Interdisciplinary Studies, BARSC


Admission to the College is based upon proof of a student’s potential for high academic achievement. Admission criteria include outstanding work in high school, high aptitude test scores, the ability to write well, and a strong intellectual curiosity. A candidate for the College must be accepted to the University and then must submit a separate application for admission to the Honors College.

The admissions policies are administered by the coordinator of admissions for the South Carolina Honors College in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The normal standards to be considered for admission include, but are not confined to, an SAT of 1340 or greater and a strong academic performance in high school, as well as evidence of keen analytical skills and a clear writing style. Transfer students and students already enrolled in the University who have a GPA of 3.60 on a 4.00 scale also may be considered for admission. Admission of such students will be contingent on a review of the student’s overall college record, the quality of the application, and the availability of space in the Honors College.

Degree Requirements (126 Hours)

The individualized curriculum of a BARSC degree candidate is supervised by an advisory committee, which aids BARSC candidates in course selection and career orientation. In place of the university’s traditional major and other requirements, BARSC students must take a wide range of courses designed to develop intellectual inquisitiveness. These requirements are constructed so that BARSC students satisfy the basic Carolina Core degree requirements and South Carolina Honors College requirements. Students must also submit a senior thesis or project worth 9 to 12 credit hours and complete a total of 69 honors course credit hours. Graduation with the BARSC degree requires a 3.50 cumulative GPA, and a 3.60 for completion of the Accelerated Pre-Medicine Concentration. Major requirements are set by each student’s advisory committee, depending on his or her goals and needs.

Program of Study

All degree requirements must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 32-44
2. College Requirements 4-45
3. Program Requirements 12-66
4. Major Requirements 24-78

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core (32-44 hours)

CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

​ARP- Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6 hours)

​SCI-Scientific Literacy (8 hours)

  • Two 4-credit hours CC-SCI laboratory science courses

GFL- Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency through the 122-level in one foreign language that satisfies the Carolina Core.  This requirement may be fulfilled by achieving a placement score that places the student in an intermediate-level or higher foreign language course. (Placement score numbering scales vary by language)

GHS- Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)

GSS- Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)

Note: Students pursuing the Accelerated Pre-Medicine Concentration must take PSYC 101 to fulfill the Carolina Core GSS.

AIU- Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

CMS- Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component (0-3 hours)

INF- Information Literacy¹ (0-3 hours)

VSR- Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility¹ (0-3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements – Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (4-45 hours)

To fulfill these requirements, courses must be listed as a "South Carolina Honors College" course.  Requirements may be fulfilled by Carolina Core, Supporting Courses, or major or minor courses.  For example, a student could take an Honors-designated major course or Carolina Core course and the course would fulfill the Honors requirement and major/Carolina Core requirement.  Students may choose to fulfill these requirements in any way that works with their major, minor, or personal interests, meaning there is no specific order in which you must take certain classes. If courses taken to fulfill Carolina Core, Supporting Courses, or major or minor courses are not listed as a “South Carolina Honors College” course, then Honors courses must be taken in addition to fulfill the requirements below.

Honors College Core (45 hours)

Course Title Credits
English or Literature0-3
One Honors course in English composition 1
History of Civilization 10-3
Any Honors course on the history of civilization
Humanities 10-3
Any Honors humanities course
Social Behavioral Science 10-3
Any Honors social or behavioral science course
Natural Science with lab 10-4
Any Honors science course. Must include Honors lab.
Analysis 10-3
Math, logic, statistics, computer science, or other courses so designated.
Honors Electives 10-19
Any Honors courses or up to 6 hours of Study Abroad
Beyond the Classroom 10-3
Undergraduate research, service learning, internship or study away outside of South Carolina (study away can be non-Honors)
Thesis Prep1
HNRS: Proseminar
HNRS: Senior Thesis/Project

Courses vary per semester.  See Honors Course Listing for course offerings.

3. Program Requirements (12-66 hours)

Supporting Courses (12-36 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours)
  • Only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency.
English or Literature (3 hours)
  • One English or Literature course beyond ENGL 101 and ENGL 102.  This course may fulfill the Honors College Core English or Literature or a Carolina Core requirement.  See Honors Course Listing for course offerings.
History (3 hours) 

The BARSC program requires one additional GHS course beyond the Carolina Core GHS requirement.  (One course will always fulfill the Carolina Core-GHS requirement, Honors College Core History of Civilization, or both.)  Accordingly, please select one of the following:

  • If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a U.S. history course, the Honors College history requirement must be fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course.
  • If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course, the Honors College history requirement must be fulfilled by a U.S. history course

Please select the Honors College history requirement from the approved list of U.S. and non-U.S. history courses.  (See Honors Course Listing for additional Honors history course offerings.)

Social Science or Behavioral Science (3 hours) 

The BARSC program requires one additional Social or Behavioral Science beyond the Carolina Core GSS requirement.  This course may fulfill the Honors College Social or Behavioral Science. 

