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My Arts and Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I go for advisement inquiries, such as turning in academic forms, obtaining a dean’s signature, and taking care of academic conflicts?

The Student Excellence Collaborative, located in Flinn Hall, Room 110, manages academic procedures and conflicts. Flinn Hall is located on the Historic Horseshoe, directly behind the War Memorial on the corner of Pendleton Street and Sumter Street. To contact this office, please call 803-777-2993.

If you need a form signed by the dean, please email it to

How do I change my major?

To change your major within the College of Arts and Sciences, you will need to make an appointment with the Student Excellence Collaborative in Flinn Hall, Room 110. Please stop by the office or call 803-777-2993 for an appointment. Some majors have special admission requirements and procedures; ask the Student Excellence Collaborative about these. If you want to change to a major in another college of the University, you must first be accepted to that college. You must contact that college for information on eligibility and requirements.

How do I find the name of my advisor?

If you are a freshman, you are assigned to a first year advisor who advised you at summer orientation. The first year advisor will contact you via email when it is time for advisement. If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior, your advisor is assigned by your major department. It is your responsibility to contact your major department to find this information and arrange for your advisement.

How do I get an override into a class that is already full?

Closed courses and those requiring special permission require an override, which can only be granted by the department. Contact the department offering the course to request an override. After receiving an override or special permission, you must complete a registration transaction through the Self Service Carolina. Departments do not complete registration transactions for students.

What is an overload?

The normal course load is 15-18 credit hours per semester. Any course load above 18 hours is classified as an overload and requires special permission from the Student Excellence Collaborative. Overloads are only granted to students who have attained an average of 3.0 or better on a minimum of 12 hours taken on a non-pass/fail basis in the previous full semester. You will need to speak with a team member at the Collab for permission to take more than 18 credit hours.

What is the pass/fail option?

The Pass-Fail program is designed to encourage students to investigate fields outside of their major curriculum in which they have a specific personal interest, without affecting their grade point average. The only grades assigned on courses taken under the Pass-Fail option are S and U; a grade of S indicates satisfactory performance, a grade of U indicates unsatisfactory progress. A student will only be given credit for courses in which the grade of S is earned. You can elect the pass/fail option on an elective course by completing a Pass/Fail Form[pdf] available from the Office of the Registrar before the date specified in Master Schedule. To obtain the Academic Dean Signature required on the Pass/Fail Form, please visit Flinn Hall. Note: The pass/fail option is NOT available to undergraduate students whose semester or cumulative GPA is less than 2.000. Students are permitted to take no more than eight courses pass/fail during their undergraduate studies.

May I take courses at another institution during the summer?

You may take up to 18 credit hours of courses in transient status provided that (1) you are in good academic standing, (2) the courses are approved in advance by your academic advisor and the Student Excellence Collaborative, located in Flinn Hall, on a Special Enrollment Request [pdf] (AS 30), and (3) the other institution is fully accredited and the course work meets University specifications for transfer credits. Transient work must be passed with a grade of C or higher. All work taken at other institutions is treated as transfer work and is not included in the USC GPA. 

How do I declare a minor?

After you have declared your major, you may declare a minor by completing a Minor Declaration Form [pdf] in the Student Excellence Collaborative or you can complete it online and bring it to the Flinn Hall. See the minors list in the Academic Bulletin for a complete list of available minors.

What is a second major?

If you are a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, you may complete a second major within the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Music (Bachelor of Arts track only). You must complete all collegiate requirements (including general education courses and special departmental requirements) as well as the major requirements for the second major. In cases where one major is part of a Bachelor of Arts program and the other is part of a Bachelor of Science program, you must designate one as the official degree of record. A second major eliminates the cognate requirement. You may request a second major by completing a Second Major Declaration Form [pdf] and submitting it to Student Excellence Collaborative.

What is a second degree?

You may pursue a second undergraduate degree if you complete all requirements for both degrees, as well as complete a minimum of 24 credit hours beyond those required for the first degree, totaling a minimum of 144 credit hours. Additionally, courses accepted toward any requirements (general education, major, cognate or minor) for the first degree may not be applied to the major requirements for the second degree. Students pursuing second degrees are urged to confer with both deans early in the process.

What should I do if I am concerned about a USC student's well-being?

Whether you are a family member, friend, professor or classmate you can contact the Community Consultation and Intervention Office within Student Health Services to express your concern about a USC student. Student Health Services provides counseling and assistance to USC students coping with stress, anxiety, mental illness and a number of other personal conflicts. If there is an emergency please call 911 or the USC Police at 803-777-4215. Other emergency contacts can be found on the Crisis Resources webpage.

What should I do if I have an extenuating circumstance that will interfere with my academic performance?

Contact the Student Excellence Collaborative at 803-777-2993. The team in this office can assist with the paperwork and planning.

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