College Guides and Rankings

U.S. News & World Report

In its 2020 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranks the College a No. 5 top public college in the south, the No. 3 ranked college for veterans among southern institutions, the No. 8 most innovative school in the region, the No. 8 best college for undergraduate teaching in the south and a best value regional college.

The magazine has also listed the College as an “A-Plus School for B Students," for "scholars trapped in the GPA of a B student."

The College was named a top-10 school for its First-Year Experience program in a 2016 U.S. News poll of academic peers across the nation.

The Princeton Review

The College of Charleston is among a select group of institutions chosen by The Princeton Review for offering students the best value for their education:

Colleges That Create Futures

The College was selected as one of just 50 schools focused on providing students with practical experiences that take their academics to the next level, with, according to the guide, “tons of opportunities to gain the authentic, real-world experience they need to launch great careers.”

Top Career Services

The College's Career Center ranked No. 1 among public master's-level universities, based on access to job placement as well as positive student and recent-alumni experiences with the center.

Guide to College Visits

"Personal attention is the name of the game at the College of Charleston. The College's students love the fact that at this mid-sized school (which has an undergrad population of about 10,000) they get to know their profs as people as well as teachers."

America's Best Value Colleges

The Princeton Review called the College of Charleston “a moderately sized school that manages to make itself feel like a small school, a ‘Southern secret’ that is ‘extremely diverse’ and offers ‘many great fields of study.’”

The report also stated that the College manages to maintain relatively small class sizes, which “allows professors to pay individualized attention to students and to make time to advise their students outside of class.”

The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition

"The location and the school's reputation make for tons of internship and professional opportunities, and everything the school has to offer is available to all. If you need anything from academic advising to counseling or career planning, there are people here 'with the passion and resources to help.'"

Students say, " ... Professors are dedicated to helping undergraduates excel, leading to strong professor-student connections and many more opportunities to conduct undergraduate - as opposed to graduate - research." The Best 384 Colleges, 2019 Edition

A sophomore says, "The College of Charleston consistently provides great academics, meaningful experiences to engage with the city, and fantastic people who want to do fantastic things." The Best 381 Colleges, 2018 Edition

Students with a penchant for the outdoors can enjoy "going to the beach, kayaking, sailing, rock climbing, surfing, and hiking." The Best 381 Colleges, 2018 Edition

Another student boasts, “The weather is great, the city is beautiful, you get a great education for a reasonable price, and of course the people from here are amazing … why not choose the College of Charleston?” The Best 378 Colleges, 2017 Edition

Great College Towns

The Princeton Review included the College in its ranking of great college towns. The guide says the College’s “location in historic Charleston provides a truly unique Southern experience with strong liberal arts and sciences academics.”

Guide to 399 Green Colleges

The College was chosen among the 399 for its commitment to sustainability through academics, career preparation, policies, initiatives and activities.

The Southeastern Colleges

The College was named one of the best colleges in the Southeast. Only 25% of the nation's four-year colleges were selected for the guidebook's regional listings. Schools were selected based primarily on academic excellence.

Fiske Guide to Colleges

The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2022 named the College of Charleston the finest public liberal arts and sciences institution in South Carolina. The publication touts the region’s rich cultural scene and the College’s diverse range of academic programs. It also highlights the Honors College, opportunities for internships and study abroad, and a healthy social life.

The Fiske Guide notes, “students at the College of Charleston know they are getting a solid education based on creative expression, intellectual freedom and hands-on learning experiences.”

The guidebook also surveyed a range of students. “Here, you will find faculty and staff who care for your success and great friends who come from all different backgrounds,” one student said.

Travel + Leisure 

The College was named Travel + Leisure's most beautiful college campus in America.


USA Today raves about Charleston as a "post-college town brimming with youth, jobs." The city is ranked No. 14 for a city over 100,000 people with a strong draw for people ages 20-29.

PARADE magazine

PARADE magazine’s College A-List included the College as one of the best small public schools in the nation. Recommended by high school counselors, the College was chosen as a school that combines "the communal feel of a small liberal-arts college with the breadth of choice offered by a big university."

"The campus itself is a piece of history located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, and students studying historic preservation and arts management (Charleston is home to the Spoleto Festival) have a living laboratory at their disposal."

View the full College A-List article.

Newsweek magazine

Newsweek named the College of Charleston as one of the country's most interesting schools.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine

The College of Charleston ranks No. 60 among Kiplinger's 2013-2014 top 100 "Best Values in Public Colleges." The College was selected for its high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, low sticker price, and for being an overall great value.

Forbes Magazine

Forbes Magazine has named the College of Charleston as one of the best educational values in the nation. Forbes ranked the College of Charleston #7 on the list of the top 25 “Best Value Colleges” in the United States. The College is also among the magazine's 2017 "Top College" rankings based on key return-on-investment indicators such as salary, student debt load, on-time graduation rates and academic and professional success.

Institute of International Education

The College of Charleston is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. among public master’s-level institutions for the total percentage of undergraduate students who study abroad.

Best Computer Science Schools

The College’s bachelor’s degree in data science was ranked No. 5 in the nation by Best Computer Science Schools for 2017. The College was selected based on institutional excellence and student success, as well as the strength of its data science program, which was the first undergraduate program of its kind in the U.S.

The College of Charleston's international business program was ranked No. 2 in the nation using multiple factors including affordability, flexibility and student success. 

Best Online Project Management Degrees

The College of Charleston's B.P.S. in project management program was ranked No. 11 by Bachelor's Degree Center. The College was selected because its students emerge from the program with effective leadership and communication skills. In addition, the publication touts that graduates are ready to tackle complex problems. 

PLEXUSS Global Rankings 

PLEXUSS Global Rankings takes provides in-depth rankings of programs and institutions across the world. Programs are ranked based on information from student feedback, input from education partners, data scientists, employers, parents and high school counselors.

Three College of Charleston programs are top-ranked for 2021: 

  • No. 1 Best in South Carolina Offering Geology Programs
  • No. 1 Best in South Carolina Offering Classics and Ancient History Programs
  • No. 1 Best in South Carolina Offering Anthropology Programs