Go to USC home page USC Logo USC Union Academic Bulletin
USC Union Academic Bulletin
The University
Academic Regulations
financial Aid & Scholarships
Academic Programs
Course Descriptions
Academic Calendar
updated January 8, 2009

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 Spartanburg 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 (SACS), 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 in Lancaster, Allendale (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, Beaufort, 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. Additional information about USC's regional campuses can be found at http://rc.sc.edu.

USC Union

Mission/Statement of Purpose

In a sophisticated, democratic society, citizens must be literate, self-disciplined, and inquisitive. They must respect and enjoy critical thought and the search for truths. Therefore, the purpose of USC Union is to give the people of Union and surrounding counties an intellectual, social, cultural, and physical setting which challenges them to grow in many ways and to develop a desire for lifelong learning.

USC Union’s primary purpose is to provide the first two years of a liberal arts university education to about 500 traditional and nontraditional students and to confer the Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science degrees.

Through the USC campuses in Columbia and Spartanburg, USC Union also provides access to upper-division courses, for minorities, women, and older students, as well as for traditional students who wish to work toward and eventually receive baccalaureate degrees. Upper-division courses are taught both by USC Union faculty and by faculty from other USC colleges.

USC Union provides graduate courses and degrees through the USC Extended Campus Program and the state’s extensive telecommunications network.

Finally, USC Union provides effective orientation, counseling, and financial aid programs; a comprehensive placement testing program; a proactive system of academic advisement; and extracurricular programs for the benefit of all students.

Central to this purpose is a faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship, institutional activities, and public service. USC Union supports faculty development activities that help maintain this excellence and improve its programs through institutional research, planning, and comprehensive faculty involvement in both campus and University affairs.

The University of South Carolina Union is a public multidimensional learning center of USC chartered to serve seven rural counties and committed to providing outreach, broad access, and a full range of USC programs and services.

Student Objectives

The University is dedicated to providing all undergraduate students with a common core of knowledge, skill, and academic experience. This general education curriculum provides the foundation for subsequent specialized study in the student’s major discipline area. The University of South Carolina is in the process of updating this curriculum, ensuring that it remains current and prepares students for productive and meaningful engagement as world citizens equipped for life-long learning. The current general education goals are outlined below:

1. Students communicate clearly in written English, demonstrating their ability to comprehend, analyze, and interrogate critically.
2. Students perform basic mathematical manipulations, display facility with the use of mathematics in framing concepts for mathematical analysis, and interpret data intelligently.
3. Students demonstrate an understanding of physical and/or life science phenomena and the use of scientific methods and theories.
4. Students demonstrate an understanding of the processes of human behavior and social and cultural interaction, as well as the use of social and behavioral science perspectives to interpret them.
5. Students demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of culture over time and its relation to the present.
6. Students communicate orally and in writing in another language.
7. Students demonstrate an appreciation of literary, visual, or performing arts and their cultural context, as well as express informed personal responses to artistic creations.

The Carolinian Creed

The community of scholars at the University of South Carolina is dedicated to personal and academic excellence. Choosing to join the community obligates each member to a code of civilized behavior. As a Carolinian

...this introduction submits that membership in the Carolina community is not without its obligations. It is assumed or understood that joining is evidence of a subscription to certain ideals and an agreement to strive for the level of achievement and virtue suggested by the following...

I will practice personal and academic integrity;

...a commitment to this ideal is inconsistent with cheating in classes, in games, or in sports. It should eliminate the practice of plagiarism or borrowing another student’s homework, lying, deceit, excuse-making, and infidelity or disloyalty in personal relationships...

I will respect the dignity of all persons;

...a commitment to this ideal is inconsistent with behaviors which compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including hazing, most forms of intimidating, taunting, teasing, baiting, ridiculing, insulting, harassing, and discriminating...

I will respect the rights and property of others;

...a commitment to this ideal is inconsistent with all forms of theft, vandalism, arson, misappropriation, malicious damage to, and desecration or destruction of property. Respect for others’ personal rights is inconsistent with any behavior which violates their right to move about freely, express themselves appropriately, and to enjoy privacy...

