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U.S. News rankings: UofSC retains top spot in international business, first-year student experience

The University of South Carolina has retained its ranking as the top first-year student experience of any public college in the country and the best international business program, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual undergraduate rankings released Monday (Sept. 12).

This is the fourth consecutive year South Carolina has been ranked as the No. 1 public institution in the first-year experience category and the 24th straight year for the top ranking in international business.

“Being ranked No. 1 for the 24th consecutive year reflects the bright, ambitious students, world-class faculty and the comprehensive global curriculum our undergraduate international business program has become known for across the country,” says Darla Moore School of Business Dean Peter Brews. “The Moore School is proud of the comprehensive education its undergraduate international business students receive, which includes unmatched coverage of the complexities of global business, significant coursework in a second functional major and mastery of a second language. This outstanding preparation equips graduates for business careers at leading organizations, wherever they may be based.”

The undergraduate business program moved up to the 26th best program among public universities and to No. 39 overall.

The first-year student experience ranking comes at the same time as the core class, University 101, celebrates its 50th year. The first-year seminar helps students adjust to college life, thrive on campus and discover all of the university’s offerings. U-101 is the largest single course offering at USC, with 295 sections of the course being taught to first-year students this fall.

In another facet of the student experience, the university’s living and learning communities moved up on this year’s U.S. News rankings to No. 6 among the nation’s public institutions and to No. 16 overall. The university has 13 living and learning communities, including nine that are led by faculty, offering students the chance to pursue academic and personal interests, engage with their peers and interact with faculty.

 “Continued recognition of our excellence at the national level demonstrates the extraordinary commitment that our world-class faculty and staff have for our talented students,” says Donna Arnett, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Our leading first-year student experience and innovative learning communities show our commitment to providing students with a transformational on-campus experience. Our No. 1 ranked international business program is preparing leaders for the workforce of tomorrow. I look forward to continuing to strengthen our educational offerings to students in the years to come.”

Other ranking highlights: 

  • The Columbia campus is ranked No. 53 among public universities and No. 115 overall.
  • The university ranked No. 16 among public institutions and No. 54 nationally in the Best Undergraduate Teaching Among National Universities category.
  • The university’s undergraduate nursing program ranked No. 37 among public institutions and No. 51 overall.
  • The College of Engineering and Computing’s computer science programs improved to No. 56 among public institutions and No. 94 overall.
  • The business school’s marketing program improved to No. 20 among public institutions and No. 33 overall.
  • The university was included in the Best Colleges for Veterans, Best Value Schools and Social Mobility categories.
  • South Carolina's comprehensive universities also were recognized in the new guide. Having expanded its graduate-level offerings, USC Aiken moved from a “college” to a “university” category this year. It was ranked No. 20 among public regional universities in the South and No. 49 among all regional universities in the South. It also was included as a Best Value School and a Top Performer on Social Mobility among regional universities.
  • Upstate ranked as the No. 2 public regional college in the South, while USC Beaufort is the No. 16 public regional college in the South.

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