The University of South Carolina is once again recognized for offering the best first-year experience of any public college in the nation by U.S. News and World Report’s annual undergraduate rankings released Monday (Sept. 14). This is the second year in row UofSC was ranked the No. 1 public institution in the category.
“I’m proud that our university was again recognized for creating a unique first-year experience that helps position our students for success inside and outside the classroom,” says President Bob Caslen. “The exceptional learning and living environment we establish from day one is something that sets our university apart and makes us successful in attracting and retaining students from South Carolina and around the nation. And even though this year is unusual, I’m pleased that we’re still offering a robust student experience despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.”
Several programs contributed to the university’s top ranking in first-year student experience, including University 101, a first-year seminar started in 1972 to help students adjust to college life and learn about the university’s offerings. The Columbia campus also is home to the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, the internationally recognized expert for scholarship, policy and best practice for all postsecondary student transitions.
University 101 director Dan Friedman says helping students successfully transition from high school to college has taken on even greater significance during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know that University 101 continues to have a tremendous impact for our students and campus community, especially as we navigate through this challenging time,” Friedman says. “This course is providing an important sense of belonging and community, which is essential for our students’ transition to college, persistence to degree and their overall well-being.”
Other ranking highlights:
- UofSC’s international business program offered by the Darla Moore School of Business retained its No. 1 ranking for the 22nd straight year. The school’s undergraduate business program was ranked No. 38 overall.
- The College of Engineering and Computing moved up six spots from last year and is now ranked No. 102 for undergraduate engineering. In a new category this year, it was also ranked No. 121 for its computer science program.
- The UofSC Columbia campus’ overall rank in the U.S. News & World Report’s guide is 118 among all institutions and 54 among public universities.
- The campus also was listed among select schools in Best Learning Communities, Best College for Veterans andBest Value.
- South Carolina’s comprehensive universities also were recognized in the new guide. UofSC Aiken and UofSC Upstate tied for the No. 1 Best Public Southern Regional College. Both schools also tied for No. 1 Best Southern Public Regional Colleges for Veterans.