Why the University of South Carolina?
The primary mission of the University of South Carolina is the education of the state's diverse citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and service. Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina system is the largest university in the state, serving more than 50,000 students from its flagship Columbia campus, three senior campuses (Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate), and four regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union).
The University of South Carolina is a public institution offering degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Through the primary method of classroom and laboratory instruction and through a secondary method of distance education delivered via the Internet, teleconference and electronic media, degree programs are offered in the following areas: arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing; hospitality, retail, and sport management; mass communications and information studies; music; public health; and social work, and in professional programs such as business, law, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy.
With a flagship campus recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and service institution and nationally ranked in start-up businesses, and an eight-campus system that confers nearly 40% of all bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded at public institutions in South Carolina, the University has a profound relevance, reach, and impact on the people of the state. The University of South Carolina provides all students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world through engagement in nationally and internationally ranked search, scholarship, service, and artistic creation. Click here to view this year's Admissions Handbook for insightful information on prerequisites, test scores, finances, and the University in general.
USC Columbia - Snapshot
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Campus Setting: Urban
Degree Granting Colleges: 15
Degree Programs: More than 450
Degrees Awarded: 9,781 (2014-2015)
School Web Address: www.SC.edu
Application Deadline: December 1st
In-State Tuition: $12,600 approx.
Out-of-State Tuition: $33,350 approx.
Room & Board: $12,000 approx.
Books & Supplies: $1,100 approx.
Financial Assistance: 96% of new freshmen
Academic Scholarships: 35% of student body
Avg. SAT: Undergrad 1276 / Honor’s College 1492
Avg. ACT: Undergrad 27.58/ Honor’s College 32.9
Full-Time Faculty: 1,662 approx.
Alumni: 300,000+ living alumni
Endowment: $810 million (2018)
Research Support: $258 million (2018)
Athletic Nickname: Gamecocks
School Colors: Garnet and black
Top Rankings, Achievements
Carolina is one of only 23 public universities in the nation—and the only one in South Carolina—to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s highest research signation
and to be named among the nation’s leaders in providing programs that benefit and engage communities.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked the University of South Carolina No. 42 among public universities in the nation in its 2011 list of "Best Values in Public Colleges." The list recognizes top public universities for their top-flight academics and affordable costs.
The Princeton Review’s "100 Best Value Colleges for 2011" list recognized USC as one of the 50 "best value" public universities—the only S.C. institution to make the list.
The University is ranked among the top "Up-and-coming National Universities" according to the U.S. News & World Report 2010 "America’s Best Colleges Guide."
University 101, a freshman seminar that introduces students to the campus and emphasizes time management, communication, and critical thinking, earned Carolina a spot as one of the best first-year experiences in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2010 "America’s Best Colleges Guide."
The Moore School of Business’ undergraduate program in international business is No. 1 in the country in U.S. News & World Report.
The University’s hotel, restaurant, and tourism management program has been given a Top 10 overall ranking by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.
The South Carolina Honors College has been lauded as one of the best in the nation.
Some Notable Alumni
The Honorable Lindsey Graham, United States Senator, South Carolina; former U.S. Representative; 1976, psychology, and 1981, law
Hootie and the Blowfish (Dean Felber, Mark Bryan, Jim Sonefeld, and Darius Rucker), Grammy award-winning musicians
Darla Moore, financier and partner in Rainwater Inc.; donated $25 million to the University to name the Moore School of Business and later pledged an additional $45 million to the school; 1975, political science
Robert McNair, founder, chairman, and CEO of NFL’s Houston Texans; chairman of McNair Foundation; founder of McNair Scholar Program; 1958, psychology
George Rogers Jr., 1980 Heisman Trophy winner; former NFL No. 1 draft pick; 1981, associate’s, commercial education, and 1989, interdisciplinary studies
Marva Smalls, executive vice president of public affairs and chief of staff, Nickelodeon, New York; founder of the University’s first NAACP student chapter; 1977, political science, and 1982, master’s public administration
Carolina and its alumni annually contribute nearly $4 billion in total economic output to the state’s economy and nearly 46,000 jobs.
In the past five years, University faculty have filed 354 invention disclosures, filed 198 patent applications, and licensed 58 technologies, attracting investment from private companies interested in commercializing USC’s intellectual property.
The University’s Horizon Center in Carolina’s Innovista research district will be home to several Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE). The Center for Polymer Nanocomposites is focused on improving packaging materials and membranes for hydrogen fuel cells. The Center for Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells is focusing on a versatile fuel cell that converts different types of energy to electricity. The Center for Strategic Environmental Approaches to Electricity Production from Coal will focus on new, cleaner processes for coal combustion. Other CoEEs include the Center for Health Informatics Quality and Safety Evaluation and the Center for Tourism and Economic Development.
Carolina has the nation’s only National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells and is also home to the Center for Hydrogen Fuel Cells.
In 2010 USC faculty were awarded a record $218.8 million in sponsored programs and awards, an increase of nearly $110 million since 2002.
USC’s environmental sciences research program ranks in the top 20 nationwide with more than $36 million in research expenditures, according to the latest data reported by the National Science Foundation.
The University’s Magellan Scholar Program has awarded $1.6 million to 600 undergraduates engaged in faculty-mentored research that increases students’ competitiveness in the job market or in applying to graduate school.