Academic Catalog


Undergraduate Admission

The University of South Carolina Upstate seeks to enroll students who will benefit from and contribute to the University. USC Upstate encourages all qualified students to apply for admission. Candidates for admission should possess the academic background to indicate the potential for collegiate success. Admission to USC Upstate does not guarantee or imply admission to any university program. The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Requests for undergraduate application forms and catalogs should be addressed to the Office of Admissions. The Office of Admissions is open Monday through Friday and is located on the main level of the Health Education Complex.

Phone: 864-503-5246 Spartanburg
             864-552-4242 Greenville
             1-800-277-8727 Elsewhere
Fax:  864-503-5727

Application Procedures

  1. Application

    Prospective students should submit a completed application to the Office of Admissions with a non-refundable $45 application fee.  
  2. Transcripts

    All freshman applicants must submit transcripts of their high school record from the present or last high school attended. Applicants who attend a post-secondary institution while in high school or during the summer are classified as freshmen. However, official transcripts of the college work must be submitted. Transfer applicants must submit a transcript mailed directly to the USC Upstate Office of Admissions from each college attended. Transfer students with less than 30 semester hours of college credit are required to submit a high school transcript. It is the applicant's responsibility to have the required documentation forwarded to the Office of Admissions. All transcripts become permanent records of USC Upstate and will not be forwarded or returned.   
  3. Test Scores - optional

    All applicants who are 21 years of age or younger, with the exception of transfer applicants who have completed at least 30 semester hours of college credit, may submit results of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Testing program (ACT). All students desiring college credit should submit official copies of all AP and IB test scores.
  4. Interviews and Campus Visits

    Although not required, students are encouraged to visit USC Upstate to meet with university representatives and tour the campus.  Appointments should be scheduled by calling the Office of Admissions.

Each applicant will be notified when an application for admission is received by the Office of Admissions and an admission decision will be made upon receipt of required documents. Decisions for admission are made on a rolling basis.

Degree-Seeking Admission

A. Freshman Admission

  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED certificate)
  • Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores or American College Testing Program (ACT) scores (Test optional)

Students should present evidence of ability for academic success. Applicants who are interested in receiving credit by exam, military credit or credit for non-collegiate programs should refer to the academic regulations section of the catalog for more information.

Freshman High School Course Requirements

Students should prepare for the challenges at USC Upstate by taking a rigorous academic curriculum while in high school. Students who graduated from high school in 2011 or after are required to have completed the following high school units:

Area Units Descriptions
English 4 At least two units having strong grammar and composition components; at least one unit in English literature; and at least one unit in American literature (completion of college preparatory English I, II, III and IV will meet requirements).
Mathematics 4 These include Algebra I (for which Applied Mathematics I and II may count together as a substitute, if a student successfully completes Algebra II), Algebra II, and Geometry. A fourth higher-level mathematics course should be selected from among Algebra III/ trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, statistics, discrete mathematics, or a capstone mathematics course and should be taken during the senior year.
Laboratory Science 3 Two units must be taken in two different fields such as biology, chemistry or physics. The third may be from the same field as one of the first two or from any lab science where biology and chemistry is a prerequisite.
Foreign Language 2 Two units of the same foreign language. A third is strongly recommended.
U.S. History 1 One unit of U.S History
Social Studies 2 Economics and Government are strongly recommended
Fine Arts 1 One unit in appreciation of, history of, or performance in one of the fine arts.
P.E. or ROTC 1 One unit of physical education or ROTC
Electives 1 One unit must be taken as an elective. A college preparatory course in Computer Science (i.e., one involving significant programming content, not simply keyboarding) is strongly recommended for this elective. Other acceptable electives include college preparatory courses in English; fine arts; foreign languages; social science; humanities; laboratory science (excluding earth science, general physical science, general environmental science, or other introductory science courses for which biology and/ or chemistry is not a prerequisite); or mathematics above the level of Algebra II.

