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College of Nursing

Academic Policies

There are differing levels of education in professional nursing including baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels. Each level of professional practice has unique knowledge with a shared core of knowledge that crosses all levels. Baccalaureate nursing education encourages the synthesis of knowledge and skills needed to begin professional nursing practice and to take on beginning leadership roles. The RN to BSN online degree program is designed for registered nurses who want to advance professionally and complete the BSN degree.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (BSN) Requirements

BSN Overview

The baccalaureate program, consisting of pre-nursing lower division and nursing upper division, provides students with essential knowledge and skills. Pre-nursing lower division courses provide a foundation in liberal arts, sciences, and nursing to develop basic skills in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. In the upper division, nursing courses combine didactic material with clinical practice to continue the preparation for the practice of professional nursing.  A detailed description of the courses required is found in the UofSC Undergraduate Studies Bulletin.  

  1. Provide evidence-based clinically competent care across the continuum of care.
  2. Demonstrate cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competency in providing nursing care to individuals, families, and groups within a diverse society.
  3. Make clinical judgments using reflection, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Use information and health care technologies for effective health care delivery.
  5. Exhibit personal professional behavior in all professional activities.
  6. Perform health promotion, risk reduction, and disease prevention care activities for individuals, groups and populations.
  7. Work effectively as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team.
  8. Assume leadership roles within the scope of professional practice.
  9. Perform the professional roles of care provider, coordinator of care, member of a profession, and life-long learner.

The Carolina Core provides the common core of knowledge, skill, and academic experience required for all Carolina undergraduate students. A student’s plan of study follows the bulletin under which they are admitted.

The baccalaureate curriculum provides for eight semesters of study in general education and professional nursing. Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor to guide planning throughout the program. Students should obtain guidance in the selection of courses as early as possible. 

Computer skills are required throughout the curriculum. Skills required for class assignments and clinical practice include: word processing, computerized assisted instruction, e-mail, Web access, Internet searches, database searches, computerized patient documentation, and computerized medical equipment.

The upper division focuses on clinical practice and requires full-time study. Clinical practice is supported by concurrent classroom study. Students practice in a variety of settings such as hospitals, extended-care facilities, nursing homes, clinics, schools, and other community agencies.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree requires a minimum of 120 hours. These credits are distributed between general education requirements and electives, and professional nursing requirements. All lower-division requirements must be completed before progressing to upper-division courses. Upper-division courses must be taken in sequence as outlined in the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Effective Fall 2020 and After:
Prerequisite BSN science courses cannot be older than 7 years as of starting upper division coursework.
Once a student has begun upper division coursework, they must complete the BSN degree within 5 years.
Every attempt at science couses within the last 7 years will be included in the progression GPA calculation.

The College of Nursing does not require a minor. A minor is a series of courses that display a distinct curricular pattern in one discipline that is different from the major. Undergraduate minors normally require a minimum of 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. Undergraduate minors appear on the transcripts, but not on the diplomas.

If time permits or if time is reserved by the student in the planning of their curriculum, a minor is possible. The 2020-2021 Academic Bulletin offers a List of Minors.

 A special provision to earn graduate credit is available for USC undergraduate seniors who have at least 90 semester hours, 3.000 Institutional, and nursing GPAs, and need less than a normal course load to complete the baccalaureate requirements. Under Senior Privilege, enrollment in graduate level coursework (500 or above) is subject to the approval of the graduate program director for the specified course. Courses for graduate credit under senior privilege cannot be used toward undergraduate degree requirements. Completion of graduate courses under senior privilege does not guarantee admission to graduate school. Students need to consult with their advisor for appropriate enrollment forms.
 The last 25% of a student's degree must be completed in residence (meaning through USC Columbia coursework or other UofSC campus), and at least half of the hours in the student's major and minor courses (if applicable) must be taken at the University, i.e. 122 credits = 31 hours. Advanced placement exam credits or transfer credits do not meet this requirement. Students must meet these requirements to be eligible for BSN graduation.

Progression through the BSN curriculum does not guarantee eligibility to sit for the NCLEX- RN. If you have ever been convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations) that involved paying a fine, forfeiting a bond, a suspended sentence, or receiving a pardon, you must notify the State Board of Nursing. Failure to report a past conviction is grounds for disciplinary action. NCLEX-RN applicants who have past criminal convictions must undergo Disciplinary Review by the State Board of Nursing prior to taking the NCLEX-RN. Contact the State Board of Nursing in the state where licensure is being sought for current, specific policies and procedures applicable to your situation.

Professional licensure is required to practice nursing as a Registered Nurse (RN). The RN licensure examination, called the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and known generally as the "State Board Exam," is administered via computer at many conveniently located test centers across the United States and its territories.

During their last semester, seniors receive information about applying for the NCLEX-RN. For SC Board of Nursing, call 803-896-4550 or visit here. Student who wish to obtain licensure outside South Carolina must contact the board responsible for licensure of RNs in that state.  Visit other Board of Nursing here

The Dean of the College of Nursing will complete a certificate of endorsement for all graduating seniors and forward these to the South Carolina State Board of Nursing after graduation. If a letter of endorsement is required for any state, other than South Carolina, a written request must be made to the Executive Director of Student Affairs. Students are encouraged to seek out pertinent information early in their senior year in order to meet required deadlines.

