Interdisciplinary Studies, BARSC
The South Carolina Honors College offers an innovative and interdisciplinary degree, the Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae, or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BARSC) degree. A student seeking the BARSC degree constructs an individualized program of study that is tailored to his or her specific interests. This allows students with interests that fall outside traditional disciplinary boundaries to pursue undergraduate studies that fit their individual interests, needs, and aptitudes. The Baccalaureus degree is most suitable for students preparing to continue their studies beyond the baccalaureate level, especially in areas expecting a broad educational experience, such as law, government service, various academic graduate programs, and medicine. Admission to this degree program is based on outstanding academic work and a commitment to developing intellectual breadth.
- Students completing the Baccalaureus Artium and Scientiae will have intellectual breadth demonstrated through completion of all general education requirements for both the BA and BS degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Baccalaureus students will study a foreign language at least through the fifth semester (or 300-level).
- In cooperation with their individually assembled BARSC Committees, students will develop a program of study appropriate to their particular educational needs and goals.
- Students will maintain a high level of academic performance.
- Students will be well prepared for the next stage of their academic or professional careers.
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. 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
|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)
- any CC-ARP courses
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)
any CC-GHS course
GSS- Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)
any CC-GSS course
AIU- Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)
- any CC-AIU course
CMS- Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component (0-3 hours)
any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course
INF- Information Literacy¹ (0-3 hours)
any overlay or stand-alone CC-INF course
VSR- Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility¹ (0-3 hours)
any overlay or stand-alone CC-VSR course
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)
|English or Literature||0-3|
|One Honors course in English composition 1|
|History of Civilization 1||0-3|
|Any Honors course on the history of civilization|
|Any Honors humanities course|
|Social Behavioral Science 1||0-3|
|Any Honors social or behavioral science course|
|Natural Science with lab 1||0-4|
|Any Honors science course. Must include Honors lab.|
|Math, logic, statistics, computer science, or other courses so designated.|
|Honors Electives 1||0-19|
|Any Honors courses or up to 6 hours of Study Abroad|
|Beyond the Classroom 1||0-3|
|Undergraduate research, service learning, internship or study away outside of South Carolina (study away can be non-Honors)|
|SCHC 390||HNRS: Proseminar||1-3|
|SCHC 499||HNRS: Senior Thesis/Project||1-15|
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 beyondENGL 101 and ENGL 102. This course may fulfill the Honors College Core English or Literature or a Carolina Core requirement.
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.
Social Science or Behavioral Science (3 hours)
The BARSC program requires 6 credit hours of social or behavioral science. These courses may fulfill the Honors College Social or Behavioral Science and/or Carolina Core requirements. (One course will always fulfill the Carolina Core GSS requirement.)
- Courses Acceptable for Social Science in the College of Arts and Sciences or other approved Honors courses, which vary by semester. (See Honors Course Listing for course offerings.)
BarSc Honors Requirements (3-24 hours)
Student must take 24 hours of honors course work, in addition to the 45 honors core credit hours, including an extensive nine-hour senior honors thesis (listed below) 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.
- Thesis (3-6 hours): SCHC 499 -- Senior Thesis/Project - Carolina Core Integrative Course
- Independent Study (SCHC 399) or other committee-approved course, preferably a graduate-level course, or Beyond the Classroom experience (3 hours)
A BARSC student's thesis typically requires additional credit hours beyond the 4 hours of thesis credit in the Honors College Core required to graduate from the South Carolina Honors College. 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)
Courses required as determined by student’s BARSC Committee. Major courses typically demonstrate depth and breadth of study in at least two academic disciplines.
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.