General Education Requirements | General Information | Registration | Changes of Registration | Class Attendance | Final Examinations | Course Credit | Grading System | Academic Assessment | Academic Standing | Academic Honors | Graduation
As the chief governing body of the University, the Board of Trustees delegates the powers of the president and the faculty in accord with its policies. Subject to the review of the president and the Board of Trustees, the faculty retains legislative powers in all matters pertaining to the standards of admission, registration, instruction, research, extracurricular activities, requirements for and granting of degrees, the curricula, the discipline of students, the educational policies and standards of the University, and all other matters affecting the conduct of academic affairs.
The University reserves the right to make changes in curricula, degree requirements, course offerings, and all academic regulations whenever, in the judgment of the faculty, the president, or the Board of Trustees, such changes are in the best interest of the students and the University.
Registration at the University of South Carolina assumes the students' acceptance of all published regulations, including both those which appear in this document and all others as applicable in any official announcement such as the Medical School Bulletin, Law School Bulletin, Graduate Studies Bulletin, the University Master Schedule of Classes, or the Carolina Community. Official policies of the University listed below are published in the Carolina Community, which is available online as well as through the Student Government Office or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
1. Student Rights and Freedoms within the Academic Community
2. Rule of Academic Responsibility and Academic Disciplinary Procedures
3. Grievance Policy and Procedures for Non-Academic Areas
4. University Policy on Use of Alcohol
5. University Policy on Campus Solicitation
6. University Policy on Student Patent and Copyright Matters
7. Student Right to Know
Unforeseen circumstances may interfere with the scheduling of a course or degree offering. Students must accept such developments even if doing so will mean a delay in some of their academic goals or a modification of those goals. The departments concerned will work closely with students facing such problems in an effort to resolve them with a minimum of difficulty.
The University reserves the right to withdraw any course because of inadequate enrollment. Additional courses may be offered upon application of a sufficient number of students; a minimum of 10 applicants is the usual requirement. Registration in any course may be closed when the maximum enrollment for efficient work has been reached.
An undergraduate student may choose to obtain a degree in accordance with the curricular requirements in force for the particular degree at the time the student first enrolls as a baccalaureate degree-seeking student at any campus of the University, or under subsequent requirements published while the student is enrolled. However, the student's choice is restricted to a specific archived bulletin and the curricular requirements described therein. Undergraduate students have a period of eight years, inclusive and continuous, in which to claim the rights of a specific archived bulletin.
Within the eight-year limit, an undergraduate student who is absent from the University for no longer than three years, and who returns to complete a program of study, shall have the right to continue under the bulletin in effect at the time of the student's original enrollment as a baccalaureate degree-seeking student. Alternatively, the student may elect the degree requirements under the bulletin in effect at the time of return. If the period of absence is longer than three years, the student will be subject to the curricular requirements in force at the time of return. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to appeal to short-lived rules and regulations which were adopted and abandoned during the period of their absence.
If drastic revisions of curricula or program requirements have occurred during a student's absence (even if for less than three years), or during the period between the student's original enrollment as a baccalaureate degree-seeking student and eventual movement to a different degree program or campus within the University, a reasonable effort will be made by the academic dean to permit the student to undertake a transitional program that is equivalent to the educational experience intended under the bulletin in force at the time of the student's original enrollment as a baccalaureate degree-seeking student.
Right of Petition. Students who consider that they are entitled to relief from or deviation in the academic regulations of the University or their college should apply to the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee of the college in which they are enrolled.
General Education Requirements
All general education requirements leading to baccalaureate degrees in colleges and departments at USC Columbia shall include as a minimum:
1. English--6 credits at the level of ENGL 101 and 102. Students who exempt English 101 and/or 102 without receiving credit toward graduation must enroll in 3 or 6 credits of English above the 100 level.
2. Numerical and Analytical Reasoning--6 credits, to be earned in one of the following ways: MATH 122 or 141, plus an additional course from PHIL110, 111, mathematics (at the next higher level), computer science, or statistics; two courses from one of the following fields--philosophy (110 and 111 only) or computer science or statistics.
3. Liberal Arts--12 credits, of which 3 hours must be in history, 3 hours in fine arts, and 3 hours in social or behavioral sciences.
4. Natural Sciences--7 credits, including at least one course with a laboratory requirement.
5. Foreign Languages--students shall demonstrate in one foreign language the ability to comprehend the topic and main ideas in written and, with the exception of Latin and Ancient Greek, spoken texts on familiar subjects. This ability can be demonstrated by achieving a score of two or better on a USC foreign language test. Those failing to do so must satisfactorily complete equivalent study of foreign language at USC.
Students must refer to the academic unit in which they are enrolled to determine how these requirements will be met. Most colleges and departments require more than the University's minimum requirements in basic education course work.
Course of Studies
Students are expected to follow the programs outlined by their school or college as closely as possible, particularly in the first two years when satisfying basic degree requirements and prerequisites for advanced work.
Students must pursue required courses in the prescribed sequence. Failure to do so may lead to future schedule difficulties, and students may find that the subjects for which they wish to enroll are either not available or are closed to students with advanced standing. Students who fail to complete successfully all freshman requirements may not enroll in courses in their major field beyond the sophomore level. Students ineligible to continue courses in their major field may take electives until the deficiency is removed.
Students who enroll in classes for which prerequisites or other defined requirements have not been met may be removed from these classes.
Learning-disabled students who wish to take advantage of University-approved program accommodations must have an academic advisory plan on file with the Office of Student Disability Services and the dean of the college. This plan will be formulated by the student's academic advisor with the assistance of the Office of Student Disability Services and will contain recommended accommodations which specifically relate to and are consistent with the student's diagnosed disability. A copy of the student's academic advisory plan must be provided to the course instructor for the student to be eligible for a particular accommodation. Any substitutions for degree requirements recommended in the student's academic advisory plan must be referred to the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee of the student's college for action.
For various reasons it may be impossible or inappropriate for a student to declare a major. Nevertheless, all students will receive advisement in the college most closely related to their interests and abilities. Transient students are subject to the rules of their home institution and may take course work at the University of South Carolina without a declared major. University courses are open to those seeking career advancement or life enrichment and who meet stated course prerequisites. Freshmen who have been accepted by the University, but who are unsure of academic or career goals, may need a period in which to establish their major interest. To accommodate students in these categories, courses which are usually open to students with 30 or fewer hours (freshmen) are open to all students who meet prerequisites published in the University's Undergraduate Studies Bulletin. Students who have earned 30 semester hours and wish to continue their studies at the University of South Carolina must declare a major in a program in which they meet entrance or progression requirements.