When the State Board of Nursing for South Carolina determines eligibility of applicants (usually within 30 days of graduation), an Authorization to Test form will be sent to applicants. Applicants schedule an appointment for the test and must bring the Authorization to Test form and acceptable forms of identification to the NCLEX administration.

Progression Requirements 

All students in the lower division in the baccalaureate program are subject to the following regulations:

  • Students must maintain a minimum 3.00 life GPA and institutional GPA in order to maintain good standing in the nursing program. Grades are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 3.00 life and/or institutional GPA are placed on probation within the college for one major semester or 12 credit hours but may continue to take all required courses. If at the end of the probationary semester their life and/or institutional GPA is still less than a 3.00, students must change their major before the next semester and will not be advised by the College of Nursing. Students must contact the University Advising Center.
  • All incomplete grades posted on the transcript must be removed before progression into the upper division can be considered.
  • Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all required courses in the nursing program. Only one below C grade is allowed in a required science or nursing (NURS) course to remain eligible for the nursing major. Any science course that needs to be repeated must be taken within the UofSC System. All nursing courses that need to be repeated must be taken at UofSC Columbia the next time it is offered.
  • In order to progress to sophomore-level coursework and enroll in BIOL 250, BIOL 250L, NURS 212 and NURS 216 students must successfully complete designated courses with a 3.0 average to include all attempts. Designated courses include: ENGL 101, ENGL 102, PSYC 101 or SOCY 101, PSYC 420, CHEM 102, BIOL 243, BIOL 243L, BIOL 244, BIOL 244L, and STAT 112 (or Nursing approved competency equivalents).

 All students in the upper division in the baccalaureate program are subject to the following regulations:

  • A minimum grade of C is required in each nursing course.
  • Only one upper-division nursing course may be repeated once to earn a grade of C or better to remain eligible for the nursing major.
  • All students must maintain a minimum 3.00 institutional GPA in order to maintain good standing in the nursing program. Grades are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 3.00 institutional GPA in all coursework are placed on probation within the college for one semester but may continue to take all required courses. If at the end of the probationary semester their institutional GPA is still less than 3.00, students are administratively removed from the nursing major.
  • All students must achieve satisfactory performance on selected comprehensive achievement tests to progress through the upper division.

Smart Start Nursing Honors students should see previous section for progression requirements.

Progression into upper-division nursing for pre-licensure students occurs in the summer and fall semesters; students who wish to apply to upper-division nursing must submit a completed College of Nursing Progression Application no later than Nov. 1 for the following summer or fall semester in which registration is desired. 

Progression is competitive, based on progression GPA, and limited to a set number of qualified students based on available clinical placement sites. Factors considered in the progression decision include:          

  1. a minimum life and institutional grade point average of 3.00 or better
  2. a grade of C or better in all required courses in the nursing program
  3. progression GPA which includes grades on all attempts of designated courses (ENGL 101, ENGL 102, PSYC 101 or SOCY 101, PSYC 420, CHEM 102, BIOL 243, BIOL 243L, BIOL 244, BIOL 244L, STAT 112 (or Nursing approved competency equivalents), BIOL 250, BIOL 250L, NURS 212, and NURS 216 (or Nursing approved competency equivalents).
  4. Competencies Interview and/or essay evaluation. Competencies will revolve around the stated values of the CON: Caring, Commitment, Diversity, Inclusivity, Integrity, Professionalism and Respect.  
    Note: all applicants will complete the same evaluation metrics.

Students must have a completed application on file, provide evidence of successful completion of remaining lower-division course work, be admitted to the upper division, have completed all required clinical healthcare information, and confirmed acceptance of their seat prior to registering for their first upper division nursing courses (300 level). Each student must be prepared for a Summer start. The College will make the ultimate decision related to the semester that a student will begin upper division to achieve the optimal balance of GPA and cultural diversity in each group. All students moving into upper division should consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships to determine financial aid and scholarship awards as a summer or fall starter. Student will have the ability to provide documentation of any unique limitation, other than financial aid and scholarship concerns, that may affect your ability to start the summer semester to the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies (Room 208) by published deadline. Students placed in the summer start cohort will NOT be moved for financial aid purposes. Placements will not be changes once a student has been placed in a cohort. 

 Students who are not accepted to the upper division should talk with their advisor regarding the feasibility of reapplication. If the student chooses to reapply to the upper division, the student must submit a new application for the next admission cycle and must compete with a new applicant group. 

A completed Parallel Plan must be on file with your nursing advisor as part of the Progression Application.  

RN-BSN Overview

 This innovative RN to BSN online degree program is designed for registered nurses who want to advance professionally. This comprehensive, interdisciplinary program offers 100% online didactic coursework which will prepare and empower you for the future of health care. The didactic and practicum experiences within the program will enhance your leadership skills, professional knowledge and marketability. Students must apply directly to the RN-BSN program for admission to the university. Admission is competitive, based on life GPA, RN licensure, and degree completion from an ACEN accredited institution. 

