Students posing together in the quad

Pacer Vocabulary

Thrive Guide


The following definitions can help you better understand the academic jargon of a university setting:

Term Definition

Change of Campus

Students that are currently enrolled at another USC campus, with less than 24 semester hours of non-developmental coursework must also meet freshman admissions requirements.


A minimum of 12 hours with grades of C or better of course work which support the major. The cognate must be selected from specific upper-level courses in related areas and must be approved by the student’s advisor. However, it is the student’s responsibility to plan a suitable course of study for his/ her goals and to consult frequently with a major advisor as to the selection of courses.


A specific area of emphasis within your chosen major.


A course that a student must enroll in at the same time as enrolling in the desired course.


A course that a student must enroll in at the same time as enrolling in the desired course.

Credit Hour

Relates to the number of hours you spend in class each week. (ex. You generally earn one credit hour for each hour of lecture and one credit hour for 2-3 hours of lab. You can find out how many credit hours a course is worth in the course description.)

Double Major

An undergraduate student who completes two sets of degree requirements. Although they declare two separate majors, most schools only award one bachelor's degree listing both majors at time of completion.


Academic disciplines that study human culture. Humanities courses include areas that study and interpret the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; and more.

ICE Event

Inter-Curricular Enrichment is a university-wide initiative aimed at engaging USC Aiken students through a series of diverse curricular enrichment opportunities. Students must attend a prescribed number of ICE events.

Independent Study

A self-paced educational activity with little to no supervision.


Interdisciplinary programs combine or involve two or more academic disciplines or fields of study. At USC Aiken we have an Interdisciplinary Program that is structured in part to meet an individual student’s specific academic goals. It is designed for those students whose educational objectives are better served by a flexible interdisciplinary program of study rather than by a traditional, single-discipline major.


A professional work experience that provides students with the ability to gain knowledge and skills in a particular career area. Internships can be paid, unpaid, for credit, or non-credit.


A secondary area of study. Requirements for a minor are specified within the department.

Non-Degree Seeking

Students who are wishing to take a course(s) for personal enrichment or professional enhancement. Entrance exams, transcripts, and recommendations are generally not required.


Course(s) that a student must pass before enrolling in the more advanced course.

Self Service Aiken

This is your one stop shop for information regarding financial aid, academics (registering for classes, final grades, etc.), changing meal plan options, declining balance (aka Carolina Cash Deposits) and much more! Self Service Aiken


This is an outline of the subjects in a course. The syllabus will be your main source of information for any course. It details your assignments and important due dates.


Students who have attended another college level institution and attempted one or more courses, regardless of credit earned. If you have attempted less than 24 semester hours of college level work, you must meet both transfer and freshman entrance requirements.


Transient students are students from other colleges or universities (outside the USC system) wishing to enroll at USC Aiken to take courses they plan to transfer back to their home institution.