University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC

Research the degree programs offered at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

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About the University of South Carolina in Columbia

The University of South Carolina in Columbia predates the Civil War. Originally called the South Carolina College, the school has grown from a single building built in 1805 to a world-class university serving over 45,000 students. Research is an important part of the school, with USC faculty garnering over $218.8 million in research funding in the 2010 fiscal year. Much of the school's growth towards the Congaree River has to do with its research initiatives, including nanotechnology and 'Future Fuels' research.

In addition to this growth, the University of South Carolina - Columbia features a number of community- and student-enriching organizations. The school is home to the NCAA Division I Gamecocks. Students can also be part of The Daily Gamecock - an independent student newspaper, which was identified by the South Carolina Press Association as the 15th largest of all the state's newspapers. Some of the school's latest research findings may provide better ways to deal with nuclear waste. A study from the Moore School of Business found that the school and its alumni contributed over $4 billion to the economy of South Carolina in 2011.


The University of South Carolina in Columbia houses a number of nationally- and internationally-recognized programs. The Columbia campus is the only school in South Carolina to receive the highest research designation from the Carnegie Foundation. The International Master of Business Administration program was ranked 3rd in the nation in U.S. News and World Report's 2012 graduate school guide. In 2011, the Times Higher Education ranked USC among the top universities in the world. The latter ranking applies to only 1% of all the world's universities.

USC offers its students over 324 degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. These programs are administered through 14 different colleges and schools within the university. Accredited schools at USC include law, education, medicine, public health and more.


Application to South Carolina requires only a few materials. These include a high school transcript, an ACT or SAT score report, a counselor evaluation form and a $50 non-refundable application fee. The high school transcript must show successful completion of key courses, including 11 total units of English, math and laboratory science. High school students must also complete units in foreign language (2), fine arts (1), social studies (3) and physical education (1).

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition plus fees at the University of South Carolina in Columbia can exceed $10,000 per year for residents during the 2012-13 academic year. The tuition is almost three times that for non-residents, at about $28,000. The university administers internal scholarship opportunities and classifies them based on whether the student in need is a resident or non-resident. The Carolina Scholars award, for example, provides $10,000 to students who are residents of South Carolina and demonstrate a high-level of both academic aptitude and community involvement. Freshman applicants who meet the priority deadline for admission automatically receive consideration for all internal scholarships.

School Type Public, 4-year*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's
Postbaccalaureate certificate
Post-master's certificate
Doctor's (both research and professional practice)*
Religious Affiliation Not applicable*
Academic Calendar Spring, summer and fall semesters**
School Setting Midsize city*
Student Body 22,556 undergraduates and 8,165 graduates, fall 2011**
Student Housing Freshman required to live on campus
9 apartment-style facilities
8 suite-style facilities
5 traditional-style facilities**
Schools and Programs 15 schools and colleges offering over 324 degree programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 17 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) Bachelor's: Experimental Psychology (284)
Master's: Social Work (247)
Doctor's: Law (229)
Certificate: School Counseling and Guidance Services (31)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 51% in four years
70% in six years (students who began in fall 2005)*
Admission Rate 70% in 2011*
Entering Class Size in Fall 2010 4,423 Full-time***
First-Year Retention Rates 87% Full-time
22% Part-time*
SAT and ACT Score of Middle 50% of Admitted Students SAT Critical Reading: 530-630
SAT Math: 560-650
ACT Composite: 24-29***
Application Due Date October 15 for Early Answer (summer/fall 2013)
November 15 for Honors College and Top Scholars (summer/fall 2013) Applications
December 1 for Priority Application (for summer/fall semesters of 2013)
November 1 all applications (spring 2013)**
Decision Notification Date In December for Early Answer applications**
Undergraduate Tuition (2012-2013) $10,488 with technology fees, in-state, per academic year
$27,644 with technology fees, out-of-state, per academic year**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) For all undergraduates in 2010-11:
Grant or scholarship aid (72%)
Pell grant (24%)
Federal student loans (49%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 90% of first-time undergraduates in 2010-11*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics; **University of South Carolina in Columbia; ***IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Info

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 902 Sumter Street Access--Lieber College, Columbia, SC 29208
  • Phone: (803) 777-7700
  • Website:

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