The University of South Carolina Sumter strives to provide an opportunity to any student who is capable of benefiting from a college education and shows promise of successfully completing that education. The University encourages all qualified persons to apply. Equal educational opportunities are offered to students regardless of race, sex, religion, color, age, or national origin.
All admissions policies and procedures are subject to continuous review by the Faculty Admissions Committee and the admissions services office; and, although an effort will be made to publicize changes, these policies and procedures may be changed without notice.
Prospective students may obtain application forms from the admissions services office, located in the Administration Building. Application forms are also available at the Shaw office of USC Sumter. You may also apply for admission via the Internet, at www.uscsumter.edu.
All interested persons should apply well in advance of the beginning of the term of entry. Dates for guaranteed processing of applications have been set and are published in the USC Sumter Master Schedule of Classes.
Applications should be submitted before these dates:
Fall term: July 15
Fall II term: September 15
Spring term: November 15
Spring II term: February 15
Summer terms: three weeks prior to registration for the term.
Final determination of whether a student is accepted depends on final receipt and evaluation of all official credentials.
The University reserves the right to place conditions on the admission of any student. In the event such action is taken, the conditions will be clearly explained in the letter of acceptance.
Categories of Admission
Exemptions on the following policies may be made by the University on an individual basis. Contact the USC Sumter Admissions Services Office for details.
A student is any person who is admitted, enrolled, or registered for study at the University of South Carolina for any academic period. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing student relationship with the University of South Carolina are considered students.
A freshman applicant is a person who has not attended a regionally accredited college or university after high-school graduation.
Freshman applicants must have either a high-school diploma or its equivalent (GED) prior to enrolling. Accepted applicants must have senior grades and a verification of graduation sent as soon as they are available. Applicants who did not graduate from high school must send transcripts of all available work and a copy of a GED certificate or satisfactory GED test scores.
Freshman applicants must submit:
- completed application
- specified nonrefundable application fee
- official high-school record complete up to the time of application
- official entrance examination scores (either SAT or ACT).
Prospective students must have adequate preparation for the curriculum in which they plan to enroll. At a minimum, applicants for admission are required to complete a college preparatory program with units distributed among the following academic subjects:
College Preparatory Course Prerequisite Requirements
Four Units of English: At least two units must have strong grammar and composition components, at least one must be in English literature, and at least one must be in American literature. Completion of College Preparatory English I, II, III, and IV will meet this criterion.
Four Units of Mathematics: These include Algebra I (for which Applied Mathematics I and II may count together as a substitute, if a student successfully completes Algebra II), Algebra II, and Geometry. A fourth higher-level mathematics course should be selected from among Algebra III/trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, statistics, discrete mathematics, or a capstone mathematics course and should be taken during the senior year.
Three Units of Laboratory Science: Two units must be taken in two different fields of the physical or life sciences and selected from among biology, chemistry, or physics. The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, or physics) or from any laboratory science for which biology and/or chemistry is a prerequisite. Courses in earth science, general physical science, or introductory or general environmental science for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite will not meet this requirement. It is strongly recommended that students take physical science (taught as a laboratory science) as a prerequisite to the three required units of laboratory science outlined in this section. It is also strongly recommended that students desiring to pursue careers in science, mathematics, engineering or technology take one course in all three fields.
Two Units of the Same Foreign Language
Three Units of Social Science: One unit of U.S. History is required; a half unit of Economics and a half unit in Government are strongly recommended.
One Unit of Fine Arts: One unit in Appreciation of, History of, or Performance in one of the fine arts.
Elective: One unit must be taken as an elective. A college preparatory course in Computer Science (i.e., one involving significant programming content, not simply keyboarding) is strongly recommended for this elective. Other acceptable electives include college preparatory courses in English; fine arts; foreign languages; social science; humanities; laboratory science (excluding earth science, general physical science, general environmental science, or other introductory science courses for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite); or mathematics above the level of Algebra II.
One Unit of Physical Education or ROTC
Total Units: 19
In addition to completion of the above units, students must meet requirements based on entrance examination scores and weighted core GPA.
