Colleges and Universities in Charleston

A top ranking public institution serving more than 11,000 students annually, the College of Charleston is a liberal arts and sciences university and is the 13th oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. The College of Charleston offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificate programs in a range of fields such as arts, business, education, humanities, and social sciences. Fifty-seven majors and 71 minors are offered through the school’s six undergraduate colleges and schools. The Graduate School offers 19 graduate degree programs and eight certificate programs in areas such as business administration, mathematics, education, and environmental studies.

Charleston Southern University also calls Charleston home. This private Christian institution offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, nursing, education, music, and Christian studies, just to name a few With 45 undergraduate and six graduate degree programs, Charleston Southern University is the area’s only private, nonprofit liberal arts institution. The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is Charleston’s only medical school. MUSC primarily offers graduate degree programs in medicine, dental medicine, and pharmacy, but there are a few undergraduate degree options, such as a bachelor’s degree program in nursing.

Charleston’s only public community college, Trident Technical College, offers 150 undergraduate programs, as well as a host of special programs, such as the Navy College program, Learning Assistance Program, and High School Program. Offered through 12 academic divisions, program offerings include certificate and associate’s degrees in business, nursing, human services, and engineering technology.

Below is a list of public and private institutions and technical schools in Charleston:

Institution Type Degrees/Programs
Charleston Southern University Four-Year, Private, Christian Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
Citadel Military College of South Carolina Four-Year, Public Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
Medical University of South Carolina Four-Year, Public Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Health Professions and Biomedical Science
College of Charleston Four-Year, Public Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
Trident Technical College Two-Year, Public Certificates and Associate’s Degrees

Online Colleges in Charleston

Spotlight Trident Technical College, North Charleston, South Carolina

With its open-door admissions policy, Trident Technical College provides accessible education for about 17,000 traditional and nontraditional students, at multiple campuses and online. Programs may be fully online, or they may require on-campus or proctored testing. Most choices for online degrees focus on administrative office technology, accounting, business, information systems, criminal justice or homeland security.

TTC features eight online degree programs, including seven Associate in Applied Science options and one Associate in Arts degree. The online AA path addresses general requirements for students aiming to transfer to four-year institutions, with an emphasis on the humanities, social sciences and communication. Certain majors for online degrees allow for a choice of concentrations — for example, the AAS in management could delve into fields such as human resources or transportation and logistics.

For more targeted studies, 17 online programs award certificates in applied sciences. These for-credit, web-based programs range from bookkeeping to supply chain management to network systems management. Numerous options in the area of business include customer service, e-commerce and marketing.

The college also serves the community's needs for continuing education through more than 600 noncredit online programs and courses. The three online CE programs include career-focused studies such as a certificate in medical billing and coding, which entails an externship in addition to online studies. A wide variety of noncredit distance learning courses are offered through partnerships with independent providers of online education.

College Name Trident Technical College
Sub-Location North Charleston
# of Online Programs 25
Subjects Business, Information Systems, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security
Levels Continuing Education (noncredit), Certificate, Associate

Charleston Southern University offers a handful of online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in majors such as nursing, organizational management, technology, and criminal justice. Most of the online programs are offered fully online, but students can also elect to complete a hybrid program in which certain requirements or classes are fulfilled on campus.

The College of Charleston offers nearly 200 online courses, many of which are in career-focused fields such as accounting and finance, business, computer applications, health care and medical, and teaching and education. These online courses are designed to help students prepare for or work towards a degree, enhance current skills, advance in a career, or simply for personal enrichment.

Major Industries, Careers and Employers

A bevy of restaurants, hotels, plantations, and beaches makes Charleston one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S. As a result, the tourism industry employs more than 35,000 residents. Manufacturing is also a top industry in the city, with major manufacturers churning out aircraft and military vehicles and employing nearly 7,000 residents. Education and health care also top the list of major industries, with a host of colleges, school boards, and hospitals employing thousands across the city.

The top occupations in Charleston for 2013 included health care practitioner and technical, sales, production and education. The more than 38,000 total jobs in leisure and hospitality illustrate the importance of tourism on the Charleston economy. Approximately 46,000 workers were employed in office and administrative support, making it the top occupation in the city. By contrast, employees in arts and entertainment, as well as life, physical, and social sciences, held the fewest jobs.

Charleston’s largest employers are military bases, hospitals, and universities, which provide more than 40,000 jobs. Below is a list of the top ten largest public and private employers in Charleston:

Employer Employees
Joint Base Charleston 22,000
Medical University of South Carolina 13,000
Boeing South Carolina 6,000
Charleston County School District 5,300
Roper St. Francis Healthcare 5,100
Berkeley County School District 3,700
Dorchester County School District II 3,100
JEM Restaurant Group Inc. 3,000
Trident Health System 2,500
Walmart Inc. 2,300

Colleges & Universities in Charleston

Colleges & Universities in Charleston

College of Charleston 14,545 $70 Public
Charleston Southern University 4,688 $20,600 Not For Profit (Private)
Citadel Military College of South Carolina 3,909 $150 Public
Medical University of South Carolina 3,001 $14,018 Public

Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in Charleston

Trident Technical College 22,883 $3,894 Public

Online Colleges in Charleston