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A fall day with the fountains running in the reflecting pool in front of Thomas Cooper Library.

South Carolina at a Glance

With thriving academic and research excellence and a lively, welcoming student experience, the University of South Carolina brings the opportunities of higher education to new generations.

South Carolina's unrivaled college experience has been sought by students, faculty and academic researchers for more than 200 years. Founded in 1801, the university is located in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. 

The University of South Carolina System, led by President Michael Amiridis who is serving as the university's 30th president, and has eight campuses in 20 locations that together serve more than 52,000 students. 

Nation's Leading First-Year Experience

As early as their first hours on campus, students can access programs and opportunities designed to help them reach greater levels of personal and academic success. That’s one reason U.S. News and World Report recognized South Carolina as the nation’s leader in first-year experience for students.

Experience South Carolina
Students gathered at Williams Brice Stadium for "Flicks on the Field"

350+ Degree Programs

South Carolina is home to hundreds of degrees, many of which have earned national distinctions. Along with traditional academic degrees from bachelor’s to doctorate, academic pathways can be tailored to plans or interests with accelerated and combination degree programs, academic specializations and professional certificates.

Majors and Degrees
UofSC stamp with text 60 nationally ranked academic programs.

A Strong Community

The university is a major center for global research drawing students from around the world while also making higher education more accessible for South Carolinians.

Fall 2023 Enrollment (Systemwide)
53,455 Total Students
44,073 Undergraduate Students
7,571 Graduate Students 
1,811 Professional Students

2022-2023 Degrees Awarded (Systemwide)
12,565 Total Degrees
8,953 Undergraduate Degrees
3,044 Graduate Degrees
62 Specialist Degrees
506 Professional Degrees

Students smiling as they are walking to class on a beautiful sunny day.
Student smiling at the camera holding up peace signs.
UofSC stamp with text UofSC ranks in the top 10% for African American graduation rate in public universities..

Strengthened by Diversity

Institutional excellence demands a level playing field. Diversity-focused programs and organizations help build a more equitable campus climate that supports more members of our campus community. The efforts reverberate from daily life to South Carolina's African American graduation rate being in the top 10% of public universities. 

Inclusive Excellence

Carnegie Foundation-recognized Research and Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation has recognized the university with top classification — R1 university — for “very high research activity.” In addition, South Carolina is one of few public universities that has also earned Elective Community Engagement Classification, a prestigious designation recognizing universities with strong community relationships. This remarkable level of research enterprise is one reason university researchers attracted $240 million in sponsored awards in 2023 in areas ranging from instruction to academics to public service. 

  • A Leader in Health Sciences

    The University of South Carolina offers the state’s most comprehensive approach to the health sciences, with nationally ranked academic programs in nursing, pharmacy, public health, clinical psychology and biomedical engineering, among others. Through classroom instruction and out-of-classroom opportunities such as clinical partnerships and the Galen Health Fellows live-learn community, students gain the holistic experience they need to become leaders in their fields.

    Health Sciences
  • Two researchers working in a lab.
  • Researcher holding a test tube in a lab.
  • Student looking at a colored model of a spine.
Looking through palmetto trees to the Darla Moore School of Business building.

#1 International Business Programs

South Carolina’s international business major, #1 ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 25 straight years, is respected within the global marketplace and the companies that fuel it. The university’s International MBA — a top-three in the nation for over 35 years — has been #1 ranked for 11 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.

Nation's Top Public Honors College

The South Carolina Honors College holds the top rating among public honors programs (Inside Honors). Combining the resources of a top-tier research university with the feel of a small liberal arts college, students gain a rigorous, rewarding learning experience that’s second to none.

A group of students sitting on the Historic Horseshoe having class outside on a beautiful fall day.

Nation’s #1 Online Master’s in Nursing

For the fourth straight year, the University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing is ranked No. 1 in the country for its online master’s in nursing program. With outstanding faculty, high graduation rates and expansive student services and technology that support clinical education, our nursing graduates' comprehensive and experiential education makes them sought after within the healthcare workforce.

A Sport Science Leader

South Carolina ranks in the top five Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments. Students at all academic levels seek the university's sports-related programs within the College of Education, Arnold School of Public Health and the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. South Carolina's deep bench of more than 100 health science programs can transform an interest into a rewarding career.

Athletic trainers with a student with her foot in device.

Economic Impact

University activity is a key contributor to South Carolina’s long-term economic and employment growth. More than simply providing jobs, the university’s activity and alumni are forces equipped to drive generations of opportunity.

  • Grapic with the text: $6.2 billion.

    The university contributes about $6.2 billion to the state economy annually and supports more than 63,000 jobs statewide.

  • Grapic with the text: 1:9 jobs.

    In the Columbia metro region, the university supports 1 in 9 jobs, with a total annual economic impact of an estimated $3.7 billion.

  • Grapic with the text: $25:1 Investment

    Along with $202+ million in annual tax revenue for the state, the university returns $25 to the state’s economy for each $1 invested in higher education.

The University's Mission

The University of South Carolina, one of the nation’s oldest and most comprehensive public universities, is committed to the mission of educating South Carolinians through teaching, research, creative activity and community engagement. Thanks to faithful donations and wise investing, the university’s endowment of $989 million offers a stable resource to grow scholarships and academic programs.

Seeing is Believing

Whether walking through the historic Horseshoe or seeing next generation materials and data driving industry innovation, plan a visit to see all that’s happening now at the University of South Carolina. 

Visit Campus
The front of McKissick Museum with large banners with the tailfeathers.