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College of Arts and Sciences

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Areas of Study

Explore your passion and find your purpose with the largest choice of majors, minors and courses of any college at the university.



An art, dance or theatre degree from the College of Arts and Sciences reflects a comprehensive education, emphasizing communication, leadership, critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration and working with abstract concepts. You will develop personal habits that employers prioritize, such as self-discipline, time management and attention to detail.

In addition to world-class theatre and dance productions, the Department of Theatre and Dance offers you the rigorous instruction and experience necessary to succeed in the professional world.


The School of Visual Art and Design boasts most comprehensive Visual Arts program in South Carolina. We offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art Education, Art History, Studio Art, and Media Arts.


A humanities degree is a launching pad for a variety of careers and offers outstanding preparation for graduate or professional school. Students who major in the humanities typically excel on graduate entrance exams because of their reading, writing and communication skills. Employers value humanities graduates for their ability to analyze complicated materials and understand the diversity of the human experience.

We believe in the power of words and the value of writing and creative expression.  

Whatever your dreams or career aspirations, English Language and Literature courses provide you with adaptable skills for a changing world: the skills of reading carefully, communicating clearly, and thinking creatively about issues that matter to you.

When you study history, you gain unique perspectives about the past, how it has impacted the present, and how you can apply your knowledge to make a better future. 

Knowing a second language is something that everyone can benefit from.

If you want to travel, you need to know other languages. If you want to be successful in business, you need to understand other cultures. If you want to conduct research in the international community, you need to understand the language your peers are speaking.

We can help you reach your goals.

In the Department of Philosophy, we'll teach you how to examine a complex problem, analyze its internal logic, question assumptions, understand other points of view, and find unique and effective solutions to problems.

The study of religion provides insight into the fascinating variety of ways in which people live their lives in light of the sacred. How do they understand the existence of God or gods? Where do they seek answers to questions of fundamental concern? How do they find meaning and purpose in life?


Interdisciplinary Studies

The College of Arts and Sciences offers eight interdisciplinary majors that allow you to combine knowledge from a variety of perspectives, developing the intellectual tools you need to answer questions and address social issues by making connections between academic disciplines.


In the African American Studies Program, you will use interdisciplinary tools and resources to study the experiences of people of African descent and to evaluate historical, cultural, social, economic and political developments in South Carolina, the South, the United States, and beyond.

 With an interdisciplinary program of study focusing on the natural sciences, combined with outstanding academic and healthcare resources and research facilities, the Cardiovascular Technology degree program helps prepare students to work directly with heart patients. 

Once you have a foundation in comparative literature, we encourage you to begin developing your own degree path and research agenda. This freedom allows you to explore exciting and innovative ways to study language, literature, art and culture in a way that speaks to your own passions and interests.

Cyber Intelligence prepares you to master all sides of cybersecurity challenges — political, psychological, and global. Courses from computer science, mathematics, geography, philosophy, political science and more will give you a holistic foundation for understanding and solving problems at the intersection of technology, human behavior and policy.

The BS in Environmental Science curriculum is designed to give students a strong scientific background while allowing them the flexibility to choose courses that address their specific interests.

The BA in Environmental Studies degree incorporates critical social, economic, policy, communications, and/or humanities components. The curriculum prepares students to address complex environmental problems requiring knowledge and understanding from multiple social and science disciplines that are framed in an environmental context.

The Film and Media Studies Program is devoted to the critical study of media culture. In a world where we interact daily with one screen after another—on our cell phones, televisions, mobile devices as well as at the multiplex—our students gain the knowledge and skills for understanding and engaging the work of screen media in society.

The Global Studies Program offers a flexible, interdisciplinary degree that explores our interconnected world. You will become familiar with the complex historical and contemporary relationships and processes that link people and places together.

The BS in Marine Science offers a holistic approach to the study of the oceans. Interdisciplinary in nature, the degree draws upon subject matter in many different fields of scientific endeavor, including Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Environmental, Physics, Engineering, Environmental Health and Social Sciences combined into an individually-tailored curriculum.

Women's and Gender Studies will prepare you to think critically and examine society through the lens of equality and social justice. Our interdisciplinary field offers you the opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics ranging from women’s health to globalization. The program looks at gender and its intersections with race, class and other important categories of identity to understand the lives of women and men.


Our outstanding faculty and interdisciplinary approach will help you gain a greater understanding of African politics, history and culture

Explore North Africa, East Africa, Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia in our Islamic Studies minor. These disparate places have been tied together over centuries through vast networks created by trade, imperialism, religion, and human migration. 

The Law and Society minor is designed to excite your interest in the law, get you reading, thinking and writing critically about it, and encourage you to think about the complexities of the role of law in society.

Linguistics is the scientific study of language in all its aspects. These issues are investigated from diverse perspectives, including biological, cognitive, developmental, educational, historical and sociocultural ones.

The Medical Humanities and Culture minor offers a range of courses in the humanities and social sciences that explore the ethical, social, representational and historical dimensions of disease, health, disability and health care.