There are three admission options for the RN-BSN program; August, January, and May. Courses are offered in a 7-week online/accelerated format. 

  1. Provide evidence-based clinically competent care across the continuum of care.
  2. Demonstrate cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competency in providing nursing care to individuals, families, and groups within a diverse society.
  3. Make clinical judgments using reflection, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Use information and health care technologies for effective health care delivery.
  5. Exhibit personal professional behavior in all professional activities.
  6. Perform health promotion, risk reduction, and disease prevention care activities for individuals, groups and populations.
  7. Work effectively as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team.
  8. Assume leadership roles within the scope of professional practice.
  9. Perform the professional roles of care provider, coordinator of care, member of a profession, and life-long learner.

The Carolina Core provides the common core of knowledge, skill, and academic experience required for all Carolina undergraduate students. A student’s plan of study follows the bulletin under which they are admitted.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (RN-BSN Completion) requires a minimum of 120 hours. These credits are distributed between general education requirements, electives, and professional nursing requirements. Lower Division pre-requisite course requirements can be completed before progressing to upper division RN-BSN courses. 

All students in the RN-BSN program are subject to the following regulations:

  • Only one upper-division nursing course may be repeated once to earn a grade of C or better to remain eligible for the nursing major.
  • A minimum grade of C is required in all other nursing courses.
  • All students must maintain a minimum 3.00 institutional GPA in order to maintain good standing in the nursing program. Grades are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 3.00 institutional GPA are placed on probation within the college for one semester but may continue to take all required courses. If at the end of the probationary semester their institutional GPA is still less than 3.00, students are administratively removed from the RN-BSN program.

Students are required to attend a face-to-face clinical capstone experience at an approved clinical site in their local community or Columbia, SC.

Effective Fall 2020 and After:
Prerequisite BSN science courses cannot be older than 7 years as of starting upper division coursework.
Once a student has begun upper division coursework, they must complete the BSN degree within 5 years.
Every attempt at science couses within the last 7 years will be included in the progression GPA calculation.

In the event that a student in a post-license program becomes no longer licensed as a registered professional nurse by any license granting authority, they no longer meet the admission criteria of the program and are therefore no longer eligible to progress.

  • The student will need to notify the program director immediately of the change in their licensure status. 
  • An academic record hold will be placed on the student’s records. The hold may be released upon becoming licensed.

After admission to the RN-BSN program and completion of all BSN degree requirements: Students awarded an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from an accredited (ACEN, formerly NLNAC) program or Students with a Diploma in Nursing from an accredited (ACEN, formerly NLNAC) program will be awarded up to 38 credits towards meeting educational competenices for their degree (RN Licensure). Number of credits awarded will be determined after careful review of the student transcript and program of study requirements (RN Licensure). Additional coursework may be needed to satisfy outstanding credits not met by ADN or Diploma degree. Education competency credits are held and will be awarded upon successful complettion of all BSN degree requirements.

The last 25% of a student's degree must be completed in residence (meaning through USC Columbia coursework or other UofSC campus), and at least half of the hours in the student's major and minor courses (if applicable) must be taken at the University, i.e. 122 credits = 31 hours. Advanced placement exam credits or transfer credits do not meet this requirement. Students must meet these requirements to be eligible for BSN graduation.

Academic Standing

A student in good standing is defined as a student who: 

  • Maintains the proper GPA
  • Maintains the proper course load (without incompletes)
  • Is not on academic probation
  • Does not have two consecutive semesters of non-enrollment
  • Is on an approved leave of absence
  • Is not on financial hold nor carrying past due balances
  • Has completed the immunizations, background check, and drug screening processes with no identified problems 

A student must maintain an institutional grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 to remain in good academic standing to graduate from the College of Nursing and the University. 

Each semester academic achievement is recognized by the USC President's Honor List (GPA of 4.000 earned on a minimum of 12 credited semester hours) or the Dean's List (GPA of 3.500 or higher). Alpha Xi is the College's Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Upper division nursing students who achieve academic excellence in the nursing program are considered for membership by invitation

Pre-Nursing Lower Division (LD)

Admission into the Pre-Nursing Lower Division does not guarantee admission into Nursing Upper Division. All students in the Pre-Nursing Lower Division are subject to the following regulations:

 LD Progression with Course of Study:

  • Students must earn a “C” or better in ALL courses that are to be used towards BSN degree requirements
  • Students must maintain an INSTITUTIONAL grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale)
  • All incomplete grades posted on the transcript must be removed before progression into the upper division can be considered.
  • No more than one failing grade (D+, D, or F) in a nursing or required science course in Pre-Nursing Lower Division
    • After earning a below C in a required science course a student is required to retake the course the next time it is offered at USC- Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Union or Sumter.
    • After earning a below C in a nursing course a student is required to retake the course the next time it is offered at USC- Columbia
  • f a student earns a second below C grade in a nursing or required science course, they are no longer eligible for the nursing program. If staying at USC, they must change their major
  • A student may have no more than two attempts at a NURS course. This includes W, WF, and A through F grading.

