Academic Catalog

Academic Regulations

As the chief governing body of the University of South Carolina, the board of trustees delegates powers to the president, the chancellor, and the faculty in accord with its policies. Subject to the review of the chancellor, the president and the board of trustees, the faculty retains legislative powers in all matters pertaining to the standards of admission, registration, instruction, research and extracurricular activities; the requirements for the granting of degrees earned in course; the curricula; the discipline of students; the educational policies and standards of the University; and all other matters affecting the conduct of academic affairs.

The University reserves the right to make changes in curricula, degree requirements, course offerings, and all academic regulations, at any time when, in the judgment of the faculty, the chancellor, the president or the board of trustees, such changes are for the best interest of the students.

The University assumes that students, through the act of registration, accept all published academic regulations appearing in this catalog, online course schedule, the University website, or in any other official announcement.

Unforeseen circumstances may interfere with the scheduling of any particular course or degree offering. Students are expected to take such developments into account as they arise, even if doing so means a delay in some of their academic goals or a modification of those goals. Each academic unit concerned works closely with students facing such problems in an effort to resolve them. Classes may be cancelled for extenuating circumstances such as insufficient enrollment.

Rights of Catalog

An undergraduate student may choose to obtain a degree in accordance with the curricular requirements in force when he or she first enrolls in the University or under subsequent requirements published while the student is enrolled.

The following conditions apply to the selection of degree requirements:

  1. A student has eight years continuous and inclusive to claim the requirements of a specific catalog.
  2. A student who is absent for more than five years must select the catalog in effect at the time of his or her return.
  3. The choice of requirements is restricted to a single bulletin.
  4. A student may not appeal to requirements adopted and abandoned while he or she was not enrolled in the University.

A student who is absent from the University, for even a short time, may find that there have been drastic changes in curricula and programs. In such cases, there may be no choice for the student but to adopt the new program or a transitional program approved by the dean. USC Upstate is not responsible for providing programs or courses that were deleted during the student’s absence.

Course of Study

Students are expected to follow the program outlined by their college or school as closely as possible, particularly in the first two years when they are satisfying general education requirements and prerequisites for advanced work.

Students must complete courses in the prescribed sequence. Failure to do so may lead to future schedule difficulties, and students may find that the course for which they wish to enroll is not available.

Course Substitutions

Under unavoidable and exceptional circumstances, the faculty may permit a substitution or an exemption from the ordinary processes to complete the prescribed curricula. Students requesting a deviation from the prescribed course of study should consult with their academic advisor.

Any deviation from degree requirements as published in the catalog must have the approval of the dean of the student’s major. If the petition is denied, students may appeal to the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. The petition must be approved before a student enrolls in the substitute course.

Students transferring from another college or university desiring to substitute courses taken elsewhere for courses prescribed at USC Upstate must submit a petition to the dean of the college in which they expect to receive a degree.

Change of Major

A student desiring to change his or her program of study (major) is required to log into the change of major form found on the registration and records web page. The student will use their email name and password to log in.  Once the necessary information is completed, the student will click submit to send the form for processing. After the form has been approved by each office, the student will receive an email their major has been changed.  A change of major should be completed in advance of registration, but no later than the end of the 100% drop/add period of the full semester.  Changes of major submitted after this time will be effective with the beginning of the next semester.

Change of Name

A student wishing a name change must present to the Records Office the name change form and proper legal documentation such as a marriage license, a court order approving a name change, or a divorce decree in which a name change is granted.

Change of Address

Students are obligated to notify the Records Office of any change of address and/or phone number. Failure to do so can cause serious delay in the handling of student records and notification of emergencies at home. Students change their address by using Self Service Carolina or email


A student who is indebted to the University may be prohibited from attending class or registering for future terms. Indebtedness to the University may also prevent conferring of a degree and issuance of a diploma or a transcript.

Students who have a repayment obligation for federal, state or loan funds (including but not limited to Pell Grant, SEOG, SCNBG, Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan, SC Life Scholarship, etc.) are not permitted to receive federal, state or institutional financial aid.    

Change of Campus Within USC System

Students wishing to change campuses within the University of South Carolina System must be currently enrolled and may initiate the process on Self Service Carolina. Eligibility is determined by the campus and major to which the student wishes to transfer, and is based on hours earned, GPA, and in some cases, specific courses. Students are responsible for meeting all requirements and deadlines and should verify eligibility prior to completing the application.


Final Examinations

Final examinations are scheduled at the end of each semester and term. A calendar of examination times is published on the USC Upstate website. All final examinations must be administered during the time period designated in the calendar of examination times. Instructors may allow students to switch from one examination section to another when that instructor teaches multiple sections of the same course. Exceptions from this policy should be addressed to the senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. Laboratory examinations are normally scheduled during the last meeting of the lab. A student who is absent from a final examination will receive a grade of F in the course if an excuse acceptable to the instructor is not offered. When the instructor excuses an absence from the examination, a grade of I (incomplete) is awarded until the examination is made up. Please see the section on incompletes on page 56. A student who is excused must take the examination at the convenience of the instructor. In any case, the examination must be made up within one year. Reexamination or the assignment of additional work for the purpose of removing an F or for raising a grade is not permitted.


Faculty are restricted in the scheduling of tests only during the final week of classes of a regular semester. Restrictions are as follows:

Class Meetings Per Week Testing Restrictions
1 No testing during the last class meeting
2 No testing during the last 2 class meetings
3 No testing during the last 2 class meetings
4 or more No testing during the last 3 class meetings

These restrictions do not apply to laboratory examinations which may be administered during the last week of classes.

Academic Standing

Classification of Students

Classification of students is based on the total number of semester hours earned. A student with less than 30 hours is considered a freshman. A student must have earned 30 semester hours to be classified as a sophomore, 60 for classification as a junior, and 90 for classification as a senior. Students are classified at the beginning of each semester.

All students enrolled at USC Upstate are subject to the same continuation standards. Administration of these regulations is the responsibility of the senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and is coordinated by the Registrar's Office. Students seeking relief from these regulations must go through the appeal process (see Academic Suspension Appeal Process). The following standards regarding scholastic eligibility are applicable to all undergraduate students.