Assessment of Academic Records

Freshman applicants who satisfy the course requirements listed above will be evaluated on the basis of high school curriculum, grades, class rank and SAT (verbal and math) or ACT (composite) scores. These factors will be used to determine the applicant's probability of success during the freshman year.

Exception to admissions requirements will be considered for applicants who can present extenuating circumstances. Where appropriate, the Admissions Office will refer such cases to the Student Services Committee. All freshmen admitted by the Student Services Committee will be required to enroll in the University 101 course during their first semester of attendance. Students must pass UNIV U101 The Student in the University in their freshmen year.  Typically, any student admitted with a high school course deficiency will be required to successfully complete an equivalent course in their first 30 semester hours of coursework at USC Upstate.

B. Transfer Admission

A transfer applicant is a student who has attended another post-secondary institution after graduation from high school regardless of the amount of credit earned at that institution. Applicants must submit transcripts of all previous college courses whether or not credit was earned and regardless of whether the applicant wishes to transfer any credit. Failure to report all colleges attended may constitute immediate cancellation of admission and/or registration. Transfer requirements are listed below.

  1. A minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in all previous college-level course work.1
  2.  Evidence that the applicant is academically and otherwise eligible to return to the last institution attended.
  3. If fewer than 30 semester hours of college-level work have been completed, the applicant must meet both freshman and transfer requirements.

Specific degree programs may have additional GPA or other requirements for admission to the major.

USC System Change of Campus

All applicants for change of campus to USC Upstate from other USC system campuses will be required to meet transfer student requirements:

  1. A minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in all previous college-level course work.1
  2. Evidence that the applicant is academically and otherwise eligible to return to the last institution attended.
  3. If fewer than 30 semester hours of college-level work have been completed, the applicant must meet both freshman and transfer requirements.

Specific degree programs may have additional GPA or other requirements for admission to the major.

Transfer applicants who have not attended school for two years or longer and are at least 22 years of age, may be eligible for probationary admission even if they do not meet GPA requirements. Students who are on academic probation must obtain at least a 2.0 average on the first 12 or more credit hours attempted under this status. These hours may be taken over more than one semester. Students failing to meet this requirement are suspended. Students who leave the University without completing a term of probation, and are absent for three or more years, will begin a new term of probation upon readmission.

Transfer students are informed by the dean or division chair of their major of the amount of credit which will transfer, usually prior to enrollment, but at least prior to the end of the first academic term in which they are enrolled.

Transfer Credit

The transcript of a transfer student is evaluated by the dean, chair or designee of the school or college in which he or she matriculates. If no major or an undeclared major is indicated at the time of application, the transcript will be evaluated by the Transfer Coordinator in the Student Success Center, and is re-evaluated by a dean, chair, or designee once the student declares a major.

To promote seamless transfer to USC Upstate, we accept Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees from any two-year regionally accredited institutions having met the general education requirements of USC Upstate. Students with an AA or AS degree will be awarded 60 transfer credit hours and awarded junior status.

To be eligible for this comprehensive transfer of credits, students must have an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and a grade of "C" or better in all transfer courses. Students who do not complete a degree are eligible to transfer credits on a course-by-course basis. Associate of Applied Science degrees are eligible for course by course transfer of credits.

In some cases, not all credit awarded may be degree applicable. Due to degree requirements in some majors, additional 100- or 200-level courses may be required beyond the courses taken at the two-year college. Similarly, degree requirements for some majors may not be addressed by coursework completed for BA/BS degrees at other institutions.

Students who have earned an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree from a regionally accredited institution can meet USC Upstate's general education requirements by completing the SACSCOC minimum 30-hour requirement for general education. Due to degree requirements in some majors, additional 100- or 200- level courses may be required beyond the SACSCOC minimum.

This transfer policy does not relieve the student of the obligation to meet any GPA requirements or other admissions requirements of the institution or program to which they have applied. Any upper-division general education requirements, prerequisite requirements, and residency requirements remain unaffected by this agreement.

USC Upstate does not limit the number of hours transferred for degree credit from a senior college that is accredited by a regional association such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. A maximum of 90 semester hours may be transferred for degree credit from a junior college or two-year institution that is accredited by a regional accrediting association. USC Upstate requires that every student meet the academic residency requirements before a degree is awarded.

