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    Columbia Campus
  May 29, 2024
2010-2011 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin (Frozen) 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin (Frozen) [Archived Catalog]

Academic Programs


Academic Programs
General Education Requirements
Special Academic Opportunities

 Academic Programs

Undergraduate degree programs on the Columbia campus are offered through the Colleges of Arts and Sciences ; Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management ; Education ; Engineering and Computing ; Mass Communication and Information Studies ; Nursing ; Pharmacy ; and Social Work  and through the School of Music , the Arnold School of Public Health , and the Moore School of Business .

For a list of undergraduate programs offered on the Columbia Campus visit one of the following links:

General Education Requirements

The purpose of a complete undergraduate education at the University of South Carolina is to prepare students not just for what they will encounter in the years immediately following graduation, but for the increasingly complex world that will be theirs to comprehend, appreciate, direct, create, and leave to generations hence. To augment the in-depth study in a major field, the faculty at USC have developed a general education program of study that will allow students to become well-rounded, well-educated citizens. In most cases, students can select courses of interest from a varied list of general education courses to meet the following expectations:

1. Students communicate clearly in written English, demonstrating their ability to comprehend, analyze, and interrogate critically.

2. Students perform basic mathematical manipulations, display facility with the use of mathematics in framing concepts for mathematical analysis, and interpret data intelligently.

3. Students demonstrate an understanding of physical and/or life science phenomena and the use of scientific methods and theories.

4. Students demonstrate an understanding of the processes of human behavior and social and cultural interaction, as well as the use of social and behavioral science perspectives to interpret them.

5. Students demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of culture over time and its relation to the present.

6. Students communicate orally and in writing in another language.

7. Students demonstrate an appreciation of literary, visual or performing arts and their cultural context, as well as express informed personal responses to artistic creations.

All general education requirements leading to baccalaureate degrees in colleges and departments at USC Columbia shall include as a minimum:

1. English—6 credits at the level of ENGL 101  and 102  . Students who exempt English 101 and/or 102 without receiving credit toward graduation must enroll in 3 or 6 credits of English above the 100 level.

2. Numerical and Analytical Reasoning—6 credits, to be earned in one of the following ways: MATH 122  or 141  , plus an additional course from PHIL 110  , 111 , mathematics (at the next higher level), computer science, or statistics; two courses from one of the following fields—philosophy (110 and 111 only) or computer science or statistics.

3. Liberal Arts—12 credits, of which 3 hours must be in history, 3 hours in fine arts, and 3 hours in social or behavioral sciences.

4. Natural Sciences—7 credits, including at least one course with a laboratory requirement.

5. Foreign Languages—students shall demonstrate in one foreign language the ability to comprehend the topic and main ideas in written and, with the exception of Latin and Ancient Greek, spoken texts on familiar subjects. This ability can be demonstrated by achieving a score of two or better on a USC foreign language test. Those failing to do so must satisfactorily complete equivalent study of foreign language at USC.

Students must refer to the academic unit in which they are enrolled to determine how these requirements will be met. Most colleges and departments require more than the University’s minimum requirements in basic education course work.

Special Academic Opportunities

Special academic and cultural programs whose scope extends beyond the disciplinary field of any specific college, school, or department are offered at the University.

Cognates and Minors

The University recognizes the importance to students of in-depth study of an area to supplement their major field. Most colleges within the University require either a cognate or a minor in addition to the major as part of degree requirements. Some programs require neither.

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.

A cognate is a series of courses that display a distinct curricular pattern in one or more disciplines different from the major. Undergraduate cognates require a minimum of 12 credit hours in advanced level courses related to, but outside the major. Cognates are variable according to what is appropriate as determined by the student and the major advisor. Thus cognates do not appear on either the transcripts or the diplomas.

Students are advised to consult their academic dean as to whether a minor or cognate is required for their degree program. For a list of undergraduate minors visit Programs A-Z .

South Carolina Honors College

South Carolina Honors College was established in 1978 as a means of encouraging gifted students to develop their full intellectual capacities. For additional information, please visit the  South Carolina Honors College  section of this bulletin

Study Abroad

Each year hundreds of students participate in study abroad programs in many locations around the world. The Study Abroad Office staff is available to guide students through the study abroad process, providing information about study abroad options, scholarship opportunities and diverse academic, cultural, and linguistic experiences available to them. By developing and implementing quality programming, the Study Abroad staff helps prepare students interested in experiencing a culture other than their own prior to departure and facilitate their return to USC after their study abroad experience has ended.