Change of Name or Address
It is the obligation of every student to notify the Office of the University Registrar of any change in name or address (including electronic address). Failure to do so can cause serious delay in the handling of student records and in notification of emergencies. Change of name may only be accomplished by presenting proper legal documentation.
It is expected that students will discharge any indebtedness to the University as quickly as possible. No diploma, certificate, enrollment verification, or transcript will be issued to or for students who have not made satisfactory settlement with the Office of Financial Services for all of their indebtedness to the University.
To be officially enrolled in the University students must be academically eligible, complete the registration process with the Office of the University Registrar, and possess a receipt issued by the Office of Financial Services for payment of current academic fees.
Students are expected to complete registration (including the payment of all required fees) by the dates prescribed in the registration calendars on the registrar's Web site to avoid cancellation of classes and payment of a late registration fee of $5 per day ($350 maximum).
When students are accepted into the University, they are assigned an academic advisor. Students are expected to arrange to meet with their advisor at least once a semester to plan their course of study for the following semester. Students who do not know their assigned advisor should obtain this information from the appropriate departmental or academic dean's office.
Information, advice, and interpretations of University policies offered by advisors do not supersede the official statement of policies and academic regulations described in the University Undergraduate Studies Bulletin. Exceptions to University regulations cannot be made by academic advisors. Any exceptions to the policies and regulations set forth in the University Undergraduate Studies Bulletin must be made by the appropriate College Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee or by the dean of the college.
Records of academic progress may be kept by advisors and deans, but the only official student records are maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.
A student must be admitted to the University and go through the regular registration process to be eligible for auditing any course. All auditors must be admitted to the University and go through the regular registration process. Those who are not full-time students will be charged the same fees as for courses taken for academic credit.
Auditing a course consists of attending classes and listening without responsibility for any assignments or examinations. An auditor is not responsible for any assignments or examinations. No record of audit shall appear on a transcript unless a student attends 75 percent of the classes.
No credit may be earned in an audited course by examination or otherwise. No audited course may be repeated for credit at a later date except by those students who have been verified as learning disabled by the Office of Student Disability Services and whose academic advisory plan recommends auditing a specific course before it is taken for credit.
The applicant must complete the prescribed procedure for enrollment through the Office of the University Registrar before class attendance will be permitted.
Students who have registered for a course on an audit basis and who wish to change their registration to take the course for credit (or who wish to change from credit to audit) must do so no later than the last day to change course schedule or drop without a grade of W being recorded, as published in the academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site.
To graduate within a normal period of time, a student must earn the following minimum average number of credit hours per semester in academic studies:
- College of Arts and Sciences (Curriculum I: 15 hours; Curriculum II: 16 hours)
- College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management (15 hours)
- Moore School of Business (15 hours)
- College of Education (16 hours)
- College of Engineering and Computing (16 hours)
- College of Mass Communications and Information Studies--School of Journalism and Mass Communications (15 hours)
- School of Music (15 hours)
- College of Nursing (16 hours)
- College of Pharmacy (16 hours)
- Arnold School of Public Health (16 hours)
- South Carolina Honors College (15 hours)
Maximum credit limits, published in the Master Schedule of Classes, also vary according to college policy. Students will not be permitted to register for a semester load in excess of that prescribed for their program of study unless they earned an average of B or better on all courses for which they were enrolled (minimum 12 semester hours) for the preceding semester. New students are eligible for an extra course if they submit to the academic dean satisfactory evidence of equivalent academic achievement. Students eligible for an additional course on this basis must obtain prior approval for each course addition from the dean of their college. No course may be added after the last date to change course schedule or drop without a grade of W being recorded, as published in the academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site. (Note: This regulation does not apply to aerospace studies, Army or naval science courses, which may be added to a course program during the regular registration period without special approval.)
Undergraduate students who are enrolled in 12 semester hours or more for the fall and spring semester are considered full time for academic purposes. During a regular summer session an undergraduate student must be enrolled in 6 semester hours or more to be considered a full-time student for academic purposes. Students who have been verified as learning disabled by the Office of Student Disability Services must be enrolled in 9 semester hours or more for the fall or spring semester and 3 hours in any summer session to be considered full-time students with regard to access to University residence halls and eligibility for financial aid, provided this is consistent with their academic advisory plan.
Graduate students who are enrolled in 9 semester hours or more for the fall or spring semester are considered full time for academic purposes. During a regular summer session a graduate student must be enrolled in 3 semester hours or more to be considered a full-time student for academic purposes.
Full-time fees for undergraduate students are calculated on 12 to 16 semester hours. Full-time status for graduate students with assistantships is determined by the dean of The Graduate School.
Full-time benefits for veterans are determined by the Office of Veterans Services.
Courses numbered from 101 to 699 are available at different levels for undergraduate credit. Courses numbered from 700 to 899 may be taken for graduate credit only and are described in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. All courses numbered from 101 to 499 are for four-year baccalaureate degree candidates. Courses numbered from 500 to 699 may be taken by advanced undergraduate and graduate students for undergraduate or graduate credit, respectively. A 500- to 600-level course taken for undergraduate credit cannot later be awarded graduate credit.
Senior Privilege Enrollment in Graduate Courses
A special provision to earn graduate credit is available for USC undergraduate seniors in their final semester who need less than a normal course load to complete baccalaureate requirements. Overload enrollment that includes one or more courses under senior privilege is not allowed. Courses for graduate credit under senior privilege cannot be used toward undergraduate degree requirements. For senior privilege consideration, undergraduate seniors with a 3.00 GPA should submit to The Graduate School, for the graduate dean's approval, form GS19 endorsed by the student's advisor, the chair of the department offering the course, and the academic dean for that department. This action should be taken before registration.
Accelerated Degree Programs and Combined Bachelor's/Master's Program
Certain academic units offer accelerated programs whereby an undergraduate student with a GPA of 3.40 and 90 or more hours toward the baccalaureate degree may apply graduate credits to a baccalaureate program. Admission can be requested by students in consultation with their academic advisor, their undergraduate dean, and the graduate director of the proposed master's program. An application form and associated guidelines may be obtained from The Graduate School.
Several of the University's colleges and schools are involved with a variety of accelerated degree programs. For more information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, USC, Columbia, SC 29208, phone 803-777-7700.