Applicants must complete additional units to meet or exceed state and local high-school graduation requirements. In choosing these electives, students should consider the recommendations given in the preceding listing for specific prospective majors.
Applicants must apply for and take the required entrance examinations well in advance of the term for which they seek admission, and they are responsible for having the results of these examinations sent to the University. Applicants over the age of 23 may not be required to submit entrance examination results; however, they must submit other credentials which give evidence of reasonable academic potential. Entrance examination scores may be required in the absence of satisfactory credentials or evidence of potential. Some programs require entrance test scores for all students, regardless of age.
Other Admissions Opportunities
GED: Students who did not complete high school but who took the GED equivalency test must provide their GED certificate and high-school transcript through grade completed. An ACT/SAT score may be requested from applicants under the age of 23.
Mature Students: Candidates over the age of 23 may be considered for admission without ACT/SAT scores. They must, however, submit proof of high-school graduation or its state equivalency.
Admission as a Nondegree Candidate
Applicants who wish to attend the University for one semester or on some limited basis may be approved to do so upon submitting a nondegree seeking application. The admissions office reserves the right to determine the proper category of admission and to determine what credentials may be required.
Basic Nondegree Students: This category is for applicants who are not interested in earning a degree at USC. A maximum of 30 semester hours may be earned in this category. Applicants who have been officially denied admission as degree-seeking students are not eligible for admission as special students. Courses completed as special students carry full University credit; however, none of the hours is applicable to a degree until the student applies and qualifies for admission to a degree program.
Senior Citizens: A senior citizen (age 60 or above) may enroll in courses at USC Sumter tuition-free on a space available basis. They must pay the application fee, technology fee, other applicable fees, and purchase textbooks.
Dual Enrollment: High-school juniors and seniors who have excelled in their studies may enroll in appropriate courses at the University upon recommendation of their counselors or principal. Interested students must submit high-school records that show exceptional performance. Concurrent students must have a minimum SAT score of 900 (Evidenced Based Reading and Math Combined) (90 or better on the PSAT if SAT scores are not available) or a minimum ACT composite score of 19. In addition, students must have a cumulative high-school GPA of 3.00 or higher.
Auditor: An auditor may apply as a basic nondegree student (see above).
Military Special: Certification of active duty military status is required.
Persons attending the University in any of these categories will be nondegree candidates. Credit earned while attending as a nondegree candidate may be used toward a degree only after the student has applied for and been accepted into a degree program. An applicant denied admission to any degree category is not eligible for admission as a special student. The period of enrollment in these categories is limited by either time or number of allowable credits. Nondegree students are not eligible for financial aid or veterans benefits.
Readmission of Former Students
An application for readmission must be submitted by any former student who wishes to return to the University after missing a major (fall or spring) semester. Summer sessions do not count as a major semester in this instance. Applications for readmission are obtained from the Admissions Services Office or readmit students may apply online. Readmission to the University and to the program in which the student was previously enrolled is not automatic. An interview may be requested and some basis for a favorable decision may be required. The appropriate application fee must be paid.
Students who attend the University as special students (including probationary or nondegree candidates) are not considered for “readmission” because these students were not fully admitted to the University originally. If special students wish to return to the University as degree-seeking candidates, they must apply for regular admission as freshmen or transfer students, furnishing all official transcripts and any entrance test scores which may be required.
Students who leave the University in good standing, miss one or more major semesters, and attend another institution while away must submit the application for readmission and official transcripts of all college-level work attempted during their absence from the University. Such applicants must meet the same requirements as transfer students.
A student who leaves the University on suspension must apply for readmission upon completion of the period of suspension and qualify for readmission to the major program requested. To attempt to return to the University prior to the completion of the suspension period requires:
- an application for readmission and a petition for reinstatement if a major semester has been missed; or
- a petition for reinstatement if the attempt is being made after notification of suspension but prior to missing a major semester. A petition for reinstatement is made to the University college from which the student was suspended.
If students attend another college-level institution while suspended from the University, they must maintain a satisfactory average at that institution in order to retain the privilege of being considered for readmission at the conclusion of their suspension. The University does not transfer credit earned during a period of suspension, but the quality of grades could affect the decision on readmission.
