College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences 

Joel Samuels, J.D., Dean
Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for College Initiatives and Interdisciplinary Programs
Mylene Culbreath, Ph.D., Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
Christy Friend, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Nina Levine, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Jane Roberts, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Natural Sciences 
Jeff Twiss, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education

Overview of the College

As the largest college at the University of South Carolina, the College of Arts and Sciences is the intellectual, artistic, scientific, and instructional heart of the university.  The college is home to award-winning scientists, scholars and teachers that span the arts, humanities, natural science, and social science disciplines. The college's 26 schools, departments, academic programs, and institutes offer 109 degrees to over 8,700 undergraduates and more than 850 graduate students.  College faculty are consistently recognized both nationally and internationally for teaching and research excellence.  

With more than 450 Faculty and over $30 million in extramural funding annually, the college offers more than 70 graduate programs and provides students with a broad selection of both disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas of study. The college champions hands-on learning, critical thinking, creativity, communication skills, resilience, teamwork and other skills and attributes that form the foundation of success in graduates’ lives and careers.

As the heart of a major research university, the college is a hub of research excellence and creative and scholarly activities. Research in the college is funded by federal agencies and various foundations and many graduate students are supported by faculty-led research programs and college assistantships. Together, research and scholarly/creative activities advance knowledge and produce novel work with impact in literature, biomedical sciences, climate and other natural sciences, education, public policy, and more. In our rapidly changing world, it is now more imperative than ever that students leave the University with an education founded in social and cultural awareness, thoughtful and ethical decision-making, emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate clearly and with informed intent. The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to offer an educational experience that truly transforms and enriches the lives of not only our students, but of all of those they will impact.

Academic Departments

The College of Arts and Sciences consists of graduate programs in 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; Sociology; Statistics; and Theatre and Dance, as well as interdisciplinary programs, such as Linguistics, the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, and the School of Visual Art and Design.

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.  We also maintain four SmartState Centers: Childhood Neurotherapeutics; Data Analysis, Simulation, Imaging and Visualization; Experimental Nanoscale Physics; and Polymer Nanocomposites.

As part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Humanities Collaborative advances interdisciplinary humanistic inquiry by initiating new collaborations and supporting ongoing intellectual, creative, and investigative endeavors among faculty, students, and members of the public. 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. 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.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Graduate Education

The College of Arts and Sciences is dedicated to promoting diversity throughout all its endeavors. We strive to foster an environment that values and is strengthened by the many different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences that faculty, students and staff bring to our learning community.  As a vital part of graduate education, there are many academic and curricular opportunities for students to explore what it means to be an engaged citizen of diverse, inclusive, and equitable state, national and global communities.

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 Mathematics, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Science. In cooperation with the College of Education, the college offers the Master of Arts in Teaching in selected disciplines. 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 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 Museum Management.  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.