After the American Revolution, a public schooling movement started by Thomas Jefferson led to the creation of South Carolina College in 1801. Governor John Drayton enlisted Baptist minister Jonathan Maxcy to head the educational endeavor from Rutledge Hall. Closed during the Civil War, the college was then rejuvenated into the University of South Carolina by the General Assembly. Endowed for $655.46 million, USC now educates 49,520 Gamecocks as a flagship public, seven-site RU/VH research hub with sea-grant status. Belonging to the SEC Academic Alliance, South Carolina greatly expands beyond its main 359-acre Midlands campus in Columbia with online degrees. For 88 percent average retention, USC has produced over 250,000 alums like Lindsey Graham and Rita Cosby.

The U.S. News ranked the University of South Carolina as America’s 49th top public college with the ninth best graduate nursing and 40th best graduate teaching degrees online. On Niche, USC stands out for the 52nd best business school and 67th top communications programs nationally. Forbes crowned USC the country’s 103rd best research university and 216th best value. Times Higher Education placed South Carolina as the 261st best U.S. college and 400th top global university. According to Washington Monthly, the University of South Carolina is the 31st best Southeastern bang for the buck and 112th top national college. PayScale also recorded a 20-year net ROI of $226,000 and mid-career salary of $87,300 for USC alumni.

University of South Carolina Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed in 2011 under President Harris Pastides, PhD, the University of South Carolina holds decade-long institutional approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), one of six regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Certain USC online programs also maintain discipline-specific accreditation from the following:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM)

University of South Carolina Application Requirements

Featuring a Fall 2015 acceptance rate of 65 percent, the University of South Carolina has a “more selective” admission process. Online bachelor’s degree completion programs are reserved for transfers who’ve already finished 60-90 semester hours. Credits must transfer with a minimum grade of “C” from regionally accredited colleges. For example, the Gamecock Gateway Program exists with Midlands Technical College for transfer articulation. Online undergrads need a cumulative GPA above 2.0 and good standing without probation for the last 48 months, though the average GPA is 3.55. Exam scores are optional after 30 college credits, but the mean SAT and ACT scores are 1270 and 27 respectively.

The USC Graduate School obviously mandates that online master’s students have completed an accredited, four-year baccalaureate. Prospective post-grads must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA during their last 60 attempted credits. Holding a 3.25 GPA or better and three years of relevant work experience would slash the GRE requirement. Otherwise, combined GRE scores must surpass 294 with a verbal score of at least 153. Specific online program requirements could vary. For instance, the Master of Public Health stipulates having worked in healthcare for two years and the Master of Educational Administration requires SC teaching credentials. International grads also need a minimum TOEFL Internet score of 80 or equivalent.

Online undergrad programs accept transfers until November 1st, May 1st, and July 1st yearly, but graduate deadlines widely vary. Either log into your USC account or the Coalition Application platform to apply. Supplemental materials could also be mailed to 902 Sumter Street in Columbia, SC 29203. Don’t forget the following:

  • Payment of the $50 non-refundable fee
  • Official transcripts from each school
  • Standardized test scores via code 5818
  • Two or more reference letters
  • Statement of intent or purpose
  • Professional licensure and résumé (grad only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Campus tuition at the University of South Carolina traditionally costs $12,198 for SC residents and $32,208 for non-residents yearly. Online programs follow a drastically different pay schedule with only in-state tuition though. Online USC Gamecocks also save considerably on the $10,540 room and board. Regardless of residency, online undergrads will pay $395 per credit or $12,563 each year full-time. Graduate online courses are billed $552 per credit. Therefore, the 36-credit Master of Health Information Technology Online has a total cost of $19,872 as example.

According to the NCES, 73 percent of full-time USC students receive financial assistance that averages $6,514 yearly. Institutional awards, including the Stamps Scholarship, Hamilton Scholars Program, Thornwell Scholarship, Pickens Scholarship, and Horseshoe Scholars Award, could be open to online students. The Gamecock Guarantee Program covers entire tuition for approximately 130 learners with significant financial need yearly. Palmetto State residents qualify for the $2,800 HOPE Scholarship and $2,500 LIFE Scholarship. Submitting the FAFSA by June 30th unlocks the Federal Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Work-Study jobs, Direct Loans, and Grad PLUS loans. Online scholars might also receive military benefits, employer reimbursement, private loans, or the USC Access Grant.

Online Degrees Available

Drawing on its rich 200-year legacy, the University of South Carolina goes virtual with 14 online bachelor’s degree completion, five master’s, and two doctoral programs online. Hundreds of individual courses are also available online from BIOL 243 to PSYC 301 for hybrid learning. Classes have an average student-faculty ratio of 18:1 for personalized mentoring and active discussions on Blackboard. Online USC learners still access the 24/7 Helpdesk, digital databases from Thomas Cooper Library, and the graduation ceremony. Two sample online degrees are:

B.S. in Hospitality Management

Chaired by Dr. Sean Barth, the B.S. in Hospitality Management is administered online by USC Beaufort with AACSB accreditation to prepare undergrads for mid- and upper-level jobs running organizations within the food service and tourism industries. The 57-credit online degree completion track injects courses like menu management, travel law, and hospitality marketing. Seniors also tackle 400 practicum hours combined at the Hilton Head Hospitality Management Facility and off-site partners like Myrtle Beach Marriott.

MSN in Nursing Administration

Fully CCNE accredited with an Alpha Xi Chapter, the College of Nursing’s MSN in Nursing Administration takes South Carolina post-grads online for building cognizance of the organizational leadership strategies used to operate quality patient care. RNs spend 12-18 months completing the 30-credit degree to pursue the Nurse Executive Board Certification (NE-BC). Advanced nurses can expect seven-week online courses like health policy, biostatistics, and health economics before a clinical thesis.

Additional available online degrees at the University of South Carolina include the RN-BSN, B.A. in Health Informatics, B.S. in Human Services, M.Ed. in Teaching, and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.