General Information

The University of South Carolina Lancaster strives to provide an opportunity to any student who shows promise of successfully completing a college education. This determination is made by reviewing the student’s official high school transcript, college transcript, and if applicable standardized test scores.  The University encourages all qualified persons to apply. Equal educational opportunities are offered to students regardless of race, sex, religion, color, or national origin.

An online admission application along with required documents (i.e. official transcript(s) and test scores) must be submitted before a decision can be rendered.  If a student is admissible based on required CHE coursework, GPA, and standardized test scores, an official notification of provisional acceptance will be issued by mail from the Office of Admissions and Records.  Before a person can receive final admittance and register for classes, additional paperwork and/or documents must be provided for final review.  All credentials required by University policy must be received by the admissions office, which has responsibility for evaluation of credentials for the purpose of admission.

Online Applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee specified on the application for admission. The Online Application can be found here or at and click apply.  Senior citizens (60years of age) can obtain a one-page paper application from the Office of Admissions and Records located in Starr Hall 123.  

Applications cannot be submitted more than one year in advance of the anticipated date of enrollment.  The number of students admitted and enrolled in any semester will be determined by the capacity of the institution to provide for the educational and other needs of the students, and by budgetary or other appropriate considerations. Admissions policies and procedures are subject to continuous review by the Executive Director of Enrollment Management, Admissions Staff and the Admissions, Petitions, and Grade Change Committee, and may be changed without notice.

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 acceptance letter.

Proof of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is required before a student will be allowed to enroll in on campus classes at the University of South Carolina Lancaster. The meningitis vaccine is recommended for all first-year students (entering freshmen 24 years of age and younger). If you decline the meningitis vaccine, your signature and date are required on a meningitis vaccine waiver form. A parent's signature is required for students less than 18 years of age.

Individual campus visits may be scheduled online at Campus Tour Request.  All individual tour requests must be done online.  Group visits (10 or more) must be scheduled through the Executive Director of Enrollment Management at (803) 313-7073 or

Freshman Admission

A freshman applicant is an individual who has not attended a regionally accredited college or university following high school graduation. Applicants who attended a college or university prior to high school graduation must enroll as freshmen and submit official transcripts of all attempted courses.


Freshman applicants must have either a high school diploma from a regionally accredited association or its equivalent (GED) prior to enrolling. Accepted applicants must submit senior grades and a verification of graduation as soon as they are available. Applicants who did not graduate from high school must submit a copy of a GED certificate or satisfactory GED test scores.

Freshman Applicants Must Submit:

  • Completed Application for Admission & Application Fee 
  • Official High School Transcript or GED Test Scores

Current transcripts should be submitted at the time of application.
If applicable, final transcripts must be submitted following high school graduation.

Validating High School Completion Documents

High school and GED transcripts are considered official when received directly from a high school or recognized educational agency. In the event there are concerns about the validity of a transcript received, the Admissions Office will contact the appropriate entity to verify the validity of the document(s) and determine whether they are acceptable. If there are concerns about the accreditation of the school or agency providing the transcript(s), the Admissions Office will utilize official State or U.S. Department of Education agency resources for verification.

College Preparatory Course Prerequisite Requirements

High School transcripts for freshman applicants must show completion of the College Preparatory Curriculum, which includes 20 units of the following academic subjects:

  • FOUR UNITS OF ENGLISH: All four units must have strong reading (including works of fiction and non-fiction), writing, communicating, and researching components. It is strongly recommended that students take two units that are literature based, including American, British, and World Literature.
  • FOUR UNITS OF MATHEMATICS: These units must include Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. A fourth higher-level mathematics unit should be taken before or during the senior year.
  • THREE UNITS OF LABORATORY SCIENCE: Two units must be taken in two different fields of the physical, earth, or life sciences and selected from among biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science. The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science) or from any laboratory science for which biology, chemistry, physics and/or earth science is a prerequisite. Courses in general or introductory science for which one of these four units is not a prerequisite will not meet this requirement. It’s strongly recommended that students desiring to pursue careers in science, mathematics, engineering or technology take one course in all four fields: biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science.
  • TWO UNITS OF THE SAME WORLD LANGUAGE: Two units with a heavy emphasis on language acquisition.
  • THREE UNITS OF SOCIAL SCIENCE: One unit of U.S. History, a half unit of Economics, and a half unit of Government are required. World History or Geography is strongly recommended.
  • ONE UNIT OF FINE ARTS: One unit in appreciation of, history of, or performance in one of the fine arts. This unit should be selected from among media/digital arts, dance, music, theater, or visual and spatial arts.
  • ONE UNIT OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION OR ROTC: One unit of physical education to include one semester of personal fitness and another semester in lifetime fitness. Exemption applies to students enrolled in Junior ROTC and for students exempted because of physical disability or for religious reasons.
  • TWO UNITS OF ELECTIVES: Two units must be taken as electives. A college preparatory course in Computer Science (i.e., one involving significant programming content, not simply keyboarding or using applications) is strongly recommended for this elective. Other acceptable electives include college preparatory courses in English; fine arts; foreign languages; social science; humanities; mathematics; physical education; and laboratory science (courses for which biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science is a prerequisite).

