University of South Carolina Mission Statement*
The primary mission of the University of South Carolina, a multi-campus public institution serving the entire State of South Carolina, is the education of the state's diverse citizens through teaching, research and creative activity, and service.
The University is committed to providing its students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world. A particular strength of the University of South Carolina is the excellence, breadth, and diversity of the institution's faculty.
Convinced that research and scholarship, including artistic creation, are essential for excellent teaching, the University pursues aggressively an active research and scholarship program. The University is dedicated to using research to improve the quality of life for South Carolinians.
Another important facet of the University's public mission is service -- to its community, state, nation, and the world in such areas as public health, education, social issues, economic development, and family support systems.
Founded in 1801 in Columbia, the University of South Carolina began providing programs in communities statewide in the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, a network of campuses was established in response to community initiative and support for accessible, affordable educational programs principally for local citizens. In the 1970s, the Aiken and Spartanburg senior campuses were granted the authority to award baccalaureate degrees. The Beaufort campus was given this same authority in 2002. While the regional campuses, the senior campuses, and the Columbia campus all pursue teaching, research, creative activity, and service, they do so with an emphasis suited to their individual campus missions.
As a major teaching and research institution, USC Columbia has long offered a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs through the doctoral level. With a mission of teaching, research, and service, USC Columbia addresses the state's needs for master's level, professional, and doctoral education, for conducting and sharing research, and for responding to statewide and regional demands for educational resources and professional expertise.
USC Columbia aspires to national and international stature as it provides equitable access to its opportunities, resources, and activities.
Separately accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Aiken and Spartanburg take as their primary mission the delivery of basic undergraduate education to their respective service areas. SACS accreditation for the Beaufort campus is pending. These senior campuses also offer graduate-level coursework through the University's Extended Graduate Campus program, and sometimes offer master's degree programs in response to regional demand.
Accredited with USC Columbia by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional campuses in Beaufort, Lancaster, Allendale (Salkehatchie), Sumter, and Union principally provide the first two years of undergraduate education, as well as selected associate degree programs mainly for their locales. The regional campuses also provide for the completion of bachelor degrees by offering selected upper-division course work in conjunction with the Aiken, Columbia, and Spartanburg campuses, as well as some graduate education through the University's Extended Graduate Campus program. In addition to providing these programs, the regional campuses bring the resources of the entire University to citizens throughout the state.
*Approved by the Board of Trustees - April 1997 (updated 2004)