Nursing Upper Division (UD)

 UD Progression with Course of Study:

  • Students must earn a “C” or better in ALL courses that are to be used towards BSN degree requirements
  • Students must maintain an INSTITUTIONAL grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale)
  • All incomplete grades posted on the transcript must be removed before approval for graduation can be completed.
  • No more than one failing grade (D+, D, or F) in a nursing course in Upper Division
    • After earning a below C in a nursing course a student is required to retake the course the next time it is offered at USC- Columbia
  • If a student earns a second below C grade in a nursing course in Upper Division, they are no longer eligible for the nursing program. If staying at USC, they must change their major
    A student may have no more than two attempts at a NURS course. This includes W, WF, and A through F grading.

All health requirements to include background checks and drug screeings must be compliant by the established deadlines or a registration hold for enrollment will be issued. In addition, student who fail to meet the established deadline will be required to meet with the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies for a STAR Counseling Form.

A student will be placed on probation if they 

  • Has an institutional GPA of less than 3.000 at the end of any semester. Student is allowed one major semester (fall/spring) or 12 credit hours to raise the institutional GPA to at least 3.000 but may continue to take all required courses.
  • Has one below C grade in a required science or nursing (NURS) course
  • See CON Undergraduate Pass/Fail Spring 2020 policy (Full-Term and B Term Courses Only). 

A student will be dismissed from the College of Nursing if they: 

  • Receive two grades of D+, D, or F or lower in a nursing or required science course.
  • Fail a required undergraduate course twice or withdrawing from the course on the first attempt and failing the course on the second attempt or vice versa.  A student may only attempt a specific undergraduate course twice in the undergraduate program.  An attempt is any grade, W or WF received in a course.  
  • Have a institutional GPA of less than 3.0 at end of of academic probation.
  • Have a institutional GPA of less than 3.0 at end of major semester of probation dating from the semester in which the Incomplete conversion grade is received by the Registrar.
  • Have a positive drug screening.
  • Are banned from a clinical agency because of unprofessional, unethical, or illegal behavior.  
  • Have a professional (RN) licensure suspension or revocation. 
  • A student in a post-license program who becomes no longer licensed or has any form of restriction/probation as a registered professional nurse by any license granting authority, no longer meet the admission criteria of the program and are no longer eligible to progress. The student will need to notify the program director immediately of the change in their licensure status.  An academic record hold will be placed on the student’s records. The hold may be released upon becoming licensed or restriction/probation removed. 
  • See CON Undergraduate Pass/Fail Spring 2020 policy (Full-Term and B Term Courses Only)

Suspension from the College of Nursing and suspension from the University are two different academic regulations (See Undergraduate Bulletin, Academic Standards Policies

Appeals for reinstatement from students should be reviewed first by the Executive Director of Student Affairs. If the appeal is approved, then the Student Petitions Committee must forward it to the Dean of the Graduate School for action. (see Student Petitions .

The Academic Forgiveness Policy is outlined in the Undergraduate Student Bulletin in the Academic Regulations section.

Online Courses

Online nursing courses in the undergraduate programs are delivered through Blackboard Course Management System which allows UofSC faculty to create a secure course web site for class communications, posting assignments, posting readings, linking to complementary web sites, administering exams, and much more.  In courses that use Blackboard, the course syllabus will provide basic information about accessing Blackboard.  Additional information about Blackboard is available at Getting Assistance.  

Students access online courses at Blackboard Access.  Courses offered in this format are constructed and conducted differently than traditional classroom courses. Below are some suggestions on how to be successful in online courses:

  • Become familiar with Blackboard (Bb), the course software
  • Learn how to access Bb using Multifactor authentication
  • Read the “How to…” guides that are found in each course. They are well worth your time
  • Participate actively in the course  

Academic Advising

All undergraduate nursing students are advised by academic advisors in the Office of Academic Affairs.  Students must be advised for courses each semester and will not be allowed to register until advisement has occurred.  Advisors are the principal source of assistance to students in planning an academic program, seeking advice and dealing with problems as they arise. However, it is the responsibility of the student to maintain contact with the advisor. Faculty and staff will make every effort to help students but cannot be expected to be responsible for problems not brought to their attention in a timely manner. 

Enrollment in clinical and other special courses is contingent upon a student fulfilling additional requirements by stated deadlines (i.e., prerequisites, immunization and other health requirements, health agency requirements).  

Course Registration

Registering for courses is an important task that all students must complete throughout their time at UofSC.  New and transfer undergraduate Nursing students may not register for nursing courses until they have been admitted to the program, been advised and completed orientation. Access our registration system at Self Service Carolina (SSC).

The University Registrar establishes the official calendars followed by the University of South Carolina system. Access the full current and upcoming semester academic calendars to find key dates and information including holidays, registration dates, payment deadlines, drop or add dates, as well as exams and commencement for each term.  Each part of term has specific drop, add, and refund dates. Review your schedule in SSC / to determine the part of term for your classes.

Step 1: Make note of the courses you are projected to take in the next term. Check your advisement form or DegreeWorks Schedule Planner. If you have questions about the courses you are scheduled to take, contact your academic advisor.

