Overview of South Carolina Colleges & Schools

The State of South Carolina, through somewhat small in area, is home to many institutions of higher learning. The state itself, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina and Georgia, is a gateway to the southern United States. It is the 24th largest in the United States in terms of population and has a long, if not somewhat contentious history with regards to other states and the federal government. Columbia is the state’s largest city as well as its capital.

The University of South Carolina System was established in 1957 to increase the educational opportunities for residents throughout the state. The system is comprised of 8 schools, totaling about half of all the public 4 year institutions in the state. The system is the largest institution of higher learning in the state, serving approximately 44,000 students per year.

Schools within the USC System include:

South Carolina also funds public schools that are operated independently of the USC System.  These schools have varying purposes and systems of education, but offer students an alternative to the USC System while providing low cost higher education.

Some publically funded schools include:

Private institutions found in South Carolina offer a variety of educational methods, some are liberal arts colleges, and some are graduate studies institutions, while others were founded in faith based principles. These schools generally tend to have a low number of enrolled students, higher tuition costs, and a better student to teacher ratio. These schools offer an alternative to the public school system, and can provide an educational experience that is more conducive for certain students.

Public institutions in South Carolina include:

Additionally, South Carolina is served by a comprehensive community college system providing vocational and associate level educations to students at a low cost. Community colleges are also beneficial for low cost general education studies covering the first two years of a four year education and allow students to transfer to four year institutions. Vocational programs are also available through private schools specializing in specific fields that offer certificate or diploma programs and prepare students for work in entry level positions of their chosen field. Such programs tend to last a year or less.

The most populous city in South Carolina is Columbia, followed by Charleston and North Charleston.  While the most populous county in South Carolina is Greenville County with Richland County and Charleston County close behind.   If you are interested in visiting the state of South Carolina, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of South-carolina

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree
Master's degree
Bachelor's degree
Associate's degree
Postsecondary nondegree award
Some college, no degree
High school diploma or equivalent
No formal educational credential

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

There are twelve public 4-year state universities and colleges in South Carolina. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in South Carolina.

Private Universities & Colleges

Image of Private College Campus

In South Carolina there are twenty-six accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in South Carolina.

Community Colleges

Community College in South Carolina

Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. South Carolina" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in South Carolina.

Liberal Arts Colleges

Liberal Arts Colleges

South Carolina has five accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in South Carolina.

Bible & Christian Colleges

Christian Colleges

Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately eighteen such colleges in South Carolina located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in South Carolina along with program and tuition information.

Browse Schools by Career in South Carolina

Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.

Medicine & Healthcare

Law & Criminal Justice