Opportunities

What opportunities are unique to the Honors College?
There are many!  We offer nearly 600 Honors classes per year, or around 300 per semester.  These classes are small, averaging about 14-19 students, allowing for you to really engage with your classmates, your professor, and the material.  Honors classes provide a unique experience to be hands-on and go more in-depth with the content—having discussions, demonstrations, debates, and much more.  Our students also get free printing, priority registration, and a second advisor to help keep them on track with requirements. There are also study abroad trips, research opportunities, internship programs, and service learning experiences available to Honors Students.

If I transfer into the honors college, will I be able to have direct admission to International Business?
No, only Honors students who declared International Business as incoming students receive direct admission. Students who change their major or transfer into Honors are not considered for this.

What grants and scholarships are available to transfer Honors Students?
We have grants for study abroad and research available to all students in the Honors College.  Out of state students admitted in May, who have no university scholarship support, may be eligible to apply for the South Carolina College Scholarship.  Applications received before admissions decisions are made will not be processed.  No late applications will be accepted.  As a transfer student, you will not be eligible for new USC Scholarships.

Expectations

What are the expectations for me as a transfer student?
Students who transfer into the SCHC are expected to complete the honors curriculum as outlined in the handbook.  This is a rigorous curriculum of 45 credit hours and includes an “honors core” of an Honors English, History of Civilization, Humanities, Social/Behavioral Science, Natural Science (with a lab), and Analysis, which frequently align with Carolina Core.  The Beyond-the-Classroom component and Thesis are also significant aspects of our curriculum.

Will I be able to complete the honors curriculum?
While the curriculum requirements may look complicated, our transfer students don’t have a problem graduation.  We offer over 4,000 seats in honors classes per semester, so you can typically find something that helps you work towards your major progression.  Additionally, your Honors advisor will work with you to get you graduated on time.

I know that in the Handbook that it states that there are courses required to graduate with Honors. If I transfer over to the Honors College as a sophomore, there are already courses I have taken. For example, it states that you are required to have an Honors course in English. However, I have already taken ENGL 101 (AP) and ENGL 102 at USC, but they were not Honors courses. Will I have to redo those courses?
You would still need to take an Honors English class with us, but we have a lot of options you could choose from--you wouldn't have to retake something that you've already taken (ENGL 101 or 102 in this situation).  For example, you could take our Football Writing, Food & Literature, Literature of Cyborgs, Pirate Literature, Life & Leadership, or a host of other Honors English classes.

 

Eligibility

I have more than 45 credit hours that I’m transferring in—can I still apply?
We have the credit hour limit because we want you to have a reasonable chance of completing honors requirements, which become more difficult to complete in a short amount of time.  We want to ensure that our honors transfer admits have at least five semesters, and preferably six, here at USC—if you have completed more than 45 credit hours, that may mean you have four or fewer semesters remaining.  However, if you intend to continue study at USC for five or more semesters, you can still apply if you are bringing in more than 45 credits.

Do you look at SAT scores or high school GPA?
For the transfer process, we are mostly looking at work done post-high school at the college level.  SAT and ACT scores and high school GPA factor very minimally into our decision.

My GPA is borderline—should I still apply?
Does that include any dual enrollment classes taken in high school?  We look at the institutional-level GPA—or anything after high school, so make sure you calculate your GPA based on institutional work post-high school.  However, we do have a hard cut-off, so if your institutional GPA is less than 3.6, you would be ineligible.

 

Application

Can I ask my U101 teacher or my TA to write my letter of recommendation?  What about a PhD student?
While we do prefer faculty, it is to your advantage to ask for a letter of recommendation from an instructor who can best speak to your academic abilities and work ethic—and that may be a staff member or graduate student.

Is there a format for the letter of recommendation should follow?
No, but we would hope that your recommender would speak to your academic ability and academic work ethic.

 

Transfer Process

Assuming I get accepted for the upcoming semester, when would I enroll in Honors classes?
You would be advised for the upcoming semester.  For example, if you apply on December 1, you would hear about Honors acceptance (pending receipt of current semester transcripts and admission to USC) before classes begin in January.  Ideally, you would be advised and placed into classes for the spring semester—though that would be determined on a case-by-case basis with your advisor.

Do I have to live in the honors dorm if I already have another housing contract?
No, you are not required to live in Honors housing.  It is also difficult to get into honors housing in the semester immediately following your acceptance given that the timelines do not align well with deadlines to apply for housing.  However, in future semesters, you are welcome to apply for Honors housing options if you are interested.  Our upperclassman get priority for housing on the Horseshoe, but students choose from a variety of options including off-campus and Greek Housing.

 

Other Questions

I'm already in the Capstone program—how does that affect the transfer process?
Capstone is a two-year program and is mutually exclusive of the Honors College. Once you are in Honors, you aren’t eligible to formally participate in Capstone—you would no longer be paying the Capstone fee that covers your engagement and participation in that program.

What is the Honors College fee?
There is a fee of $475 per semester.  This goes towards getting top-notch faculty for our courses. 

Additional questions regarding transfer admission into the Honors College should be directed to Elise Porter, Recruiting Coordinator, at portere@mailbox.sc.edu.