The University of South Carolina Sumter strives to provide an opportunity to any student who is capable of benefiting from a college education and shows promise of successfully completing that education. The University encourages all qualified persons to apply. Equal educational opportunities are offered to students regardless of race, sex, religion, color, age, or national origin.
All admissions policies and procedures are subject to continuous review by the Faculty Admissions Committee and the admissions services office; and, although an effort will be made to publicize changes, these policies and procedures may be changed without notice.
Prospective students may obtain application forms from the admissions services office, located in the Administration Building. Application forms are also available at the Shaw office of USC Sumter. You may also apply for admission via the website.
All interested persons should apply well in advance of the beginning of the term of entry. Dates for guaranteed processing of applications have been set and are published in the USC Sumter Master Schedule of Classes.
Applications should be submitted before these dates:
- Fall term: July 15
- Fall II term: September 15
- Spring term: November 15
- Spring II term: February 15
- Summer terms: three weeks prior to registration for the term.
Final determination of whether a student is accepted depends on final receipt and evaluation of all official credentials.
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 letter of acceptance.
Categories of Admission
Exemptions on the following policies may be made by the University on an individual basis. Contact the USC Sumter Admissions Services Office for details.
A student is any person who is admitted, enrolled, or registered for study at the University of South Carolina for any academic period. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing student relationship with the University of South Carolina are considered students.
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).
- 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
Students who did not complete high school but who took the GED equivalency test must provide their GED certificate and high-school transcript through grade completed. An ACT/SAT score may be requested from applicants under the age of 23.
Candidates over the age of 23 may be considered for admission without ACT/SAT scores. They must, however, submit proof of high-school graduation or its state equivalency.
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.
Basic Nondegree Students
This category is for 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 special students. Courses completed as special students carry full University credit; however, none of the hours is applicable to a degree until the student applies and qualifies for admission to a degree program.
A senior citizen (age 60 or above) may enroll in courses at USC Sumter tuition-free on a space available basis. They must pay the application fee, technology fee, other applicable fees, and purchase textbooks.
A high school concurrent (dual enrollment) applicant is a current high school student in their junior or senior year with interest in taking courses through the University prior to high school graduation.
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.
- 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 basic nondegree student (see above).
Certification of active duty military status is required.
Persons attending the University in any of these categories will be nondegree candidates. Credit earned while attending as a nondegree 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 special student. The period of enrollment in these categories is limited by either time or number of allowable credits. Nondegree students are not eligible for financial aid or veterans 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 obtained from the Admissions Services Office or readmit students may apply online. Readmission to the University and to the program in which the student was previously enrolled is not automatic. An interview may be requested and some basis for a favorable decision may be required. The appropriate application fee must be paid.
Students who attend the University as special students (including probationary or nondegree 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. A petition for reinstatement is made to the University college from which the student was suspended.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
- 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
- All four-year public institutions shall issue annually in August a transfer guide covering at least the following items:
- The definition of a transfer student and requirements for admission both to the institution and, if more selective, requirements for admission to particular programs.
- 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.
- Institutional and, if more selective, programmatic maximums of course credits allowable in transfer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lists of the institution’s Transfer Officer(s) personnel together with telephone and fax numbers and office address.
- 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.
- “Residency requirements” for the minimum number of hours required to be earned at the institution for the degree.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.”
- 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”:
- Print a copy of this entire document (without appendices).
- Print a copy of their entire transfer guide.
- 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.
- 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”:
- Print a copy of this document (without appendices).
- 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.
- 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.
- Publish these procedures in their entirety (except Appendices)
- 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.
- Designate other programmatic Transfer Officer(s) as the size of the institution and the variety
- Refer interested parties to the institutional Transfer Guide of the state’s four-year institutions
- Refer interested parties to the institution’s and the Commission on Higher Education’s Home Pages on the Internet for further information regarding transfer.
Summer School Admission
New undergraduate 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 apply as special students under the “Admission as a Nondegree Candidate” paragraph included in this section. Students enrolled in degree programs in another college who wish to take summer courses at USC Sumter as transients should seek written approval to take specific USC courses from a dean or department chair in their home college.
Admission of International Students
International applicants1 are required to submit proof that they have sufficient funds to support them while attending USC Sumter.
Applicants currently in the United States must submit evidence of reasonable proficiency in English. This may be done by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieving a satisfactory score (550 written, 213 computer). USC Sumter reserves the right to administer a writing proficiency test and have it evaluated by USC Sumter English department faculty before acceptance may be granted.
Applicants currently in the United States must also present a valid passport, copy of the I-94 form, copy of a valid visa, and a copy of a current I-20 form. Individuals who do not have a student visa or an immigrant visa must contact the USC Sumter Admissions Services Office.
Applicants residing in their home country must submit a TOEFL printed test score of at least 550 or at least 213 on the computer version. Applicants from English-speaking nations do not need to take the test.
Applicants under the age of 23 from English-speaking countries should take the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) if they have less than 30 credit hours of University-level work. An institutional SAT may be arranged for such students.
All students must have official transcripts of high-school work or its equivalent and college and university work or its equivalent sent directly from the institutions to the admissions services office. International students are urged to apply at least two months in advance of the term that they wish to start.
Note: All international students must enroll on a full-time basis and must complete at least 30 semester hours with at least a C average on the USC Sumter campus before applying for transfer to another campus.
Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
Veteran students may apply to receive credit toward graduation for training received under any of the armed forces college training programs. University credit may also 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. This training may only be accepted by the University for credit if it is at the collegiate 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 as a degree candidate. No credit is given for high-school level GED tests.
Information regarding educational benefits to veterans and the children of deceased or disabled veterans may be obtained from the USC Sumter Office of Veterans Affairs.