Correspondence courses are administered through the Office of Distance Education and Instructional Support. Undergraduates may receive credit for correspondence courses taken concurrently with their regular academic work. Students must request permission to enroll in such courses on a form available from the Office of the University Registrar or the Office of Distance Education and Instructional Support. Enrollment must be approved in advance by the dean of the college in which the student is registered. If registration for such a course would result in a course load exceeding the recommendations of the college in which the students are enrolled, they must obtain approval from the dean of their college as outlined in the "Course Load" section above. Courses taken by correspondence may not be used to make up full-time enrollment status for loan deferments and will not appear on the academic record until completed and a grade is assigned. Correspondence courses are not considered as "in-residence" credit. No correspondence course will be counted toward the 12 hours required for either the President's or Dean's Honor List. A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit by correspondence and of credit awarded for educational experiences in the military may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree.
The purpose of the independent study option is to allow the student to pursue an area of academic interest not adequately covered by the regular course structure. The experience shall involve an academic product that is consistent with the student's program of study.
Prior to enrolling in an undergraduate independent study course, a student must complete an Independent Study Contract (AS-6). The approval of the instructor, advisor, department chair, and student's dean is required. Students then present their approved copy to the Office of the University Registrar before registering for the course. Only students who take independent study as part of their major or minor or cognate program may receive grade-point credit for independent study. All other students will receive Pass-Fail credit. Students who take independent study on a Pass-Fail basis cannot later receive grade points, even if the student transfers to another major, minor, or cognate otherwise qualifying the course work as appropriate for grade points. This ruling is not reversible by petition.
A grade point average of 2.50 or greater is required to enroll in independent study courses. The amount of credit for independent study per semester is limited to 6 hours. Independent study credits applied toward any undergraduate degree may account for no more than 10 percent of the total required credit hours for that degree.
Repetition of Course Work
When a course is repeated, both grades will be entered on the student's permanent academic record and included in the grade point average, unless the grade forgiveness policy is applied. Course credit toward graduation will be given only once, unless otherwise stipulated in the course description. Many academic programs restrict the number of times a course may be repeated. Consult the college and department section of the bulletin for such restrictions.
The summer session consists primarily of two terms totaling 10 weeks. Students regularly enrolled in the University may take work applicable to their degree during the summer session. Regulations governing the regular academic year also pertain to the summer session.
A complete listing of all courses offered in the summer session will be available after April 1 at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and in the Office of the University Registrar. Class periods and times vary. Please refer to the Master Schedule of Classes for more detailed information.
The credit hour maximum is reduced for summer sessions. Maximum limits are published in the Master Schedule of Classes. Students must obtain approval from their deans before enrolling in credits beyond the published limits.
Students entering the University for the first time during one term of the Summer Session are referred to the appropriate section in the "Admissions" chapter.
May Session is an intensive three-week period of study commencing at the end of the spring term and ending prior to the start of the first summer term. Students may earn credit for one course each May session.
Changes of Registration
Changes in Enrollment
Adding a course, changing from credit to audit or audit to credit, changing from one section to another, and changing the number of credits in any variable credit course must be completed by the last day to change course schedule or drop without a grade of W being recorded, as published in the Master Schedule of Classes. Electing or revoking the Pass-Fail option must be completed no later than the last day for dropping a course with a grade of W, as published in the Master Schedule of Classes.
Dropping a Course
An undergraduate student may drop a course via the Internet (https://vip.sc.edu). Courses from which the student withdraws by the last day to change a course schedule or drop without a grade of W will not be recorded on a student's permanent record. Thereafter, during the first six weeks of a semester, the grade of W will be recorded on a student's transcript, but the semester hours will not enter into the computation of hours attempted, grade point average, or any other totals. In summer sessions and other shortened sessions this period will be 43 percent of the total number of class hours instead of six weeks. (See the University's academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site.) Removal of a W grade is not permitted except in cases of documented administrative error. Students dropping a course or withdrawing from the University after the first six weeks of a semester will normally receive a grade of WF. A WF is treated as an F in the evaluation of suspension conditions and in computing the student's grade point average. Students who stop attending classes without officially withdrawing will have the grade of "F" recorded for all courses. This grade is included in all calculations and totals. Dropping all classes does not constitute formal withdrawal from the University. Withdrawal from courses after the last day of classes is not permitted.
Exceptions to the assignment of a grade of WF are possible for verifiable, documented reasons. If a student must either drop a course or withdraw from the University for medical reasons; because of a learning disability, as verified by the University's Office of Student Disability Services; or for another acceptable major cause after the penalty date (last day to receive a W), the grade of W may still be assigned. A Request for Assignment of W Grade for Extenuating Circumstances After Penalty Date form (AS-122A) must originate with the student's academic dean and must be approved by the course instructor(s) and returned to the Office of the University Registrar by the dean.
Withdrawal from the University
All full- or part-time students wishing to withdraw from the University or to discontinue enrollment from all courses for the semester should follow the instructions online at http://vip.sc.edu when they request to drop their last course. Staff members of the Office of the University Registrar are available to assist students in completing the withdrawal process. In addition, staff from the Student Ombudsman Office located in the Russell House can provide counseling. Students requesting withdrawal for extenuating circumstances after the penalty date (last date for W grade) should see their college dean.
Withdrawal from courses after the last day of classes is not permitted. Students absent from any final exams will be given a grade of F for the course if they have not provided an excuse acceptable to the instructor. If excused, they will be given a grade of I and may complete the course through deferred examination.
The date of withdrawal from the University will be posted on student transcripts.
Any student withdrawing within the scheduled refund period (see academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site) can expect to receive a refund through the mail in approximately four to six weeks (see "Refund Procedures"). If at the time of withdrawal the student has any financial obligations to the University, these will be deducted from any refund due. When students who are recipients of federal financial aid withdraw from all classes, they are entitled to retain only a percentage of the federal financial aid received that is proportional to the time they remained enrolled. If, for example, students withdraw after completing 30 percent of the semester or summer term, they can retain only 30 percent of the federal financial aid they received. The balance, 70 percent, must be returned to the financial aid programs. The Office of the Bursar performs this calculation, and students are notified by mail of the outcome. The same percentage applies to the amount of federal financial aid that the school may retain toward accrued charges.
Students who have received long-term loans through the University (Perkins, nursing, and health professions) must contact the Student Loan Accounting Office for an exit interview. Failure to participate in this exit interview may result in a hold being placed on transcripts.
