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Office of Institutional Research and Assessment

The University Perspective

The University of South Carolina is a publicly-assisted coeducational institution dedicated to serving the entire state of South Carolina. In addition to the main campus at Columbia, there are three senior campuses (Aiken, Beaufort, and Upstate) and four regional campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union). Enrollment on all campuses totals over 40,000. Of these, nearly 27,000 students are on the Columbia Campus, some 32 percent of whom are enrolled in graduate and professional programs. The University offers more than 360 degree programs, including baccalaureate degrees in 124 areas, 5 programs of study for associate degrees, master's degrees in 175 areas, doctoral degrees in 63 areas, and first professional degrees in law, medicine, and pharmacy. Many programs are nationally and internationally ranked, from the arts, humanities, health and physical science, to law, business and engineering. Regional campuses primarily offer associate degrees to students who may earn 60 hours of baccalaureate credit applicable toward a degree program. In addition to basic courses, the senior campuses primarily offer programs leading to the baccalaureate degree and offer programs leading to a masters degree in Education. Graduate courses are also offered throughout the state under the Graduate Regional Studies program administered by the Columbia campus. Other programs are broadcast via closed-circuit television from studio classrooms on the Columbia campus and through the state's ETV network.

Coinciding with this statewide outreach program has been the establishment of the South Carolina Honors College on the Columbia campus. The College is designed to offer academically gifted undergraduates the finest advantages of a small college in the context of a large metropolitan university.

The University's efforts in the international arena, particularly important to the state's development of foreign trade and investment, continue to expand. Academic exchange programs and research linkages have been established with European, African, and South American universities, as well as with China and Japan.

In keeping with both its 19th-century and its 20th-century heritage, the University continues to promote academic excellence while offering progressive responses to its educational responsibilities and the citizens of South Carolina. This includes the University's devotion to its historical commitment to enhancing not only our students' knowledge, understanding, and economic viability, but also their sense of character, empathy and mutual respect. This ideal was a cornerstone of the original college and remains fundamental to the University's purpose in South Carolina and in society.