PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
NEW & CURRENT STUDENTS
FACULTY & STAFF
ABOUT US

Before You Apply

Thank you for your interest in University of South Carolina. If you are ready for graduate school and think Carolina would be a good fit, then we hope you will apply!

Below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about applying to Carolina.

  1. What application should I submit?

    The majority of graduate programs use the Graduate School application, through CollegeNet. Some programs do not use the Graduate School application.

    The exceptions are as follows:

    • All graduate programs in the Darla Moore School of Business use a special application. Apply Now.
    • Some graduate programs in the School of Public Health use special applications (SOPHAS or CSDCAS), while others use the Graduate School application, through Collegenet. Apply Now.
    • The J.D., M.D. and Pharm.D. programs are completely independent from The Graduate School and have their own process of admission, including separate applications and fees.
      For more information, visit their websites:
  2. What application do I use if I am applying to a certificate program?

    Use the Graduate School Degree Seeking Application through Collegenet.

  3. What application materials are required by all departments in The Graduate School?
    • A baccalaureate degree (or the international equivalent) from an accredited college or university
    • Standardized Test scores (consult the program to which you are applying for particular test requirements)
    • Official Transcripts
    • Two or more letters of recommendation
    • Application
    • Application Fee
    • English Proficiency Requirement*
    • Other Supporting Materials**

    * An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or IELTS exams. For more information see International Applicants

    ** Many programs require personal statements, resumes, writing samples, audio files (recitals, auditions), art portfolios and/or licensure. Please consult your program for further requirements.

  4. How does the admission process work?

    Graduate students are admitted through a cooperative effort between The Graduate School and the colleges or departments that offer degree programs. Departments enjoy a significant amount of autonomy to make admissions recommendations, while The Graduate School sets and ensures high academic standards. Graduate admission is a two-step process at USC:

    1. The department or college for which you are applying will review your Graduate School application and supporting documents. Taken together, the whole of your application should demonstrate adequate preparation for graduate study in the field for which you are seeking admittance.
    2. Upon recommendation of the department or college, The Graduate School will review your credentials and make a formal recommendation for your admittance. Official notice of your admission can only come from The Graduate School.
  5. What is a Dual Degree Program?

    Through special arrangement, the University offers dual degree programs in certain areas to permit a student to work on two degrees concurrently. By combining credits, students take fewer courses than the total required if each degree were pursued independently.

  6. Should I use The Graduate School Application when applying for a Dual Degree Program?

    Yes—unless the dual degree program is offered by the School of Business. In that case, use the special Business School application. If you are applying for a dual degree that includes a J.D., M.D., or Pharm.D. (for example, Public Health/Medicine) you will need to use The Graduate School application and undergo a separate admission process through the School of Law , School of Medicine , or College of Pharmacy . Admission to one program in a dual degree offering does not guarantee admission in the other program.

  7. What is a Statement of Purpose?

    Many graduate programs, particularly those granting doctoral degrees, seek to ensure that the research interests of the department and the applicant are suitably aligned. In such cases, a statement of purpose is often required by a department and becomes a key component in the decision making process. A successful statement of purpose typically outlines a relevant and well-defined research path and explains how your proposed research would be buttressed by a department’s faculty and areas of expertise.

  8. What are the Categories of Admission?

    The Graduate School provides prospective students with two categories of admission: Degree-seeking Admission and Nondegree-Seeking Admission.

    The Non-Degree application is for students who hold at least a bachelor's degree and wish to enroll in graduate courses for personal or professional development, licensure or re-certification, or participation in a USC exchange program. Non-Degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

  9. Who Sends the Official Decision Notification?

    Graduate students are admitted through a cooperative effort between The Graduate School and the colleges or departments that offer degree programs. Departments enjoy a significant amount of autonomy in recommending admissions decisions, while The Graduate School promotes and ensures high academic standards.

    Upon recommendation of the department or college, The Graduate School will review your credentials and make a formal recommendation. Official notice of an admission decision can only come from The Graduate School.


MY.SC.EDU | DIRECTORY | MAP