South Carolina State University is a historically African American university in the city of Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with both a space grant and a land grant. The motto of the university is Knowledge, Duty, Honor.
In 1896, SCSU was founded as South Carolina’s only public university for black youth. Originally it provided an outreach program that sent agents into surrounding counties to disperse knowledge among poor black farm families. Both historically and today, the university has had a reputation for turning out excellent school teachers. After World War II, the school saw its funding increase significantly in order to make the “separate but equal” policy a reality. Many students and faculty participated in the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. In 1968, their dedication to freedom saw three students killed and twenty-seven wounded by state officers.
Undergraduate courses of study are organized through three main divisions: the College of Business & Applied Professional Sciences; the College of Education, Humanities, & Social Sciences; and the College of Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Technology. These three colleges house fourteen different departments that offer dozens of different degrees. Graduate students are their programs are all organized under the School of Graduate Studies.
The Honors College provides growth, distinction, and achievement for the most qualified scholars. The classes are small and challenging, and emphasize critical thinking. Freshman and sophomore classes emphasize content and subject matter, while junior and senior courses focus on application of knowledge within a students’ major.
Most Popular Fields of Study
SCSU offers the only undergraduate Nuclear Engineering Program in the state of South Carolina. It is also home to the only Environmental Sciences Field Station in the country. The university provides the only MS degree in Transportation and the only Doctor of Education Degree in South Carolina.
The admissions office requires a completed admissions application, official high school transcript (including GPA and class rank), and scores from either or both the SAT I or ACT before an applicant is considered for admission. High school course requirements include four units of English; three units each of mathematics, laboratory sciences, and social studies; and two units of foreign language.
Advanced Placement credit is awarded to students with scores of three and above when tested in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. Advanced Placement is granted in twenty-four different classes or disciplines. All new students are required to participate in Orientation, which consists of Orientation Week and the one-semester course University 101, which introduces and acclimates students to the university experience.
The Financial Aid Office offers grants and loans, and access to other programs through the National Student Loan Data System and the Department of Education. Students who wish to receive aid must maintain the University’s definition of satisfactory academic progress. Depending on the number of hours earned, students may be expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average that is higher than 1.40 or more. Students with 100 hours or more must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Students who fail to meet these requirements can be placed on probation or suspended.
Student Financial Aid Details
Student Life offers eight residence halls for women and four residence halls for men. Sixty percent of undergraduates live in residence halls. Students are often assigned to specific halls based on classification. All residences are fully furnished.
The campus is also home to an on-campus health center, Counseling and Self Development Center, special programs for disabled students, leadership training, and psychometric services.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Bulldogs compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference of the NCAA. Competitive teams fielded by the athletic department include cross country, football, softball, track & field, volleyball, women’s soccer, and men’s & women’s basketball, bowling, golf, and tennis. The university also offers a wide variety of intramural sports for recreational student athletes.
SCSU has a long and proud history of educating black students for over 100 years. The institution and its constituents were quite active in the civil rights movement, and today they maintain that dedication to civil rights on and off their campus. Other popular traditions on campus include a nationally known marching band, Marching 101, as well as a strong ROTC program.
Notable alumni include:
- President of the Riland Educational Corporation Nefertari Imani Bakara
- Former Morehouse College President Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
- President of Alabama A&M University Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr.
- President of Alcorn State University Dr. M. Christopher Brown II
- Sports talk radio personality Doug Stewart
- Congress Majority Whip James E. Clyburn
- United States Federal Judge Matthew J. Perry
- Professional football players Phillip Adams, Deacon Jones,Rickey Anderson, Orlando Brown, Rafael Bush, Barney Bussey, and Arthur Love
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.