A Visit to the University of South Carolina

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By Sue Luse


USC is located in Columbia, South Carolina, which is the capital and largest city in South Carolina. Columbia is very scenic and lies at the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River,which merge to form the Congaree River. As with most of South Carolina, Columbia is known for it’s mild winters, early springs, warm autumns and, of course, it’s hot and humid summers.

USC is a beautiful leafy campus with a reflecting pool and fountains. The campus is close to Five Points – an area of college-friendly restaurants, bars and unique shops.  There’s world-famous beaches and the Blue Ridge Mountains less than 3 hours away.


USC’s undergraduate curriculum begins with the Carolina Core, made up of foundational courses, which apply across disciplines. Students select foundational Carolina Core courses that span the liberal arts and sciences.  In addition, students choose an integrated Carolina Core course in their program major. Leadership is emphasized and at the core of the classes that form USC’s educational requirements.

USC has 15 Colleges & Schools, offers more than 350 degree programs and encourages research. The most popular majors are International Business, Engineering, Hotel Management, Psychology, Nursing and Law Enforcement. Freshman will attend a lot of large lecture classes.

Student Life



  • Residence halls are considered to be learning-enhancing communities. Students choose between General Learning Communities in which residents have a variety of majors and academic interests or Associated Learning Communities which have a specific academic focus.


  • More than 400 student organizations on campus
  • The Leadership & Service Center provides plenty of programs to help connect students to the larger community
  • Plenty of musical performances, theater and dance events and art events and exhibits
  • USC offers intramural sports, club sports and lots of outdoor recreation opportunities and has a new state of the art fitness center


USC Football Stadium

USC Football Stadium

  • Carolina football teams consistently attract standing-room only crowds to the Williams-Brice Stadium. The atmosphere on game days has been voted “the best” by SECsports.com. In addition to serving as the home of the Gamecocks, the stadium has been the site of many concerts, state high school football championships, and various other events. The stadium is sometimes called “The Cock Pit” by Gamecock fans and local media, and seats over 80,000.
  • At the open of the 2012 season, the stadium featured a new Daktronics 36′ high by 124′ wide high-definition video scoreboard – the 3rd largest in the Southeastern conference. Also unveiled was a new 52-acre tailgating area, landscaped with over 650 trees and featuring a 100′ wide pathway called the “Garnet Way”.  At games, the team, the band and the cheerleaders now walk this pathway as they enter the stadium.


  • Admission to USC is primarily based on high school courses and grades as well as SAT or ACT Scores
  • Average ACT of 24-29 and average SAT of 11-30-1280
  • 75% of admitted 2014 students earned a weighted core GPA of at least 3.59
  • Students who complete the required 18 high school academic units with at least a 3.5 GPA and earn scores as mentioned above are usually competitive for admission
  • Letters of Recommendation are NOT required
  • USC’s acceptance rate is 64%
  • Non-resident estimated tuition, housing, meals, books & supplies is $41,712
  • Students with excellent high school grades and competitive ACT or SAT scores are considered for merit scholarships

What Kind of Student Would be Happy Here

USC is full of outgoing and friendly students who love Carolina and have been cheering on the Gamecocks all their lives. Even though South Carolina is a conservative state, USC attracts all kinds of students though many are religious. Northern students fit in just fine even though you would stand out coming from Minnesota. Students who love an active Greek life and school spirit with fun tailgating will find this campus welcoming. With 97 percent of freshman living on campus, USC does not feel like a suitcase college. And for students looking for challenging academics, the South Carolina Honors College is ranked number one in the country compared to other public universities.

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