Total: 20

Important Notes:

  • 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 have a 2.0 GPA (4.0 scale) or higher for admission. Applicants with a GPA less than 2.0 or with missing College Preparatory Course Prerequisite Requirements will be reviewed by the designated admissions committee for a determination on admission to the institution.
  • Standardized test scores (e.g., ACT, SAT) are not required for admission but may be submitted or requested if pertinent for scholarship or other committee review.
  • Students admitted with 'in-progress' transcripts (i.e., prior to high school graduation) cannot register for subsequent semesters until all final documents are received.
  • Applicants can update their start term within 365 days of submission.

Freshman applicants are encouraged to apply 6-12 months prior to the term for which they seek admission. However, applications for admission will be accepted and reviewed year-round.

Other Admissions Opportunities

CAP Students

The Conditional Admission Program (CAP) is a special admissions program open to students who do not meet the regular requirements for pre-baccalaureate admission as described above. Depending on their high school curriculum and/or entrance examination scores (ACT or SAT), students may still be eligible for admission through CAP. For complete details about eligibility and requirements, students should contact the Office of Admissions and Records at (803) 313-7073 or Most students in this program must complete 30 semester hours at USC Lancaster with a 2.00 GPA or higher to attend one of the USC four-year campuses.

Admission as a Nondegree Seeking 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.

Special Students

This category is for part-time 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 non-degree students. Courses completed by special students carry full University credit; however, none of the hours are applicable toward a degree until the student applies and qualifies for admission to a degree program. Usually no credentials are required if the applicant has no plan to seek a degree. Visiting or transient students are required to submit a transient permission form from their home institution that includes verification of good academic standing.

Senior Citizens

A senior citizen (age 60 or above) may be eligible to enroll in courses at USC Lancaster tuition-free, on a space available basis. In order to be eligible, a person must be admitted to the University of South Carolina Lancaster and have been a resident of South Carolina for at least 12 months. A special form documenting eligibility must be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records.

Please note that senior citizens are responsible for all charges which are not tuition. This includes, but is not limited to, the application fee, technology fee, other applicable course fees, and purchase textbooks.

High School, Concurrent (Dual Enrollment)

High school concurrent applicants must have a High School GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) and the recommendation of the high school principal or their designee, following the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education’s Statewide Higher Education Policy for Delivery and Transferability of “Dual Enrollment”.

High School Concurrent Applicants Must Submit:

  • Completed Application for Admission & Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcripts
    • Transcripts must be current through the term of enrollment.

Important Notes:

  • Standardized test scores (e.g., ACT, SAT) are not required for admission.
  • Documented exceptions may be made for freshman or sophomore students at the request of the high school principal, his or her designee, or the designee of the governing school association.
  • The institution may establish additional criteria for admission into courses.
  • Applicants who are recommended by their school principal or designed but do not meet requirements will be reviewed by the designated admissions committee for a determination on admission to the institution.
  • Enrollment eligibility is restricted to partner schools and districts. For questions about eligibility, contact the institution’s dual enrollment coordinator or school guidance office.
  • Applicants can update their start term within 365 days of submission.

High school concurrent applicants are encouraged to apply 6-12 months prior to the term for which they seek admission. However, applications for admission will be accepted and reviewed year-round.


An auditor may apply as a special student (see above). Classes that are audited at USC may not be retaken for credit towards a degree later.

Military Special

Certification of active duty military status is required.

Persons attending the University in any of these categories will be non-degree candidates. Credit earned while attending as a non-degree 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 non-degree student. The period of enrollment in these categories is limited by either time or number of allowable credits. The official acceptance letter explains all enrollment restrictions for the category in question. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid or veteran’s 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 available online  by clicking apply. Readmission to the University and to the program in which the student was previously enrolled is not automatic.

