If you’ve ever set foot on the College of Charleston campus, then you know it’s a special place for students to explore, engage and discover their futures.

As we prepare to welcome the Class of 2025 into the CofC family this fall, we wanted to offer a few more reasons to get excited about your impending journey as a Cougar and some ways to get the most from your time at the College.

Get a World-Class Education

The College consistently ranks as a top performing university in publications such as The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. In 2020, The Princeton Review not only named the College as one of the best schools in the Southeast, but also as one of only 50 schools in the nation featured in the “Colleges That Create Futures” category. And U.S. News & World Report named CofC the No. 8 top public college in the South, the No. 4 ranked college for veterans among Southern institutions and the No. 5 best college for undergraduate teaching in the South.

So how do you take advantage of this highly ranked education?

The Center for Student Learning (CSL) is a great way to sharpen your studying skills and stay on top of the challenging classes when you might need it. From tutoring to supplemental instruction to math assistance to the Writing Lab, the CSL has got you covered.

And the Academic Advising and Planning Center can help you choose the classes that are right for your goals and your major. The intent with each advising session is to encourage students to explore their interests and plan for the future.

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South Carolina’s Most Beautiful College Campus

In April 2021, MSN named the College of Charleston the most beautiful college campus in the Palmetto State, noting, “Just like the city of Charleston itself, this college campus is full of oak-tree-lined courtyards and grand old buildings,” adding that its picturesque setting is featured in movies such as The Notebook and Dear John.

But this isn’t the first time the College has received praise for its pristine landscaping and well-maintained historic buildings. In 2017, the College was named the winner of Travel + Leisure’s “Most Beautiful College Campus” contest, besting 19 other universities across the country to claim the top spot.

Of course, we agree, but what that means for students is that there are plenty of pretty hidden spots and secret gardens perfect for studying or hanging out with friends. Our historic buildings offer a chance to immerse yourself in the history of the College and the city of Charleston. And remember to stop and smell the roses (or the azaleas) as you’re heading to class.

Hands-On Learning

Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom, and we want to make sure that our students find the best opportunities to help them develop their real-world skills and find their passion beyond campus.

Grice Marine Lab offers a range of undergraduate and graduate courses and research opportunities regarding marine and coastal organisms as well as aquatic environments. The Undergraduate and Creative Activities Program also offers a range of research experiences for students with the support of grants and faculty mentorship.

Then there’s the First Year Experience (FYE) program, which aims to fully integrate new students into the academic and cultural community of the College of Charleston with engaging courses and accompanying off-campus field trips like harbor tours and tours of area museums.

And when the time comes to begin filling out your résumé and getting meaningful experience for your professional aspirations, the Career Center is there for career counseling and résumé help. The center can also assist students with finding job-shadowing and internship opportunities, as well as employment opportunities and job-search strategies.

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Lowcountry Living

So, what can students do to take advantage of the Lowcountry’s mild temperatures and coastal environment? Plenty!

You can explore the beaches of Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms as well as Folly Beach – all of which are only 20–30 minutes from campus. CofC also offers a variety of for-credit classes that allow students to find a different way to explore the area, including coastal kayaking, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding and surfing.

And if you want to enjoy the surf from land, Campus Recreation Services offers Fishing on Fridays for students who want to try out a different kind of activity and learn a thing or two about the creatures living within the area’s waters.


With 18 men’s and women’s varsity sports, there is always a game to catch at the College. The 2018 Colonial Athletic Association champions, the men’s basketball team is always exciting to watch. So is the men’s golf team, which won the 2021 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Golf Championship title.

Want to enjoy a day by the sea? Then catch the College’s elite sailing team during a competition. The team, which has won the Leonard B. Fowle Trophy – collegiate sailing’s top honor – an astonishing eight times, always leave spectators cheering.

If you’re looking for a new sport to love, check out the equestrian team. These talented women hold their own against the best riders in the region and show a command of horsemanship that is enviable even for the most adept riders.

And the baseball team is just entering the final weeks of its season, so if you’re in town and want to go ahead and show your Cougar pride, take in a game at the Patriots Point Baseball Stadium.

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Arts and Culture

CofC has a rich array of arts programming – from opera and dance performances to instrumental ensembles to choir concerts to comedic and dramatic plays – that students from all majors can participate in. And, of course, the School of the Arts offers a wide variety of classes and majors where students can hone their skills in the performing or visual arts as well as their behind-the-scenes skills such as set design and lighting.

Located adjacent to the School of the Arts, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Arts offers the entire CofC community, as well as the greater Charleston community, the chance to view cutting-edge visual work and engage directly with the artists who create them. The institute also annually displays student artwork each spring as part of its juried student exhibition Young Contemporaries.

Then there is Spoleto Festival USA, the annual international arts festival that takes place at locations across the City of Charleston, including the College’s iconic Cistern Yard. Spoleto offers students a chance to see professional musicians and actors up close. And the proximity benefits students in other ways, such as the annual Spoleto class offered each May that gives students exclusive access to actors, musicians and industry professionals associated with the international arts festival, as well as lectures focusing on different works and elements of the arts such as opera, jazz and theater. And on more than one occasion artists have often found time to stop by and speak to those Maymester students when they’re taking a break from the stage.