A student transferring from a four-year institution not accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association may request that hours earned at the nonaccredited institution be evaluated for possible transfer credit after successful completion of 15 hours at USC Upstate with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Credits earned at two-year nonaccredited institutions may be validated by examination. Exemption credit or acceptance of transfer credit by another college has no bearing on the evaluation of transfer credit at USC Upstate.

As a general rule, some courses are not acceptable in transfer to USC Upstate or to the other campuses of the University of South Carolina. Included are occupational or technical courses, remedial courses, courses from a two-year college that are considered upper-level at the University, or courses from a two-year college that are not part of that institution’s college transfer program. Exceptions to this rule may be made only by the dean of the student’s school or college or by the vice chancellor for academic affairs.  Exceptions are made only in specific cases where the courses being considered for transfer are judged to be uniquely relevant to the student’s degree program.

A course completed at another college or university in which a student earns a grade below C cannot be transferred. USC Upstate uses all grades (with the exception of grades for remedial courses and courses taken on a pass-fail basis) listed on transcripts of other institutions in the calculation of the transfer GPA. Therefore, the GPA as calculated by USC Upstate may be different than the one appearing on the transcript of another institution.  A GPA calculated by USC Upstate will be used in determining admission to USC Upstate or to a particular program.

Admissions Criteria, Course Grades, GPA’s, Validations

All four-year public institutions shall issue annually in August a transfer guide covering at least the following items:

  1. The definition of a transfer student and requirements for admission both to the institution and, if more selective, requirements for admission to particular programs.
  2. 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.
  3. Institutional and, if more selective, programmatic maximums of course credits allowable in transfer.
  4. 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.
  5. Lists of all courses accepted from each technical college (including the 86 courses in the Statewide Articulation Agreement) and the course equivalencies (including “free elective” category) found on the home institution for the courses accepted.  
  6. 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.
  7. Lists of the institution’s Transfer Officer(s) personnel together with telephone and fax numbers and office address.
  8. 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.
  9. “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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

C. Readmission

Students whose undergraduate degree seeking attendance at any USC campus has been interrupted for any reason for one or more major semesters (spring/fall) must apply for readmission.  An application fee of $10 is required if you have attended USC Upstate. Readmission to USC Upstate and to the program in which the student was previously enrolled is not automatic.  Former students who have attended other institutions after leaving the University of South Carolina are considered transfer students and should follow the procedures for transfer admission. Students who wish to return to the University after being suspended should refer to the continuation standards for more information. Students who are on academic probation must obtain at least a 2.0 average on the first 12 or more grade hours attempted under this status. These hours may be taken over more than one semester. Students failing to meet this requirement are suspended. Students who leave the University without completing a term of probation, and are absent for three or more years, will begin a new term of probation upon readmission.


Upon readmission, students should contact the office of their major for an advisement and registration appointment.

D. International

Applicants who are citizens of a country other than the United States and who do not have permanent resident status are classified as international students.  In addition to meeting general admissions requirements, applicants are required to:    

  1. submit application for admission with $100 application fee;
  2. submit official school records (transcripts, diplomas or certificates of study), translated to English; Applicants with foreign university work must submit a course-by-course evaluation with GPA from a NACES approved company. An admissions decision will not be made until the evaluation and all transcripts are on file;
  3. 1present a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 500 (paper based) or 173 (computer based) or 61 (internet based); TOEFL is not required of students whose native language is English;
  4. be academically and otherwise eligible to return to the last college attended;
  5. 1have a minimum SAT score of 850;    
  6. provide documentation of health insurance;
  7. meet freshman/transfer requirements if applicant has attended school in the United States; and
  8. submit bank statements or certified statement of financial ability to pay all education expenses.

test scores may be waived in exceptional circumstances

All applications, fees and credentials for international student admission must be received by December 1 for spring admission and July 15 for fall admission. A Certificate of Eligibility (FORM I-20) is issued to those applicants who meet all requirements for admission to a full-time degree program.  

