USC to launch new Digital Studies certificate program; other news

December 14, 2022

The University of South Carolina will launch a first of its kind interdisciplinary certificate program in Digital Studies, giving students the opportunity to gain in-demand digital skills that prepare them for careers in every field.

The Digital Studies certificate program, which will be available to all undergraduate students on the Columbia campus, was approved by the university’s Board of Trustees at its Dec. 13 meeting.

Students enrolled in the 12-hour credit program will choose from nearly 40 courses offered through the College of Engineering and Computing, the College of Information and Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences. The certificate will allow undergraduate students to gain additional digital skills across multiple academic areas while learning to think critically about how digital technologies work and the impact these technologies have on society. The courses explore all aspects of the digital world, including database management, security, new media arts, computer networking and more.

“This certificate program is a great way for students to supplement coursework in their respective degree programs with technical competency in a wide range of digital studies,” said USC Provost Donna Arnett. “It supports our university’s mission of ensuring the career-readiness of our students upon graduation.”

The Digital Studies certificate program will begin in the fall 2023, pending approval from the SC Commission on Higher Education.

Other items presented at the Tuesday’s Board meeting include:

  • The university has selected Gilbane to lead the planning, design, development and construction of the university’s health sciences campus in the BullStreet District in downtown Columbia. The company has vast experience in health care, health sciences and higher education-affiliated projects, including hospitals, university medical schools and more. Gilbane provided construction management for the USC School of Law, which opened in 2017. The university’s health sciences campus is expected to have a transformational impact on health science research and health care delivery in the state of South Carolina. The campus will provide state-of-the-art space for clinical education and bring together eminent researchers to help meet South Carolina’s health challenges. The initial stage of the health sciences campus will include a medical education building and a multidisciplinary research building. Together, the two buildings will provide an estimated 292,000 gross square feet. Current plans call for construction to begin in 2025 and to be completed in 2027. The university maintains a subcontracting participation goal of 30 percent for women and minority-owned businesses in design and construction.
  • Approval of a $4.9 million renovation of existing biology instructional labs located in the Jones Physical Science building. The project will renovate and modernize the 10,000 square feet of lab space on the third floor of the building, which has served students and researchers for 50 years. State-of-the-art laboratories is important in attracting both students and top-level researchers to the university.
  • Approval of a $21 million library renovation at USC Upstate. The project will install a new HVAC system, replace the library’s roof, renovate 25,000 square feet of existing space on the first and second floor, and build a library annex totaling 22,000 square feet. The new space will provide modern technology and study/meeting areas for students and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2026.
  • The health sciences campus, the lab renovation, and the library renovation and expansion were all included in the university’s 2021-22 budget request and will be funded with state appropriations.
  • The health sciences campus, the lab renovation, and the library renovation and expansion were all included in the university’s 2021-22 budget request and will be funded with state appropriations.