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South Carolina Honors College

Transfer FAQs


What opportunities are unique to the Honors College?

There are many! We offer over 600 Honors College classes per year, or over 250 per semester.  These classes are small, averaging about 18 students, allowing for you to engage deeply with your classmates, your professor, and the course content.  Our classes are marked by discussions, demonstrations, debates, and much more.  Our students also get free printing, priority registration, and an Honors College advisor to help keep them on track with requirements. There are also study abroad trips, research opportunities, internship programs, and service learning experiences available exclusively to Honors College students.

If I transfer into the Honors College, will I be able to have direct admission to International Business?

No, only Honors College students who declare International Business as incoming freshmen receive direct admission. Current students who wish to apply to the international business program are not eligible.

What grants and scholarships are available to transfer students?

We have grants for study abroad and research available to all students in the Honors College.  Transfers may be eligible to apply for Honors College departmental scholarships. As a transfer student, you will not be eligible for new USC Scholarships.



What are the expectations of me as a transfer student into the Honors College?

All Honors College students, including those who transfer in, are expected to complete the honors curriculum as outlined in the handbook [pdf].  This is a rigorous curriculum of 45 credit hours and includes an “honors core” of a literature, history of civilization, humanities, social/behavioral science, natural science (with a lab), and analysis, which frequently align with the Carolina Core.  Additionally, the Honors College curriculum includes electives, a Beyond the Classroom experience and senior thesis.

Will I be able to complete the Honors College curriculum?

While the curriculum requirements may look complicated, your Honors College advisor will work with you to be sure you graduate on time. 

Will courses I took previously meet Honors College requirements or will I need to retake certain classes? 

The Handbook that it states that there are courses required to graduate with Honors. If you transfer to the Honors College as a sophomore, there are already courses you have taken. For example, it states that you are required to have an Honors course in English. However, you may have  taken ENGL 101 (AP) and ENGL 102 at USC, but they were not Honors courses. You would still need to take an Honors English class with us, but we have a lot of options you could choose from--you wouldn't have to retake something that you've already taken (ENGL 101 or 102 in this situation).  For example, you could take our Football Writing, Food & Literature, Literature of Cyborgs, Pirate Literature, Life & Leadership, or a host of other Honors English classes.



I already have more than 45 credit hours —can I still apply?

We have the credit hour limit because we want you to have a reasonable chance of completing the Honors College requirements, which becomes more difficult if you have completed more than 45 credit hours (that may mean you have four or fewer semesters remaining). We want to ensure that our Honors College transfer admits have at least five semesters remaining, preferably six.  However, if you intend to continue to study at USC for five or more semesters, you may still apply if you are bringing in more than 45 credits.

Do you look at SAT scores or high school GPA?

In transfer applications, we are mostly looking at work done post-high school at the college level.  SAT and ACT scores and high school GPA factor very minimally into our decision.

My GPA is borderline—should I still apply?

Does your GPA include any dual enrollment classes taken in high school? We look at the institutional-level GPA—or anything after high school, so make sure you calculate your GPA based only on institutional work post-high school. However, we do have a hard cut-off, so if your institutional GPA is less than 3.6, you would be ineligible.



Can I ask my U101 teacher or my TA to write my letter of recommendation? What about a PhD student?

While we do prefer faculty, it is to your advantage to ask for a letter of recommendation from an instructor who can best speak to your academic abilities and work ethic—and that may be a staff member or graduate student.

Is there a format the letter of recommendation should follow?

No, but we expect that your recommender will speak to your academic ability and academic work ethic.


Transfer Process

If I'm accepted, when would I enroll in Honors College classes?

You would be advised for the upcoming semester. For example, if you apply by the fall deadline, you would hear about Honors acceptance before classes begin in January (pending receipt of current semester transcripts and admission to USC) . Ideally, you would be advised and placed into Honors College classes for the spring semester.


Do I have to live in the Honors College dorm if I already have another housing contract?

No, you are not required to live in Honors housing. It is also difficult to get into honors housing in the semester immediately following your acceptance. However, you are welcome to apply for Honors housing options in future semesters. 


Other Questions

I'm already in the Capstone program—how does that affect the transfer process into theHonors College?

Being a student in the Capstone program does not, in and of itself, give you an advantage in transfer consideration, but Capstone students tend to be competitive transfer applicants.  If you are accepted as a transfer student into the Honors College, you can be both a Capstone Scholar and an Honors College student if you so choose. Note that there are fees associated with both programs.

What is the Honors College fee?

There is a fee of $575 per semester. This goes towards getting top-notch faculty for our courses.