 Step 2: Check your Registration Time Ticket in SSC - see “Registration” then “Registration Notices and Holds”. Make a note of the date/time and set a reminder in your calendar. 

 What is a Registration Time Ticket? It is the time the Registrar's office has appointed a student to begin registration for the next term.

 Step 3: Check your student account for holds.  See "Registration" then "Registration Notices and Holds."  What should you do if you have a hold on your account in SSC?  Contact the office that placed the hold on your account and determine what needs to be done to have the hold removed.  Ensure your hold is removed before the time on your Registration Time Ticket.

 What is an Advisement Hold? Advisement holds are placed on student records by the College of Nursing to ensure students complete all CastleBranch requirements and that the requirements are up to date.  Advisement holds prevent registration.  Advisement holds will be removed by staff as CastleBranch compliance is confirmed.

 Step 4: Upper division and RN-BSN students in NURS 434:  Confirm your CastleBranch account is up to date - Sign in to your CastleBranch account and view your "To Do List" - take care of any overdue items before the time on your Registration Time Ticket.

 Step 5: Register for the classes listed on your advisement form or DegreeWorks Schedule Planner at your designated registration time (See Step 2 above to determine your designated time).

 Need help with the Registration Processes in SSC?  See the SSC tutorials.

  • Registration for a clinical nursing course is limited to students admitted to upper division in the College of Nursing and who have a compliant CastleBranch account. 
  • Students will not be allowed to register for courses that the prerequisites are not met. 

The University of South Carolina Registrar’s web page SSC  enables students to register via the internet and access their personal information such as grades, financial aid, fees, and class schedule.  The most up to date information is posted online.

Students can use SSC to add, drop, or change a course or section.  Any change in enrollment must be recorded with the Registrar’s Office.  Students may check the Academic Calendar online for the last day to drop a course without a grade of “W” being recorded and for the last day to drop a course or withdraw without a grade of “WF” being recorded.  Please note a “W” does constitute an attempt of a course. Failure to complete the official course withdrawal process has serious implications for calculation of the final course grade and calculation of grade point averages.  Students should discuss any potential changes with their program director and assigned student graduate advisor prior to making the changes.

For a refund schedule, please see the Tuition Refund section below for more information. Please note that should a student fail to attend classes in a course for which they are registered, they may not be automatically dropped from the course. Students who fail to drop a course they are not taking, but are still registered for, within the drop/add period may receive a grade of FN in that course.

Each part of term has specific drop, add, and refund dates. Review your schedule in SSC to determine the part of term for your classes.

Withdrawal deadlines should not be used in determining how to receive a 100% refund on tuition. For more details, please review the withdrawal information provided byThe University Registrar view the Parts of Term Dates and Deadlines located in the Academics section of SSC.

If you are withdrawing from all courses during a given semester, contact regapeal@mailbox.sc.edu to obtain the Tuition Refund Appeal packet.

There are typically three sessions offered each summer.  Accelereated courses are typically scheduled to begin after spring final exams and run through July.  Non-clinocal courses are typically scheduled to begin after spring final exams and run through the first of August.  Clinical courses are typically scheduled to begin after spring final exams and run through mid-Augst.  Registration for summer and fall courses occurs simultaneously during the Advance Registration period in the spring semester.  Unlike fall and spring registration, summer registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Most assigned textbooks are available in the University Bookstore.  The University Bookstore is located on the first floor of the Russell House.  Several other bookstores such as the South Carolina Bookstore and Addams University Bookstore, located near campus, also sell required textbook and academic supplies.   

At the end of each course, students evaluate the course and its instructor. The results of these evaluations are maintained by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Enrollment Status and Load

Undergraduate students who are enrolled in 12 semester hours or more for the fall, spring, or summer semester are considered full-time 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, spring or summer semesters 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.

Full-time fees for undergraduate students are calculated on 12 to 16 semester hours.

Full-time benefits for veterans are determined by the Office of Veterans and Military Services https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/veterans_and_military_services/index.ph p.

 UofSC will provide enrollment verification or a transcript to fulfill a verification request. Currently enrolled students can obtain a verification of enrollment through the National Student Clearinghouse at no charge through their Self Service Carolina account.

UofSC will also provide a student with an official transcript for a fee. An official transcript is a complete record of a student’s enrollment history, including all University of South Carolina campuses and can be used to verify credit hours completed by a student. A transcript can be used to verify a student’s degree awarded, enrollment history, GPA, good standing, or eligibility to return to UofSC.

Students accepted to and/or enrolled in Upper Division who wish to withdraw from the University and anticipate returning should contact the Executive Director of Student Affairs. A space is not guaranteed if the student decides to return to complete the program of study. An Upper Division student not enrolled for two consecutive semesters in clinical courses must demonstrate clinical competency before progressing. To begin the process, contact the Executive Director of Student Affairs at the College of Nursing. 

