South Carolina
Postsecondary Admission Requirements


Four-Year Institutions

The governing boards of four-year colleges and universities establish admissions standards. However, state law requires that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education review minimum undergraduate admissions standards for in-state and out-of-state students. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education has a policy for College Preparatory Courses. These courses are minimal requirements for four-year public college admission and include:

Minimum Pre-College Curriculum Requirements



Course Requirements



Units in English and American literature



Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II and a fourth unit (e.g., trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, discrete math or a senior-year capstone course

Lab Science


Two units selected from biology, chemistry, or physics

Social Studies


One unit of American history

Half units of economics and government strongly recommended

Foreign Language


Two units in same language

Fine Arts



Physical Education or ROTC





Computer science strongly recommended but not required




Each institution can make exceptions in admitting students who do not meet these prerequisites, limited to individual cases in which failure to meet one or more prerequisites is due to circumstances beyond reasonable control of the student.

Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, entering college freshmen will need to complete 20 units, including an additional elective. The Fall 2019 curriculum standards also require half units of economics and American government. The standards explicitly reference reading, communication and researching in the English coursework.

Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Students designated as baccalaureate-ready must meet the same admissions requirements set for students who apply to the system’s flagship. Regional campuses designate applicants who do not meet system standards as provisional admits. Provisional enrollees undergo placement testing in English and math to determine readiness for college-level courses. Failure to reach readiness benchmarks results in placement in enriched sections of entry-level courses.

While technically allowed by Commission rules, the University of South Carolina System’s Board of Trustees prohibit the delivery of standalone remediation at regional campuses.

Technical colleges operate as open admissions campuses. The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education requires applicants to be 18 years old. Younger applicants must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.

While board rules do not require adult applicants to hold a high school diploma, some institutions require them for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.