I will discourage bigotry, while striving to learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions;

...a commitment to this ideal pledges affirmative support for equal rights and opportunities for all students regardless of their age, sex, race, religion, disability, international/ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, political, social or other affiliation or disaffiliation, or affectional preference...

I will demonstrate concern for others, their feelings, and their need for conditions which support their work and development.

...a commitment to this ideal is a pledge to be compassionate and considerate, to avoid behaviors which are insensitive, inhospitable, or incitant, or which unjustly or arbitrarily inhibit others’ ability to feel safe or welcomed in their pursuit of appropriate academic goals...

Allegiance to these ideals requires each Carolinian to refrain from and discourage behaviors which threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.

...this last clause reminds community members that they are not only obligated to avoid these behaviors, but that they also have an affirmative obligation to confront and challenge, to respond to, or report the behaviors whenever or wherever they are encountered.


Similar to the other USC regional campuses, the Union campus was established as a result of local initiative. The Union County Commission for Higher Education was created by an act of the state legislature in the spring of 1965, and a contract was immediately signed by that commission with the University of South Carolina, an arrangement which guaranteed University-quality education at a low cost for area students within commuting distance of the campus. A former public secondary-school building was secured by the commission, and local funds were made available to renovate the structure. Scheduled classes began in September 1965 for the original freshman class of 51 students. Enrollment for the fall of 1966 showed a 31.8 percent increase over the previous year. In September 1967, 160 students registered at the campus, and enrollment has continued to climb.

Centrally located near the downtown business district, USC Union occupies a seven-acre tract fronting the east side of Main Street. Established to meet the educational needs of Union, Laurens, Cherokee, York, Chester, Fairfield, and Newberry counties, the campus has grown to its present undergraduate/graduate enrollment of over 500 and a physical plant consisting of four buildings, which house administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories, a library, a campus shop, and a gymnasium.

The Union campus has traditionally focused on offering the first two years of courses for most University curricula, and the campus continues that tradition today. As a consequence of its expanding role as a unit of USC, upper-level courses are increasingly available, including both junior- and senior-level courses, as well as graduate courses.

Union-area residents realize the beneficial aspects of a local regional campus and have been enthusiastic supporters of both the campus and its programs. Recently, both the city and county governments have generously increased their support of the campus and have provided much-needed funds for both physical-plant and equipment needs. Several local organizations provide scholarships for USC Union students, and the campus has been the recipient of numerous gifts of goods and services. The campus and the surrounding area have continually maintained this mutually supporting relationship, the result of which has been a high-quality, comprehensive program of higher education for area citizens.


The physical plant consists of four buildings.

Main Building. The Main Building was a secondary public school originally constructed in 1909, renovated in 1965, and completely restored in 1991. It currently houses classrooms; an auditorium; administrative and faculty offices; biology, chemistry, and computer science laboratories; a student lounge; a bookstore; and a conference room.

Central Building.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Central Building was built in 1891 as the first modern public-school building in Union County. After several additions and incarnations as a high school, middle school, and elementary school, it was secured for USC Union by the Union County Commission for Higher Education in 1975.

The library, which houses over 34, 000 books and 17,510 e-books, periodicals and newspaper subscriptions, has occupied the front half of the lower floor since 1981. The library also has audiovisual equipment for in-house use of its media collection and a computer room for student use.

Renovations were completed on the Central Building in the fall of 1988 and, in addition to the library, it now houses administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, a telecommunications instruction classroom, and a community room for meetings and receptions.

Truluck Activity Center. Completed in 1969, the activity center provides space for athletic and social activities. The center contains a basketball court, office space, and physical-fitness equipment. The center has a seating capacity of 500.

Special Events

Extracurricular Activities

From its beginning, USC Union has recognized the importance of developing all facets of the individual. In keeping with this goal, the campus has offered a wide array of extracurricular activities, including the Student Government Association, the African American Association  (AAA), numerous other clubs, media experience in newspaper production, a competitive intramural program, service organizations, and frequent social functions.