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Division of Information Technology

Information for Students

IDs and Security

  • You are assigned a Network Username when you are admitted to the university. You will use your Network Username to log in to the wired and wireless networks, university email, and some other university systems. Before using your Network Username, you will need to set a password in For security purposes, the password expires every six months. You will receive an email from the Division of IT Service Desk when the password is close to expiring. No one at the university will ask for your password. Do not respond to any emails requesting your Network Username and password.
  • Your VIP ID is an eight-digit number that is assigned to you when you are admitted to the university. It is used to log in to Self Service Carolina. Your VIP ID is included on your acceptance letter, given to you if you have applied for financial aid, and available in
  • The USC ID is a unique combination of letters and numbers used by faculty and staff to securely manage your student information and records. You may be asked to provide your USC ID to verify your identity. The USC ID, which is not used to log in to any system, is printed on the back of your CarolinaCard and available in
  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is required to access systems on the university network that store Personal Identifiable Information (PII). You will need to take an extra step to confirm your identity when you log in to university systems such as The university uses Duo Security to provide MFA services. The easiest way to use MFA is to download the free Duo Security app on your smartphone.
  • Helpful videos and tips on security and privacy are available at Security.


  • computer is highly recommended, but not required. We support Macs, Windows, and Linux. If you bring it, we can support it.
  • Apple and Dell offer student discounts on computer purchases.
    • To get education pricing at Apple, take your CarolinaCard with you to any Apple Store or go to the Apple Education Store online.
    • When purchasing a computer from Dell, go to the university’s membership page at Dell.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available for free for as long as you are a student at the university. It includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and more for both Mac and Windows. You can install Office 365 on up to five computers and five mobile devices. Also included is OneDrive, an online file service that provides you with 50GB of free cloud storage to store your documents and access them from any device, anywhere. More information and download instructions are available in the Knowledge Base.
  • Wireless is available in all buildings and many outdoor areas. Use the secure uscstudent wireless network.
  • You can connect to either the wired or wireless network in your residence hall to access your email, Blackboard, and the Internet. Wireless access is available in all buildings and many outdoor spaces on campus. Students are asked to refrain from connecting to the uscguest sites network and instead use uscstudent, which is a secure network. In addition, there are more connection points for the uscstudent network across campus, meaning your Internet speed and ease of connectivity is higher.
  • Gaming systems, streaming devices, and smart TVs can connect to either the EntertaiNET wireless network or the wired network in residence halls.
  • Gamecock Cable is available in all residence halls. TVs must have a QAM digital tuner. See the Gamecock Cable FAQs for more information.
  • Software is available for students for free or at reduced prices. Choose Software for Home for your personal computer or Software for Work for university-owned computers if you are employed by the university.
  • Blackboard is our online course management system. Your instructors will tell you if and how they use Blackboard. You log in at with your Network Username and password. 
  • You must have current antivirus software installed and activated and all critical operating system updates completed on your computer before you can connect it to the campus network. Antivirus software is included with Microsoft Windows; however, it is not included on Macs. If your computer does not have antivirus software, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows or Sophos for the Mac free of charge by going to and clicking on “Purchase computer software." If you prefer, the Carolina Tech Zone can install antivirus software for you.
  • A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is available for secure access to university resources including share drives, databases, and select systems when you are away from campus. Free VPN software can be downloaded from
  • Wireless printers are not allowed on the campus network. If you have a wireless printer, the wireless feature must be turned off while the printer is on campus. You can connect to the printer via USB or Bluetooth.
  • Routers are not allowed on the campus network. If you need additional network connections, you can use a 10/100 ethernet switch.

IT Support

  • The Knowledge Base allows you to complete IT tasks independently without having to contact the Service Desk. Included are step-by-step instructions to address many common IT requests such as password resets.
  • The Self-Service Portal allows you to easily request technology assistance, report an issue, request services, and access articles in the Knowledge Base.
  • The Service Desk provides technology support via telephone and chat. Telephone support is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at 803-777-1800. Chat support is available Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. from the Self-Service Portal.


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