College of Arts and Sciences

This is an archived copy of the 2020-2021 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit

College of Arts and Sciences 

Dr. Joel Samuels, Interim Dean
Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Associate Dean for Instruction, Community Engagement, and Research
Dr. Cynthia J. Davis, Associate Dean for Arts, Humanities, and Academic Initiatives
Dr. Christy Friend, Interim Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Advising, and Retention
Dr. Todd Shaw, Interim Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and for Social Sciences
Dr. Jeff Twiss, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
Dr. Qiana Whitted, Interim Associate Dean for College Initiatives and Interdisciplinary Programs

Overview of the College

The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest, largest and most academically diverse college at the University of South Carolina. Its disciplines in the arts, humanities and sciences have formed the university’s intellectual core since its founding in 1805. By providing most courses in the Carolina Core, the college provides a foundation for every University of South Carolina undergraduate student. Today, the college is also a vibrant community of learning on the forefront of advances in teaching, learning and research.

The college offers over 40 majors and  minors and more than 70 graduate programs, giving students a broad selection of study areas. Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, the college provides a broad education that champions critical thinking, creativity, communication skills, resilience, teamwork and other skills and attributes that form the foundation of success in graduates’ lives and careers.

The college enriches student learning through active teaching, academic advising, career development and learning beyond the classroom. The Student Excellence Collaborative provides student services and facilitates advising, study abroad, internships and career development with staff dedicated to the needs of arts and sciences students. The Incubator for Teaching Innovation assists faculty with enhancing classroom learning through a variety of teaching methods.

As the heart of a major research university, the college is a hub of research excellence and creative activity. Its faculty-led research programs advance knowledge and produce new work with impact in literature, medicine, education, climate science, public policy, and more. Its arts programs also make a cultural contribution to South Carolina and beyond. These programs provide hands-on, engaged learning for both undergraduate and graduate students, but they also serve as a catalyst for positive change in the local community, the state, the nation and the world. The College of Arts and Sciences transforms the lives of our students and improves the world they will inhabit by creating and sharing knowledge at the frontiers of inquiry.

Academic Departments

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of the Departments of Anthropology; Biological Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Criminology and Criminal Justice; English Language and Literature; Geography; History; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Mathematics; Philosophy; Physics and Astronomy; Political Science; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Statistics; and Theatre and Dance, as well as the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment and the School of Visual Art and Design. Interdisciplinary Programs include African American Studies, Film and Media Studies, Global Studies, Jewish Studies, Linguistics, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Centers and Institutes

Centers and institutes within the college include the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, Center for Civil Rights History and Research, Center for Digital Humanities, Center for Geographic Education, Center for Science Education, Electron Microscopy Center, GISciences Research Laboratory, Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, Interdisciplinary Mathematics Institute, Institute for African American Research, Institute for Mind and Brain, Institute for Southern Studies, McCausland Center for Brain Imaging, Parenting and Family Research Center, Psychological Services Center, S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies.

The college also is home to the McKissick Museum, which fosters awareness and appreciation for the history of the university and the community, culture and environment of the American South.


The School of Visual Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD.) The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been approved by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Committee on Professional Training, and the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry meets ACS requirements. In the Department of Psychology, the graduate degrees in Clinical/Community Psychology are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA); graduate degrees in School Psychology are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) through a partnership with the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE.) The Master of Public Administration degree offered by the Department of Political Science is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA.) The Department of Theatre and Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and the University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA.) Through selected degree programs, the College of Arts and Sciences participates in the teacher education programs of the University that are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Since 1950, students and faculty of the University of South Carolina have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU is a consortium of 98 colleges and universities and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship, and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the DOE facility that ORAU operates, undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, and faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines including business, earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry, and mathematics. Appointment and program length range from one month to four years. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science- and engineering-related disciplines. 

ORAU’s Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU’s members, private industry, and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, such as the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enrichment Awards, the Visiting Industrial Scholar Program, consortium research funding initiatives, faculty research, and support programs as well as services to chief research officers.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, visit the ORAU homepage at or contact the office of the Vice President for Research.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

The College of Arts and Sciences offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Industrial Statistics, Master of Mathematics, Master of Public Administration, Master of Science, and Professional Science Master. In cooperation with the College of Education, the college offers the Master of Arts in Teaching in selected disciplines for uncertified teachers and the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Art Education and the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Sciences for teachers who have been certified. The Department of Statistics offers the Certificate of Graduate Study in Applied Statistics. The Linguistics Program offers the Certificate of Graduate Study in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The Certificate of Graduate Study in Museum Management is offered through the Department of History. The Certificate of Graduate Study in Women’s and Gender Studies is available through the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The Department of Anthropology offers the Certificate of Graduate Study in Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management and the Certificate of Graduate Study in Visual Anthropology. For further information about admission and degree requirements, please consult the Graduate Admissions and Degree Requirements sections of this bulletin and the individual departments and programs listed in the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences visit Programs by College/School or visit the departmental links below.

Departments and Program Areas

Click the links below to view programs and courses administered by each department.

Some programs offered by the College of Arts and Sciences are available as Graduate Dual Degree Programs.