An applicant who, having graduated from high school, has attended another regionally accredited postsecondary institution and attempted one or more courses is a transfer student, regardless of credit earned. If fewer than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level work have been attempted, the applicant must meet both transfer and freshman entrance requirements if they graduated from high school within the last five years.
Transfer applicants for admission must submit:
- completed application forms
- specified nonrefundable application fee
- complete official transcripts from postsecondary institutions through the time of application; these must be supplemented by final transcripts that reflect complete academic work prior to beginning classes in the University
- complete high-school records including entrance exam results if less than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level work have been attempted in a regionally accredited college or university if they graduated from high school within the last five years.
Applications should be submitted before these deadlines:
Fall term: July 15
Spring term: November 15
Summer terms: three weeks prior to registration for the term.
The applicant must submit official transcripts of all previous college courses attempted whether or not credit was earned and regardless of whether the applicant wishes to transfer any credit. An official transcript must be sent directly to the admissions office from each institution attended. Failure to report all attempted college courses may constitute sufficient cause for later dismissal from the University.
Transfer applicants from regionally accredited colleges and universities are required to have a minimum grade point average of 2.25 (on a 4.00 scale) on all college-level courses attempted.
In addition to the general requirements for admission outlined in this section, some departments and colleges within the University set additional requirements that may be higher than the University’s minimum standards. For more specific information concerning entrance requirements for individual colleges and departments, refer to the program section of this bulletin.
For the purpose of admission, a transfer grade point average is calculated using all credits attempted and all grades earned on college-level courses at other institutions. These credits and grades also will be included in calculating honors for graduation from the University. Colleges within the University have the right to consider all attempted college-level work in determining admission to particular programs and/or advancement into upper-division or professional-level courses. Transfer students should consult the section of this bulletin for the college in which the student plans to study for further information about the use of credits and grades from previous college work. For regulations on graduation with honors, see “Academic Regulations .”
Regardless of the point in an academic career at which students enter the University, all must complete the final year (the last 30 semester hours before graduation) enrolled in classes approved by the appropriate dean of the college, school, or campus from which the degree will be granted. Some USC colleges require half of all degree credits to be earned while enrolled at this University.
Evaluation of transfer credits. Transfer credits to USC must be from regionally accredited institutions for academic courses completed with grades of C- or better. Applicability of credits toward a particular degree is determined by the college or major in which the student enrolls. The number of credits acceptable to the University and the number which may apply toward a particular degree may differ.
Students transferring from nonaccredited colleges may be allowed to validate credit after admission to the University. Details of the validation procedure vary and may be obtained from the dean’s office of the college in which the student is enrolled.
Original records are required for courses exempted at a previous college. Exemption credit or acceptance of transfer credit by another college has no bearing on the evaluation of transfer credit at the University of South Carolina.
Generally, credits earned in courses that fall into one or more of the following categories are not acceptable in transfer to the University:
- courses that are occupational or technical in nature
- courses that are essentially remedial in nature
- courses from a two-year institution which are considered upper division or upper level at the University
- courses from a two-year institution that are not listed as part of that institution’s college parallel program.
Exceptions to this rule may be made only by the designated academic official(s) on the campus where the student is majoring and only in specific cases where such courses are judged to be uniquely relevant to the student’s degree program.
A maximum of 76 semester hours may be transferred for degree credit from a junior college or two-year institution which is accredited by a regional association such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit by correspondence and credit awarded for educational experiences in the military may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. The 30 semester hours of credit which may be awarded for educational experiences in the military should be in accordance with recommendations published by the American Council on Education and be consistent with University policy on the transfer of credit but will only be applied to a degree program upon the approval of the dean of the college from which the degree is to be awarded.
Veteran students may receive credit toward graduation for training received under many of the armed forces college training programs. University credit also may be given for specialized and technical training done under the auspices of the armed forces and for courses taken through the United States Armed Forces Institute/DANTES. This training may be accepted by the University for credit only if it is at the college level, if it is approved by the University, and if it is appropriate to the particular University course of study in which the student enrolls. Armed forces training will not be evaluated until the applicant has been accepted for admission; however, credentials should be submitted with the admission application. No credit is given for high-school or college-level GED tests.
