Freshman Admission

Students should prepare for the challenges at USC Aiken by taking a strong college preparatory curriculum in high school.  High school courses selection, standardized test scores, and an Admissions Index are all used to determine admissibility.  We search for students who will be USC Aiken's future community of leaders, learners and thinkers, and whose education will be enhanced by diverse experiences and who will be prepared to serve and participate in all segments of society.  To be admitted, students will need to:

  • Complete the 21 high school course prerequisites at the college prep or higher level (honors, Advance Placement, dual credit, etc)
    Course Unit
    English 4 units
    Mathematics (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, higher level) 4 units
    Laboratory Science (Biology, Chemistry, higher level) 3 units
    Social Science 3 units
    Foreign Language (must be sequential) 2 units
    Academic Electives 4 units
    Physical Education or ROTC 1 unit
  • Demonstrate strong high school performance (through curriculum attempted, grades earned, and class rank)
  • Exceed minimum SAT or ACT standards (excluding writing test results)
  • Score appropriately on the Admissions Index, a formula which uses two variables: the high school grade point average computed on core college prep courses and the SAT/ACT scores.  Of these two variables, the high school grade point average is the more important and has twice as much weight in the formula.


All freshman applicants must submit the following items:

  • Freshman Application with $45 application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official SAT and/or ACT score from the testing agency


            The University provides a provisional admission program for high school students who do not meet requirements for regular freshman admissions, but who demonstrate academic potential.  Such students may be admitted to the First Pace program, providing an avenue for those students with high school grades, class rank, and/or standardized test scores which are below standards to be regularly admitted.  Students admitted through the First Pace program will be subject to certain limitations and requirements approved by the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee (SS&P).  These limitations and requirements will be specified in the letter of acceptance and can include items such as course registration, "intrusive" advising, and special workshops among other things.  Failure to meet the requirements of the First Pace program may affect a student's enrollment status.

            Frequently Asked Questions

            When should I apply?

            USC Aiken accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. It’s recommended for students in their final year of high school complete the application for admission during the fall to allow plenty of time to process the application. Once we have all pieces of your application of admissions (application, transcript, scores and fee), we will work diligently to determine your admissions status.

            I have completed my application for admission, what is the next step?

            Make sure that you have submitted all material for admission (application fee, high school transcript, and SAT/ACT scores). You are welcome to call the Office of Admissions to check on your status.

            How can I get a scholarship?

            Make sure to apply and be admitted before February 1st of your senior year to potentially qualify for our merit-based scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on a combination of test scores, GPA and class rank.

            What majors does USC Aiken offer?

            We offer 46 majors and academic programs, ranging from Biology to Sociology! Click here for a comprehensive list.