Students who attend the University as special students (including probationary or non-degree 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. The petition for reinstatement is made to the Admissions, Petitions, and Grade Change Committee.

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.

Applications should be submitted before these deadlines:

  • Fall term: July 1
  • Fall II term: September 1
  • Spring term: December 1
  • Spring II term: February 1
  • Summer terms: Three weeks prior to registration for the term.

Note: These deadlines are subject to change at any time.

Summer School Admission

New 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 refer to the “Admission as a Non-degree Seeking Candidate” paragraph included in this section. Students enrolled in degree programs at another college or university who wish to take summer courses at USC as transients should seek written approval to take specific courses from a dean or department chair at their home institution.

Transfer Admission

A transfer applicant is an individual who has attended another regionally accredited college or university following graduation of high school or completion of a GED.


Transfer applicants must have a Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (4.0 scale). If fewer than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level work have been attempted, the applicant must also meet freshman admission requirements.

Transfer Applicants Must Submit:

  • Completed Application for Admission & Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges and universities attended are required.
  • Transcripts with in-progress work will not be accepted.
  • If less than 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of college-level work were attempted, official high school transcripts or GED test scores are also required.

Important Notes:

  • A transfer grade point average is calculated using all credits attempted and all grades earned on college-level courses at regionally accredited institutions outside the USC System.
  • Applicants with a GPA less than 2.0 (4.0 scale) will be reviewed by the designated admissions committee for a determination on admission to the institution.
  • Applicants can update their start term within 365 days of submission.

Transfer applicants are encouraged to apply 6-12 months prior to the term for which they seek admission. However, applications for admission will be accepted and reviewed year-round.

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 degree program 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.

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.

Students transferring to the University from another college or university must, before enrolling in class at the University, have their transcripts evaluated by the University. It is only in the light of such evaluation that students will know definitively the transferability and equivalency of each transfer course.

Transferability refers to the conditions under which the University accepts credit for inclusion in the student’s record. Transfer courses must have been taken at a regionally accredited post-secondary institution, or, if taken at a foreign post-secondary institution, have been recommended by a NACES - member external evaluation service. Coursework classified as remedial by the University will appear on the student’s record, but will not be used to determine admission eligibility or a transfer GPA. Exceptions to this rule may be made by the Office of the Registrar when state scholarship eligibility rules require inclusion.

Equivalency entails equating transfer credit, both in hours and content, to University of South Carolina coursework. The Registrar’s Office works with USC colleges and schools to coordinate the process of transfer evaluation to equate transfer courses directly to courses in the USC course catalog; to subject codes which represent subjects not offered at USC ; or to subject codes that identify courses as remedial/technical/non-accredited coursework.

Applicability of credit toward a degree refers to the prerogative of academic divisions to count specific credit toward the fulfillment of a student’s degree requirements. The student’s college, school or campus of enrollment is responsible for determining applicability.

However, a transfer course is generally not applicable towards any University of South Carolina academic program or degree if:

  • The transfer course was occupational or technical in nature (examples: welding, paralegal, radiography courses).
  • The transfer course was essentially remedial in nature (example: Developmental English).
  • A grade lower than 2.0 on a 4 point scale, or equivalent, was earned in the transfer course.
  • The transfer course was taken by a degree-seeking University of South Carolina student without prior approval as described in the Earning Credit in Transient Status section of this bulletin.
  • The transfer course was taken while a student was on an academic suspension from a University of South Carolina campus.
  • The student received any grade other than W in an equivalent course at this university, unless the student was enrolled full-time at least one year at the transfer institution.

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 or campus 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 Financial Aid, University of South Carolina Lancaster.)

A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit earned while classified as a non-degree special student at 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, but may be used to evaluate a student’s eligibility for readmission.

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

  1. 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
  2. All four-year public institutions shall issue annually in August a transfer guide covering at least the following items:
    1. The definition of a transfer student and requirements for admission both to the institution and, if more selective, requirements for admission to particular programs.
    2. 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.
    3. Institutional and, if more selective, programmatic maximums of course credits allowable in transfer.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Lists of the institution’s Transfer Officer(s) personnel together with telephone and fax numbers and office address.
    8. 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.
    9. “Residency requirements” for the minimum number of hours required to be earned at the institution for the degree.
  3. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.”
  12. 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”:
    1. Print a copy of this entire document (without appendices).
    2. Print a copy of their entire transfer guide.
    3. 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.
  13. 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”:
    1. Print a copy of this document (without appendices).
    2. 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.
  14. 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.
    1. Publish these procedures in their entirety (except Appendices)
    2. 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.
    3. Designate other programmatic Transfer Officer(s) as the size of the institution and the variety
    4. Refer interested parties to the institutional Transfer Guide of the state’s four-year institutions
    5. Refer interested parties to the institution’s and the Commission on Higher Education’s Home Pages on the Internet for further information regarding transfer.

