Best Colleges in South Carolina 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in South Carolina. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Best Colleges in South Carolina 2022

Colleges and Universities in South Carolina

The 31 public schools range in tuition from $5,000 to $17,000. The largest institution, the University of South Carolina (U of SC), is right in the middle, totaling $11,000 for fees. Located in Columbia, U of SC has over 30,000 students in attendance and offers over 300 degree options. Aside from the technical and community colleges in the state, there are four universities under $10,000. At $17,000, the Medical University of South Carolina is the most expensive public school in the state.

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In addition, over 25 private schools, 17 with religious affiliations, offer academic settings with small student populations, none exceeding 3,500. Though it is the most expensive at $50,000, Furman University boasts an 84% graduation rate. With Methodist connections, Wofford College charges a tuition of $44,000, and it bears noting that the campus is situated on a national arboretum. The University of South Carolina School of Law is one of the nation’s oldest law schools and the state’s only nonprofit law school. Graduates of the school have the opportunity to receive financial assistance from the Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund if they are employed in the field of public interest law.

Along the 60-mile stretch of beaches in South Carolina is iconic Myrtle Beach, home to one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels. Cypress swamps, military museums, and tea gardens add to the southern charm of this state. And with over 50 higher education institutions, students have plenty of options for where to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Check out the top programs available, and earn your degree in The Palmetto State.


What are South Carolina’s Colleges & Universities?

South Carolina’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine South Carolina's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 33 colleges and universities in South Carolina that meet our criteria. This list of the top 25 colleges in South Carolina below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in South Carolina.

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Best Colleges in South Carolina 2022

  1. #1

    University of South Carolina

    Columbia , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    32K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/28

    What is University of South Carolina known for?

    University of South Carolina’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Clemson University

    Clemson , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/29

    What is Clemson University known for?

    Clemson University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    College of Charleston

    Charleston , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/25

    What is College of Charleston known for?

    College of Charleston’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • History
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Furman University

    Greenville , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1330/30

    What is Furman University known for?

    Furman University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/21

    What is Coastal Carolina University known for?

    Coastal Carolina University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Wofford College

    Spartanburg , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    What is Wofford College known for?

    Wofford College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #8

    The Citadel

    Charleston , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/22

    What is The Citadel known for?

    The Citadel’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • History
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Lander University

    Greenwood , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is Lander University known for?

    Lander University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #11

    Winthrop University

    Rock Hill , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/21

    What is Winthrop University known for?

    Winthrop University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #12

    Francis Marion University

    Florence , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/18

    What is Francis Marion University known for?

    Francis Marion University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Medical
    • History
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    What is University of South Carolina Aiken known for?

    University of South Carolina Aiken’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #14

    Anderson University

    Anderson , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/23

    What is Anderson University known for?

    Anderson University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #15

    Erskine College

    Due West , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/19

    What is Erskine College known for?

    Erskine College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #16

    Allen University

    Columbia , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Allen University known for?

    Allen University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #17

    Benedict College

    Columbia , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    925/17

    What is Benedict College known for?

    Benedict College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Economics
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #18

    Presbyterian College

    Clinton , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

    What is Presbyterian College known for?

    Presbyterian College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #19

    Converse University

    Spartanburg , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/19

    What is Converse University known for?

    Converse University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/19

    What is University of South Carolina Upstate known for?

    University of South Carolina Upstate’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #21

    Newberry College

    Newberry , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    What is Newberry College known for?

    Newberry College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Sociology
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #22

    North Greenville University

    Tigerville , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/23

    What is North Greenville University known for?

    North Greenville University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/19

    What is University of South Carolina Beaufort known for?

    University of South Carolina Beaufort’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #24

    Claflin University

    Orangeburg , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/17

    What is Claflin University known for?

    Claflin University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #25

    Charleston Southern University

    Charleston , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/25

    What is Charleston Southern University known for?

    Charleston Southern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  24. #26

    Southern Wesleyan University

    Central , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    What is Southern Wesleyan University known for?

    Southern Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • History
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #27

    Morris College

    Sumter , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Morris College known for?

    Morris College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
  26. Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    What is Columbia International University known for?

    Columbia International University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. #29

    Limestone University

    Gaffney , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Limestone University known for?

    Limestone University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  28. #30

    Voorhees College

    Denmark , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Voorhees College known for?

    Voorhees College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  29. #31

    Clinton College

    Rock Hill , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    8%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Clinton College known for?

    Clinton College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Education
  30. #32

    Columbia College

    Columbia , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Columbia College known for?

    Columbia College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  31. #33

    Coker University

    Hartsville , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/23

    What is Coker University known for?

    Coker University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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South Carolina’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Furman University
  2. Clemson University
  3. Wofford College
  4. Bob Jones University
  5. Erskine College
  6. University of South Carolina
  7. The Citadel
  8. College of Charleston
  9. Columbia College
  10. Converse University
  11. Southern Wesleyan University
  12. Winthrop University
  13. Claflin University
  14. Presbyterian College
  15. Columbia International University
  16. Anderson University
  17. North Greenville University