(Information regarding educational benefits to veterans and the children of deceased or disabled veterans may be found in the section on financial aid. Additional information for veterans is available from the Office of Veteran Student Services, University of South Carolina Columbia.)
A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit earned while classified as a nondegree special student in the University may be applied toward meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree.
A student planning to pursue work at other institutions or through correspondence must complete this work before attaining senior classification (90 semester hours). Courses completed at any institution while the student is suspended by the University will not be accepted toward a degree at USC.
Transfer: State Policy and Procedures
Section 10-C of the South Carolina School-to-Work Transition Act (1994) stipulated that the Council of College and University Presidents and the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, operating through the Commission on Higher Education, develop better articulation of associate and baccalaureate degree programs. To comply with this requirement, the commission upon the advice of the Council of Presidents established a Transfer Articulation Policy Committee composed of four-year institutions’ vice presidents for academic affairs and the Associate Director for Instruction of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. The principal outcomes derived from the work of that committee and accepted by the Commission on Higher Education on July 6, 1995, were:
- An expanded list of 86 courses which transfer to four-year public institutions of South Carolina from the two-year public institutions;
- A statewide policy document on good practices in transfer to be followed by all public institutions of higher education in the State of South Carolina, which was accepted in principle by the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs and the commission;
- Six task forces on statewide transfer agreements, each based in a discipline or broad area of the baccalaureate curriculum.
In 1995 the General Assembly passed Act 137 which stipulated further that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education “notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, shall have the following additional duties and functions with regard to the various public institutions of higher education.” These duties and responsibilities include the commission’s responsibility “to establish procedures for the transferability of courses at the undergraduate level between two-year and four-year institutions or schools.” This same provision is repeated in the legislation developed from the Report of the Joint Legislative Study Committee.
Act 137 directed the commission to adopt the following procedures for the transfer of courses from all two-year public to all four-year public institutions of higher education in South Carolina.
Statewide Articulation of 86 Courses
- The Statewide Articulation Agreement of 86 courses already approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for transfer from two- to four-year public institutions shall be applicable to all public institutions, including two-year institutions and institutions within the same system. In instances where an institution does not have synonymous courses to ones on this list, it shall identify comparable courses or course categories for acceptance of general education courses on the statewide list.
Admissions Criteria, Course Grades, GPAs, Validations
- All four-year public institutions shall issue annually in August a transfer guide covering at least the following items:
- The definition of a transfer student and requirements for admission both to the institution and, if more selective, requirements for admission to particular programs.
- Limitations placed by the institution or its programs for acceptance of standardized examinations (e.g., SAT, ACT) taken more than a given time ago, for academic course work taken elsewhere, for course work repeated due to failure, for course work taken at another institution while the student is academically suspended at his/her home institution, and so forth.
- Institutional and, if more selective, programmatic maximums of course credits allowable in transfer.
- Institutional procedures used to calculate student applicants’ GPAs for transfer admission. Such procedures shall describe how nonstandard grades (withdrawal, withdrawal failing, repeated course, etc.) are evaluated; and they shall also describe whether all course work taken prior to transfer or just course work deemed appropriate to the student’s intended four-year program of study is calculated for purposes of admission to the institution and/or programmatic major.
- Lists of all courses accepted from each technical college (including the 72 courses in the Statewide Articulation Agreement) and the course equivalencies (including “free elective” category) found on the home institution for the courses accepted.
- Lists of all articulation agreements with any public South Carolina two-year or other institution of higher education, together with information about how interested parties can access these agreements.
- Lists of the institution’s Transfer Officer(s) personnel together with telephone and fax numbers and office address.
- Institutional policies related to “academic bankruptcy” (i.e., removing an entire transcript or parts thereof from a failed or underachieving record after a period of years has passed) so that re-entry into the four-year institution with course credit earned in the interim elsewhere is done without regard to the student’s earlier record.
- “Residency requirements” for the minimum number of hours required to be earned at the institution for the degree.
