The primary mission of the University of South Carolina Columbia is the education of the state’s citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement.
Among America’s oldest and most comprehensive public universities, USC Columbia is the major research institution of the University of South Carolina system and its largest campus, enrolling approximately 21,000 undergraduate students and approximately 8,000 students in graduate and professional programs. At the heart of its mission lies the University’s responsibility to state and society to promote the dissemination of knowledge, cultural enrichment, and an enhanced quality of life.
The University serves a diverse population of students with widely varying backgrounds, career goals, and levels of aspiration. USC Columbia offers over 320 degrees at the bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional program levels, affording students the most comprehensive array of educational programs in the state. Additional opportunities for personal and career development, including an associate degree program at Fort Jackson, are provided to the citizens of South Carolina through outreach and continuing education activities.
Through the primary method of classroom and laboratory instruction, and through a secondary method of distance learning delivered via the Internet, teleconference, and electronic media, degree programs are offered in the following areas: arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing; hospitality, retail, and sport management; mass communications and information studies; music; public health; and social work; and in professional programs such as business, law, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy. The depth and breadth of its graduate programs in the arts and sciences, international business, public health, social work, and library and information science distinguishes USC Columbia from all other institutions of higher learning in South Carolina.
Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research and service institution, nationally ranked in start-up businesses, and conferring over 30% of all bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded at public institutions in South Carolina, the University has a profound relevance, reach, and impact on the people of the state. As the flagship institution of the state system, USC Columbia leads the way in providing all students with the highest-quality education, including the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for success and responsible citizenship in a complex and changing world through engagement in nationally and internationally ranked research, scholarship, community outreach, and artistic creation.
USC Columbia mission statement approved by the Board of Trustees - July 2010