Admission of International Students

The University welcomes the applications of qualified international students.1 At least six months before the beginning of the semester they wish to enter, and in the case of freshman applicants, at least nine months beforehand, students must send a complete application, including standardized test scores, school records, and financial statements, to the Office of Admissions and Records. Students who have attended colleges and universities outside of the United States are required to submit a professional credential evaluation of all work completed.

International applicants must be proficient in the English language. A score of 550 or above on the paper version of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required (a score of 210 on the computerized version is required, and a score of 77 on the Internet version is required). TOEFL scores are not required for international students from countries where the primary language of instruction is English nor from graduates of high schools in the United States.

An English proficiency test will be administered to international students, except those from English-speaking countries, upon arrival at the University. All international students must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in written and oral English to progress at the University level. Students who are not proficient in English will be required to take noncredit, concentrated English language training until proficiency is demonstrated.

In addition, freshman applicants must have completed a level of education equivalent to that of students entering from accredited secondary schools in the United States and have superior grades on their school work. Applicants who seek to enter from another college or university in the United States must meet transfer admission requirements.

International applicants will not be allowed to enroll in classes until they establish their ability to pay education expenses. The policies of certain countries have created financial difficulties for their citizens studying at the University. Applicants from these countries will be so notified and required to make an advance deposit of expenses. Applicants from other nations must submit certification of financial support to satisfy this requirement. International students should not expect to obtain any financial assistance from the University.


Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Placement Examinations

Student Orientation and Testing Programs

All new students are expected to take placement tests (math and foreign language) and attend an orientation program (advisement and registration for classes) prior to their enrollment. Information on these programs may be obtained electronically  or by calling (803) 313-7066. Summer orientation days for parents, freshmen and transfers are held in June, July and August. Abbreviated orientations are also held immediately prior to classes beginning in January.

Advanced Placement by Examination

Baccalaureate degree candidates may qualify for degree credit and/or advanced placement through successful completion of the following exams:

  • The College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Examinations are offered in American government and politics, American history, art history, art studio (drawing 2D and 3D), biology, chemistry, comparative government and politics, computer science (A and AB), economics (macro and micro), English language and composition, English composition and literature, environmental science, European history, foreign languages (French, German, Latin, and Spanish), human geography, mathematics-calculus (AB and BC), music (theory and listening and literature), physics (B, C part 1, C part 2), psychology, and statistics. Questions concerning credit awards should be referred to the Office of Admissions and Records in Room 126, Starr Hall. 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examinations in biology, business and organization, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, French, geography, German, history, Latin, mathematics, music, physics, psychology, social anthropology, Spanish, theatre arts, and visual arts. Questions concerning credit awards should be referred to the Office of Admissions and Records.
  • Tests in foreign languages and mathematics are required for all new freshmen. Transfer students may be required to take the same tests. Information regarding these placement examinations may be obtained by contacting the Office of Student Life at (803) 313-7066.

Candidates who do not pass a particular test are not permitted to repeat that test. The required credits must be obtained instead by enrollment and satisfactory completion of the course(s) involved. Specific information about test content and policies may be obtained from the appropriate department.

Proof of Citizenship

USC Lancaster students must present proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. prior to enrolling. This policy has been adopted by the University in order to comply with section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, which requires that lawful presence in the United States is verified before enrollment at any public institution of higher education. Verification of immigration status for non-citizens will be conducted by international student officials. For other students, a proof of citizenship verification process has been adopted to deter and prevent false claims of citizenship by unlawful aliens attempting to evade the eligibility requirements of section 59-101-430. All students must present proof of citizenship in the form of one of the following acceptable documents:

  • Copy of the South Carolina driver’s license if the student first became a licensed driver in the state after January 1, 2002;
  • A Certified Birth Certificate indicating that you were born in the United States or a territory of the United States
  • Current U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport that has not been expired more than 10 years
  • Certificate of Naturalization - USCIS Form (N-550 or N-570) 
  • U.S. government issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)
  • Unexpired U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID Card (DOD DD-2)

The University can accept photocopies of birth certificates and other citizenship documents, but reserves the right to request production of the certified original in the event that there are questions about whether the copy is true and accurate, or if any of the information on the provided copy is illegible.

For more information: