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Frequently Asked Questions

Responses to popular questions can be found under the following headings:
Financial Aid
SC Dept of Education
Tests (GRE and MAT)  



How long is the admissions process?
We strongly suggest you begin the application process one to three months before the semester you desire to start with us.  We do have a “pending admission” status, which allows you to register and enroll in 12 hours of graduate level coursework with the submission of minimal application materials –these materials being the Application for Graduate Admission, $40 application fee, Citizenship Verification Form accompanied by all required legal documents indicating proof of citizenship and any/all name changes, and a copy of your teacher certificate. Please note that although you may begin taking coursework with us under the pending admissions status, you will not be eligible for Financial Aid until all admission materials are submitted (the balance of required items would be your Letter of References, Official Transcripts, GRE/MAT test scores, and the Initial Portfolio training).  In pacing your application process, keep in mind that the scheduling and transmission of test scores and transcripts are normally the items which require the longest lead times in the admissions process.

I have applied for admission. How can I find the status of my application?
Contact the USC Upstate Admissions Office at (864) 503-5246

Notification of Admission
The USC Upstate Office of Admissions will provide:  During the same week an application is received by the Office of Admissions, the applicant will be sent notification of receipt.  Thirty days after all required credentials are received from an applicant, you will be notified by the Admissions Office.



Does my certification status affect my tuition?
USC Upstate has a tiered tuition scale.  Our lowest tuition at the graduate level is offered to SC Certified Teachers.  Upon applying to USC Upstate, we ask that you supply a copy of your SC Teacher Certificate.  The dates of validity are then coded into your student account so that you are billed correctly.  Should your certificate expire during your program of study, you will notice a significant increase in the amount you are billed per semester hour.  Once your certificate expires, you are then billed at the SC Residency Rate, until such time you supply a copy of your renewed certificate.   Graduate Tuition and Fees  

I am already a certified educator in SC and need information about add-on certification.
Adding on certification in areas other than your initial area is governed entirely by the SC Department of Education. You can get general information about add-on certification from the SC Division of Teacher Quality from their web site at http://www.scteachers.org//cert/addlcert.cfm.  For specific requirements be sure to review pages 28-70 of the SC Teacher Certification Manual which is available at www.scteachers.org  

What Add-on Certifications are offered by USC Upstate?
USC Upstate offers graduate courses required to add on certification in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education – Visual Impairment, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Please note that there are requirements in addition to the course work to be eligible for the add-on certification.

I need to take courses to be certified/re-certified by the SC Department of Education.  Do you offer courses that meet their requirements?
Yes.  If you are currently certified, or have an expired certification in Early Childhood, Elementary or Special Education – Visual Impairment, and require graduate level coursework to meet SCDE requirements, we offer the courses that meet state education standards.  We strongly suggest that before enrolling in courses that you obtain verbal or written guidelines from the SCDE as to what coursework they will accept for your needs.  The SC Teachers Hotline is staffed by counselors Monday through Friday, 1:00 – 4:30pm, and can be reached by calling, toll free, (877) 885-5280.  You may also submit a Request for Change/Action Form (a one page document) which can be printed out and faxed.  This SCDE form can be found on the USC Upstate Graduate Programs webpage, right hand menu under Forms.. Once the SCDE has outlined their requirements, which they will do by mail, we have provided a table on our webpage that outlines the SCDE course, and the corresponding USC Upstate course that meets that requirement.

I obtained my bachelors degree in a program of study other than in Education, and I am considering becoming a teacher.  What courses will I need to take to become certified?
We applaud and encourage you. South Carolina needs teachers.  Our graduate level courses though, are for those who are already certified to teach.  USC Upstate does offer non-degree certification programs at the undergraduate level that will prepare you to be initially certified to teach upon completion of the program.   Please contact the USC Upstate School of Education office at (864) 503-5560 for more information. 

What about reciprocity of state certification?
Teacher certification is under the ultimate authority of the South Carolina Department of Education. Information about states with reciprocal agreements regarding South Carolina teaching certificates can be found at www.scteachers.org including requirements and information on requests.

Will this degree qualify me for South Carolina teacher certification?
No.  Admission to a M.Ed. degree program requires that you be certified or have courses/experiences comparable to that of a certified teacher. 



The four general categories of federally-sponsored financial aid programs offered by the University of qualified students include loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.


