Welcome to the South Carolina Honors College, a place where students enjoy the best of both worlds— the access to faculty and nurturing community vibe of a small college with the resources (and sports teams!) of a Carnegie tier-one research institution.
The University of South Carolina Honors College provides over 500 courses for students to choose from each year, including foundation courses like English 101 and Organic Chemistry; higher-level courses like Commercial Law and Semiconductor Optoelectronics; and Honors Seminars taught by leaders in their fields featuring topics like Echoes in Blues and the State of American Politics.
The Honors College provides students with greater depth within their majors— honors courses are offered in every major—and greater breadth across the curriculum. In fact, we were ranked the #1 Honors Program in 2012 based largely on our outstanding curriculum, and have remained at the top.
“I like to describe Honors courses not as more difficult, per se, but as more enriched. We don’t require an extra test or paper and call it an honors class. We encourage our faculty to present a deeper investigation of the material, and the small class sizes mean you’re engaging in a more stimulating discourse with the other bright students sitting next to you.”
-Honors College advisor
Students admitted to the College are expected to maintain a B+ average. In order to graduate “with honors from the South Carolina Honors College,” a student must complete at least 45 hours of honors course credits, including courses in English, History of Civilization, Natural Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, electives, and the Beyond the Classroom requirement. In addition, a student is required to complete a self-directed senior thesis or project. More information on graduation requirements can be found in the Honors College Student Handbook.
In addition to an academic advisor for your major, you’ll also have a dedicated Honors College advisor to help you select courses and make sure you’re on track to graduate with Honors from the Honors College. This advisor helps you navigate your path to meeting honors requirements, and also connects you to resources and opportunities like national fellowships and scholarships, internships, and campus activities that might be a great fit for you.
Beyond the Classroom
With our "Beyond the Classroom" requirement, we’ve developed a liberal arts curriculum for the 21st Century. Students are required to experience real-life learning outside of a traditional classroom. Many students choose to meet this requirement through undergraduate research, internships, service learning, or a study away experience, including study abroad, the National Student Exchange or the Washington Semester Program.
The Honors College is open to all majors. We also give students the opportunity to design their own major through the Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae degree.
The Honors College offers individual pre-professional guidance for students aspiring to attend medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or law school. Honors seminars including "The Art of Lawmaking" and "Spanish for Healthcare Professionals" help prepare students for professional schooling. Your advisor can also help you find job shadowing or volunteer positions to help you gain experience and make more informed decisions about your future career.
If you’re interested in law, you may want to pursue the 6-year joint BA/BS/law degree, which lets you graduate from law school a year early. We also have a preferred admissions program with our partner, the USC School of Law, if you choose to continue your studies at Carolina. Financial aid is available for qualified applicants.
PRE-MED, PRE-DENTAL, PRE-VET
Honors College graduates are looked upon favorably by medical school admissions boards—after all, you’ve proven that you are capable and conscientious just by choosing the Honors College! Our medical school acceptance rates are significantly higher than the national average; about 85-90% of Honors Graduates who apply to medical school are accepted.
Your advisor can clarify which courses you’ll need to take to be accepted into a medical program. In general, you’ll need a year of college-level biology with labs, a year of introductory chemistry, a year of organic chemistry, and a year of physics. Our Honors pre-med community has a newsletter and a Facebook page to keep students updated and connected.
Credits earned by advanced placement tests (IB, CLEP, etc.) are not by themselves “Honors” credits. However, in some cases, credits from AP/IB and dual-enrollment courses may be counted toward the total number of Honors credits required to graduate with honors. Discuss your credits with your Honors advisor.
Student Profile: Nathan Sairam