A student may attempt a specific NURS course twice in the undergraduate program.  A student may attempt a required science course twice in lower division. An attempt is any grade, W, or WF received in a course.   
  • Degree Verification
  • Enrollment Verification for Current Students
  • Enrollment Verification for Current Students for Past Academic Terms
  • Enrollment Verification for Alumni for Past Academic Terms
  • Enrollment Verifications for Third Parties
  • Academic Good Standing/Eligible to Return to UofSC
  • Good Standing Auto Insurance
  • Insurance Forms
  • Loan Deferements 

Students must complete a request for approval form to take more than 18 hours in any semester and more than 7 hours in any summer session. The student must schedule and meet with the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies for approval.

 Students accepted to and/or enrolled in Upper Division who wish to withdraw from the University and anticipate returning should contact the Executive Director of Student Affairs. A space is not guaranteed if the student decides to return to complete the program of study.

An Upper Division student not enrolled for two consecutive semesters in clinical courses must demonstrate clinical competency before progressing. To begin the process, contact the Executive Director of Student Affairs at the College of Nursing. 

Students can drop a course or withdraw with a grade of W or WF via SSC.  Deadlines for dropping a course without receiving a W and WF, as well as refund dates, are determined by the part of term to which a course is attached.  Every part of term during a semester has a drop/add deadline.

Withdrawals are defined by the time in the semester you wish to withdraw. There are both academic and financial implications associated with the date you drop your course(s).   Should you wish to withdraw from a course with a grade of W or WF, a grade of W or WF will be recorded on your transcript. A grade of W will not be calculated in your GPA, but will be recorded on your permanent record.  Courses dropped after the WF deadline will be recorded as a WF on your permanent record. The grade of WF is treated as an F in the calculation of your GPA. The WF deadline will vary based on the part of term for your class found in SSC. Prior to withdrawing, you should consult with your academic advisor.  You are also encouraged to view your Concise Student Schedule located on the Registration tab of the Student section found in SSC to identify your part of term, speak with a counselor at the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for questions regarding how dropping some or all your courses will impact your aid (e.g. federal and private loans, grants, scholarships, special status, etc.).

If a mental health, medical, or personal crisis prevented academic success during a past semester or the Withdrawal Fail (WF) period of a current semester, students may be interested in petitioning for a hardship withdrawal.. Students must be aware that liability for repayment of student loans and other financial obligations may apply. 

For information about tuition refunds, please contact the Bursar’s Office.

  • A maximum of 76 semester hours may be transferred from a two-year junior or technical college. Note: Nursing courses are not accepted.
  • A maximum of 76 semester hours may be transferred from a two-year junior or technical college. Note: Nursing courses are not accepted.
  • A maximum of 18 semester hours may be taken as a transient student once enrolled at USC. A student must have a minimum 2.000 GPA to take transient coursework.
  • The last 25% of a student’s degree 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.

Students enrolled at UofSC who wish to take general education courses at another institution must discuss their options with their advisor. Students taking transient work must complete a Special Enrollment Request Form with their advisor before enrolling in the course. Students must provide a detailed description of the course they wish to take in order to determine its equivalency. Transcripts must be sent from the transient institution to USC immediately after completion of the course. Probation requirements will apply to any transient course work.

The purpose of an independent study is to allow the student to pursue an area of academic interest not adequately covered by the regular course structure. Students seeking to enroll in an independent study course should work with a faculty member willing to serve as Instructor of Record. Prior to enrolling in the course, the student and faculty member will meet to develop the learning objectives and course outcomes. 

The Undergraduate Independent Study Contract (AS-6U) is required for any graded, for-credit course in which the student is doing independent academic work. This contract is to contain the following information:

  • Course Topic
  • Course Summary should give insight into the content to be covered within one semester or part of the semester
  •  Course Objectives
  • Textbooks, Reading, or Other Resources to be Used
  • Method of Evaluation

 This form must be approved by course faculty and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. See additional required approval below. Students send an approved copy of the G-ISC to the Office of the University Registrar before registering for the course.

Attendance Policies 

The College of Nursing adheres to the University's attendance policy for classroom didactic instruction:  “Absence from more than 15 percent of the scheduled hours that a class meets for instructional purposes is excessive, and the instructor may choose to exact a grade penalty for absences beyond this threshold.  Faculty members are not required to track students who miss only part of a class session; tardy arrival to (or early departure from) a class meeting may be counted as absence for the entire class duration.”  (UofSC Undergraduate Bulletin, College of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook)

Students are expected to log into the course at least 2 times weekly to read announcements, access course content in Course Weekly Guides, participate in interactive online learning activities. Unsatisfactory class attendance may be considered adequate reason by the instructor for requesting the student to withdraw from the course.

On-site Simulation Experience is mandatory. Failure to attend the On-Site Simulation Experience will receive a grade of F for the course, regardless of grades earned, and will be dismissed from the program.

Skills Immersion Experience is mandatory. Failure to attend the Skills Immersion Experience or any portion of, will receive a grade of F for the course, regardless of grades earned, and will be dismissed from the program.

Students are expected to complete all scheduled clinical practice hours as required for successful completion of the course.  Schedules are planned with the preceptor with input from the course faculty and clinical faculty.  Faculty may require withdrawal or failure of any student who has missed sufficient practice hours or has not completed clinical objectives for the course. All clinical time must be made up.

