University of South Carolina


Capstone Scholars

Capstone is a two-year academic program designed to provide a smaller community for many of our first and second year students while maintaining all of the resources available at the University of South Carolina. Each fall, approximately 600-700 of some of the nation's brightest students enroll in the Capstone Scholars Program and begin their collegiate experiences as Gamecocks.

How are Students Chosen for Admission into the Capstone Scholars Program?

Students are invited into the Capstone Scholars Program. No separate application is required, and Capstone is open to all majors. All accepted students who apply by the December 1 deadline are given consideration, and Capstone Scholars are usually notified of their admission into the program in early March. Students admitted into the program for fall 2014 presented very competitive high school grade point averages and standardized test scores.

Life as a Capstone Scholar

Many of our current Scholars say that a big advantage of being a Capstone Scholar is having the opportunity to live in Capstone and Columbia Hall, two of our suite-style residence halls. Capstone and Columbia are adjacent to one another and located near many of our main academic buildings. Upperclassman residence advisors supervise each floor, where it's not uncommon to see study groups during a typical weeknight. Students who wish to study outside of their residence hall can venture over to the Capstone Study Shack. The Capstone Study Shack features four separate study areas, a full kitchen, a balcony, and wireless Internet access. Capstone Scholars also have the luxury of a cafeteria, conveniently located in Capstone. Gibbes Court Bistro is on the first floor and serves hot meals throughout the day.

One of the goals of the Capstone Scholars program is to "open doors of opportunity for engaged learning." Capstone Scholars immediately form a close bond by taking Capstone-only sections of University 101, our award-winning freshman transition course. Scholars also are able to take Capstone-only themed sections of English 101 and 102. Capstone class sizes are generally smaller, which allows for more peer interaction and discussion of ideas. Many of our Capstone Scholars study abroad in the Capstone Abroad maymester and spring break courses. Scholars have traveled to such places as London, Ireland, China, and Peru. Scholars are eligible to apply for a $2,000 travel grant to help with the cost of traveling abroad for maymester and summer programs. Capstone Scholars can also apply for the Magellan Apprentice research grant for up to $1,000 as well as internships through a partnership with the Career Center.

Of course, the University recognizes that it is necessary to engage Capstone Scholars outside of the classroom. A variety of programs are offered such as workshops, speaker series, small group discussions on current events, social events, leadership and service opportunities, and more. Capstone Scholars staff meet with the Capstone Scholars once a semester to get to know the students and open doors of opportunities to help all Capstone Scholars succeed at the University of South Carolina.

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