College of Arts and Sciences

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. Today, the college is a vibrant community of learning on the forefront of advances in teaching, learning and research.

With more than 600 Faculty and over $30 million in extramural funding annually, the college offers more than 70 graduate programs, giving students 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 activity. Many graduate students are supported by faculty-led research programs and college  assistantships. Research in the college is funded by federal agencies and various foundations. Together, these advance knowledge and produce new work with impact in literature, biomedical sciences, climate and other natural sciences, education, public policy, and more. Its arts programs also make a cultural contribution to South Carolina and beyond.  These programs provide engaged learning that serves as a catalyst for discovery and innovation that facilitates 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 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.

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.

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.