Graduate Schools in South Carolina
Seeking graduate schools in South Carolina? This suave southern state has a lot to offer, including top colleges and universities, a summary climate, and laid-back coastal vibes. Check out our listings for grad schools in SC, fill out our form to get matched with programs, or relax and learn more about what it’s like to live, study, and play in the Palmetto State.
Popular Graduate Degree Programs in South Carolina
written by Shannon Fandler
Why Graduate Students Might Love South Carolina
Whether you’re hoping to prepare for a new career path or lounge on a sandy beach between classes, you’ll find many ways to renew yourself in South Carolina. Here are just a few reasons why graduate students might choose this state:
A Rich History of Higher Education. South Carolina is home to many esteemed institutions, including the College of Charleston (1770), the oldest publicly supported institution in the United States. The state also boasts The Citadel, one of only a few state-supported military colleges in the country. From the large public research institution, University of South Carolina, to grad schools that offer online degree programs in SC, like Winthrop University, there’s a higher education partner to suit almost any student.
Christian Graduate Schools. In addition to public universities, South Carolina is home to many colleges, universities, and seminaries offering faith-based education. Potential Christian higher education partners include Bob Jones University, Erskine College, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and others.
Charming Cities for Living and Learning. From coastal Charleston, with its Colonial and antebellum history, to the busy capital city of Columbia, South Carolina has its share of diverse cities and towns. Mid-sized cities like Greenville and Spartanburg dish up the perfect blend of urban life and personal charm, whereas small towns like Due West may offer the sense of community students crave. We’ll learn more about SC’s grad school college towns, later!
The Outdoor Life. As its nickname, the Palmetto State, suggests, SC is gifted when it comes to nature. The state is home to an astounding array of ecological diversity. If you love camping and hiking, check out the woodlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you love the water, check out the Sea Islands. And in between, search for Spanish moss, dramatic live oaks, and alligators trawling for their next meal.
Arts, Culture, and Student Resources. South Carolina is famous for music (bluegrass has important roots, here), literature, and the visual arts. The city of Charleston is particularly famous for arts and cultural institutions, including The Charleston Library Society, one of the oldest libraries in the United States. Greenville is home to the Greenville County Museum of Art, an important institution for southern artists. And Columbia is proud of its many museums, theaters, and cultural sites.
Did You Know? Famous North Carolinians include jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, Pulitzer prize-winning author Julia Peterkin, and sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington.
A Quick History of South Carolina
One of the original thirteen colonies, South Carolina has an important role in the history of the United States. Of course, people lived in this area for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. However, the Mississippian cultures disappeared after colonists came in the 16th century, and other indigenous peoples disappeared by the time of the American Revolution, largely due to disease, conflict, and colonial expansion.
The Civil War started in South Carolina, after Confederates fired on Union-controlled Fort Sumter, in Charleston. Following the war, racial strife and poverty divided the state. Historically, South Carolina was mostly an agrarian state. By the 1950s, however, urban populations started to expand. Since then, industries in South Carolina have diversified and led to economic growth. However, poverty remains a problem in rural areas of the state.
South Carolina Today [i]
South Carolina has a population of 5,024,369 as of a 2017 estimate, which is an 8.6% change from 2010. 26.5% of the population over age 25 have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and the median household annual income is $46,898. About 106,000 employers call South Carolina home.
Did You Know? SC has a humid, subtropical climate. Summers tend to be hot and rainy, while winters are fairly mild.
Grad Student-Friendly College Towns in South Carolina
South Carolina has multiple diverse regions, along with many cities and towns that may be ideal for graduate students. Let’s learn more about the college towns where you could potentially live and learn.
Charleston – This picturesque harbor city is located on an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Not only are the views sublime, but the streets throughout town are lined with beautifully-preserved historical architecture. It’s no surprise Charleston is a popular tourist destination. But it also may be the ideal place to attend grad school. Charleston SC colleges and universities like the College of Charleston, The Citadel, Charleston Southern University, and other institutions of higher education are located in or near the city. Choose from Charleston’s charming neighborhoods, or search for housing in nearby areas like Rockville, Harleyville, or North Charleston.
North Charleston – Though in the same metropolitan area as Charleston, North Charleston is a city in its own right. Many colleges and universities in this area serve students of the Lowcountry and beyond. In fact, the Lowcountry Graduate Center offers satellite campus access to institutions like The College of Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina and The Citadel.
Columbia – As SC’s capital and the second-largest city after Charleston, Columbia is an important hub for business, culture, and education. The main campus of the University of South Carolina is located in this city. Other Columbia, South Carolina colleges and universities include Columbia College, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, a South University campus, and others. But what’s it like to live here? The city boasts lovely parks, cultural attractions, and sport venues. Columbia is also home to many diverse neighborhoods, some of which may be ideal for grad students.
Greenville – Greenville and its suburbs form SC’s third-largest urban area. This fast-growing city is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Reedy River runs right through the center. Greenville South Carolina colleges and universities include Furman University, Bob Jones University, Clemson University, and others. The arts are important in this city, and you’ll find a variety of student-friendly events, including First Fridays Art Walks and Shakespeare in the Park.
Rock Hill – Called the Gateway to South Carolina, this border city is a retail and manufacturing center. Rock Hill is home to Winthrop University, as well as a couple of two-year colleges. Since it’s located near North Carolina, it is considered part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, which contains many excellent colleges and universities, as well.
Orangeburg – Orangeburg is an important site of Civil Rights history. Notable colleges and universities in this city include two historically black institutions, South Carolina State University and Claflin University. You’ll also find a dedication to gardening (Orangeburg’s nickname is The Garden State). Check out the award-winning roses at the Edisto Memorial Gardens.
Spartanburg – This city is located in the same metro area as Greenville, but it has its own claims to fame. For one, Spartanburg is the headquarters for the Denny’s restaurant chain. This midsized city is also a major college town. Spartanburg boasts eight institutions of higher education, including University of South Carolina Upstate, Converse College, and Wofford College.
What to See and Do in South Carolina
Tourist attractions in South Carolina include Fort Sumter National Monument, aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, Cowpens National Battlefield, and other sites of military history. Beach-lovers flock to family-friendly Myrtle Beach, a coastal city and popular vacation destination. Hilton Head is another option for soaking up the sun. This barrier island is complete with golf courses and luxurious beach resorts.
So what’s cooking in the Palmetto State? Cuisine varies by region, but Lowcountry specialties often rely on very fresh seafood. Try delicacies like shrimp and grits, roasted oysters, and Frogmore stew – a dish with sausage, shellfish, and veggies. The state is also famous for barbecue. Not everyone agrees on the perfect BBQ sauce (many variations are available), but a mustard-based sauce is exclusive to South Carolina. Try it for yourself and decide!
South Carolina Colleges and Universities Offering Graduate Programs
If you’re searching for graduate schools in the South, look no further than South Carolina. This state is home to state-funded universities, liberal arts institutions, Christian colleges and universities, and even a military college, The Citadel. Many South Carolina colleges and universities offer master’s, doctorate, professional, and certificate programs. And some grad schools in SC offer online programs, potentially ideal for busy, working students.
Here’s our short list of graduate schools in South Carolina you should know about:
Check out their pages to learn more, check out available programs, and request information.
Planning to pursue a graduate business program in SC? While agricultural has historically been key to this state’s economy, SC is also home to urban business capitals. Boeing, SCANA, Sonoco Products, and ScanSource are just a few of the important corporations with locations or headquarters here. Today, most of the economy is comprised of the service sector, which includes trade, transportation, and utilities, tourism, health services, and more.
Students may also find many opportunities to pursue a prospective graduate business degree program, such as an MBA. Check out programs like:
- Winthrop University Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Coker College M.S. College Athletic Administration
- South University MS in Leadership
- Columbia College Of South Carolina Master of Arts in Human Behavior and Conflict Management
Science, technology, engineering, and math may be key to many industries in South Carolina – from aircraft manufacturing to environmental management. Potential benefits to selecting this state as the home of your graduate STEM education include its diverse ecology, dynamic urban centers, and more. Learn more about graduate programs like:
- Clemson University Graduate Program in Environmental Health Physics
- College of Charleston Graduate Program in Mathematics
- University of South Carolina Mechanical Engineering Program
- Furman University Graduate Program in Chemistry
South Carolina experiences significant healthcare challenges, like a high infant mortality rate and a shortage of physicians. While major cities like Charleston and Columbia have cutting-edge medical technologies, hospitals, and medical colleges, people in more impoverished locations may struggle to access doctors. If you’re hoping to make a difference in this important field, South Carolina may be a state that needs your attention.
Explore health and medicine graduate programs like:
- Winthrop University M.S. in Human Nutrition Program
- University of South Carolina Pharmacology Graduate Program
- South University Family Nurse Practitioner Program
With a fast-growing population, rapidly-changing demographics, and economic problems like rural poverty, South Carolina may be a location of interest to students looking to make a difference in public affairs and the social sciences. Pursue your graduate education in programs like:
- University of South Carolina Master of Arts in Economics Program
- The Citadel School Psychology Graduate Program
- Francis Marion University Master’s in Applied Psychology Program
- Bob Jones University Graduate Counseling Program
Discover Top South Carolina Cities for a Graduate Program
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Search Graduate Schools in South Carolina
Drawn to the Palmetto State as the potential site of your graduate education? Explore our sponsored listings, or fill out our form to be matched with graduate schools in South Carolina that may be the perfect fit.
Wake Forest University
The University of Arizona Global Campus
Western Governors University
Grand Canyon University
The Catholic University of America
Charleston Southern University
University of South Carolina - Upstate