- Course work (individual courses, transfer blocks, statewide agreements) covered within these procedures shall be transferable if the student has completed the course work with a “C” grade (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or above, but transfer of grades does not relieve the student of the obligation to meet any GPA requirements or other admissions requirements of the institution or program to which application has been made.
- Any four-year institution which has institutional or programmatic admissions requirements for transfer students with cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) higher than 2.00 on a 4.00 scale shall apply such entrance requirements equally to transfer students from regionally accredited South Carolina public institutions regardless of whether students are transferring from a four-year or two-year institution.
- Any multi-campus institution or system shall certify by letter to the commission that all course work at all of its campuses applicable to a particular degree program of study is fully acceptable in transfer to meet degree requirements in the same degree program at any other of its campuses.
- Any course work (individual courses, transfer blocks, statewide agreements) covered within these procedures shall be transferable to any public institution without any additional fee and without any further encumbrance such as a “validation examination,” “placement examination/instrument,” “verification instrument,” or any other stricture, notwithstanding any institutional or system policy, procedure, or regulation to the contrary.
Transfer Blocks, Statewide Agreements, Completion of the A.A./A.S. Degree
- The following Transfer Blocks/Statewide Agreements taken at any two-year public institution in South Carolina shall be accepted in their totality toward meeting baccalaureate degree requirements at all four-year public institutions in relevant four-year degree programs, as follows:
- Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Established curriculum block of 46-48 semester hours
- Business Administration: Established curriculum block of 46-51 semester hours
- Engineering: Established curriculum block of 33 semester hours
- Arts and Sciences, curriculum II: Established curriculum block of 48-51 semester hours
- Teacher Education: Established curriculum block of 38-39 semester hours for early childhood, elementary, and special education students only. Secondary education majors and students seeking certification who are not majoring in teacher education should consult the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences or the Math and Science transfer blocks, as relevant, to assure transferability of course work
- Nursing: By statewide agreement, at least 60 semester hours shall be accepted by any public four-year institution toward the baccalaureate completion program (BSN) from graduates of any associate degree program in nursing (ADN), provided that the program is accredited by the National League of Nursing and that the graduate has successfully passed the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and is a currently licensed registered nurse.
- Any “unique” academic program not specifically or by extension covered by one of the statewide transfer blocks/agreements listed in #4 above shall either create its own transfer block of 35 or more credit hours with the approval of CHE staff or shall adopt either the Arts/Social Science/Humanities or the Science/Mathematics block by September 1996. The institution at which such program is located shall inform the staff of the CHE and every institutional president and vice president for academic affairs about this decision.
- Any student who has completed either an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree program at any public two-year South Carolina institution which contains within it the total course work found in either the Arts/Social Sciences/Humanities Transfer Block or the Math/Science Transfer Block shall automatically be entitled to junior-level status or its equivalent at whatever public senior institution to which the student might have been admitted. (Note: As agreed by the Committee on Academic Affairs, junior status applies only to campus activities such as priority order for registration for courses, residence hall assignments, parking, athletic event tickets, etc., and not in calculating academic degree credits.)
Related Reports and Statewide Documents
- All applicable recommendations found in the commission’s report to the General Assembly on the School-to-Work Act (approved by the commission and transmitted to the General Assembly on July 6, 1995) are hereby incorporated into the procedures for transfer of course work among two- and four-year institutions.
- The policy paper entitled State Policy on Transfer and Articulation, as amended to reflect changes in the numbers of transfer blocks and other Commission action since July 6, 1995, is hereby adopted as the statewide policy for institutional good practice in the sending and receiving of all course credits to be transferred.
Assurance of Quality
- All claims from any public two- or four-year institution challenging the effective preparation of any other public institution’s course work for transfer purposes shall be evaluated and appropriate measures shall be taken to reassure that the quality of the course work has been reviewed and approved on a timely basis by sending and receiving institutions alike. This process of formal review shall occur every four years through the staff of the Commission on Higher Education, beginning with the approval of these procedures.
