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Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Honors Residence Hall

SC Honors College

The Best of Both Worlds

The South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina has been ranked the nation's top public honors college since 2012. At the Honors College, you'll thrive in an environment that combines the best of a small, liberal arts college with the resources of a major research university. If you love learning, discovery, and exploration, you'll be right at home at the Honors College.

Why study at the South Carolina Honors College?

There are so many reasons to study at the South Carolina Honors College. Here are just a few of them:

  • More than 550 Honors-only classes available each year, from Honors version courses of Biology and English, to boutique classes like the Psychology of the Zombie Apocalypse and study abroad courses like Global Health in Belize or the Art and Culture of Japan
  • Personalized attention, including your own Honors Advisor, in addition to your major advisor
  • Research opportunities (worth up to $10,000) available only to Honors College students, available beginning your freshman year
  • Average class size of just 16 students
  • The Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae degree awarded by the Honors College, which is a program where you can design your own major
  • Special early admission pre-med and pre-law programs

How do I apply to the Honors College?

To be considered for the SC Honors College, you must submit a complete South Carolina Honors College and Top Scholars Application along with your general University freshman application by November 15. Mailed credentials such as counselor evaluation forms and letters of recommendation must be postmarked by this date. The application consist of two essay prompts, and you must submit two letters of recommendation. The essay prompts for this year are as follows:

  • Thinking: Tell us about your intellectual life - What have you read? What do you read, watch, or listen to regularly or typically? What do you like to think about? What bothers you, intrigues you, or excites you? Who are you as a thinker, researcher, intellectual explorer?
  • Doing: Tell us about your engagement with your family, friends, school, community, and/or world. Are you a leader in any sense of the word? What have you accomplished and what do you hope to accomplish? Who are you as a person within a community?

In 2015, students in the  South Carolina Honors Colleges had an interquartile SAT score (critical reading and math sections only) of 1390-1470, or an ACT composite interquartile score of 31-34. Students, on average, were in the top four percent of their class and had an average weighted GPA of 4.65.

As an Honors Student, where do I live?

As a freshman in the South Carolina Honors College, you'll live in the Honors Residence on Blossom Street. This new residence hall boasts Gold LEED certification, and green features flow throughout the space. You'll also take classes in some of the classrooms featured in the building, and you'll enjoy getting coffee in the mornings at the Starbucks located on the ground floor. The Honors Residence Hall was designed with collaboration in mind, and students find it easy to gather together for either an impromptu study session or an Xbox tournament.

Is an Honors Thesis required?

Many students have heard about the required Honors Thesis. The thesis is required to graduate with Honors from the Honors College. We encourage students to think about the thesis as something more than just a research paper. It should be the opportunity to examine your passion through an academic lens. We've had students travel across the US, researching the meaning of success, and submitting a documentary as their thesis work. Others have explored art, music and novels. Many students gain funding specifically for the thesis, and are often able to present their work at national conferences.