Academic Programs

Associate’s Degree Programs

The University of South Carolina offers the Associate in Arts degree and the Associate in Science degree at the Union campus to those students who have earned 60 hours of credit and completed the following requirements:

  • Learning Outcomes
  • Carolina Core - All Associates
  • Associate of Arts Degree Curriculum
  • Associate of Science Degree Curriculum
  • Other Requirements
  • Second Associate’s Degree

Learning Outcomes for Associate’s Degree Programs

Graduates will be able to:

  • Identify and analyze issues, develop logical and persuasive arguments, and communicate ideas clearly for a variety of audiences and purposes through writing.
  • Apply the methods of mathematical, statistical, or analytical reasoning to critically evaluate data, solve problems, and effectively communicate findings verbally and graphically.
  • Apply the principles and language of the natural sciences and associated technologies to historical and contemporary issues.
  • Communicate in more than one language.
  • Use the principles of historical thinking to understand past human societies.
  • Use the principles of the social sciences to explore diverse cultural identities and to analyze political and environmental issues. 
  • Create or interpret literary, visual or performing arts.

and be able to demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • Identify and analyze issues, develop logical and persuasive arguments, and communicate ideas clearly for a variety of audiences and purposes through speaking.
  • Collect, manage and evaluate information using technology, and communicate findings.
  • Examine different kinds of social and personal values, analyzing the ways in which these are manifested in communities as well as individual lives.

Carolina Core - 15 Hours

These serve as general education requirements common to all associate degrees.

CMW: Effective, Engaged and Persuasive Communication: Writing (6 Hours) Must be passed with a grade of C or higher

SCI: Scientific Literacy (3 Hours)

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

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

Associate of Arts Degree Curriculum - 60 Hours

  1. Basic Requirements (including 15 hours of Carolina Core stated above) (37-38 Hours)

    ​All course selections are from the approved Carolina Core Learning Outcomes list unless otherwise specified.
    • CMW: Effective, Engaged and Persuasive Communication: Writing (6 Hours)
      ​Must be passed with a grade of C or higher
    • ARP: Analytical Reasoning and Problem-Solving (3 Hours)
      ​Choose from MATH, CSCE, PHIL, STAT including MATH 111 Basic College Mathematics or MATH 115 Precalculus Mathematics 
    • SCI: Scientific Literacy (7-8 Hours)
      Must include at least 1 laboratory science course
    • GFL: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-3 Hours)
      ​One 3-hour language course at any level or score of “2” on placement exam
    • GHS: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 Hours)
    • GSS: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (6 Hours)
    • AIU: Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (6 Hours)
    • Choose one of the following three options (3 Hours minimum):
      • CMS: Effective, Engaged and Persuasive Communication: Speech (3 Hours)
      • INF: Information Literacy (3 Hours)
      • VSR: Values, Ethics and Social Responsibility (3 Hours)
  2. Electives for A.A. Degrees (22-23 Hours)
    Electives may be any additional courses not used to fulfill the previously stated requirements. Students who intend to apply these credits toward a baccalaureate degree awarded by another campus or institution are advised to work closely with an academic advisor to choose electives that will meet preliminary requirements of the four-year major they wish to pursue. Of particular importance is completion of general education requirements. UofSC Columbia requires a minimum of 31 general education credit hours and a student planning to pursue a UofSC Columbia baccalaureate degree must complete these hours. These hours can be incorporated within the 60 hours required for an AA or AS degree when electives are carefully selected. Applying for an associate’s degree does not in any manner affect eligibility to apply for a baccalaureate degree, and vice versa.

Associate of Science Degree Curriculum - 60 Hours

  1. Basic Requirements (including 15 hours of Carolina Core stated above) (38-42 Hours)

    ​All course selections are from the approved Carolina Core Learning Outcomes list unless otherwise specified.
    • CMW: Effective, Engaged and Persuasive Communication: Writing (6 Hours)
      ​Must be passed with a grade of C or higher
    • ARP: Analytical Reasoning and Problem-Solving (6 Hours)
      ​Choose from MATH, CSCE, PHIL, STAT including MATH 111 Basic College Mathematics or MATH 115 Precalculus Mathematics 
    • SCI: Scientific Literacy (8-12 Hours)
      ​Must include at least 2 laboratory science courses
    • GFL: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-3 Hours)
      ​One 3-hour language course at any level or score of “2” on placement exam
    • GHS: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 Hours)
    • GSS: Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (6 Hours)
    • AIU: Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 Hours)
    • Choose one of the following three options (3 Hours minimum):
      • CMS: Effective, Engaged and Persuasive Communication: Speech (3 Hours)
      • INF: Information Literacy (3 Hours)
      • VSR: Values, Ethics and Social Responsibility (3 Hours)
  2. Electives for A.A. Degrees (18-22 Hours)
    Electives may be any additional courses not used to fulfill the previously stated requirements. Students who intend to apply these credits toward a baccalaureate degree awarded by another campus or institution are advised to work closely with an academic advisor to choose electives that will meet preliminary requirements of the four-year major they wish to pursue. Of particular importance is completion of general education requirements. UofSC Columbia requires a minimum of 31 general education credit hours and a student planning to pursue a UofSC Columbia baccalaureate degree must complete these hours. These hours can be incorporated within the 60 hours required for an AA or AS degree when electives are carefully selected. Applying for an associate’s degree does not in any manner affect eligibility to apply for a baccalaureate degree, and vice versa.