Courses include: 

The Accelerated Pre-Medicine concentration requiresSOCY 101.

BarSc Honors Requirements (3-24 hours)

Students must take 24 hours of honors course work, in addition to the 45 honors core credit hours, for a total of 69 honors credit hours.  These credit hours may be taken as part of the Carolina Core, Major, Minor, or BARSC program requirements.  As part of the required Honors coursework a student must include:

  • Independent Study (SCHC 497) or other committee-approved course, preferably a graduate-level course, or Beyond the Classroom experience (3 hours)
  • Thesis (6 hours): SCHC 499 -- Senior Thesis/Project - Carolina Core Integrative Course

A BARSC student's thesis typically requires  6 additional credit hours.  The expanded thesis project represents the student's effort to pull the strands of this unique educational opportunity together in an extended research/scholarly experience.

Minor (0-18 hours) optional

BARSC student is not required to complete a minor, as most students fulfill all credit hour requirements through their individualized program of study.  Some students, however, may choose to complete a minor consisting of 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study, such as a foreign language. Minors may be selected from a University-wide list of approved minors. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. Minor requirements can satisfy Honors College course requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or better.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.

Electives (0-54 hours)

The number of electives needed to reach minimum degree requirements will vary, depending upon the number of hours in the major, how Carolina Core and Honors College Core requirements are fulfilled.

4. Major Requirements (24-78 hours)

Major courses typically demonstrate depth and breadth of study in at least two academic disciplines, as determined by student's academic advisor and BARSC Committee.

Accelerated Pre-Medicine Concentration (24-78 hours)

Students who are selected for the BARSC MD Accelerated Undergraduate to M.D. program are automatically enrolled in the Accelerated Pre-Medicine Concentration.

The South Carolina Honors College and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia offer an innovative "fast track" program for the honors students who seek a medical degree.  Named "BARSC-MD" for the two degrees it awards, this combined and accelerated program enables admitted students to receive an undergraduate degree from the South Carolina Honors College (Baccalaureus Artium et Scientae), and a medical degree from the UofSC School of Medicine.  BARSC MD students are selected through a rigorous application process during the summer between high school graduation and the start of the fall freshmen semester. Students admitted to this program typically complete their undergraduate degree and their medical degree in seven years. The program includes completion of all pre-medical and additional honors requirements in three years and involves a significant research and thesis component.  Medical school starts in the 4th year of the program and is completed in four years.

Concentration Objectives
  • Students will demonstrate intellectual breadth through completion of all general education requirements for both the B.A. and B.S. degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Students will develop a unique program of study appropriate to students’ particular educational needs and goals that will prepare them for the contemporary practice of medicine.
  • Students will successfully complete all pre-medical course requirements in preparation to enter and excel in medical school after the completion of three years as an undergraduate student.
  • Students will successfully complete quality professional education that includes classroom learning, field experiences, and other applied learning opportunities relevant to the medical field.
Unique Features
  • Minimum Cumulative UofSC GPA of 3.6 by end of each semester and third year of program 
  • Completion of undergraduate degree in three years
  • Automatic acceptance to University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia
    • MCAT not required for medical school acceptance.
    • Letters of recommendation not required for medical school acceptance
  • Ability to design own major by choosing coursework from approved list
Accelerated Pre-Medicine Concentration Requirements

The Accelerated Pre-Medicine program requires 27 credit hours of science and PSYC 101 and SOCY 101.  These courses may fulfill the Honors College Science and/or Carolina Core requirements.

The following courses must be completed as part of the BARSC MD program:

Course Title Credits
BIOL 101
Biological Principles I
and Biological Principles II (+ labs- BIOL 101L & BIOL 102L) 1
CHEM 111
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II (+ labs-CHEM 111L and CHEM 112L) 2, 3
or CHEM 141
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry II
CHEM 333
Organic Chemistry I
and Essentials of Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 4
or CHEM 333L Comprehensive Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 334
Organic Chemistry II
and Essentials of Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 5
or CHEM 334L
BIOL 541
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
and Biochemistry
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology 63
SOCY 101Introductory Sociology 63

May fulfill the CC-SCI and/or Honors College Natural Science Requirement.


May fulfill the CC-SCI


CHEM 141 & CHEM 142 may also fulfill Honors College Natural Science Requirement


CHEM 333 and CHEM 333L may fulfill the Honors College Natural Science Requirement


CHEM 334 and CHEM 334L may fulfill the Honors College Natural Science Requirement


May fulfill the CC-GSS and/or the Honors College Social and Behavioral Science Requirement

Note: Major courses must be submitted to program coordinator for review. Courses in ANTH, BIOL, HPEB, PHIL, PSYC, SOCY, and WGST are generally recommended.

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Interdisciplinary Studies, BARSC