The university announced the initiative, called the Confucius Institute, on Monday afternoon.
Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the initiative's mission is both educational and economic. She said the program will provide education about Chinese language, culture and traditions for college students and other residents statewide.
The university is partnering with the Beijing Language and Culture University. It is the first college in South Carolina to establish a Confucius Institute. There are roughly three dozen in the United States and nearly 300 worldwide.