Other Requirements

In addition to the requirements for the A.A. and A.S. degrees stated above, the following stipulations also apply:

  • Students must have an institutional GPA of 2.00 or better (does not include course grades earned by challenge examinations).
  • A minimum of 15 semester hours must be earned at UofSC Union.
  • No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees.
  • Pass-Fail option on elective courses is allowed.
  • No more than 15 hours of nontraditional credits, which include DANTES, CLEP, and military experience.
  • No more than 3 1-hour PEDU activity courses may count toward meeting Associate’s degree requirements (any track).

Second Associate’s Degree

At times the University of South Carolina Union confers a second associate’s degree upon candidates who have completed all requirements for the second degree, provided that the additional requirements for the second degree include a minimum of 12 semester hours beyond those required for the first degree earned at UofSC Union and a minimum of 72 semester hours total. Under this policy a student may apply for two degrees at one time or separately. In either case the student would receive two diplomas.

Baccalaureate Degree Programs

Palmetto College

Palmetto College combines the resources of the University of South Carolina system with the flexibility of course delivery formats including on-campus, traditional classes, two-way video classes, and online classes.

Faculties from Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union, as well as Extended University in Columbia, use two-way interactive video to teach students at multiple sites simultaneously as well as fully online, asynchronous instruction. These delivery mechanisms give students access to many more course options than are available face-to-face on their campuses.

  • Liberal Studies, B.A.
  • Organizational Leadership, B.A.

University 101

University 101 is a three-hour seminar course, open for credit only to freshmen and to other undergraduate students (i.e., transfer students) in their first year at UofSC Union. This course provides an introduction to the nature and importance of university education and a general orientation to the functions and resources of the University.

The course helps new students adjust to the University, develop a better understanding of the learning process, and acquire essential academic survival skills. It also provides students a support group in a critical year by examining problems common to the new-student experience. Extensive reading and writing assignments relevant to the student’s college experience are required.

Organized in small groups of 20-25 students, University 101 is taught by faculty members and administrative personnel who have a special interest in working with new students. The course may be taken as part of a student’s regular load or as an overload. Course credit is awarded on a letter-grade basis. Credit is applicable as elective credit toward almost all baccalaureate degrees offered by the University.

Evening Classes

For the benefit of those whose personal or work schedules make day attendance impossible or impractical, UofSC Union offers numerous courses after 5 p.m., in two different formats: one hour and 15 minute classes meet twice per week in the early evening, and 2 hour and 45 minute classes meet once per week in the later evening.

Off-Campus/Laurens Classes

UofSC Union offers a variety of courses in Laurens at the Laurens location. This program offers area citizens the opportunity to begin their postsecondary education career near home. Students may expect to complete their freshman year before having to commute to Union or other area institutions to complete their degree. The local phone number is 864-983-1517.

Distributed Learning Courses

UofSC offers a variety of beginning and upper-division courses through the Office of Distributed learning. Courses are taught via live streaming video, DVD and hybrid formats. 

Independent Study

These courses, numbered 399, are available for advanced students who wish to engage in additional study and research in specific areas of interest. Students work under the supervision of a UofSC Union professor, and a contract approved by the instructor, advisor, and academic dean is required.

Continuing Education

The University of South Carolina Union provides, based on need-available resources, a program of continuing education for the people of the region. The continuing education program consists of short courses, workshops, seminars, and activities covering a variety of topics. The purpose of continuing education is to allow people to increase their general knowledge, learn a skill, or satisfy a long-held curiosity. Participants in this program do not receive traditional grades but may be awarded continuing education units (CEUs) in recognition of satisfactorily completing a UofSC nondegree program.

Baccalaureate Degree Programs

Many students who enter the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree programs intend to apply these credits toward a baccalaureate degree awarded by another institution. These students are advised to work closely with their advisor to outline a program of study for the first two years that will meet preliminary requirements of the four-year major they wish to pursue.

These students are also strongly advised to obtain and use the bulletin for the Columbia campus when determining specific degree requirements. Preliminary general education course work toward the following UofSC degree programs may be taken at UofSC Union.