Experience Charleston

Live, work, and study in one of the greatest cities in the world

College of Charleston students participated in kayak rescue drills with the US Coast Guard

The College provides a creative and intellectually stimulating environment where students are challenged by a committed faculty of more than 500 distinguished teacher-scholars, all in an incomparable setting. A superior quality undergraduate program is central to the mission of the College. 

The City of Charleston—world-renowned for its history, architecture, culture and coastal environment—serves as a living and learning laboratory for experiences in business, science, technology, teaching, the humanities, languages, and the arts. No other city in America has Charleston’s blend of rich history, authentic culture, thriving arts and entertainment scene and picture-postcard beauty.

In the center of downtown Charleston, we are a mid-sized university organized into six schools. Through our general education curriculum, students typically take classes in each school. We also have an Honors College, our Center for International Education, and our graduate school, the University of Charleston. Learn more about each school and about additional academic opportunities below. 

We are a nationally ranked university, including for example the #2 international business and #5 computer science programs in the U.S., as well as an acclaimed marine biology program that hosts affiliate faculty from NOAA, DNR, MUSC, and more. The Halsey Gallery of Contemporary Art, the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture; the Mace Brown Museum for Natural History, the College of Charleston Observatory are some of our on-campus resources that provide exceptional programming in addition to the university’s year round performances and seminar series. The College has over 50 distinctive academic centers, institutes, and special offices dedicated to enhancing our student experience.

In addition to offering a broad range of bachelor’s degree programs, the College provides master’s degree programs that are compatible with the needs of the community and the state. As a prominent component of the state's higher education system, the College encourages and supports research. Our faculty members are important sources of knowledge and expertise for the community, state, nation, and world. 

Our professors are Fulbright and Guggenheim fellows, National Science Foundation CAREER award recipients, world-renowned performers, famous scientists, and Oprah’s Book Club authors. These faculty accolades, while impressive on their own, are even more remarkable when you consider the level of engagement and attention these accomplished scholars and professionals devote to their students. They are committed mentors who make sure that every student has the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential. College of Charleston professors are partners in robust undergraduate research, thoughtful academic advisors, and in many cases, lifelong friends.

There’s nothing better than seeing and experiencing the College of Charleston firsthand. There’s no other campus like ours. (It’s more like a hip, vibrant neighborhood than a fenced-off institution!) However, we welcome you to explore the College from your very own home. So, take the virtual tour to familiarize yourself with campus. 

Student artist painting Randolph Hall


City of Charleston Rankings & Recognition

In its description of the College of Charleston, MSN writes “Just like the city of Charleston itself, this college campus is full of oak-tree-lined courtyards and grand old buildings. This romantic setting appears in scenes from the movies The Notebook and Dear John.” The City of Charleston has been repeatedly named the No. 1 Best City in the U.S., and the College of Charleston has been nationally recognized as “America’s Most Beautiful College Campus.” 

We are home to major events including:
  • Spoleto Festival USA, one of the world’s major art festivals,
  • Cooper River Bridge Run, the country’s fifth largest road race,
  • Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, the country’s largest art and nature event,
  • MOJA Arts Festival, a Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts,
  • Charleston Fashion Week, and
  • Charleston Wine and Food Festival.


The College of Charleston experience is exceptional

It’s an exciting time to be at the College of Charleston. As we celebrate our 250th year, we continue to evolve. Our reputation is spreading. More and more exceptional students make us their top choice, and we attract and retain the caliber of faculty that other colleges dream about. Visit College of Charleston on LinkedIn.

At the College of Charleston, you’ll meet students, faculty, and staff from different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, and sexual orientations. Students from 49 states and 62 countries choose the College for its small-college feel blended with the advantages and diversity of an urban, mid-sized university. Our students learn how to succeed and grow, both inside and outside the classroom. This comes from a rigorous exposure to the arts, sciences and humanities, and from a dedication to achievement in education, business and other professional careers. It comes from exceptional opportunities to pursue knowledge and conduct research at the undergraduate and graduate level beside some of the nation’s finest faculty. It comes from a vibrant and enriching campus life that provides meaningful opportunities to become engaged, to make a difference, and to become a leader. 

While we live, work, and study in one of the greatest cities in the world, our students share many of the same hopes and dreams. They want to discover themselves, find out what they can achieve and create their own future. At the College of Charleston, we help students learn how to make that happen. In the great liberal arts tradition, a College of Charleston education focuses on discovery and personal growth, as well as preparing for life, work, and service in our society. Our students made contributions to society that had a tremendous impact. Graduating seniors won national awards, fellowships, and graduate scholarships to study subjects ranging from philosophy in New York, to international economics at Johns Hopkins, to Buddhism in China. They wrote award-winning papers, won conference championships, and developed professional networks that have led to remarkable careers.

The College actively seeks to attract a diverse group of faculty who will help students excel academically and who will encourage individuals to thrive while engaging in original inquiry and creative expression in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom. Our classrooms provide students the opportunity to realize their intellectual and personal potential and to become responsible, productive members of society.

Our accomplished faculty members share a commitment to their students and a research outlook that defines the term “teacher-scholar.” College of Charleston professors are here because they love what they do and because they are personally committed to the success of every one of their students. They acknowledge the talent of these students by engaging with them in meaningful, graduate-level research even as sophomores or juniors.

Darius Smith and Jaheim President accept their full ride in the President's Board Room. Read more at https://today.cofc.edu/2019/09/13/cofc-students-who-appeared-on-the-ellen-show-welcomed-to-campus/.