  • TEACH Grant Program

Please review the Financial Aid page on the Graduate Programs webpage for information on the programs available to graduate students.

  • Federal Stafford Student Loan
  • SC Teacher Loan

Work Study  


How do I locate a building on the USC Upstate campus? 
View the USC Upstate campus map.

Are graduate-level courses offered in Greenville?
Although USC Upstate has a presence on the University Center Greenville campus, and offers undergraduate courses, we do not offer graduate-level courses which apply to program of studies, at this time.

What courses will transfer into the program?
Course transfers are handled on an individual basis.  The Graduate Programs Office will need a copy of your transcripts by which to begin to research the courses you wish to transfer in.  For the initial purpose of inquiry, prior to your admission to the program, unofficial transcripts are permitted.  A maximum number of 12 credit hours are permitted (9 if part of a master’s degree at the other institution).  Of the 12, 6 may be applied to core or content areas, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Programs, and the other 6 to Related Studies.  Please note that Related Study courses must be at the 500 level, and you must have obtained a grade of B or better.

Can this program be done part-time or evenings only?
Yes.  Classes are offered at convenient times, 4:30 pm and later, online and hybrid for in-service teachers. You have 6 years to complete this program. Please note: To meet financial aid requirements, in addition to having completed and submitted all of your admissions materials, you will also need to be enrolled in 6 semester hours of classes for each semester you request aid (during the summer sessions, 2 courses taken during the combined summer sessions meets this requirement).  Additionally, if course work is not completed in consecutive semesters, and a major semester is skipped, a readmit fee of $10 is required.

How long will it take me to complete the program?
Students typically complete the M. Ed in 18-24 months through the Fast Track Program.  Courses applicable to the Master of Education degree must be completed within six (6) years.


USC Upstate assesses tuition and fees upon the basis of state residency. South Carolina law defines residents as “persons who have been domiciled in South Carolina for a period of no less than twelve months with an intention of making a permanent home therein” .



Frequently Asked Certification and Re-Certification Questions.   

Recertification: Guidelines for Certification credit renewal

Teacher Certification
Answers to questions regarding the certification process, regulation changes, updating existing certificates, as well as valuable links to information. http://www.scteachers.org/cert/index.cfm


GRE/MAT 2010-2011 Information

Can I take the GRE or the Miller Analogies test?
You may take either test for the M.Ed degree.

What do I need to know about the GRE? 
The General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The test is provided by Prometrics, located in Greenville. Prometrics is a testing center, with computer workstations.  The test can be scheduled when seating is available. Other locations can be found by registering online at http://www/ets/org/gre or calling (800) 473-2255.  Prometrics, 10 Enterprise Boulevard, Suite 206, Greenville, SC 29615-3534  (864) 676-1506.  To see test content information, sample test questions and to schedule a test, visit: http://www.ets.org  

What do I need to know about the MAT? 
The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a high-level test of analytical ability that requires the solution of problems stated as analogies. The MAT consists of 120 partial analogies (A:B is to C:D) that are to be completed in 60 minutes.  Performance on the MAT is designed to reflect candidates’ analytical thinking, an ability that is critical for success in both graduate school and professional life.  Through analogies with content from various academic subjects, MAT scores help graduate schools identify candidates whose knowledge and abilities go beyond mere memorizing and repeating information.  Contact Counseling Services at (864) 503-5195 (USC Upstate campus) for additional Miller Analogies Test information.

I don’t take tests well.  What if I fail the tests, can I still be admitted?
Yes, under our Conditional Admissions policy. Under two circumstances may a student apply for conditional admission as long as all other admission requirements have been met:   Circumstance One:  If, after two attempts of the same test, the student fails to meet the required Miller Analogies Test (MAT) score of 390 or Graduate Records Examination (GRE) score of 400 on the verbal section and 400 on the quantitative section or Circumstance Two:  The student does have the minimum GPA on all undergraduate coursework of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.   The student must submit a request for conditional admission in writing to the Director of Graduate Programs. If the student fails to meet BOTH of these criteria they ARE NOT eligible for conditional admission.    If the student is granted conditional admission, and achieves a minimum GPA of 3.25 on the initial 12 hours of USC Upstate program coursework, the student will be fully admitted as a Masters candidate. If the student fails to achieve this grade point average, the student may not continue in the masters program.