Skip to Content

My Honors College

Build Your Own Major (BARSC)

The BARSC degree gives you the opportunity to create your own curriculum by developing a challenging course of study tailored to your interests. The requirements are stringent, but the program is rewarding and allows you to follow your own path.

Admission to the BARSC Program

The Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae (“Bachelor of Arts and Sciences,” or “BARSC”) is a unique and highly selective degree offered only by the South Carolina Honors College. Students must have a minimum cumulative 3.6 GPA to apply for admission to the BARSC degree program. Usually the BARSC application/admission process is completed prior to advising during the student's fourth semester, but the College recommends that students interested in pursuing this degree make an appointment to talk about their interest with their honors advisor and the Director of the BARSC program during their first year.


Your BARSC Requirements

  • Completion of the Carolina Core requirements; Completion of the BARSC general education requirements; Completion of all requirements for graduation from the University with honors from the South Carolina Honors College;
  • A foreign language through at least one 300-level course;
  • Mathematics through at least MATH 142 (Calculus 2), preferably as Honors College courses;
  • One Independent Study to prepare for the Senior Thesis/Project;
  • A Senior Thesis/Project of at least 9 but no more than 15 credits.

Aside from these requirements, you will, along with your committee, design an individualized curriculum that has no major, minor, or cognate, but reflects your interests, strengths and weaknesses. The Senior Thesis/Project (9-15 credits) represents your effort to pull the strands of this unique educational opportunity together in an extended research/scholarly experience.

To graduate with a BARSC degree a student must earn 69 Honors credits and 126 total credits, complete a Senior Thesis/ Project of at least nine credits, and achieve a cumulative 3.5 GPA by the end of his or her senior year. 

BARSC Requirements Outline

Required Courses Number of Credits Course Options (may be non-honors)
English (CMW) 2 courses; 6 credits ENGL 101, ENGL 102
History (GHS) 3 courses; 9 credits One European, one American, and one non-western history.
Fine Arts and Literature (AIU) 2 courses; 6 credits One Fine Arts and one Literature Course (beyond ENGL 101 and 102).
Language (GFL) 6 courses; 19 credits Foreign language through one 300-level course. It is possible to take fewer courses if the student is more advanced in a language and can reach a 300-level course quickly (or test out of one).
Social Science/ Behavioral Science (GSS) 3 courses; 9 credits Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Geology, etc.
Science (SCI) 2 courses; 8-10 credits Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Marine Science, etc. Must include 2 hours of laboratories.
Mathematics (ARP) 2 courses; 8 credits MATH 141, MATH 142.
Carolina Core Overlay 3 courses; 9-12 credits Two of three overlays may overlap with BARSC general education or degree specific requirements. At least one overlay must be met by a stand-alone course.
  1. Persuasive Communications
  2. Information Literacy
  3. Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility
BARSC-Specific TBD Other courses required as determined by student's BARSC committee, in consultation with student.


BARSC Thesis Requirements

Course Number of Credits Title and Notes
SCHC 399 3 Independent Study
SCHC 390Z 1 Senior Thesis Preparation; usually in sixth semester
SCHC 490 9-15 Senior Thesis/Project; register in seventh semester, complete in eighth semester

Graduation with Honors Requirements

While completing the honors courses necessary to attain 69 honors credit hours for a BARSC degree, you should pay attention to which courses will also fulfill the Graduation with Honors requirements. It takes 45 honors credit hours (including the thesis) to qualify for Graduation with Honors, which every BARSC degree candidate must complete as part of the BARSC requirements. 

The Graduation with Honors requirements are listed below, and if you'll notice, the BARSC requirements fulfill or exceed the hours needed for each course category, except the electives and Beyond the Classroom categories. Your BARSC advisor will be able to map out a plan with you that will help you meet both the BARSC and graduation requirements.

Requirements Outline 

Distribution Requirements Credits Required Course
English or Literature  3 Any course in English composition or in Literature
History of Civilization 3 Any course on the history of civilization
Humanities 3 Any humanities course
Social/Behavioral Science 3 Any social or behavioral science
Natural Science with Lab 4 Must include a lab
Analysis 3 Math, Logic, Statistics, Computer Sciences, or other courses so designated
Electives 19 Any Honors courses or up to 6 credits of study abroad courses
Beyond the Classroom 3 Undergraduate research, service learning, internship, or study outside of South Carolina (may be non-Honors course)
Thesis prep (SCHC 390) 1 Senior thesis preparation course, usually 6th semester (students abroad this semester are exempt)
Thesis (SCHC 499) 3 Usually register for 1 credit of SCHC 499 in the 7th semester and 2 credits of SCHC 499 in the 8th semester

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.