Columbia Colleges and Schools

Known as "Cola" to locals, Columbia, South Carolina is a charming city rich in history and tradition. It's also a great college town where students can enjoy an active art and music scene, museums and an abundance of outdoor activities.

For those more focused on their studies, the University of South Carolina offers On Your Time initiatives to help students catch up if they've fallen behind or get ahead of their coursework to graduate early — something that can help students save money by avoiding extra semesters.

Fun Facts about Trade and Technical Schools in Columbia

Several private colleges in Columbia offer diploma or certificate programs in a variety of fields, included skilled trades. Schools like Fortis College and Remington College offer a range of programs, while other colleges in Columbia have a more specific focus. Aspiring cosmetologists, for example, can choose from Paul Mitchell the School or Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology.

In the greater Columbia metropolitan area, Midlands Technical College, a public institution, operates six campuses that provide students ample access to higher learning opportunities, including day, evening and online courses. Their dental hygiene and dental assisting programs host a Smiles from the Heart event each year to provide no-cost dental services to local children.

Fun Facts about Columbia Colleges and Universities

The largest and oldest of the colleges in Columbia is the University of South Carolina's main campus, founded in 1801. Cheer for the USC Gamecocks as they compete in a variety of NCAA Division I sports, alongside their mascot Cocky. If that doesn't suit you, the smaller, all-women's Columbia College is home to the Fighting Koalas. The most popular degree programs at USC include finance, marketing and business administration, while students at Columbia College favor communications, criminal justice and social work.

In addition to Columbia College, there are several other faith-based universities in Columbia, including Allen University, Benedict College, and Columbia International University.

Graduate Schools in Columbia

Of the universities in Columbia that offer advanced studies, USC has the most extensive offering of master's and doctoral degree programs in just about every subject. Columbia International University, on the other hand, offers master's and postgraduate degrees mostly with a focus on ministry and the arts. Columbia College also offers a handful of graduate degree programs, though some are only available online. Their traditional, face-to-face master's programs include higher education administration, organizational leadership and more.


  • 2016 10 Best College Towns, Livability, Accessed October 2018, https://livability.com/top-10/college/10-best-college-towns/2016/sc/columbia
  • On Your Time Initiatives, University of South Carolina, Accessed October 2018, https://sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/on_your_time/get_your_degree_faster/index.php
  • Programs, Midlands Technical College, Accessed October 2018, https://www.midlandstech.edu/learn/academics
  • History, Midlands Technical College, Accessed October 2018, https://www.midlandstech.edu/about/midlands-technical-college-history
  • USC Mascot, University of South Carolina, Accessed October 2018, http://www.uofsc.org/say-hi-to-cocky-your-usc-mascot/
  • Majors and Degrees, University of South Carolina, Accessed October 2018, https://sc.edu/study/majors_and_degrees/
  • Undergraduate Degrees & Programs, Columbia College, Accessed October 2018, https://www.columbiasc.edu/academics/undergraduate-academics/undergraduate-degrees-programs
  • Graduate Programs, University of South Carolina, Accessed October 2018, http://gradschool.sc.edu/prospective/graduate_programs.asp
  • Graduate Degrees & Programs, Columbia College, Accessed October 2018, https://www.columbiasc.edu/academics/graduate-academics/graduate-degrees-programs

Education Institutes in Columbia
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Columbia
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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Colleges and Universities in Columbia
SchoolTotal EnrollmentInstitution LevelAvg. In-State Tuition & FeesPrograms Offered
Allen University590Four or more years$13,1407
Benedict College2,090Four or more years$19,95843
Columbia International University966Four or more years$22,39051
Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology and Nails-Columbia113Less than 2 years (below associate)N/A2
University of South Carolina-Columbia34,731Four or more years$11,862293
Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology-Columbia119Less than 2 years (below associate)N/A3
W L Bonner College13Four or more years$5,43614
University of Phoenix-South Carolina38Four or more yearsN/A13
ITT Technical Institute-ColumbiaN/AFour or more yearsN/AN/A
Columbia College1,514Four or more years$19,50038
South University-Columbia1,132Four or more years$17,01434
Southeastern Institute-Columbia110Less than 2 years (below associate)N/A4
Centura College-Columbia139At least 2 but less than 4 years$15,8876
Remington College-Columbia Campus272Less than 2 years (below associate)N/A4
Virginia College-Columbia404At least 2 but less than 4 yearsN/A12
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Study Online in Columbia