University of South Carolina Aiken
Aiken, South Carolina
Operating with a dedication to active learning, the University of South Carolina Aiken inspires students through collaborative scholarship between themselves and their professors, groundbreaking research, creative activities, and meaningful service. Its expansive offering of 50+ programs span the arts, sciences, and such professional fields as business, education, and nursing.
USC Aiken embraces its rich liberal arts tradition, rewarding every student with the value of multidisciplinary exposure. Challenged to expand their worldview with a range of perspectives, these students garner the mental flexibility they need to keep up with an ever-evolving market and society. They learn to solve complex problems and communicate their ideas as well-rounded scholars, both within their specific fields of study and beyond.
The diverse range of thought that comes with a USC Aiken education is complemented with a diverse range of experiential, out-of-the-classroom opportunities. Students have tremendous opportunities to take their studies abroad, organize and conduct research projects, and delve into real-world applications of their studies.
Get to know University of South Carolina Aiken
COMMON INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCES
USC Aiken’s Inter-Curricular Enrichment (ICE) initiative ensures that every student is exposed to diverse curricular enrichment opportunities. This program expands students’ perspectives, promoting lifelong learning through such events as film presentations, guest lectures, musical recitals, and other performances. These engaging activities provide insight and challenge students to stretch the limits of their cultural and intellectual perceptions.
USC Aiken is known for its myriad opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in collaborative research, scholarly activity, and creative endeavors. The undergraduate research experience involves a close mentoring of students by faculty, fostering a love for discovery and creativity while preparing them for graduate or professional school. The program hosts a Scholars Showcase each spring at which hundreds of students present their research. Students also have opportunities to receive grants to aid their research and support their travel to both regional and national conferences.
USC Aiken encourages a respectful environment that honors diversity in all forms. In collaboration with the greater Aiken community, the university plunges students into activities that promote an appreciation of new cultures and perspectives.
The student body represents over 30 countries from all over the world, and as such, the university makes a significant effort to provide an inclusive and supportive campus environment to all. Minority and international support services assist with each stage of college, and leadership groups promote the inclusion of underrepresented and marginalized communities through outreach, education, and a number of activities.
The university offers a variety of opportunities to study abroad and engage in international exchange programs. The USC Aiken Study Abroad Program for the School of Business, for example, introduces enterprising students firsthand to the challenges and opportunities of international business, taking place in such locations as Italy, Germany, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Great Britain, and France. Students can also elect to travel with faculty to Spain in an intensive language and cultural immersion that takes place each May. Additionally, nursing students have the chance to participate in transcultural nursing by spending two weeks in May in Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. And as part of a student leadership program, students have also participated in a student exchange program in collaboration with some noted universities in India.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 3%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 27%
White, non-Hispanic: 59%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 2%
FIRST-YEAR SEMINARS AND EXPERIENCES
The First-Year Experience includes a wide-variety of programs specifically for students in their first year of college. All incoming freshmen participate in a First-Year Reading Experience, the goals of which are to provide an academic experience that promotes learning alongside their peers; to emphasize the importance of reading, writing, critical thinking, and civil discourse in the university setting; to establish an opportunity for first-year students to act as engaged learners in an academic community; and to create an academic and ceremonial beginning to their undergraduate career.
Each year, the entire freshman class is provided a thought-provoking book to read as their first shared learning experience. The school year begins with a convocation at which the book’s author or guest speakers associated with the same theme present their ideas and encourage students to discuss their takeaways.
All freshmen must also take a critical inquiry course in their first semester of enrollment at USC Aiken. This course uses the book from the First-Year Reading Experience through various lessons that cultivate students’ skills in information literacy. Together, they establish what it means to think at the college level.
Students are required to complete at least three writing-intensive courses in order to hone their ability to communicate their ideas in an effective and impactful manner. Upon completion of two general English composition courses and one writing-intensive course within their specific major, USC Aiken students will have gained significant experience in developing clarity of purpose and quality of thought. They learn to organize content, research and synthesize content, and refine their language and style with correct grammar.
By joining a learning community, students are able to form strong bonds with a group of peers who enroll in the same classes that are linked by the community’s theme. Additionally, they get the privilege to participate in a variety of out-of-class activities connected to their group’s focus. In leadership, science, globalization, and culture, USC Aiken’s learning communities provide students with a rich and exciting experience.
The Honors Learning Community, for example, provides a variety of learning enrichment opportunities to those who meet the academic requirements. Both in and outside the classroom, students enjoy honors-enriched courses, field trips, and numerous research opportunities.
USC Aiken’s IMPACT program encourages students, faculty, staff, and the community to collaborate on meaningful community service projects, promoting responsible citizenship among and beyond the university. Students at USC Aiken are afforded the opportunity to make a profound difference in their communities; for example, the Division of Student Life connects students, student organizations, and clubs with philanthropic organizations in the surrounding neighborhood. Numerous activities are also scheduled throughout the year, including the Days of Service, which rally students together to volunteer locally, as well as the Alternative Breaks in which students travel in groups to needy communities all throughout the country.
Students at USC Aiken are often afforded opportunities to work collaboratively with classmates in their fields of study. Additionally, student clubs, Greek fraternities and sororities, and honor societies organize a variety of team-based activities throughout the year.
USC Aiken is located 55 miles west of Columbia, SC, and 15 miles east of Augusta, GA. The university is located in the beautiful city of Aiken, which is known historically as a wintering playground for some of the country’s most affluent families. The area is noted for its rich equestrian culture of thoroughbred horses, steeplechase races, and polo matches. Just a few miles from the Augusta National Golf club and the Masters Tournament, the area is also known for its excellent golf courses and vibrant arts and cultural community.
Named for Aiken’s well-known status as an equestrian community, USC Aiken athletics has the Pacer as their mascot. The university hosts 11 varsity sports teams in Division II of the NCAA.
Women’s: basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball
Men’s: baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, and a three-time national champion golf team
The university is a charter member of the Peach Belt Conference.
Mascot: Ace the Pacer
Colors: Red and Blue
USC Aiken provides a variety of opportunities for students to practice in a professional setting the skills and knowledge they acquire in the classroom. In many professional programs—such as teacher education, business, nursing, and clinical psychology—internships and practica are either required or strongly encouraged. In other areas like theatre, visual art, or communication, students may be placed in cooperating agencies in the local community.
CAPSTONE COURSES AND PROJECTS
Many of the science majors at USC Aiken require students to engage in senior research or complete a thesis. Likewise, programs in the arts include capstone classes through which students are expected to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills they have attained through a culmination of their studies. Honors students and students pursuing interdisciplinary studies must also complete a capstone experience to showcase their advanced, creative work.
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 470 | 75th Percentile: 570
25th Percentile: 450 | 75th Percentile: 550
25th Percentile: 18 | 75th Percentile: 23
25th Percentile: 17 | 75th Percentile: 23
25th Percentile: 16 | 75th Percentile: 23
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $10,164
Tuition (out-of-state): $20,364
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