graduate study in South Carolina, USA, postgraduate, graduate, study, abroad

Study for in South Carolina, United States

State overview

Tucked away in Southeastern United States, South Carolina was the first state to ratify the Article of Confederation and of the 13 original US colonial regions. The state has a wealth of glorious coastlines studded with palm trees, but venture away from the Atlantic and you’ll soon find sleepy old towns and backwater swamps just waiting to be explored.

International students taking postgraduate courses in American history are going to be spoilt in South Carolina, from its links to the Deep South to the sounds of Gullah, a language created by former West African slaves.

Education profile

South Carolina’s higher education system is diverse and has a great mixture of large state universities, small colleges and focused institutions.

You can study a graduate program in South Carolina at:

Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study. Popular courses include: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.).

Academic masters, however, are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Popular courses include: Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).

Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.

Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation. 

Immigration and visas

If you want to study a postgraduate course in South Carolina you will have to apply for a non-immigrant visa.

The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in South Carolina you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.

Life in South Carolina

Student life in South Carolina depends on whether you live on the Atlantic coastline or further inland. One of the major university cities is Columbia, also the capital of South Carolina. Columbia’s Congaree River is a popular place to kayak and paddle and, as home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia has a strong student presence and youthful feel.

One place you will definitely visit as a student is Myrtle Beach, one of the premier resorts on America’s East Coast. Part of the Grand Strand, a 60 mile long crescent of beach, this is a place international students go to relax and party.

Working in South Carolina

South Carolina is a creative state and the arts generate $9.2 billion annually, supporting more than 78,000 jobs. South Carolina is home to many visual and performance art venues and supports numerous local and national festivals throughout the year.

The state has significant manufacturing, leisure, trade and education sectors, with the service sector accounting for 83.7% of all economy in South Carolina.

South Carolina is also a hub of foreign investment, with almost 2,000 foreign-owned companies choosing to invest in the region, supporting 135,000 jobs. It is estimated that foreign investment brought $1.06 billion into South Carolina’s economy in 2010.


Most international postgraduate students studying in South Carolina will opt to live in university housing initially, as it makes settling into university life much easier. You will be able to walk to campus, meet fellow students and have support at hand.

You can secure university accommodation by applying to your institution’s housing department, who will provide you with costs and moving dates. If you prefer to live privately off-campus, they will also be able to suggest good areas to live and reputable estate agents.

Weather and climate

South Carolina’s climate is typically subtropical, with long, hot summers and mild winters. Summer runs from June to August with temperatures hitting 30C during the daytime, while the coldest winter months are from December to February when temperatures get as low as 8C.

South Carolina is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones and hurricanes, with the peak season being from early August to early October.

What to do next

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