Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae
The Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae (“Bachelor of Arts and Sciences,” or “BARSC”) is the most selective undergraduate degree program at the University of South Carolina. The program gives students the unique opportunity to create their own curriculum by developing a challenging course of study tailored to specific interests and career goals. In order to be admitted to this program, an applicant must be enrolled in the Honors College, have a minimum GPA of 3.6, and write a statement of purpose that is approved by the dean.
Once admitted, you'll create and submit a program of study approved by a faculty panel. Your program must satisfy the Carolina Core requirements, the BARSC general education requirements, and all requirements for graduation with honors from the South Carolina Honors College (these requirements have some overlap). You'll take at least 69 credits of honors course work, including a more extensive nine-hour senior thesis. Finally, you must have a 3.5 grade point average to graduate.
The BARSC degree requires focus and hard work, but many students have found that the
program is a great way to start studying what they love in depth without waiting for
Meet Some of Our BARSC Students
Harrison Bench, Environmental Policy
Harrison Bench is a junior BARSC student studying Environmental Policy. Bench knew he had a passion for environmental science, but he also wanted to study law and policy. He has participated in the South Carolina Washington Semester Program (WSP), where he gained knowledge about federal policymaking and constituent service. Bench plans to apply to law school as his next step, using the flexibility and uniqueness of BARSC to differentiate himself as an applicant.
"With BARSC, I had the opportunity to make my education what I wanted it to be. Pursuing this curriculum was the best way to combine my interests while still getting a general education and taking Honors courses to create a degree that was specific and tailored to me.”
Riley Sutherland, History and American Studies
Riley Sutherland is a senior BARSC student studying History and American Studies. Sutherland’s research focuses on women and the military during the American War of Independence and how their post-war lives were remembered. It’s a specific research area that Sutherland discovered with the help of her BARSC committee. While pursuing her BARSC degree, she will also be pursuing an accelerated master’s degree with the University of South Carolina’s history department.
“BARSC has given me the tools to consider my research – and any academic study – with more versatility. Each class has been a sort of magnifying glass that allows me to see my research in a new and exciting light.”