The professional registered nurse is encouraged to remain engaged in professional organizations throughout their career. With this in mind, the College of Nursing is in support of student attending professional meetings. However, students cannot sacrifice valuable learning experiences such as clinical experience, simulation activities and class meetings to attend them.

The College of Nursing makes every effort to allow for such events. However, it is not possible to allow for all of them. In the event of a schedule conflict, resolution must be negotiated with the course faculty and or Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Permissions must be obtained prior to making any travel or registration arrangements. In general, students must be in excellent clinical and academic standing to be permitted to participate in the professional event. Missed exams will be offered in an alternated format and will need to be completed within a 48 hours period of return. No early examinations will be offered. Students will not be exempted from course requirements because they are attending a conference.

Students attending certain events sponsored by the College of Nursing must sign a Statement of Responsibility/Waiver of Liability form. 

Grading Policies

  • Grades are determined by quality of work, performance on course assignments, examinaiton grades, and class attendance. 
  • If a student takes a test booklet, a zero (0) will be received on the test and a performance evaluation will be completed and placed in the student's permanent record
  • Clinical performance is pass/fail.
  • Student grade report is viewable within SSC in the Grades section.  Final grades are due 72 hours after the exams.  If your grade is not posted, contact your instructor.  For letter grade definitions, see 2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin, Grading Policies

A   = 92-100
B+ =90-91
B   = 83-89 
C+ = 81-82
C   = 75-80
D+ =73-74 
D   = 70-72
F   = 69 or lower 
The Grade Point Average (GPA) is tabulated at the end of each semester.  The University of South Carolina grades on a standard 4.0 grading system.  

  • All grades will be recorded to the hundredth (two decimal points).
  • Individual grades are not rounded.
  • No extra credit or curve grades will be given for NURS courses.
  • The final grade will be rounded according to the following rubric:
    • .01 to .50 rounds down to the nearest whole number, for example, 79.50 equals 79. 
    • .51 to .99 rounds up to the nearest whole number, for example, 79.51 equals 80.

The role of the Assistant Dean for Undergradaute Studies in matters of grade disagreement is to investigate the processes used by faculty in determining the grade and advise the faculty member in handling any perceived problems with applying grading processes outlined in the syllabus or any other apparent violations of fairness. The faculty member ultimately determines the grade that is awarded.

If a required course is failed, it must be repeated at the next available offering and a satisfactory grade must be achieved. The repeated course may not be taken with the Pass/Fail Option. Any courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite may not be taken until a satisfactory grade in the prerequisite course has been achieved. However, the failing grade remains on the transcript even though the student has repeated the course and obtained a passing grade or above. The failing grade is still calculated into the cumulative GPA. 

Failure to earn a satisfactory evaluation in the clinical component inclusive of the faculty evaluation will result in a course failure regardless of other grades earned in the course. Clinical failure may occur at any time during the semester. Students will receive an “D+”, "D" or F” in a clinical course if they fail to meet objectives or if they are removed from the clinical setting for unsafe practice or unprofessional activities at any point during the course. Violation(s) of the Nurse Practice Act will be reported to the Board of Nursing. 

Failure to achieve a C or greater will result in repeating the entire course including clinical hours. A student who is failing a clinical course for unsafe practice may not withdraw from the course. In the event of a failure for unsafe clinical practice, the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies will define the conditions under which the student may repeat the course.

Grade forgiveness is not recognized by the College of Nursing. All grades on all course attempts will be utilized for admission, probation, and progression. Refer to the University’s Grading Policies for details on Course Grade Forgiveness.

Incomplete Policy

A student who fails to complete a course within the prescribed period and does not withdraw from the course will receive, at the instructor's discretion, either a grade of I (incomplete) or F (failure).  If an I grade is granted but not completed in the time period outlined the grade will revert to a F or faculty determined grade. 

A grade of incomplete in a non-clinical course is assigned by the instructor only under the following conditions: 

  1. The student has academic good standing in the course with a passing grade average.
  2. The student has no more than two outstanding course requirements unmet in the course.
  3. The student and instructor have completed an Assignment of Incomplete Grade Form (AS-5).
  4. The student and instructor have an agreed date of submission for all outstanding course requirements. The student has up to 12 months to complete the work unless the instructor has given an earlier deadline.  

Any grade of incomplete which remains after one calendar year from date of assignment automatically converts to either an “F” or the backup grade assigned by the instructor.

Standardized Assessment Tests

The College of Nursing uses standardized computer tests as one of several methods to evaluate student readiness to progress in certain courses, particularly the clinical courses in upper division. Methods of evaluation in all nursing courses are outlined in the specific course syllabus. Included in the testing package are additional study resources such as website practice tests, remediation lesson plans, and an end of program NCLEX Review Course. The student pays for standardized testing through fees each semester of upper division.

 All standardized computer testing is conducted in the College of Nursing for traditional students and those with disabilities accommodation. Students with disabilities accommodation will be provided their full accommodation during these exams.

