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New Graduate Student Information

Welcome to the College of Nursing! You have chosen to grow and learn with the best, and we are excited to help you.

We believe every student wants to be successful, but circumstances can sometimes make achieving success difficult. Below are tips to help your time at USC be productive and positive.

  • Use (and check) your USC email account frequently (at least once daily). Communications from the Bursar, Registrar, and your graduate advisor will be sent to your USC email account. Do not miss an important message (like applying to graduate school) because you did not check your email. Do not forward this account to another account. Emails often go to your junk or spam folder if they are forwarded.
  • Communicate often and clearly. We love to talk with students on the phone, but we have found that email communications allow us the ability to clearly communicate whether it is a policy being discussed or next steps that are required in a process.
  • Ask questions of your graduate program director and graduate advisor if you are unsure of next steps, have difficulty in your program, or think you need to take a break from courses. We want you to be successful and earn the degree of your choosing, and we know that success looks different for everyone.

The university's academic calendar is online. Important dates such as start dates, holidays, and scheduled breaks can be found here. There are also instructions for applying to graduate school which includes important deadlines.

Parts of Term

Each semester has several parts of term. Each part of term has different start and end dates, as well as different deadline dates. Please check your detailed schedule in Self Service Carolina to make note of the Part of Term for each of your scheduled classes.

Circumstances may require you to withdraw or not enroll in a Fall or Spring semester (summer attendance is required in most programs). If your program requires summer enrollment to stay on track for faster program completion, not enrolling in a summer term may affect your graduation date. Typically, taking a break in study does affect your planned graduation date.

We know that unplanned events happen and can assist you by providing options when a major life event creates a need for you to take a break for a semester or withdraw from classes. Contact your program advisor if you need to investigate taking a break in study.

Getting ready for classes is easy if you follow the New Student Checklist.

The new graduate student checklist below is divided into two sections. On the left is a list of items you must complete before registration, and on the right is a list of items you must complete before the first day of class.



Pre-1st Day of Class                              

A) Claim IDs and Set Up Passwords

A) Register for Classes

Set up your new student USC account. Your VIP ID is required.

  1. Check Registration Status - Access your Student Profile in Self Service Carolina to review your Registration Notices including your time ticket and academic standing.
  2. Once your time ticket begins, log in to Self Service Carolina.
  3. Choose Student tab, then the Registration tile.
  4. Next enter the term and then select 'search classes.'
  5. Click the Add button beside the classes you wish to add, then click the Submit button at the bottom of the screen. The screen will then display in which sections you successfully registered. Repeat the process above until you finalize your schedule.
  6. As a final step, review your schedule by clicking on the Schedule and Options tab at the top of the screen.

B) Set Up USC Email Account

B) Verify South Carolina Residency

  • Go to Self Service Carolina
  • Select "Student Email” on the left 
  • Choose “USC Columbia & 2 year campuses”

University of South Carolina is required by state law to determine the resident classification of all applicants interested in claiming South Carolina as their state of legal residence.

Residency determination is made for all students at the time of their admission and can affect both tuition and eligibility for scholarships. If a residency review is needed after admission, a student may complete the Residency Certification Form.

To learn more, visit the SC Residency Office website.

C) Verify Citizenship

C) Order Textbooks

The state of South Carolina requires students attending a public university in the state to provide confirmation that they are a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States.

After Registration in Self Service Carolina:

  1. Select "Detailed Schedule"
  2. Select "University Bookstore"

D) Submit University Health Requirements

D) Provide Proof of Health Insurance

Required for all students (including distance learners).

PhD and Master's Entry to Practice (MEPN) students only.

All graduate students taking six or more hours, graduate assistants and international students must have health insurance.

Students with current health insurance coverage, you must submit proof of insurance along with a health insurance waiver before the posted deadline.

E) Complete Online Orientation

E) Pay Tuition and Fees by Deadline

The online orientation modules are designed to introduce you to the College of Nursing and your program. It provides a great overview and helpful tips for getting started.

Once you complete the online orientation, remember to complete the attestation form.

  1. Visit the Orientation website.
  2. Select your major.
  3. Next, select your degree.

Review the information available on the Bursar's website for deadlines, tuition and fee rates and how to pay your bill.

Make sure you pay your bill by the posted deadline.

F) Submit Degree Plan 

F) Submit Program of Study Form

Degree Works is our university’s web-based, degree-auditing and tracking tool. It helps students and advisors measure academic progress in accordance with university and major requirements. 

Your advisor has added a degree plan to your audit - see the 'Plans' tab. The Degree Plan outlines when you will take each course listed on the audit.

Check DegreeWorks to view your Degree Audit and Degree Plan.

  1. Print your Degree Plan
  2. Sign and date
  3. Send it to your academic advisor
  1. Select the MPOS, CPOS or DPOS form below that matches your major and degree. 
  2. Type your name, USC ID and address.
  3. Enter the semester and year you were admitted to your program (example: Fall 2024).
  4. Enter the term and year of your first semester courses (hint: see your degree plan in Degree Works).
  5. Do NOT change the dept, course number, course title, or credit hours without express permission from your advisor.
  6. Sign and date the form.
  7. Send the form to your academic advisor.

Most courses are 100% online, but some may have a hybrid delivery method, which requires students to be in person for some portion of the course. All courses use Blackboard to deliver course content. On-campus courses may use Blackboard in their courses too. 

To access Blackboard, visit

Log in using your network username and password. This is not your VIP ID. Your network username is a combination of letters from your first and last name. It is usually the portion of your name that is before the @ symbol in your USC email address. If you do not know your network username, visit and click on “View my IDs” under the Personal section.

When you are logged into Blackboard, you will see the courses in which you are enrolled. Use the left side of the screen to navigate to different introductory and course material.

Books and/or materials required are in the syllabus.

Although the university is a member of SARA, some state Boards of Nursing or state higher education commissions recently began imposing restrictions on distance education courses within their state. Check to see if our online programs are open to residents in your state.

Each state's Board of Nursing has specific rules regarding clinical education and distance learning. Students must understand and follow the rules set by their states. 

Designed to ensure that doctoral students gain benefits and make contributions to the USC community, the residency requirement can be met through consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment or through a program-specific residency plan. Your program is designed to ensure you meet the residency requirement.

The College of Nursing requires that all students in the nursing program have a notebook/laptop computer that meets or exceeds our posted minimum standards. This computer is essential for use in completing research, exams, academic, and communications tasks. We recommend purchasing a new Dell Computer (Windows PC) laptop for all new students.

Check out the minimum computer requirements and recommendations on our technology website.

The Veterans and Military Services office can help you navigate the unique experience of balancing student and service life. They help address questions, assist with benefit requirements and connect you to campus resources exclusively for Veterans and military.

Check out the Veterans and Military Services website for resources ad enrollment certification information. 

Many areas in and around the university have wireless access. Follow these instructions to connect to the wireless network. You will see a list of security information services offered by the Division of Information Technology 


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