Statewide Publication and Distribution of Information on Transfer
- The staff of the Commission on Higher Education shall print and distribute copies of these Procedures upon their acceptance by the commission. The staff shall also place this document and the Appendices on the commission’s Home Page on the Internet under the title “Transfer Policies.”
- By September 1 of each year, all public four-year institutions shall on their own Home Page on the Internet under the title “Transfer Policies”:
- Print a copy of this entire document (without appendices).
- Print a copy of their entire transfer guide.
- Provide to the staff of the commission in satisfactory format a copy of their entire transfer guide for placing on the commission’s Home Page on the Internet.
- By September 1 of each year, the staff of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education shall on its Home Page on the Internet under the title “Transfer Policies”:
- Print a copy of this document (without appendices).
- Provide to the commission staff in format suitable for placing on the commission’s Home Page of the Internet a list of all articulation agreements that each of the sixteen technical colleges has with public and other four-year institutions of higher education, together with information about how interested parties can access those agreements.
- Each two-year and four-year public institutional catalog shall contain a section entitled “TRANSFER: STATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.” Such section at a minimum shall.
- Publish these procedures in their entirety (except Appendices)
- Designate a chief Transfer Officer at the institution who shall
- provide information and other appropriate support for students considering transfer and recent transfers
- serve as a clearinghouse for information on issues of transfer in the State of South Carolina
- provide definitive institutional rulings on transfer questions for the institution’s students under these procedures
- work closely with feeder institutions to assure ease in transfer for their students.
- Designate other programmatic Transfer Officer(s) as the size of the institution and the variety
- Refer interested parties to the institutional Transfer Guide of the state’s four-year institutions
- Refer interested parties to the institution’s and the Commission on Higher Education’s Home Pages on the Internet for further information regarding transfer.
Summer School Admission
New undergraduate students entering the University for the first time in a summer term who expect to continue studying toward a degree submit only one application. They must meet all requirements for admission as degree-seeking students before the beginning of the summer term. These students should not submit a separate application for the summer term.
Summer Attendance Only. Students who wish to attend the University for the summer only should apply as special students under the “Admission as a Nondegree Candidate” paragraph included in this section. Students enrolled in degree programs in another college who wish to take summer courses at USC Sumter as transients should seek written approval to take specific USC courses from a dean or department chair in their home college.
Admission of International Students
International applicants* are required to submit proof that they have sufficient funds to support them while attending USC Sumter.
Applicants currently in the United States must submit evidence of reasonable proficiency in English. This may be done by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieving a satisfactory score (550 written, 213 computer). USC Sumter reserves the right to administer a writing proficiency test and have it evaluated by USC Sumter English department faculty before acceptance may be granted.
Applicants currently in the United States must also present a valid passport, copy of the I-94 form, copy of a valid visa, and a copy of a current I-20 form. Individuals who do not have a student visa or an immigrant visa must contact the USC Sumter Admissions Services Office.
Applicants residing in their home country must submit a TOEFL printed test score of at least 550 or at least 213 on the computer version. Applicants from English-speaking nations do not need to take the test.
Applicants under the age of 23 from English-speaking countries should take the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) if they have less than 30 credit hours of University-level work. An institutional SAT may be arranged for such students.
All students must have official transcripts of high-school work or its equivalent and college and university work or its equivalent sent directly from the institutions to the admissions services office. International students are urged to apply at least two months in advance of the term that they wish to start.
Note: All international students must enroll on a full-time basis and must complete at least 30 semester hours with at least a C average on the USC Sumter campus before applying for transfer to another campus.
*Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
Veteran students may apply to receive credit toward graduation for training received under any of the armed forces college training programs. University credit may also be given for specialized and technical training done under the auspices of the armed forces and for courses taken through the United States Armed Forces Institute. This training may only be accepted by the University for credit if it is at the collegiate level, if it is approved by the University, and if it is appropriate to the particular University course of study in which the student enrolls. Armed forces training will not be evaluated until the applicant has been accepted for admission as a degree candidate. No credit is given for high-school level GED tests.
Information regarding educational benefits to veterans and the children of deceased or disabled veterans may be obtained from the USC Sumter Office of Veterans Affairs.