Examination Policies 

  1. No examination materials (including scratch paper) are to leave the room under any circumstances during the actual examination period or during an examination review.
  2. All exams must be completed by the due date/time. Failure to complete any exam by the due date/time will result in a grade of 0 for that assignment. In case of emergencies and/or extenuating circumstances, please notify the faculty in advance.
  3. Point deductions will be incurred for failure to complete the exams in the designated time frame. If you exceed the time limits for the exams, 2 points per minute will be subtracted from the grade.
  4. Discussion or reproduction of any online assessment (e.g. exams or quizzes) in any form is a violation of academic integrity and, if it happens, will be reported.
  5. Book bags are to be placed at the front or side of the classroom away from all students for the duration of the exam.
  6. Cell phones, PDA, IPODS, Computers iPad, watches or any time keeping devices, or similar electronic devices with or without internet connections are to be turned off and stored in book bag during examination or examination review and until exiting the room.
  7. Calculators (when authorized) must not be capable of storing equations, graphs, charts, etc. Only non-programmable calculators are allowed-no cell phones, PDA, or similar devices are to be used as calculators during exams.
  8. Hats are not to be worn during examinations.
  • Dry erase board (9 x 14 or smaller)
  • Dry erase marker
  • Dry erase board eraser for all exams.

Scratch paper will not be distributed for testing purposes.

There are 3 options for taking proctored exams: 

  • Attend test proctored sessions in person at the Distributed Learning office on the U of SC Columbia campus, at 1716 College Street.  No fee.  
  • Attend test proctored sessions at testing centers on U of SC regional campuses.  No fee, Use this link to see the list of U of SC testing centers.
  • Test at a location of choice (anywhere) using online test proctoring through ProctorU.  This option comes with a fee of $10 for taking a 2-hour exam. You will need to pay this fee each time you take an exam.

The College of Nursing Final exam schedule is prepared by the Office of Academic Affairs and dates and times are communicated by Course Coordinators. No final examination may be held outside of the published final examination dates and times without authorization from the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. In any course which meets once a week, no quiz, test or examination may be given during the last class meeting prior to the regular final examination period (see USC Undergraduate Bulletin under Academic Regulations and Examination Policies. ATI exams are considered part of the final assessments for the course and can be scheduled during the final exam period. 

Graduating seniors are exempt from this policy.  Final exams for graduating seniors are given during the last week of class to facilitate the NCLEX review course. 

 

 

Degree Completion and Graduation

The graduation application is the first step you will need to take in order to graduate from your academic program. To be eligible for graduation a student must meet all University and College of Nursing standards for receiving a degree.  Candidates for degrees must file a formal application during the last semester before graduation prior to the deadline set by the Registrar’s Office.  Deadlines are posted for each term on the official academic calendar of the University Registrar.  Applications filed after the deadline result will not be accepted and will delay receipt of diploma.  At the time of graduation, the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be at least 3.000.  

Review the application and award processes on the  Registrar's website to better understand what happens once you submit your application.

All degree requirements are expected to be completed within a four-year or less period after admission to BSN degree.  Candidates who are unable to meet this requirement must petition for an extension to the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Any additional requirements in effect at the time of re-evaluation must be completed.

All failing (“F”) and Incomplete grades must be cleared or completed by graduation day or the student’s name will be removed from the graduation list. A cumulative GPA of 3.000 is required. All University balances must be paid in full.  At the time of graduation, the student’s institutional grade point average (GPA) must be at least 3.000. 

Commencement exercises are held for degree candidates in both Fall and Spring each year. The President of the University of South Carolina presides over commencement. To honor their commitment, each degree candidate is recognized by name and congratulated by the dean of the graduate’s college or school.  Visit the Registrar's website for additional information regarding commencement.

In addition, the College of Nursing celebrates the accomplishments of the graduating class with a special Convocation ceremony in both fall and Spring each year. 

Graduation with Honors will be based on a student’s Total Institutional GPA. Honors designators are determined at the time of graduation and may not be applied retroactively.

 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.

 Levels of Honor

The following designations indicate a consistently high level of academic achievement at USC.

 Baccalaureate Degree Designations

  • Summa Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.95-4.00
  • Magna Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.949
  • Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.50-3.749

 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 appropriate requirements will be awarded graduation “With Distinction in [that major].” Fordetails, refer to the degree requirements of specific majors in the Undergraduate Academic Bulletin.

Students with outstanding University balances, incompletes, “NR” or uncleared “F” grades at the time of graduation will not be able to obtain their diplomas nor will they be able to obtain any official transcripts or other University information until the balances are paid in full.

Have a question about your degree or diploma? Review frequently asked questions to find answers  at  https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/graduation/degree_diploma_faq/index.php

Students are encouraged to nominate themselves or others for the College of Nursing Student Awards.  More information about the nomination process will be disseminated to students during the academic year.

Alumni

Upon graduation, students of the College become alumni of the University of South Carolina.  The College's alumni family is a major support system for the College and alumni donors help to support several scholarships annually.  Alumni are electronically sent copies of USC College of Nursing Gamecock CONnection and invited to attend annual alumni events and celebrations.  All graduates are encouraged to notify th alumni office or the My Carolina Alumni Association of addrss changes.  Contact us at sc.edu/nursing/alumni.  


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