E. Second Baccalaureate Degree when First Degree is not from USC Upstate

Applicants who have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States other than USC Upstate or from an institution recognized by a comparable regulatory system in another country can earn a second baccalaureate degree from USC Upstate, if the following conditions are met:

  • Students meet the minimum 30-hour requirement for General Education as outlined by SACSCOC or take additional courses to meet this requirement;
  • While at USC Upstate, students complete a minimum of 30-credit hours and meet all the requirements of the declared major including any foundational courses and pre-requisites;
  • Students' combined credit from both baccalaureate degrees must be at least 150-credit hours or the equivalent.

Non-Degree Seeking Admission

Applicants who wish to attend USC Upstate for one semester or on some limited basis, and who do not intend to pursue a degree at USC Upstate, may be approved to do so by submitting a Non-Degree Application for Admission and a $10 non-refundable application fee. The Office of Admissions reserves the right to determine the proper category of admission and to determine what credentials may be required. USC Upstate requires that prerequisites be fulfilled before approval to enroll in course(s). Academic transcripts must be provided. Applicants who have been officially denied admission are not eligible as non-degree candidates.

A. Concurrent High School Seniors

High school seniors may enroll in university courses for college credit.  To be considered for this program applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or SAT score of 1000/ACT composite of 22 and obtain a written recommendation from their high school principal or guidance counselor indicating the courses to be taken at USC Upstate. An application for admission must be submitted.

B. Upstate Scholars Academy Students

Scholars Academy students are academically talented high school students from Spartanburg County who are chosen to participate by a selection committee.  These students enroll in university courses for college credit in a non-degree seeking status and may earn up to 60 hours of college credit.

C. Transient

Admission to undergraduate courses for one semester or summer school may be granted to students from other colleges and universities who are certified to be in good academic standing and whose program of study is approved by that institution.  

D. Audit

Applicants who wish to take USC Upstate courses without earning credit may apply for admission as an audit student. Auditing is granted on a space-available basis only.

E. Undergraduates with a Bachelor's Degree

Students who hold a baccalaureate degree may be admitted to undergraduate credit courses upon submission of a transcript showing graduation with a bachelor's degree or a copy of a college diploma. A transcript is needed if the applicant would like assistance in selecting appropriate courses. This category is designed for students who are seeking teacher accreditation or professional development.

F. Other

Students who would like to take courses for personal enrichment or professional enhancement may be admitted to take up to 30 semester hours of credit. After 30 semester hours of credit, a student may apply for admission as a degree seeking candidate. Transcripts are required from the last institution attended to validate that the student is in good academic standing.


Applicants will be notified of registration procedures by the Office of Admissions.

Senior Citizens

Section 59-111-320 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as amended, authorizes state-assisted universities to permit South Carolina residents who have attained the age of 60 to attend classes on a space-available basis without payment of tuition if these persons do not receive compensation as full-time employees. The costs of any fees, charges, and/or textbooks normally associated with the course remain in effect and must be borne by the student. Applicants must submit an application and a $45 non-refundable degree-seeking application fee or a $10 non-refundable non-degree-seeking application fee.  Candidates are required to meet admission standards and may take classes for credit or audit.


All students are required to have a history of current immunizations on file prior to enrollment. This includes documentation of one of the following:

  1. receiving two doses of MMR Rubeola (Red Measles), Mumps, and Rubella (German Measles) vaccine; or
  2. positive serum titers (blood antibody tests) for Rubella and Rubeola; or
  3. birthdate before 1957 in order to qualify for an exemption from these immunizations.

Proof of vaccination with Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine (brand names: Adacel® or  Boostrix®) after July, 2005. Proof of meningitis vaccination received after 2005 (with Menactra® or Menveo®) is required for all incoming freshmen residing in University Housing, prior to moving into your assigned residential facility.

Tuberculosis Screening for International Students

Effective Fall, 2009, all incoming international students will be required to have proof of

  1. a negative (zero millimeters) tuberculin skin test within six (6) months of admission to the University; or
  2. a negative chest X-ray, if known to have a history of a positive tuberculin skin test.

