Top 20 Universities in South Carolina

Photo credit: albertogp123 / Flickr

Since the 1880s, Clemson University and the University of South Carolina – the two largest universities in South Carolina by undergraduate enrollment – have shared a ferocious rivalry. Fans pack the stands on game day at these schools and other colleges and universities in South Carolina with lively sports teams. South Carolina is also home to several small liberal arts colleges and The Citadel, a publicly funded military college.

Top colleges and universities are located throughout South Carolina and in cities such as Charleston, Greenville and Columbia, the state capital. Find out why you should study in South Carolina, and discover the state’s top universities below.

20. Columbia College, Columbia

Columbia College is a private institution that was founded in 1854. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,120, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 53 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Its tuition and fees are $28,100.

Columbia College, founded in 1854, is a private, liberal arts, women’s college with coeducational evening, graduate and online programs. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Columbia College advocates a holistic approach to education, with an emphasis on respect for the individual and service to the community.

Among the College’s most notable features are an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized honors program led by the 2010-2011 United States Professor of the Year, emphasis on leadership development for women, and unique opportunities for career-focused field experience and travel-study in the United States and abroad.

Located in Columbia, South Carolina, the campus is within minutes of a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities in the capital city. Residents enjoy the moderate climate year-round, a vibrant metropolitan area, college and university sports, parks, rivers, Lake Murray, museums, a nationally renowned zoo, and performing arts.


When applying to Columbia College, it’s important to note the application deadline is rolling. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due August 1. The application fee at Columbia College is $25. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 79 percent.

Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Columbia College is 11:1, and the school has 78.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Columbia College include: Psychology, General; Behavioral Sciences; Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services, Other; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; and Business Administration and Management, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 65.5 percent.

Student Life

Columbia College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,120, with a gender distribution of 13.8 percent male students and 86.3 percent female students. At this school, 37 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 63 percent of students live off campus. Columbia College is part of the NAIA athletic conference.

Campus Services

Columbia College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, health service, and health insurance.

Columbia College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Columbia College, 65 percent have cars on campus.

Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at Columbia College.

Prev1 of 19Next