing to The Graduate School, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, or from the college or department in which admission is sought.

Completed application forms and all supporting documents must be sent to The Graduate School. An application cannot be given final consideration until all required credentials have been received and the application fee is paid. Therefore, applicants are advised to arrange for the transmittal of all documents well ahead of the application deadlines specified for respective programs. All correspondence should include the applicant's Social Security number. International applicants will be issued student identification numbers at the time of application.

Note: A degree program includes programs leading to a graduate certificate, specialist, master's, or doctoral degree.

Applying for Nondegree Enrollment

All applications for nondegree enrollment must be made to The Graduate School. The online application at web.csd.sc.edu/app/grad is the most convenient and secure way to apply. Complete instructions precede the online form. Paper application packets may be obtained from The Graduate School by calling 803-777-4243 or writing to The Graduate School, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $40 is required of all first-time applicants to The Graduate School. A transaction fee of $15 is charged when changing program or degree intent. A nonrefundable enrollment fee of $375 is required of all students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Application Deadlines

Fall semester: July 1 (Note: Applicants seeking financial aid for the fall term should apply no later than March 1.)

Spring semester: November 15
May session: April 1
First summer session: May 1
Second summer session: June 1

Some programs have established earlier deadlines or admit students only in specified terms (see table). Applications received after the announced deadlines may not be reviewed in time for admission for the desired term. Applications should be completed at the earliest possible date, because programs may close applications prior to the announced deadline if available spaces have been filled.

Application Requirements

For Admission to Degree Programs

1. A signed and dated application, with all requested information supplied.

2. An official transcript showing all college-level course work attempted and the award of the baccalaureate or higher degree by an accredited college or university. Official transcripts verifying all previous college-level course work are required for the University's records. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to The Graduate School or delivered in a sealed envelope bearing a registrar's stamp.

3. At least two letters of recommendation.

4. Test scores. Most programs require a report of scores achieved on either the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test. Programs in business administration may require scores from the GMAT. Please contact the appropriate college, school, or department about which tests may be required for admission. Applications for the GRE and the GMAT can be obtained from The Graduate School or from the Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540. Applicants from western states should write the Educational Testing Service, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704. Applications for the Miller Analogies Test may be obtained from the Psychological Corporation, 555 Academic Court, San Antonio, TX 78204.

5. International applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the University of Cambridge's IELTS Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 230 (computer-based) or 570 (paper-based), but many programs have set higher requirements. The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.

For Permission to Enroll as a Nondegree Student

1. A signed and dated application, with all requested information supplied.

2. Proof of a baccalaureate or higher degree. (Educators may submit a copy of a valid S.C. Teaching Certificate as proof of degree.)

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