Explore Central Europe, Russia and the Caucasus, and Central and Northern Asia. The Russian and Eurasian Studies program sponsors a series of lectures by visiting speakers, research presentations by USC faculty and graduate students, and an undergraduate minor. 
The Russian program will immerse you in Russian culture, language and literature. You'll love the innovative classes, committed faculty who are dedicated to your success, and engaged and motivated classmates.

Graduate Certificates

 Museum Management will give you specialized, hands-on museum training to complement your other academic studies. We'll use McKissick Museum as a teaching tool to train you to work in one of our nation's rapidly growing institutions.  

 Providing a firm grounding in both linguistics and pedagogical theory paired with practical teaching experience, the TESOL Certificate Program prepares future teachers of English as a second or foreign language to apply their skills in settings around the world.


Mathematics and Statistics

Majoring in mathematics or statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences will help you develop logical, analytical and problem-solving skills that employers and graduate schools value. 

Math and statistics reflect a balance of training in computation and theory and provide excellent preparation for the math portion of graduate school entrance exams. Because nearly every job requires the skills learned in math and statistics classes, these degrees have applications across a variety of career fields.

Mathematics has an impressive research record both in pure mathematics and in its applications to science and industry. Whether pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, our program trains students in the analytical skills needed to excel in the flourishing knowledge economy.

Statistics has applications in everything from medicine and public health to engineering and sports. Not only that, statisticians and data scientists are consistently rated as the best jobs by numerous publications due to their high demand, excellent working conditions, and high salaries.

Natural Sciences

As a natural sciences major in the College of Arts and Sciences, you will gain investigative and quantitative research skills through classroom, laboratory and practical experiences. You’ll develop the ability to solve problems, communicate effectively, work independently and take accountability — skills that employers and graduate schools value.

Internationally recognized research projects and first-class instruction are the hallmarks of the University of South Carolina’s Department of Biological Sciences. Graduates of the department are pursuing careers in academic institutions, research institutes, governmental agencies, health facilities, industry, and public education.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry isn't just one of the best in the Southeast, it's one of the strongest in the country.  The discipline offers a challenge for everyone and provides unsurpassed opportunities to solve significant scientific problems and benefit society as a whole.  Chemists are in demand in industry, government and academic labs.

Understanding and caring for our planet requires an appreciation of the sweeping arc from the solid earth, to freshwater and marine systems, to the relationship of humans to those environments. Our mission at the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment is to achieve an understanding of Earth’s diverse environments and human relationships through research, and to convey that understanding through education, and outreach to the broader community.

Since classical times, geography has been a discipline of explorers and travelers. Geography takes you outside the classroom, offering opportunities to apply and to enhance what you've learned in the field. Our students can be found measuring trees at Congaree National Park, mapping historic buildings in downtown Columbia, and launching weather balloons from campus. Our Department of Geography is ranked among the top departments in the discipline by the National Research Council.

The Physics and Astronomy Department is known for the global impact our students, faculty and alumni make with their research and cutting-edge international collaboration. We have ample hands-on research opportunities for all of our students—from undergraduates to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The research opportunities and classroom instruction we provide pay off, too. We have an excellent record of launching our undergraduate and graduate degree recipients in rewarding jobs, with the majority of them going on to successful careers in research, academia and industry all over the world. 

Social Sciences

As a social sciences major, you will learn how society and individuals interact while building the research, communication and analytical skills that employers and graduate schools expect. 

Majoring in social sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences gives you a strong academic foundation along with critical thinking, organizational and interpersonal skills. Many social sciences courses offer the opportunity to conduct research and fieldwork. Our students graduate ready to enter graduate school or the workforce.

When you study anthropology, you'll have the opportunity to conduct research and fieldwork locally and abroad. Through our interdisciplinary approach to cultural, prehistoric and historic, linguistic, and biological anthropology you’ll learn to appreciate cultural and biological diversity.

The state-of-the-art Criminology and Criminal Justice Department focuses on the causes of and societal responses to crime and deviant behavior. We prepare students to address the challenges of crime in society as criminal justice professionals, researchers, and educators.

Since classical times, geography has been a discipline of explorers and travelers. Geography takes you outside the classroom, offering opportunities to apply and to enhance what you've learned in the field. Our students can be found measuring trees at Congaree National Park, mapping historic buildings in downtown Columbia, and launching weather balloons from campus. Our Department of Geography is ranked among the top departments in the discipline by the National Research Council.

Whether it’s a step toward law school or the beginning of a career in public administration, our Political Science program is designed to create the leaders of tomorrow by addressing the central questions of politics.

As a psychology major you will learn to use research methods and statistics to study the brain and behavior, and apply these methods to solving some of humankind’s most important issues. Coupled with critical thinking skills gained through a strong liberal arts education, our majors graduate well-equipped to pursue careers in psychology, health, business, education and law to name a few. 

Do you ever wonder why people behave the way they do? Do you want a degree that's flexible enough to take you down a multitude of career paths? Studying sociology will help you understand how society and individuals function together while giving you the research, communication and analytical skills you need for any career path.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.