Students who have received a Stafford, PLUS, or Supplemental Student Loan while enrolled at the University must attend an exit loan counseling session. Students are notified by mail to complete this requirement using the Web.
Students in the National Guard or armed forces reserves who are placed on active duty by order of the president of the United States or the governor of their state should pursue withdrawal from courses according to the provisions of the University's policy titled "Withdrawal of Students Called to Active Military Service" (ACAF 3.05). Active duty military personnel who are reassigned during an academic term may also invoke the provisions of this policy.
Changes in Curriculum
A student who desires to change a program of study involving transfer from one college of the University to another is required to:
1. complete an Application for Change of College/Campus, Major, Minor or Degree (AS-19) from the Office of the University Registrar or current dean's office
2. obtain the signature of the dean of the current school or college approving release
3. present this form for approval to the dean of the school in which the student is seeking enrollment.
After obtaining both approvals, the form must be returned to the Office of the University Registrar. To be valid, a "Change of School" must not only follow the procedures indicated but must also be completed in advance of registration in the college to which the transfer is desired.
Credits earned in one degree program may not be applicable toward other degrees. Verification of applicability should be sought in writing from the dean of the college in which the new degree or major is offered.
Only under unavoidable and exceptional circumstances will the faculty permit substitution for or exemption from the prescribed curricula. When it becomes necessary to request a deviation from the prescribed course of study, students should consult the dean of their college or the head of the department in which they are majoring before preparing a petition listing the substitutions or exemptions sought and the reasons for the request. Petitions are submitted on forms obtainable from the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee of the particular college, and must be returned to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. Deviations from degree requirements published in the bulletin must be approved by the student's dean and the head of the student's major department. The Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee of each college functions as an appeal board in cases where agreement between the dean, department head, and the student cannot be reached.
Students are obligated to complete all assigned work promptly, to attend class regularly, and to participate in whatever class discussion may occur.
Absence from more than 10 percent of the scheduled class sessions, whether excused or unexcused, is excessive and the instructor may choose to exact a grade penalty for such absences.
The instructor's attendance policy should be ascertained by the student at the beginning of the semester. It is of particular importance that a student who anticipates absences in excess of 10 percent of the scheduled class sessions receive prior approval from the instructor before the last day to change schedule as published in the academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site.
It must be emphasized that the "10 percent rule" stated above applies to both excused and unexcused absences. Faculty members should notify classes specifically of the attendance policy which they intend to follow in each class.
Final examinations for spring and fall semesters are held during a seven-day period at the close of each semester. Summer examinations are held during a two-day period at the close of each session. Semester examination schedules are published on the registrar's calendar Web site. The results of these examinations, combined with the grades for class performance, determine the reports given at the end of the semester. No final examination may be held outside of the stated time without the special permission of the dean of the college concerned.
In any course or laboratory which meets two or three times per week, no quiz, test, or examination may be given during the last two class meetings prior to the regularly scheduled examination period. In any course or laboratory which meets once a week, no quiz, test, or examination may be given during the last class meeting prior to the regular examination period. In any course or laboratory which meets more than three times per week, no quiz, test, or examination may be given during the last three class meetings prior to the regular examination period. Self-paced courses are exempt from this regulation.
If an instructor teaches more than one section of the same course, students may transfer from one examination section to another with the instructor's permission.
Students who are absent from any final examination will be given the grade of F on the course if they have not offered an excuse acceptable to the instructor. If excused, they will be assigned a grade of I (see "I" entry under "Grading System"), and may complete the course under the conditions specified by the instructor in the "Assignment of Incomplete Grade" form.
Re-examinations for the purpose of removing an F or raising a grade are not permitted.
No early examinations are given for graduating seniors. Students who have submitted a degree application may attend the graduation ceremony. Diplomas are mailed after final examinations and after a student's dean has verified that all degree requirements have been met.
A student with excused absences from final examinations in one semester has the privilege of deferred or special examinations and may take the deferred examination at the next regular examination period, with credit for semester standing, provided the examination is taken at the convenience of the professor. The examination must be taken within one calendar year from the time that the absence was incurred. Deferred examinations will be granted only in case of absence certified as unavoidable because of sickness or other cause, rendering attendance at final examinations impossible.
The credit value of each course is usually determined by the amount of formal instructional time per week for one semester. At least 700 minutes of instruction (and at least twice that for laboratory time) can be expected per credit hour. The semester hour credit for each course is included in each course description.
No student suspended from the University of South Carolina for any reason may earn academic credit during the period of suspension, whether by residence elsewhere or by correspondence courses of any origin.
Remedial courses (courses numbered 100 or below) may not be used to meet degree requirements.
Credit by Examination
Currently enrolled students may obtain credit by examination in a course in which they have had no class attendance or semester standing; permission must, however, be obtained from the dean of the college or department chair in which the course is offered. A grade of not less than B on the examination is necessary in order to receive credit for the course. Examinations are not permitted in courses in which a student previously has been enrolled regularly or as an auditor. The applicant must pay to the Office of Financial Services in advance of the examination a fee of $15 per semester hour; this fee is not refundable. The Office of Financial Services will issue a receipt which must be shown to the head of the department conducting the examination, who shall immediately report the results of the examination to the Office of the University Registrar. Credits earned under this regulation are recorded with hours earned only.
Students transferring to the University from another college or university must, before enrolling in class at the University, have their transcripts evaluated by the director of admissions and the dean of the college in which they are enrolled. It is only in the light of such evaluation that students will know definitely which transferred courses will be applicable toward USC degree requirements.
Academic courses completed at regionally accredited institutions are normally transferable to the University of South Carolina, although, as a general rule, courses that are occupational or technical in nature; essentially remedial in nature; from a two-year institution which are considered upper division or upper level at the University; or from a two-year institution that are not listed as part of that institution's college parallel program are not acceptable in transfer to the University of South Carolina. Exceptions to this rule may be made only by the dean of the college in which 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 student transferring from an institution not accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association may validate by examination hours earned at the unaccredited institution. Full information concerning validation procedures may be obtained from the dean of each college.
No transfer credit will be accepted for a course that is equivalent to one at this university in which the student was previously enrolled, unless the student was enrolled full time at least one year at the transfer institution. Similarly, students cannot receive degree credit for a course taken at the University if they have received transfer credit for an equivalent course taken previously at another institution.
