Residential Courses & Graduation Requirements

GSSM courses are what set us apart.

Graduate with Distinction

GSSM is committed to the school’s mission of cultivating a joy of learning and building ethical leaders.

Students at the Governor’s School are taught by extraordinary instructors who ignite passion in their classrooms. An advantage to living on campus is being able to meet with your teacher outside of class. Drop in during office hours, make an appointment, or sit next to them at lunch. The learning never stops.

Academic Calendar

2022-23 Academic Calendar

Course Catalog

Fall & Spring

GSSM's rigorous courses are taught by experts in their field. Most advanced electives start where AP courses end. 

Scroll through the courses we're teaching this year and you'll be sure to find something that inspires you to take your education to the next level.

2022-23 Course Catalog (pdf)

Interim

Interim is a special time at GSSM. Students select a single course to study intensely for roughly two and a half weeks in January, between the fall and spring semesters. Interim courses allow students to immerse themselves in new topics  taught by GSSM instructors and visiting instructors who bring their expertise and passion to class.

Take a look at this year's Interim offerings. Which course would you like to take a deep dive into?

2022-23 Interim Offerings (pdf)

Academic Requirements

In addition to the State of South Carolina High School Diploma, we award the South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics diploma. To remain enrolled at GSSM, and to receive a GSSM diploma, students must:

Be enrolled in a minimum of five (5) courses during the fall and spring semesters. Earn a semester grade of C or better (70 or above) in each of the courses taken while at GSSM. Earn a minimum of five (5) GSSM credits during their junior year and another five (5) GSSM credits during their senior year (Note: GSSM courses offered for credit during the summer or Interim count toward graduation requirements but do not count toward the minimum of the five (5) GSSM credits that must be earned each year).

 

Additional graduation requirements are outlined below.

Additional Requirements Expectations

Research and Inquiry Program – Completion of a GSSM mentored research and inquiry experience is required for all students. This program usually involves six weeks of summer research and a fall semester course that culminates with presentations at Colloquium and the S.C. Junior Academy of Science Conference (SCJAS).

Required for all students; students must earn a grade of C (70 or above) in Research and Inquiry

Junior Seminar Series (one hour per week per seminar)
Fall: Life & Leisure and Academic Transition Spring: College Planning Seminar 1 and three other shorter seminars

Required for all Juniors to attend and pass. 
Senior Seminar Series (one hour per week per seminar) Fall: College Planning Seminar II 
 
Required for all Seniors to attend and pass. 
Community Engagement - Students engage in service activities to support and strengthen GSSM and our surrounding community.

Required for all students based on outlined expectations

 

The table below outlines the minimum number of credits that must be completed to qualify for the GSSM diploma and the State of South Carolina High School diploma. Except for the Research and Inquiry Experience and January Interim requirements, course credits may be earned before enrolling, or while attending, GSSM.

Semester-long courses award 0.5 credits, while year-long or two- semester courses award 1.0 credit. If one high school unit is awarded for a semester dual enrolled course, GSSM reserves the right to review the curriculum to determine if the material covered meets the GSSM 1.0 credit (i.e. year-long or two-semester course) requirement listed in the table below.

Graduation Requirement Credit
Science with a Lab (must include 1.0 credit biology, chemistry, physics) 3
Mathematics (must include 1.0 credit of calculus) 4-5
Computer Science  1
English/Language Arts (Must include ENG 111 and ENG 112, taken junior year. ENG 111 and ENG 112 together count as one credit. ENG 205 and ENG 201 together count as one credit) 4
Foreign Language (must be in the same language) 2
US History 1
US Government .5
Economics .5
Other Social Studies 1
Physical Education/ROTC 1
Research and Inquiry Experience .5
Fine Arts 1
GSSM January Interim Courses 1
Electives 2.5-3.5
TOTAL 24 credits

 

Academic Eligibility

At the end of any semester, including Interim and summer, a student who earns a D or lower (69 or below) in any course will be required to return to their home high school to complete the remainder of their high school course of study. If a grade of D or lower is earned at the end of the senior spring semester, the student will not be eligible to receive a GSSM diploma.

When extenuating circumstances exist, a student may appeal to the Academic Review Committee. The appeal must be sent via email to the Vice President for Academics within five (5) days after the semester grades are sent to the student and his or her family by email, phone call, or regular mail. Parents or guardians are welcome to appeal along with their student. The Academic Review Committee will respond to the appeal and communicate a decision within five (5) days of receiving the appeal.

Add/Drop

The last day for adding a course is seven school days after classes have begun. The last day to drop a course without it appearing on the transcript is four weeks. Courses may be dropped until midterm with a notation of withdrew passing (WP) or withdrew failing (WF) on the transcript.

Course Placement

Every effort is made to place juniors in courses that are at the correct level based on their previous academic experience. Occasionally, a student may be misplaced. In such cases, the Vice President for Academics, in consultation with the subject teacher and faculty advisor, may shift a student to a different level course. The deadlines and recording rules noted above are waived in these unusual circumstances.

Auditing

Auditing a course means to take a course for academic enrichment without receiving grade or credit. Specific requirements about completion of homework, projects, tests, etc. are at the discretion of the instructor. A student will be allowed to audit a class if: a)  the instructor approves, b) the Vice President for Academic approves, and c) there is space available in the course.