Educational attainment in greater Charleston is higher than in the United States overall. In fact, Charleston ranks among the top 15% of all U.S. metropolitan and micropolitan areas in terms of the proportion of residents holding advanced degrees.
2011 Educational Attainment / % of Population 25+
|High school diploma or equivalent or higher
|Hold a bachelors degree or higher
|Hold an advanced degree
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 12/2012.
In 2008, South Carolina was a top-five state in terms of teachers earning National Board certification. Charleston and Berkeley counties were among the state’s leading counties for new board certifications.
Charleston area residents enjoy diverse options in K-12 education, including:
For additional information on area public and private schools, visit the South Carolina Department of Education
. To learn more about local public school initiatives, visit The Education Foundation
Charleston S.C. MSA Public School District Statistics
||Dorchester County II
||Dorchester County IV
|Number of Public Schools
|Number of Magnet Schools
|Teachers with Advanced Degrees
|Number of Annual Graduates
|% of Grads Entering Post-Secondary Education
|% of Grads Entering Workforce/Military/Other
|Per Pupil Expenditures
|Pupil to Teacher Ratio
||22 to 1
||21.2 to 1
||24.1 to 1
||15.3 to 1
|Average SAT Score
|% of Seniors Taking Test
|Source: S.C. Department of Education, 9/2012
- With an increasing population of non-English speaking students, area schools have developed programs to help foreign-born children assimilate quickly. Many also offer programs to help these children continue to learn their native language and culture.
- Pinewood Preparatory School offers a number of programs specifically designed for its growing European student population, ranging from kindergarten through grade 12.
- Special weekend schools offering classes in language and culture have been created by the local Chinese community, which currently numbers about 3,000 residents. Programs are also available to assist non-English speaking students in their efforts to learn the English language.
Beyond K-12, more than two dozen college and university campuses provide easy access to a full spectrum of higher education opportunities, from chemical engineering to the culinary arts. Colleges in the region are regularly ranked among the nation's best by Peterson's, U.S News & World Report
and other respected guides.
Charleston S.C. MSA Colleges & Universities
||Fall 2010 Enrollment
|American College of the Building Arts
|Art Institute of Charleston
|Charleston School of Law
|Charleston Southern University
|Clemson Architecture Center
|Clemson University Restoration Institute
|College of Charleston
|ECPI College of Technology
|Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
|Lowcountry Graduate Center
|Medical University of South Carolina
|Miller-Motte Technical College
|Southern Illinois University
|Southern Wesleyan University
|Thomas Edison State College
|Trident Technical College
Additional Major Colleges & Universities within South Carolina
|University of South Carolina, Columbia SC
|Clemson University, Clemson SC
|Other Public Colleges/Universities
|Coastal Carolina University
|Francis Marion University
|South Carolina State University
|University of South Carolina, Aiken
|University of South Carolina, Beaufort
|University of South Carolina, Upstate
|Bob Jones University
|Columbia International University
|North Greenville University
The above institutions offer graduate level degrees or higher in addition to undergraduate degrees.
Source: Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce,
and the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, 11/2010
Charleston S.C. MSA Annual Degrees Awarded by Level
|Type of Degree
|Note: These totals are for the five largest area institutions as reported by the SC CHE (Medical University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, The Citadel, Trident Technical College and Charleston Southern University).
|Source: S.C. Commission on Higher Education, 5/2013.
Proximity to University Research
The Charleston region is within reasonable proximity to several top-tier research universities, including those in Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (RTP). The state of South Carolina is also home to three universities with highly respected, growing research programs:
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Research funding fiscal 2010: $230 million
Research funding fiscal 2010: $150 million
University of South Carolina
Research funding fiscal 2010: $219 million
South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence
The state's three public research institutions (Clemson, MUSC and USC) may use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy. The program supports CoEE endowed chairs, world-renowned scientists who lead the Centers of Economic Excellence. These centers currently range from regenerative medicine and proteomics to advanced materials and urban ecology.
For more information, please visit www.sccoee.org