In addition, the Study Abroad Office assists faculty in developing short-term international programs, provides support services for exchange students who attend USC, and administers exchange programs with international universities. The Study Abroad Office is continually developing new program options for the benefit of interested students.

For more information contact the Study Abroad Office at 803-777-7557, or visit our Web site at

University 101

University 101 is a 3-credit-hour seminar course provided for and offered to freshmen and to other undergraduate students (i.e., transfer students) in their first semester at USC Columbia. This course provides an introduction to the nature and importance of university education and a general orientation to the functions and resources of the University. Many sections are offered for students enrolled in a specific USC college or academic major.

The course helps new students adjust to the University, develop a better understanding of the learning process, and acquire essential academic success skills. It also provides students a support group in a critical year by examining problems common to the new-student experience. Extensive reading, writing, and research assignments relevant to the student’s college experience are required.

Offered in small classes of 20-25 students, University 101 is taught by faculty members and administrative personnel who have a special interest in working with new students. The course may be taken as part of a student’s regular load or as an overload. Course credit is awarded on a letter-grade basis. Credit is applicable as either elective or required credit toward most baccalaureate degrees offered by the University.

Undergraduate Research

Many students enrich the academic experience through research opportunities in all disciplines. Students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, receive funding for their projects, and gain professional research experiences. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists students in making connections with faculty and facilitating projects. Discovery Day showcases students’ scholarly pursuits in and out of the classroom. Students present their research discoveries through poster discussions, oral presentations, artistic presentations & visual art displays. Some students elect to live together in a unique community on campus. Students will benefit from field trips, the Discover Seminar Series, networking events with faculty and other researchers, and access to service learning opportunities study abroad programs and internships.

Service Learning

Service-learning offers students an opportunity for hand-on involvement with real world concerns as a venue for educational growth. Combining the academic experience with community service provides a context for testing, observing, or trying out discipline-based theories, concepts, or skills. The Service Learning website offers information on service learning courses available for students

Leadership Learning

Many programs and activities are available at USC to develop leadership talent in students across disciplines, across colleges, across campus, and throughout the community. Several well known programs include the annual Student Leadership and Diversity Conference, the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), and the leader mentor network. The ELP assists students in learning about basic leadership theory. Students assess and explore their own leadership style and capacities, develop skills relevant to leadership work, and develop a personal development and leadership plan. Emerging Leader Mentors (ELMs) are students who have been at the university for more than 4 semesters who provide mentoring for first year students and transfer students in the Emerging Leaders Program.

Career and Pre-Professional Counseling

Students interested in careers requiring postgraduate professional training should plan their undergraduate curricula to meet the entrance requirements of the professional schools involved. Special advisors are available to offer assistance in career and curriculum planning in the following fields of postgraduate specialization:

Law (Eileen Korpita, pre-law advisor). Most law schools require for admission a B.S. or B.A. degree and an acceptable score on the Law School Admission Test. A solid liberal arts education is the best academic background for the study of law. Hence, no particular major or specific courses are required for successful performance in law school.

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Optometry, Podiatry (Eileen Korpita, health careers advisor). Students may obtain general advice concerning health related careers from the health careers advisor in Rooms 127-129, Sumwalt. Medical schools urge undergraduate students to obtain a broad liberal arts education but also require certain specific courses for admission. These include courses in the areas of biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, and physics. A very high scholastic average and a good score on the appropriate national admission examination (MCAT, DAT, etc.) are also essential for admission. Premedical, predental, preveterinary medicine, preoptometry, and prepodiatry students should have their course programs approved by the faculty advisor beginning with their freshman year in order to increase their chance for admission to a professional school.

Religious Vocations (Carl D. Evans, advisor). The professional schools of theology and religious education usually require a B.A. degree for admission. In regard to the undergraduate program, a broad liberal arts education with emphasis in religious studies, philosophy, English literature, history, and languages is recommended. Students planning professional religious vocations should work with the advisor in planning their academic program to be sure that they are adequately prepared for graduate professional study.

Education (Office of Student Affairs). Students may obtain general advice concerning teacher preparation from the Office of Student Affairs in the College of Education, Room 113, Wardlaw College.