Credit for summer school, correspondence, and extension work completed at other institutions by a degree-seeking University student will not be accepted by transfer if the student has previously been enrolled in an equivalent course in the University. Credit for other courses will be accepted only under the conditions that each course has been approved in advance by the head of the department or the dean of the college concerned and such approval filed with the Office of the University Registrar; and each course has been passed with a grade adequate for transfer purposes.
The Request to Earn Credit through Special Enrollment form (AS-30) is available from the Office of the University Registrar or from the student's college dean.
Credits earned while a student is on academic suspension from the University cannot be applied toward a degree or used in improving the grade point average.
A maximum of 30 semester hours earned by correspondence and credit awarded for educational experiences in the military may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. 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.
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). The last 30 credits (representing the senior year's work) must be earned in residence at the University, and at least half of the hours in the student's major courses and in the student's minor courses (if applicable) must be taken at the University. Some programs impose higher student residence and/or major requirements.
Earning Credit in Transient Status
Since the University is accountable for the integrity of its degrees, it is essential that degree programs be closely monitored by University faculty. Therefore, students entering the University to seek a degree should expect to complete the majority of their academic work at the University of South Carolina. Normally students who wish to earn more than a semester of credit at another institution should meet all requirements and transfer to that institution. In some programs, and with the permission of the academic dean, students may take up to 18 semester hours of courses in transient status provided they are in good standing; the courses are approved in advance by the academic advisor and dean; and the other institution is fully accredited and the course work meets University specifications for transfer credits.
Study abroad or in special academic programs within the United States may be of particular benefit to students, and the University cooperates in a variety of national and international exchange programs in which students may pursue up to a year of academic work at another institution. Special permission is granted to students in these programs with the advance approval of the academic advisor and dean.
Enrollment in a course obligates the student not only for prompt completion of all work assigned but also for punctual and regular attendance and for participation in whatever class discussion may occur. It is the student's responsibility to keep informed concerning all assignments made. Absences, whether excused or unexcused, do not absolve the student from this responsibility.
Students' grades in their courses are determined by class standing and examination grade, combined in such proportion as the professor may decide.
Class standing is determined by the quality of a student's work and the regularity of attendance in lectures and laboratory sessions or other exercises of the course. Grading systems in graduate and professional schools are described in the appropriate bulletins.
A, B, C, D represent passing grades in order from highest to lowest. B+, C+, D+ may also be recorded. F represents failing performance.
S and U indicate, respectively, satisfactory (passing) and unsatisfactory (failing) performance in courses carried under the Pass-Fail option. The S/U designation is used also for some research courses, workshops, and seminars in which the regular academic grades are not used. The use of the Pass-Fail grading option in such courses is indicated in their bulletin descriptions. No course carried under the Pass-Fail option will affect a student's grade point average or the evaluation of suspension conditions.
WF is assigned for student withdrawal from a course after the penalty deadline prescribed in the academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site. (See section on "Dropping A Course.") The grade of WF is treated as an F in the evaluation of suspension conditions and grade point average computation.
W is assigned for student withdrawal from a course after the late registration period but before the penalty date. Courses dropped during the late registration period (as published in the academic and refund calendars on the registrar's Web site) will not be recorded on a student's permanent record. In exceptional cases, the grade W will be used after the first six weeks of a semester, primarily in cases of withdrawal from the University or from a course for medical reasons. (See section on "Dropping a Course.") A grade of W will not enter into the evaluation of suspension conditions or in grade point average computation but will be recorded on a student's permanent record.
I, Incomplete, is assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, in the instructor's judgment, a student is unable to complete some portion of the assigned work in a course because of an unanticipated illness, accident, work-related responsibility, family hardship, or verified learning disability. The grade of I is not intended to give students additional time to complete course assignments unless there is some indication that the specified condition or event prevented the student from completing course assignments on time. By arrangement with the instructor, the student will have up to 12 months in which to complete the work before a permanent grade is recorded. Re-enrolling in the course will not make up an Incomplete. An Assignment of Incomplete Grade form (AS-5) must be completed by the instructor and submitted to the Office of the University Registrar explaining the reason for the I and conditions for make-up. A grade of I is not computed in calculating a student's grade point average. After 12 months an I that has not been made up is changed to a grade of F or to the back-up grade indicated by the faculty member on the Assignment of Incomplete Grade form.
T, a Graduate School symbol, is assigned to indicate enrollment in Thesis Preparation (799) and Dissertation Preparation (899). Courses with this symbol will be counted as hours attempted and hours earned only. Grade points will not be awarded. For unsatisfactory work the grade of U should be assigned. The grade of I cannot be assigned in courses numbered 799 and 899.
AUD indicates a course was carried on an audit basis. (See section on "Auditing" for more information.)
NR, No Record, is assigned in the event that the grade is not available at the time final grades are submitted. It is a temporary mark on the transcript and must be replaced by a grade. If replacement does not occur before the last week of the spring or fall semester following the term for which the grade was recorded, a grade of F will be assigned. The NR is ignored in computing the GPA.
The Pass-Fail program is designed to encourage students to investigate fields outside of their major curriculum in which they have a specific personal interest without affecting their grade point average. The only grades assigned on courses taken under the Pass-Fail option are S and U; a grade of S indicates satisfactory performance, a grade of U indicates unsatisfactory progress. A student will be given credit for courses in which the grade of S is earned, but these courses will not affect the computation of the grade point average.
Specific provisions of the Pass-Fail program are as follows:
1. The Pass-Fail grading system is in effect for an indefinite period of time, subject to periodic review.
2. The Pass-Fail option is not available to undergraduate students whose semester or cumulative GPA is less than 2.00.
3. Students are permitted to exercise the Pass-Fail option only on free elective courses.
4. Students are permitted to take no more than eight courses on a Pass-Fail basis during their undergraduate career.
5. A student wishing to exercise the option must have the permission of the dean of the college and the student's academic advisor. The Pass-Fail Option form (AS-20) is used for this purpose.
6. The option may be elected or revoked by the student no later than the last date for withdrawing from the course without a penalty.
7. Normal prerequisites may be waived for students taking a course on a Pass-Fail basis.
8. Courses taken under this option will be excluded from the calculation of the grade point average.
9. A grade of S will be entered by the Office of the University Registrar for a regularly assigned passing grade; a failing grade will be registered as U.
10. No course carried on a Pass-Fail basis will be counted toward the hours required for either the President's or the Dean's Honor List.