These vaccines and tests are available and can be administered while on-campus for orientation by appointment during regular office hours.  Applicable fees are posted on the Health Services website.  Some students may qualify to receive vaccines free-of-charge, dependent upon eligibility under guidelines established by the federal Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program. For more information, contact Health Services at (864) 503-5191.

The Immunization Form is available by going to the “Freshmen Student Enrollment Checklist” and clicking on the link for “Submit immunization records” on the Enrollment Services Web site. Once these records have been completed and signed by your health care provider, you should mail these to the attention of the Health Services; fax to (864)503-5099; or hand-deliver these records to Health Services while visiting campus. You cannot register for future courses until you have returned your forms and received an immunization clearance through Health Services. Questions regarding immunization should be directed to Health Services at 864-503-5191.

Proof of Citizenship

Effective January 1, 2009, all USC students must present proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. before enrolling. This policy (ACAF 3.40) has been adopted by the University in order to comply with section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, which requires that lawful presence in the United States is verified before enrollment at any public institution of higher education. Verification of immigration status for non-citizens will be conducted by International student officials. For other students, a proof of citizenship verification process has been adopted to deter and prevent false claims of citizenship by unlawful aliens attempting to evade the eligibility requirements of section 59-101-430. The University will do all it can to verify citizenship using other means, but many students will be contacted to complete a verification form and present proof of citizenship in the form of the following acceptable documents:

  • Copy of the South Carolina driver's license if the student first became a licensed driver in the state after Jan. 1, 2002;
  • A Certified Birth Certificate indicating that you were born in the United States or a territory of the United States;
  • Current U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport that has not been expired more than 10 years;
  • Certificate of Naturalization - USCIS Form (N-550 or N-570);
  • U.S. government issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
  • Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561);
  • Unexpired U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID Card (DOD DD-2)

Note: If name has changed since birth, student must present all legal documents (i.e., adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, and court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from the name which appears on the birth certificate or proof of citizenship to the present. To avoid relinquishing an original document, a student may present it in person. The University can accept photocopies of birth certificates and other citizenship documents so long as we reserve the right to demand production of the certified original in the event we have any questions about whether the copy is true and accurate, or in the event any of the information on the copy is unreadable. For more information, visit:

New Student Services

Orientation and Registration
New freshman and transfer students
will choose from several orientation and registration dates. Reservations are made through the Office of Admissions. During the session, students will meet with an advisor and register for classes. Special programs and campus tours are also provided.

Advisement Testing
New freshman
are encouraged to complete math and English testing before orientation according to guidelines mailed to students after admission. Testing is required prior to registration. Science testing is required for Nursing and Exercise Science majors. Foreign language testing is available for all new freshmen and some transfer students.  

Transfer students should set up an appointment with the testing coordinator in the Office of Admissions to schedule any necessary advisement testing. Advisement test may be required by department chair or advisor for courses related to major of choice—if not completed and transferred from another school.

USC Upstate currently offers traditional-style housing for freshman and apartment-style housing for upperclassman.  Palmetto Villas is an on-campus, apartment style residential complex that is operated and supervised by the University. It houses 348 upperclassman in two-bedroom units that are furnished, air-conditioned, and has a kitchen with stove, refrigerator, and sink with a disposal unit. All units are networked as part of the USC Upstate system. The Palmetto House and Magnolia House complexes consist of single and double occupancy rooms, open areas, and three recreation rooms. Each hall features a private study area and laundry facilities. In addition, there is a recreation room with three flat screen TVs, an assortment of games (billiards, ping-pong, foosball, air hockey) plus a vending area. This coeducational facility has controlled access, full sprinkler system, Internet access, cable television, green space, and adjacent parking.
Applications for housing are processed through the Housing Office. On-campus housing at USC Upstate is very popular and space is limited. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.  

*Beginning in Fall 2011, all freshmen under the age of 20 living within a 35 mile radius of campus are required to live on campus unless they are living with their parents or guardians.