Students Say

An “affordable, large, and beautiful” public college with exuberant school spirit, University of South Carolina–Columbia offers “the perfect balance of education and fun” to more than 23,000 undergraduates. Choice is key to the USC experience. With 95 academic major programs to choose from, students praise the “diversity in classes, clubs, and events to get involved in,” from science to the arts. Well-regarded programs at this “superior state school” include an “exceptional” marine science department, “one of the top-ranked business schools in the country,” and a “highly rated and competitive” pharmacy program.

Overall

From The School

Freshman admission is determined by a combination of high school record and SAT I or ACT scores. The following college-preparatory high school courses are required for admission to the University for the 2001 2002 academic year: English: 4 units At least two units must have strong grammar and composition components, at least one must be in English literature, and at least one must be in American literature. Completion of college preparatory English I, II, III, and IV will meet this criterion. Mathematics: 3 units Algebra I and II and geometry (applied mathematics I and II may count together as a substitute for Algebra I if a student successfully completes Algebra II). A fourth, higher-level mathematics course is strongly recommended (i.e., algebra III/trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus). Laboratory Science: 3 units Two units must be taken in two different fields selected from biology, chemistry, or physics. The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, or physics) or from any laboratory science for which biology and/or chemistry is a prerequisite. Courses in earth science, general physical science, or introductory or general environmental science for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite will not meet this requirement. Social Studies: 3 units Units must include one of United States history. One-half unit of economics and one-half unit of government are strongly recommended. Foreign Language: 2 units Both units must be in the same language. Academic Elective: 4 units Four college-preparatory units must be taken from at least three different fields selected from the following: computer science, English, fine arts, foreign languages, humanities, laboratory science (excluding earth science, general physical science, general environmental science, or other introductory science courses for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite), mathematics above the level of algebra II, or social sciences. It is suggested that one unit be in computer science which includes programming (i.e., not just keyboarding) and one unit in fine arts (appreciation of, history of, or performance). Physical Education: 1 unit or ROTC High school seniors applying for admission should do so during the fall of their senior year. Transferring students are advised to apply at least three months prior to the semester in which they plan to enter. The application fee beginning fall 2001 is $40. (High school seniors presenting a total SAT score of 1300 or above or an ACT composite score of 29 or above at the time of application are not required to submit an application fee.)

Overview

Applicants
23,035
Acceptance Rate
64%
Average HS GPA
4.15

GPA Breakdown

79%
Over 3.75
12%
3.50 - 3.74
6%
3.25 - 3.49
2%
3.00 - 3.24
1%
2.50 - 2.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
540 - 630
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
550 - 650
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
24 - 29

Deadlines


Regular
December 1

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Academic GPA
Application Essay

Selectivity Rating

Overall

Students Say

An “affordable, large, and beautiful” public college with exuberant school spirit, University of South Carolina–Columbia offers “the perfect balance of education and fun” to more than 23,000 undergraduates. Choice is key to the USC experience. With 95 academic major programs to choose from, students praise the “diversity in classes, clubs, and events to get involved in,” from science to the arts. Well-regarded programs at this “superior state school” include an “exceptional” marine science department, “one of the top-ranked business schools in the country,” and a “highly rated and competitive” pharmacy program. First-year students should be prepared for the fact that “entry-level classes are extremely large,” often incorporating “little to no discussion.” Fortunately, the environment is far from impersonal, and most professors “seem to care immensely about how well each person is doing, even in classes of over 300 people.” While you’ll find “the good, the bad, and the ugly” on the teaching staff, the majority of “Professors are experts in their field and genuinely have a passion for sharing their knowledge with their students.” A current student enthuses, “Some professors are so exceptional you want to take their class over and over again because you learn so much.” Those who need extra assistance say the “academic help centers are excellent,” including excellent tutoring programs “lead by students who were previously enrolled in the class.” However, bureaucracy can be cumbersome at USC, and many would like to see “better organization of class registration and advisement” processes.

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
18:1
Total Faculty
2,277
with Terminal Degree
1,601

1,246
Men
1,031
Women
369
Minority
134
International

Most frequent class size
20 - 29
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
54%
Graduate in 5 years
70%
Graduate in 6 years
73%

Majors

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • African-American/Black Studies
  • European Studies/Civilization
  • Latin American Studies
  • Women's Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Business/Managerial Economics
  • Finance, General
  • Hospitality Administration/Management, General
  • Insurance
  • International Business/Trade/Commerce
  • Management Science, General
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General
  • Office Management and Supervision
  • Real Estate
  • Retailing and Retail Operations
  • Tourism and Travel Services Management

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Advertising
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
  • Journalism
  • Mass Communication/Media Studies
  • Public Relations/Image Management

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General
  • Computer and Information Sciences,Other
  • Information Science/Studies

  • Education

  • Art Teacher Education
  • Business Teacher Education
  • Early Childhood Education and Teaching
  • Elementary Education and Teaching
  • Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching
  • Music Teacher Education
  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching

  • Engineering

  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering, General
  • Computer Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Comparative Literature
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Cardiovascular Technology/Technologist
  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing

  • History

  • History, General

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy

  • Physical Sciences

  • Geology/Earth Science, General

  • Psychology

  • Experimental Psychology

  • Security and Protective Services

  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Economics, General
  • Geography
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Dance, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Film/Cinema Studies
  • Film/Video and Photographic Arts, Other
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music, General


Degrees

Associate
Bachelor's
Doctoral
Doctoral/Professional
Doctoral/Research
Master's
Post-Bachelor's certificate
Post-Master's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Prominent Alumni


Lindsey Graham
U.S. Senator

Darla Moore
Philanthropist, successful financier

Gary Parsons
Founder, XM Satellite Radio

Darius Rucker
Country singer/philanthropist

Sterling Sharpe
Professional football analyst

Academic Rating

Career overview

Students Say

The typical University of South Carolina—Columbia graduate has a starting salary of around $41,300, and 52 percent report that their job has a great deal of meaning. Beyond that, students feel that “USC does a great job at preparing students through internships and real-world preparation,” and that “there are a lot of research and internship opportunities in several different fields.” USC Connect encourages students to integrate their coursework with peer leadership, community service, study abroad, internships, or research (participating students can earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction in one of four experiential learning areas). The business school carries a great deal of “academic clout,” and students feel that Columbia is a “city with lots of opportunities from entertainment to internships.”

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
54%
Graduate in 5 years
70%
Graduate in 6 years
73%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Median Starting Salary
$41,300

Median Mid-Career Salary
$73,500

Alumni with High Job Meaning
57%

Return on Education (ROE) rating
85

Dates

Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

FAFSA

Bottom Line

Tuition at the University of South Carolina—Columbia comes to $10,416 for in-state students and $28,128 for out-of-state students, with around another $8,909 for room and board, with the average need-based aid package coming to around $13,012. Students note that 73 percent of their financial needs are met, and roughly 87 percent of students receive some form of aid.

Bang For Your Buck

Tuition at the University of South Carolina—Columbia comes to $10,416 for in-state students and $28,128 for out-of-state students, with the average aid package coming to around $13,012. Students note that 73 percent of their financial needs are met, and roughly 87 percent of students receive some form of aid. Students feel that the scholarship packages they received ranged from “good” to “great” to “scholarships = free tuition,” with several students reporting they received additional scholarships that converted their out-of state tuition to in-state tuition. We can say that the University of South Carolina—Columbia does its best to meet demonstrated need.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$5,174

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$4,973

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,453

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$25,711

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
44%

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$7,116

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition (In-State)
$11,082
Tuition (Out-of-State)
$29,898
Required Fees
$400
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,016

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$2,483
Transportation for Commuters
$1,725

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Nursing Scholarships
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Other
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships
Need-Based United Negro College Fund
USC Opportunity Grant, Gamecock Guarantee

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Federal Nursing Loans
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall

Students Say

USC is filled with “outgoing” and “preppy” middle-class Southerners, who are “brought together by our common love for Carolina.” In fact, many USC undergrads were “born and raised in South Carolina” and have been cheering on the Gamecocks since childhood. “Most of the students that attend are politically conservative” and many are religious—though a number of students point out that USC is far more politically and socially liberal than its South Carolina location might lead you to believe. Despite general similarities, you don’t have to fit any mold to enjoy life at USC. A current student shares, “I am northern, not religious, and never go home to visit, and I still fit in fine; I am just not the norm.” There is a lot of diversity in terms of clubs and interest groups, and “no matter what you’re passionate about, there is a place for you at USC.” The best way to find your niche is to “get involved with something and do it freshman year.” Overall, the campus tends to be a friendly and welcoming place, where a “student can simply fit in by going to a football game and be[ing] surrounded by other Gamecocks.” A current student tells us, “I love that I can strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone and 90 percent of the time, we’ll become friends. Everyone is insanely happy at South Carolina.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
24,180
Out of State
30%

International
2%
Foreign Countries Represented
115

Demographics

2.30%
Asian
10.34%
African-American
3.88%
Hispanic
78.10%
Caucasian
1.75%
Unknown
1.60%
International

54% female
46% male
30% are out of state
93% are full time
7% are part time

Overview

Students Say

USC’s “historic southern vibe and lovely campus” make it a wonderful place to spend four years. Despite the school’s considerable size, “students can find their niche in more than 400 organizations” on campus. Many undergraduates are “heavily involved in Greek life,” but “there are tons of academic, sports, and community service groups to get involved with also.” “School pride and traditions” are integral to the USC experience, especially on game day. Here, “football is a religion,” and, throughout the fall semester, “the whole student body spends all day Saturday tailgating” at Williams-Brice Stadium. “Everyone likes to have a good time” at USC, and students “are constantly going out on the weekends (usually Thursday-Saturday nights),” when you’ll find undergrads at house parties and Greek events, or out at Five Points, “a strip of restaurants and bars located in downtown near the school.” With its vibrant, student-friendly community and beautiful South Carolina setting, “You have your choice of city life or country” at USC: “You can fish, camp, hunt and kayak one day, then the next you can hit the city, go to clubs, see a show, and sample local cuisine.” Not to mention, the beautiful “weather almost always caters to outdoor activities.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
29%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus
97%