11. A verified learning-disabled student may take on a Pass-Fail basis an elective or required course which is not in the major if the academic advisory plan so recommends the Pass-Fail option for that course. A student who desires use of this option must apply to the dean of the college at the beginning of the semester. With the approval of the academic dean, learning-disabled students may meet specific degree requirements with a satisfactory grade.
Grade Point Average
The grade point average is computed on the basis of all semester hours attempted for credit, except for credit hours carried under the Pass-Fail or audit options. Courses in which a grade of S, U, AUD, T, or W was earned are not considered in computing the GPA.
The grade points earned in any course carried with a passing grade (A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D) are computed by multiplying the number of semester hour credits assigned to the course by a factor determined by the grade. For courses in which the grade of A was earned, the factor is 4; for B+, 3.5; for B, 3; for C+, 2.5; for C, 2; for D+, 1.5; for D, 1. The grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of semester grade points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted for credit (excepting hours carried on a Pass-Fail or audit basis). No grade points are assigned to the symbols F, S, U, WF, W, I, AUD, T, or NR.
Course Grade Forgiveness
It is the policy of the University of South Carolina that every currently enrolled, fully admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate earning a D+, D, F, or WF in a University course may take up to two undergraduate courses for a second time for the purpose of grade forgiveness. Both the first and second grades shall appear on the University permanent record, but only the second grade will be used in computing the University of South Carolina cumulative grade point average. An explanatory notice will appear on the record. Once grade forgiveness is applied to a repeated course, the action may not be revoked.
An eligible student wishing to apply the course grade forgiveness policy to a course enrollment may do so at any time during his/her undergraduate enrollment, but no applications will be honored after the degree is awarded. Grade forgiveness can only be applied once per course for a maximum of two courses (not to exceed 8 credits) on a student’s undergraduate academic record, without regard to the number of degrees sought. Under the grade forgiveness policy, the forgiven and repeated class must both be taken at the same University of South Carolina campus. Courses transferred from other institutions are excluded from this policy.
This policy does not preclude students from repeating classes multiple times, in accordance with program requirements, but only the second attempt at the class may forgive the original grade of D+, D, F, or WF. Only a regular letter grade can replace a forgiven grade. Grades of W, I, S, U, or AUDIT may not replace previous grades. Grades carrying an honor code violation sanction of X are not eligible for grade forgiveness.
Established requirements for repeating classes, admission to, or progression in, specific academic programs of the University take precedence over the grade forgiveness policy. Program or progression grade point averages are not affected by this policy. Refer to the guidelines for each program for specific requirements. Courses intended to be repeated for additional credit, such as research or applied music, are not eligible for grade forgiveness. Semester honors (dean’s or president’s honor list), academic standing (scholastic deficiency, probation, suspension), or previous grade point totals will not change retroactively as a result of applying this policy.
Students who have been granted academic forgiveness to reset the grade point average after readmission are not eligible for course grade forgiveness. Please refer to the bulletin entry titled "Academic Forgiveness for Former USC Students with Less Than a 2.00 Cumulative GPA."
An eligible student wishing to apply the grade forgiveness policy may begin the process by acquiring an Application for Grade Forgiveness from the registrar's Web site.
Students' grades are reported on the University's VIP Web site (https://vip.sc.edu) or by request at the Office of the University Registrar, third floor, Petigru. Grade reports are sent to the permanent address of any student with academic deficiency.
Grade Change Policy
Grade changes based on transcription or computation errors shall be reported directly to the Office of the University Registrar on the appropriate grade change form signed by the instructor and the head of the student's academic unit. Any request for a grade change must be submitted by the instructor no later than one calendar year from the date on which the grade was reported. Beyond this period, grade changes will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and must be handled through the petition procedure of the student's college. Any other grade change request resulting from enrollment discrepancies, medical withdrawals, or perceived administrative errors (changes to W, WF, audit, credit, S/U, or to I) must be submitted on the appropriate forms with signatures and documentation to the dean of the student's college for review through the petition procedure. This does not apply to the routine makeup and extension of an I (incomplete) and posting of a permanent grade to replace the recorded NR mark. An I turns into a grade of F after one year; an NR turns into a grade of F after one semester. Special makeup work or examinations to change grades already recorded are not permitted.
Certification of enrollment is based upon the total number of credit hours for which a student is registered at the time of the certification request. Beginning and ending dates reported in enrollment certification conform to the official USC academic calendar dates for the term requested.
Classification of Students
Classification is based on the total number of semester credit hours earned: A student must have earned 30 hours to be classified as a sophomore, 60 for classification as a junior, and 90 for senior classification. Students are classified at the beginning of each semester and maintain that classification until the next semester begins.
A transcript of a student's record carries the following information: current status; a detailed statement of the scholastic record showing courses pursued with semester hours carried, semester hours earned, grades, grade points, grade point average, and system of grading; a permanent record of all failures, Incomplete grades, and penalties (such as suspension); cumulative USC grade totals; and references to other college or universities attended, dates attended, and the total transfer credits accepted by the University of South Carolina.
Any student who needs a transcript or a certified copy of the end-of-semester grade report may complete a Transcript Request form (AS-25) at the Office of the University Registrar, or send a signed and dated letter containing all pertinent identifying information to the Office of the University Registrar. Official transcripts may also be requested online through Visual Information Processing (VIP) at https://vip.sc.edu. With the exception of copies made for internal use, no copy of a student's permanent record (transcript) will be released to anyone without the student's written consent. In addition to the written consent, each transcript request should include full name or names used, student number, current mailing address, dates of attendance, location of attendance, and date of birth to assure proper identification of the record requested.
No transcript will be issued to a student who is indebted to the University.
No partial transcript will be issued.
The nonrefundable transcript processing fee is $8.
Notification of Student Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University of South Carolina will disclose information from a student's education records only with the written consent of the student, except:
- A. To school officials with legitimate educational interests;
A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- B. To officials of other institutions in which the student seeks or intends to enroll provided that the student had previously requested a release of his/her record;
- C. To authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Defense (Solomon Amendment), U.S. Attorney General, INS, the ComptrollerGeneral of the United States, state education authorities, organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the University, and accrediting organizations;
- D. In connection with a student's application for, and receipt of, financial aid;
- E. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- F. To parents of dependent students as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 152;
- G. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency; or
- H. To the alleged victim of any crime of violence of the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the University.
- I. The University may disclose the result of a disciplinary proceeding to a parent or guardian so long as the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the incident and the proceeding has resulted in a violation of University drug or alcohol policies, or any federal, state, or local law.
- J. To students currently registered in a particular class, the names and e-mail addresses of others on the roster may be disclosed in order to participate in class discussion.
The University of South Carolina has designated the following items as Directory Information: a student's name, electronic mail address, local and permanent mailing addresses and telephone numbers, semesters of attendance, enrollment status (full- or part-time), date of admission, date of expected or actual graduation, school, major and minor fields of study, whether or not currently enrolled, classification (freshman, etc.), type of degree being pursued, degrees, honors, and awards received (including scholarships and fellowships), weight and height of members of athletic teams, and whether the student has participated in officially recognized activities and sports sponsored by the University.
The University may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless the student has submitted a written request to the Office of the University Registrar not to release directory information pertaining to them. Requests will be processed within 24 hours after receipt. Telephone directories are published during the summer; students eligible to enroll for the upcoming fall term are listed in the printed directory unless the Office of the University Registrar is notified by May 31. The electronic directory is updated each weekend; requests for non-disclosure will be honored with the next update after the request is processed by the staff of the Office of the University Registrar.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of South Carolina to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Questions concerning this law and the University's procedures concerning release of academic information may be directed to the Office of the University Registrar at 803-777-5555.
An appropriate hearing board will provide each student with an opportunity to challenge the content of University records, to ensure that the records are not inaccurate or misleading, and to provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein. Such requests should be made through the Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee of the individual colleges.
Assessment, in a university or college setting, can be interpreted to mean several things. Assessment can be the process of evaluating the success of a university in meeting its mission and goals (institutional assessment), or it can be the processes associated with evaluating student outcomes in relation to stated program goals (program assessment), or it can be course-embedded assessment techniques used to deliver information and/or evaluate student learning by observing students' skills and abilities.
The University of South Carolina is committed to offering programs and activities that encourage students to develop both academically and socially. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts, faculty, administrators, and staff conduct ongoing assessments. The Office of Institutional Planning and Assessment assists the faculty, administration, and other staff in gathering and analyzing assessment data. Assessment, therefore, is the ongoing process of self-improvement through analyzing and evaluating all of our functions and activities.
Students, faculty, and staff play critical roles in the assessment process. Consequently, participation in assessment activities is a University priority and responsibility. The information gleaned from assessment activities is used for planning and program improvement. Many of the University's assessment activities are mandated by external agencies. Therefore, all students wishing to receive a degree from the University of South Carolina must complete procedures required for the assessment of general education and those required by their major and/or area of concentration. If a student fails to participate in a required assessment activity, a hold may be placed on the student's records.
Primary responsibility for the assessment of academic programs within the major or area of concentration is with the faculty of each academic unit. Information pertinent to assessment of the major or area of concentration is provided to students by the department from which the degree will be granted.
Primary responsibility for coordinating the assessment of general education is with the Office of Institutional Assessment and Compliance. The faculty is actively involved in planning assessment and using the results of assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of general education. The assessment of general education is administered through the use of exams, interviews, surveys, questionnaires, or other instruments as developed by the faculty and Office of Institutional Assessment and Compliance.
The results of any activities used for program or general education assessment may not be used for promotion and/or tenure files or for annual performance evaluations or for the evaluation of any student's progress in a course or progress toward a degree. Assessment activities, however, are integral to the processes of teaching and learning.
For more information contact the Office of Institutional Planning and Assessment.
It is the expectation of the University that students will maintain at least a C average on all work attempted. On the grading scale employed by the University, this means that a student must maintain a semester, yearly, and cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 in order to remain in good academic standing in the institution.
The following standards regarding scholastic eligibility are applicable to all undergraduate students. In addition, the individual colleges of the University may have retention standards for the students majoring in academic programs of those colleges. However, students will not be suspended from the University unless they fail to meet the standards specified here. Administration of these regulations is the responsibility of the academic deans, who are not empowered to waive any of the provisions. A student may be granted relief from these regulations by the petitions committees of the individual colleges only in extraordinary circumstances.
Any student whose semester, yearly, or cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 is considered to be scholastically deficient.
The dean of each college will review all deficiency situations and determine the appropriate action to be taken. Scholastically deficient students who have failed to make satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree may be placed on scholastic probation on such terms as the dean may designate or may be advised to withdraw from the major or from the University. Students who fail to meet the conditions of the probation may be required to leave that degree program.
Students are reminded that progression standards may vary from one major to another.
A scholastically deficient student's eligibility to continue in the University is determined by the grade point deficit (GPD). The GPD is the number of grade points a student lacks of having a 2.00 GPA. This can easily be calculated by subtracting the number of grade points earned from twice the number of grade point hours attempted:
- GPD=(2 x grade point hours)-(grade points earned)
A student's cumulative GPD will be based only on work at USC taken in fall semester 1980 or later.
The record of every scholastically deficient student will be reviewed at the end of each fall and spring semester. The following standards will then be applied:
First suspension: Any student who is scholastically deficient at the beginning of a fall or spring semester will be suspended at the end of that semester if either the yearly or the cumulative GPD is 24 or more. Suspended students will not be considered for readmission to the University until they have served at least one major term and the summer on suspension (approximately eight months).
Subsequent suspension: A student reinstated or readmitted from suspension will be reviewed at the end of the first semester after returning. A grade point average of 2.00 or higher must be obtained each semester to avoid a subsequent suspension.
The duration of a second or subsequent suspension is indefinite, and the student can be considered for readmission only after being approved for reinstatement by action of the petitions committee of the college or school to which the student is seeking admission. A favorable decision by the committee is unlikely within two years of the suspension.
A student on suspension may not be admitted to, or continue in, any program of the University for credit or for grade point average purposes. Credit earned at other institutions or by correspondence of any origin while a student is on suspension from the University may not be applied toward a degree from USC or used for improving the grade point average.
Students are reminded that these rules are for suspension from the University. Some colleges or schools in the University may impose more stringent requirements for retention in degree programs.
In addition to previously specified provisions by which a student may petition to waive the application of this suspension policy, a student suspended by this policy has the right to petition to the appropriate college scholastic standards and petitions committee to waive the application of the suspension rule at any time. Students placed on first suspension who wish to petition for a waiver of the suspension rule may petition only the committee of the college in which they were enrolled at the time of suspension.
Academic Forgiveness for Former USC Students with Less Than a 2.00 Cumulative GPA
Under certain conditions undergraduate students may apply for academic forgiveness. Academic forgiveness allows for a recalculation of the GPA to permit a student to graduate or pursue a specific academic program. In order to apply for academic forgiveness all of the following conditions must be met:
1. The student has not been enrolled at any campus of the University of South Carolina for at least 48 months.
2. The student must have been readmitted to a degree program at the University of South Carolina and must have completed at least 24 hours of approved graded course work prior to applying for academic forgiveness.
3. After readmission the student must have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and met the progression requirements of the degree program.
4. The student must never before have been granted academic forgiveness.
A student who has met these conditions and desires academic forgiveness must submit a written request for academic forgiveness to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. After verification of the student's eligibility, the dean shall inform the registrar that academic forgiveness has been granted to the student.
Once academic forgiveness has been granted, the following apply to the student's academic record:
1. All curriculum requirements will be in accordance with those in force at the time of or subsequent to the student's readmission.
2. The student may not receive Academic Honors upon graduation.
3. The student's grade point average is recalculated beginning with the semester in which the student was readmitted to the University. All academic hours attempted at USC will be calculated toward the GPA. The student's GPA will be recalculated using the GPA after readmission and a 2.00 on all grade hours taken prior to readmission.
4. Courses in which the student received a passing grade prior to readmission may, at the discretion of the dean, be applied toward the degree.
5. The following statement shall appear on the academic record and transcript of any student granted academic forgiveness: "This student was granted academic forgiveness under the University of South Carolina Academic Forgiveness Program. The GPA has been recalculated under the criteria of this program to allow for eligibility for graduation."
6. The permanent academic record will remain an unmodified record of all work attempted at the University of South Carolina.
Each semester academic achievement is recognized by entering on the President's Honor List or the Dean's Honor List the names of students who, at the end of the previous semester, attained the following standards:
President's Honor List: a grade point average of 4.00 earned on a minimum of 12 credited semester hours.
Dean's Honor List: a grade point average of 3.50 or higher (3.25 or higher for freshmen) earned on a minimum of 12 credited semester hours.
No course carried on a Pass-Fail basis, by examination, correspondence, or exemption will be counted toward the 12 hours required for either the President's or Dean's Honor List.
Graduation with Honors
Graduation with honors will be based on a cumulative GPA calculated on the basis of all work in the student's college career, including any attempted at other institutions. This calculation will include all courses attempted, not just those submitted in fulfillment of graduation requirements. Honors designators are determined at the time of graduation and may not be applied retroactively.
Transfer students who apply to graduate with honors, in addition to their overall record, must show a GPA at USC which meets the level specified for the honors being sought.
The following designations indicate a consistently high level of academic achievement throughout the student's entire academic career. To graduate with such honors, a student must have earned at least 60 credit hours applicable toward the degree in residence at the University, 30 credit hours for an associate degree. Courses taken by a transient student at other institutions, by correspondence, by examination, or by exemption are not considered "in residence."
Summa Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.95-4.00
Magna Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.750-3.94
Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.500-3.749
With Honors from South Carolina Honors College: Any student who completes the requirements of the Honors College, regardless of the major or undergraduate degree, is awarded that degree "With Honors from South Carolina Honors College."
With Distinction: Any student who earns an undergraduate degree and completes the requirements for the appropriate Departmental Undergraduate Research Track is awarded that degree "With Distinction in [that major]." For details, refer to the degree requirements of specific majors.
The last 30 semester hours must be completed in residence at the University, and at least half of the hours in the student's major courses and in the student's minor courses (if applicable) must be taken at the University. Some programs impose greater student residence and/or major requirements.
Regardless of when students enter the University, they must complete 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. In addition, all degree applicants are urged to confer with the deans of their respective colleges about their programs and degree requirements prior to the beginning of their last semester of residence at the University.
"In residence" means that the student was regularly enrolled at USC; took the course at Columbia or one of the other campuses of the University; was a member of a class which was supervised by a regular faculty member of USC; attended classes on a regular, pre-established schedule; and in other ways conformed to the requirements which are normally connoted by the term "in residence." In-residence requirements may not be met by courses for which credit is earned by exemption or exam, courses taken by correspondence, or courses for which transfer credit was awarded. Courses taken under the Pass-Fail option meet in-residence requirements. If the student has not established credit for the prescribed number of hours in residence, then the student is not eligible either for graduation with honors or for graduation on the basis of having completed 30 semester hours of work during the senior year at the University.
All candidates for degrees and certificates must file formal applications during the last academic term before graduation with the deans of their respective colleges on forms obtained at the Office of the University Registrar or the appropriate dean's office. Applications must be filed by the third week of the fall or spring semester in which the degree is to be awarded or within the first 10 days of the first summer session. If the student is not enrolled during the first summer session, the application must be filed within the first week of the second summer session for the student to graduate at the summer commencement.
In order to be eligible for graduation, students must meet all course requirements, be in good academic standing, meet any departmental or program requirements, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 on all work attempted at USC.
Students who submit two degree applications for the same degree in the same college for a double major will receive one diploma.
Second Baccalaureate Degree. At times the University confers a second baccalaureate degree upon candidates who have completed requirements for the second degree.
The following specifications for a second baccalaureate degree apply:
1. The student must meet admission and progression requirements for the second degree, and must have received formal approval to pursue the second degree from both deans.
2. All requirements for the second degree must be fulfilled.
3. The additional requirements for the second degree must include a minimum of 24 semester hours beyond those required for the first degree.
4. No course that satisfies a general education, major, minor, cognate, or requirement other than a free elective for the first degree may be applied to the major field of the second degree.
5. The student must file a separate degree application for the second degree with the appropriate college or school.
Under this policy a student may apply for two degrees at one time or separately. In either case, the student receives two diplomas. It should be noted that a second major does not by itself lead to the conferral of a second degree.
Second Major. In some degree programs, a student may elect a second major. Normally, second majors are possible only in degree programs with similar general education requirements. The second major option is not available in all colleges.
1. The student must meet admission and progression requirements for the second major.
2. The student must have received approval from both deans for a second major.
3. All requirements for the second major must be fulfilled.
4. All general education and special departmental requirements normally associated with the second major must be fulfilled.
5. In cases where the first major and the second major lead to different degrees, the student must designate one as the official degree of record. A second major eliminates the cognate requirement; however, special departmental requirements normally completed as part of the cognate are not waived. Fulfillment of the requirements for a second major are indicated on the student's official transcript upon graduation. No notation for a second major is placed on the official transcript for course work completed after graduation.