A Visit to College of Charleston

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By Sue Luse


The College of Charleston is a beautiful, historic college located in one of the south’s most popular and charming cities! A coastal city, Charleston is home to three beautiful beaches including Folly Beach on James Island. The City of Charleston embraces the College of Charleston providing jobs and internships. Many of the faculty live close by.

Sue visited on a beautiful sunny day. While the campus, built in 1770,  is part of the bustling city in which it’s located, it still feels very calm and peaceful.  Charleston is considered one of the friendliest cities in the U.S. There are 8 coffee shops within walking distance from campus. There’s an airport in town which is always a plus. Charleston is one of the top 10 fastest growing cities and is considered an economic powerhouse and tech sector. The creator of Snapchat went to the College of Charleston as a computer science major.

Charleston 2


The College of Charleston is a liberal arts college with a population of approximately 10,448 students, with 40% of them being from out-of-state. There are students from all states except South Dakota. Their most popular majors are business, art, biology, psychology and historic preservation.

There are 6 colleges:

  • School of the Arts where majors include art history, music, studio art, theatre and dance, arts management, historic preservation and community planning.
  • School of Business is a large college and most of the students study abroad and complete internships. Majors include accounting, business administration, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, international business and marketing.
  • School of Education, Health & Human Performance where majors include education, physical education, public health, athletic training and exercise science. There is no nursing program.
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences is the largest college and encompasses nine departments (communication, English, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology and religious studies) as well as a popular program in urban studies. Very successful pre-law program, good communications program including broadcast journalism. Public health is a fast-growing major.
  • School of Languages, Culture & World Affairs offers a comprehensive undergraduate foreign language program. There are majors in three foreign languages (Spanish, French and German) and Classical studies, as well as majors in Latin American and Caribbean studies, Jewish studies and international studies. In addition, students can study six “critical languages” (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese and Russian), as well as Greek, Latin, Portuguese and Italian.
  • School of Sciences & Mathematics consists of six departments (biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and physics and astronomy. Marine biology is a stand-out program.  Students have access to advanced resources such as Grice Marine Laboratory, S.C. Space Grant Consortium, Geographical Information Systems Lab and Project Oceanica.While there is no engineering, they have a good computer science program with a brand new building on the waterfront.

Student Life


Outside grounds
  • Three nearby beaches, three professional sports teams close by, lots of concerts and art festivals. Since Charleston is a very popular tourist city, there are lots of fun places to go, stay and eat – parents love it!
  • The students are very diverse – hipsters, jocks, southern belles, Greeks, beach bums, etc.
  • With so much offered in such close proximity, students do not need cars and transit is free. You need 30 credit hours to have a car on campus.
  • 200 clubs including Cheese Club and Quidditch
  • Country singer, Darius Rucker, lives in Charleston and offers free concerts
  • Cougar is the mascot and there are 19 Div I teams (no football)


Beautiful house-building
  • Most students stay on campus
  • Prices vary on dorms – there are some really nice options. Lots of historic houses have been converted to dorms
  • 20% Greek – there are small Greek Houses but it’s not a big part of the campus


  • A/B unweighted GPA average
  • 1070-1230 SAT for in-state students (critical reading and math only). 1140-1280 SAT for out-of-state students (critical reading and math only)
  • Superscore the SAT but not the ACT
  • 23-27 ACT for in-state students. 25-29 ACT range for out-of-state students
  • The Honors College requires 29 ACT and 3.8 GPA
  • Class rank in the top 20 percent
  • Consistent academic achievement in the A/B range
  • Strong high school curriculum (above our required curriculum)
  • Apply by November for early notification
  • Randolph Hall - source Wikipedia.org
  • Merit Scholarships offered
  • You must apply to a certain college
  • Not a Common App school; require a college-specific essay and personal statement
  • 28,000 per year for out-of-state tuition, room & board 12,000, so approx $40,000 a year

What Kind of Student Would Be Happy Here

A student who is looking for an urban environment in a lovely southern historic city. There are many types of students including artsy, athletic, political, preppy, and they tend to be confident and independent. Someone who does not “need” a football team and loves warm beach weather. Students here are smart, well-rounded and willing to work hard.

Albert_Simons_Center_for_the_Arts_CofCLibraryFountainsCharleston 1Tour guide

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