Skip to Content

South Carolina Honors College

  • USC smokestack towering over Columbia, SC


The Office of Undergraduate Admissions manages both general university admissions and Honors College admission processes for incoming freshmen. To transfer into the Honors College as an upperclassman, you will work with the Honors College directly.

Before You Apply

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions manages online applications to the university and provides the most comprehensive information on the application process. All Honors College applications are submitted through the admissions office. This office also provides the latest information on application deadlines and manages general University Scholarships.  

There are three ways you can apply for admission to the University of South Carolina: our UofSC Application, the Coalition Application or the Common Application. You should choose the application that you are most comfortable submitting.

  1. For full consideration for general admission, admission to the South Carolina Honors College and the Top Scholars Award program, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions requires the following items: 
    • Submitted general UofSC admissions application, preferably by the October 15, early action deadline.
    • Submitted Honors College/Top Scholars application (available as a supplement after you submit your general admissions application). This application requires completion of two essay prompts and one short-answer question.  The Honors College/Top Scholar application will be available on September 1.
    • One supplemental material of your choice: self-reported SAT/ACT scores*, self-reported AP/IB/AICE scores or a graded writing assignment. 
    • Submit all required supplemental admission materials.
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Resume (optional, but highly recommended) 

2. Two letters of recommendation are required for a complete application and must be received by December 1. Your high school counselor can submit the letters on your behalf via a secure electronic service. Recommenders can also email the letters to If your recommenders are unable to submit electronically, they may mail the letters to the physical address below:

UofSC Undergraduate Admissions
902 Sumter Street Access - Lieber College
Columbia, SC 29208
ATTN: Honors College Processing

3. You will have until November 15 to update your supplemental materials via your UofSC Admissions Portal. We will use all information on file by February 1 when evaluating your candidacy for scholarships (if you are not named a Top Scholar Candidate).

4. Honors College admissions notifications will be issued by mid-February. Official notifications are sent via email, using the address from your admissions application.

5. If you are named a Top Scholar Candidate, you will be invited to participate in a mandatory interview weekend. Please make sure to note the dates below on your calendar. Notifications for these awards will be mailed in late January.

6. Merit scholarships awarded through the Admissions Office will be released by mid-March. Scholarship decisions cannot be relayed via telephone.

7. We consider it the student's responsibility to ensure that all supplemental materials are received by stated deadlines.

We want to hear from you if you have questions or concerns. Email us at or call 803-777-7700. 

 *Note: SAT/ACT scores are not required for South Carolina Honors college or Top Scholar admission review. 

In 2017, the middle 50 percent of students in the South Carolina Honors College had an SAT score between 1440-1520, or an ACT composite score between 31-34. On average, students admitted to the Honors College were in the top four percent of their high school class and had an average weighted GPA of 4.68.

Most of our students earn college credit before graduating from high school. Credits earned by advanced placement tests (IB, CLEP, etc.) are not counted toward honors requirements but often serve as pre-requisites for honors courses and can allow room in your course of study for higher-level honors courses. Discuss your credits with your honors advisor.

All tours are arranged through the university Visitor Center, but we hope you'll attend one of our information sessions while you're here. If you can't come to campus, we encourage you to talk with one of our Honors Ambassadors, student leaders who can answer many of your questions and tell you more about the experience of attending the Honors College.

Students can transfer into the Honors College from within the University of South Carolina or from other colleges and schools. Admission is very competitive. Students who have completed no more than 45 credit hours while enrolled at an institution of higher education and have a minimum 3.6 GPA in all college work attempted may apply for transfer admission to the Honors College. The 45 credit hour limit does not include AP and/or IB credit hours or hours earned for college courses taken while enrolled in high school. 

No. To apply to the Honors College, you'll need to complete a supplemental application to the application you submit through the University of South Carolina Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

The current fee is set at $575 per semester. The fee primarily helps defray the costs of offering almost 600 Honors courses per year. It also allows the Honors College to fund student research, internships, study abroad, service learning, and senior thesis research. Other educational and social events that help to nurture the SCHC community are funded through the generosity of donors, our alumni and friends.


Interested in financial assistance? Many opportunities are available to incoming and current students offered through the Admissions office, Financial Aid, and the Honors College. There are several non-institutional scholarship opportunities offered for students who qualify based on academic merit, financial need, community service, area of study, organizational affiliation, place of residence or employment, and ethnic or religious background.

Transfer Students

Missed your opportunity to apply to the Honors College?  Students from both within the University of South Carolina and other universities are eligible to apply to transfer into the Honors College.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.