Campus Environment
Small Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Dorms Male
Frat Sorority
International Student
Other
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Office of Student Disability Services

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Director
Karen Pettus

College Entrance Tests Required
Yes

Interview Required
Yes

Documentation Requred for LD
Psychoeducational evaluation completed within the last 3 years is best for determining accomodations, but you may submit your latest psychoeducational evaluation for consideration.

Documentation Requred for ADHD
MD letter and Psychoeducational evaluation completed within the last three years

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
No

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
No

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
No

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
No

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
387
Number of Honor Societies
28

Number of Social Sororities
16
Number of Religious Organizations
31

13% join a fraternity
28% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Fighting Gamecocks)
11 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Diving
Football
Golf
Racquetball
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Fighting Gamecocks)
12 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Equestrian Sports
Golf
Racquetball
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball

Student Services

Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus

Sustainability

In the words of President Harris Pastides, the University of South Carolina – Columbia is “garnet, black, and green.” Through Sustainable Carolina, a campus-wide umbrella committed to sustainability, over forty undergraduate student interns of varying majors are tracked through UofSC’s Graduation with Leadership Distinction program while promoting sustainability progress across the university and surrounding community. With a focus on project management, Sustainable Carolina’s leadership program allows students to drive campus sustainability initiatives through integrative learning and professional development opportunities. Sustainable Carolina interns host a Sustainability Showcase focused on campus research; a Green Networking Breakfast; Reclaimed Runway, an upcycled and recycled fashion show; and a Green Career Fair on an annual basis. In 2014, UofSC celebrated a decade of green buildings at the Green Quad, the first green residence on campus. The new Darla Moore School of Business, which opened in September 2014, is expected to be the largest net zero building in South Carolina. With 23 green buildings occupying 2.5 million square feet, UofSC has a standing commitment to seek LEED Silver certification on all new buildings. Through the university’s Genesis 2015 plan, the campus fleet will be 100 percent fueled by alternative fuel within one year. The campus currently offers B.A., B.S. and M.E.E.R.M. degrees through its Environment and Sustainability Program; 300-plus courses relating to sustainability; research programs including the Center for Fuel Cells, the Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Earth Sciences and Resource Institute, the Sustainable Enterprise and Development Initiative, and the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute; a garden program emphasizing permaculture design and local agriculture through the Healthy Carolina Farmers Market; a Tailgate Recycling program at football games; a campus bike shop sponsored by Outdoor Recreation; and numerous student-led clubs focused on sustainability.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
25%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
26

Average Number of PC's per Lab
75

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
No

Student Web Pages Provided
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
Yes

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
94%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Dell, Apple

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Yes

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Denise A. Wellman
Director

Address
Visitor Center
McKissick
Columbia, SC 29208

Phone
8009229755

Email
visitor@mailbox.sc.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Strom Thurmond Wellness & Fitness Center
Russell House University Union
Greek Village
Williams-Brice Stadium - Home of the 2012 Outback Bowl Champs
Historic Horseshoe
Carolina Baseball Stadium - home of the 2010 AND 2011 National Champions Colonial Life Arena Innovista National Advocacy Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens
S.C. State Museum & Eduventure Children's Museum
Robert Mills House & other historic homes
Trustus Theater
Columbia Museum of Art
The Congaree Vista, Five Points and Main St. areas are popular for shopping and dining. Nickelodeon Theater Mast General Store Mast General Store

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday - Saturday
8:30am-5pm M-F and 11am-3pm Sat, limited Sundays
8009229755

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon-Fri 9am, 11am, and 2pm, Sat. usually at 11:30 am
Average Length: 2 hours

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Available

Times
At the start of each weekday campus tour

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Year-round

Arrangements
Contact the Visitor Center for specific information

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Varies

Arrangements
N/A - not offered

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Arrangements
Other

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Columbia Metropolitan Airport is a 20-minute drive from campus. Taxis and rental cars are available at the airport for the trip to campus. Amtrack & Greyhound buses serve Columbia; the train station is 5 blocks from the center of campus and the bus terminal is 6 blocks from campus.

Driving Instructions to Campus
USC is located in the heart of Columbia, easily available from all area interstates. Check the following link for specific direction information.

Local Accommodations
Special USC visitor rates apply at some hotels and inns in the downtown area. Be sure to inquire when you make your reservation. While there are many lodging choices throughout Columbia, the following weblink will take you to partnering hotels close to USC.
University of South Carolina--Columbia campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

23,035
Applicants
24,180
Size
64%
Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists