University of South Carolina

2014 Quick Stats
Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: (803) 777-7000
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Dec. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#112 Overall Score: 46 out of 100. National Universities

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University of South Carolina is a public institution that was founded in 1801. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 23,363, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 444 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of South Carolina's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 112. Its in-state tuition and fees are $10,816 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $28,528 (2013-14).

The University of South Carolina eases its students into the transition to college life, no matter what year they begin to attend. For freshmen, there is University 101, a first-year program pioneered by the school to help students adjust. (They must also spend the first year living on campus.) For students transferring in from technical schools, the University of South Carolina offers the Bridge Program, an academic support system. The school sports teams, the Gamecocks, compete in the NCAA Divsion I Southeastern Conference. The University of South Carolina’s college town, Columbia, boasts a variety of entertainment, night life and outdoor options for students to check out after class. Other college towns, including Charlotte, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, are both less than two hours away.

The University of South Carolina also offers graduate programs, including the well-regarded Darla Moore School of Business, a law school, medical school, engineering school and College of Education. The Columbia campus is the flagship location of the University of South Carolina system, and the school runs a variety of research centers, including Center for GIS and Remote Sensing, the Center for Colon Cancer Research and the Center for Digital Humanities. The band Hootie and the Blowfish was started at the University of South Carolina when its members were students. Other notable alumni include U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gary Parsons, founder of XM Satellite Radio.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina Columbia has been committed to preparing its students for successful lives for more than 200 years. While it began with one building on the historic Horseshoe, a green oasis in the heart of a vibrant urban environment, USC Columbia now boasts 15 colleges on more than 450 acres in downtown Columbia, the state's capital. More than 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students, from all 50 states and more than 120 countries, choose from among 300 degree programs, covering disciplines ranging from the arts and sciences to engineering, business to education, medicine to journalism. Through Palmetto College, some degrees can be completed online as well. Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and service institution, the university has a profound relevance, reach and impact on the people of the state, the nation and the world. The flagship campus of the university's eight-campus system, USC Columbia features a wide range of exemplary programs. Its undergraduate international business major, for example, is ranked No. 1 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report, and the South Carolina Honors College is the top-ranked public university honors college in the nation based on honors college factors, according to "A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs." The university has been called a "best value" in higher education by both Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the Princeton Review. University 101 is a nationally recognized, proven program for helping first-year students successfully transition to college. The university is also home to the innovative USC Connect initiative, which focuses on integrating learning within and beyond the classroom to better prepare students to make the most of their opportunities after college. USC Columbia was awarded a record $238 million in sponsored research funding in 2012, an increase of 33 percent since 2006. And every discipline at USC offers undergraduate research opportunities. With the guidance of faculty mentors, students can investigate scholarly questions that arouse their curiosity. The university runs a variety of research centers, such as the Center for Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, the Center for Colon Cancer Research, the Center for Digital Humanities and the FABER Entrepreneurship Center. University students have won 594 national awards, from Goldwater to Rhodes scholarships, earning more than $16.7 million for advanced academic study since 1994. In 2012, 11 USC students were named Fulbright Scholars, gaining USC recognition in the Chronicle of Higher Education as a "Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Students." The Columbia campus hosts more than 400 student organizations ranging from residence hall government, honor societies, fraternities, sororities and all denominations of religious groups to professional, political, military, media, sport, service and international clubs. USC is a member of the Southeastern Athletics Conference and competes in 18 Division I sports. Students can join 80,000 other fans at football games at Williams-Brice Stadium or the Garnet Army fan section in the Colonial Life Arena. USC has transformed itself into an SEC power. Carolina's recent accolades include a Top 10 football team, two equestrian national championships, two College World Series baseball championships and back-to-back women's basketball NCAA Tournament appearances. The city of Columbia uniquely blends urban and hip with hometown charm and friendliness, making it a wonderful place for students. Five Points and the Congaree Vista, both within walking distance of the campus, offer plenty of dining, shopping and entertainment options. Columbia has a warm, inviting climate and averages 217 sunny days a year. Columbia is also the headquarters of numerous state and regional businesses and the seat of state government, so internship and employment opportunities abound.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1801
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment $417,407,027


When applying to University of South Carolina, it's important to note the application deadline is December 1, and the early action deadline is October 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 1. The application fee at University of South Carolina is $50. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 60.6 percent and an early acceptance rate of 56.1 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 60.6%
Application deadline December 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at University of South Carolina is 17:1, and the school has 36.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of South Carolina include: Research and Experimental Psychology; Biology, General; Business Administration, Management and Operations; Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences; and Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 86.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 17:1
4-year graduation rate 53%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Research and Experimental Psychology 6%
Biology, General 5%
Business Administration, Management and Operations 5%
Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences 5%
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 5%

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Student Life

University of South Carolina has a total undergraduate enrollment of 23,363, with a gender distribution of 46 percent male students and 54 percent female students. At this school, 36 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 64 percent of students live off campus. University of South Carolina is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 31,288
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

University of South Carolina offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. University of South Carolina also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at University of South Carolina, 90 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at University of South Carolina.

Students who have cars on campus 90%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At University of South Carolina, 51.7 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $4,862.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $10,816 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $28,528 (2013-14)
Room and board $8,909 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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