Best Liberal Arts Colleges in South Carolina 2023

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in South Carolina 2023

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in South Carolina offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

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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A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 31 liberal arts colleges in South Carolina. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in South Carolina, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in South Carolina 2022

  1. #1

    College of Charleston

    Charleston , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    College of Charleston’s Online Degrees

    BPS in Professional Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Organizational Management And Development
    • Project Management
    • Organizational Management And Development
    • Project Management
    • Applied Communication
    • Healthcare And Medical Services Management
    • Healthcare And Medical Services Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/22

    Coastal Carolina University’s Online Degrees

    BSBA in Hospitality And Tourism Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • Event Planning
    • Sustainable Resort Development
    • Tourism Sales
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSBA in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #5

    Bob Jones University

    Greenville , SC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Bob Jones University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Professional Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Marketing
    • Exercise And Sport Science
    • Liberal Arts
    • Marketing
    • Social Science
    • Exercise And Sport Science
    • Liberal Arts
    • Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #6

    The Citadel

    Charleston , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    The Citadel’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Intelligence And Security Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Secondary Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Social Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #7

    Lander University

    Greenwood , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/19

    Lander University’s Online Degrees

    BAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Promotion And Wellness
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/18

    Francis Marion University’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1060/20

    What is University of South Carolina Aiken known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of South Carolina Aiken’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Anderson University, South Carolina’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BOLS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Resource Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Homeland Security And Emergency Services
    Degree Concentrations
    • Emergency Services Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Christian Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BIS in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/19

    What is University of South Carolina Upstate known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #19

    Newberry College

    Newberry , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/18

    Newberry College’s Online Degrees

    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSN in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Respiratory Therapy
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #20

    North Greenville University

    Tigerville , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    North Greenville University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/19

    What is University of South Carolina Beaufort known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Online Degrees

    BS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #22

    Claflin University

    Orangeburg , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/17

    Claflin University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Organizational Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing Rn To Bsn
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Charleston Southern University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Hospitality And Tourism Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resources
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Computer And Information Sciences
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BT in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Southern Wesleyan University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood And Family Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood And Family Studies Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #25

    Morris College

    Sumter , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Morris College known for?

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

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South Carolina’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Your Area of Interest

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 utilized 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. Bob Jones University
  2. Erskine College
  3. Furman University
  4. Coker University
  5. The Citadel
  6. Newberry College
  7. Wofford College
  8. College of Charleston
  9. Columbia College
  10. Converse University
  11. Coastal Carolina University
  12. Southern Wesleyan University
  13. Winthrop University
  14. University of South Carolina Upstate
  15. Francis Marion University
  16. Lander University
  17. Claflin University
  18. University of South Carolina Aiken
  19. Presbyterian College
  20. Columbia International University
  21. Anderson University, South Carolina
  22. North Greenville University

Check out our directory of liberal arts colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top liberal arts schools in every state.