Charleston Southern University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Charleston Southern University
Charleston Southern University’s liberal arts education prepares graduates to be critical thinkers, skillful communicators,...

Charleston Southern University

North Charleston, South Carolina


Charleston Southern University offers a well-rounded, practical liberal arts education that is taught in a stimulating Christian environment. At Charleston Southern, students are challenged academically, and each course of study integrates faith into the curriculum.


Charleston Southern students study in small class settings (14:1 faculty/student ratio), led by professors who serve as caring mentors. Students also have the chance to experience opportunities found at larger universities, such as dynamic campus ministries, a nationally recognized community service program, academic and service clubs and organizations, and Division I athletics.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,112 undergraduate students
90% of undergrad students are full time
37% male — 63% female
16.72% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
163 full-time faculty
129 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
42% of all students live on campus

School Location

Charleston Southern University is located at the center of the Charleston metropolitan area, providing college students with easy access to the beautiful South Carolina beaches, downtown Charleston, historical sites, professional sports, the arts, and more. Charleston, South Carolina, has been named the “2016 Best City in the World” by Travel + Leisure magazine. Some local attractions include: Waterfront Park, Charleston Farmers Market, South Carolina Aquarium, Folly Beach Pier, Southeastern Wildlife Expo, and the Holiday Festival of Lights.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences x
Common Intellectual Experiences x
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses  
Collaborative Assignments and Projects x
Undergraduate Research x
Diversity/Global Learning x
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning x
Internships/Coops/Practicums x
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience x

Retention Fall 2015

65% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

39% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 26%
White 61%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


The Charleston Southern University Buccaneers are an NCAA Division I athletic program. Charleston Southern fields teams in basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, cross country, track and field, golf, tennis, and volleyball, as well as a Football Championship Subdivision football team. Recently, the Buccaneers have won conference titles in football, women’s softball, men’s basketball, women’s tennis, and men’s golf.

School Colors: Blue and Gold
Mascot: Bucky

Other Information

Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is one of South Carolina’s largest accredited, independent universities, enrolling 3,650 students. Affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the university’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading, and serving. Charleston Southern is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Academic Programs

Bachelor of Arts: Christian Studies, Christian Studies: Biblical Languages Emphasis, Communication, Computer and Information Sciences, English, English: Writing Emphasis, English Education, Graphic Design, History, Humanities and Fine Arts, Music and Worship Leadership, Music Education (Choral), Music Education (Instrumental), Music Therapy, Performance (Instrumental), Performance (Vocal), Spanish, Student Ministry, Theatre

Bachelor of Business Administration: Accounting, Management, Marketing, Business Administration: Emphasis in Entrepreneurship, Business Administration: Emphasis in Management, Business Administration: Emphasis in Marketing, School of Business

Bachelor of Science: Applied Mathematics, Athletic Training Program, Biochemistry, Biology: General Emphasis, Biology: Pre-professional Emphasis, Biology: Wildlife Emphasis, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Economics, Elementary Education, Health Promotion, Kinesiology, Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Natural Science, Organizational Management, Organizational Management: Healthcare Management Concentration, Organizational Management: Hospitality and Tourism Management Concentration, Organizational Management: Human, Resources Management Concentration, Organizational Management: Project Management Concentration, Physical Education, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Sociology, Sociology: Human Services Emphasis

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN (online), College of Nursing

More Distinctions

  • Charleston Southern University serves a large number of veterans and sponsors a Student Veterans of America chapter and is a VA Yellow Ribbon Program and has been named a Military Friendly school. A lounge area for veterans was recently opened on campus.

  • Charleston Southern faculty and alumni are frequently invited to perform at the internationally acclaimed Spoleto Festival and Charleston’s local component, Piccolo Spoleto.

  • America’s 100 Best College Buys

  • America’s Best Christian Colleges

  • Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans

  • U.S. News & World Report Top 20 Online Bachelor’s Programs

Liberal Arts Core

The Liberal Arts Core curriculum, completed by all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, is designed to ensure that graduates leave with a basic understanding of human history, culture and relationships, the arts, literature, mathematics, and the natural sciences. The curriculum pushes students to reflect upon these in terms of a Christian vision of life.

Undergraduate Research

Opportunities for undergraduate research are available in multiple academic disciplines. Students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty, and several recent faculty/student research projects have received funding through the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. Recent research projects presented at the annual Spring Symposium include research in biology, politics, business, English, computer science, Christian studies, music, graphic design, chemistry, psychology, and music therapy.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries x
Choral groups x
Concert band x
Drama/theater x
International Student Organization x
Jazz band x
Literary magazine x
Marching band x
Model UN  
Music ensembles x
Musical theater x
Pep band x
Radio station  
Student government x
Student newspaper x
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra x
Television station  
Yearbook x

Freshman Seminar

Freshman Seminar is a one-hour course taken by freshmen based on their academic major that helps orient students into the university experience.

Honors Program

The most academically distinguished students have the option to enroll in the Honors Program, which combines academics with a variety of cultural and social activities.

The Bridge Program

The Bridge Program gives underprepared students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree. Through counseling and tutoring, students who did not originally meet admissions requirements have the chance to develop their academic skills.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts x
Computer literacy x
English (including composition) x
Foreign languages x
History x
Humanities x
Mathematics x
Sciences (biological or physical) x
Social science x

City as Text

City as Text is a unique class experience that allows students to see, touch, and feel history. A recent Christian History class was taught in downtown Charleston, taking students on visits to numerous historical sites.

Special Series

Charleston Southern University sponsors multiple annual lecture series, cultural events, and leadership training. Examples of annual events are: Student Leadership Academy, Values & Ethics Lecture Series, CSU Arts Week, The Lens Lecture Series, Welcoming Faith into the Science Classroom, and multiple music and theatre performances.


Coed dorms  
Men’s dorms x
Women’s dorms x
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  


Other: on-campus hotel 

Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI)

The Experiential Learning Initiative, or ELI, provides enriched educational opportunities via internships, practicums, clinicals, field courses, and other real-world applications of classroom theory. Commencing with the 2018 freshman class, students will be required to earn experiential credits, but opportunities for participating in experiential learning already flourish at Charleston Southern anyway.

Clubs and Organizations

Charleston Southern University offers more than 25 academic clubs and student organizations. This is a great way to get plugged in, meet new friends, and make a difference. From business to nursing and athletics, Charleston Southern has social activities to interest everyone.


Admissions Fall 2015

4,197 Total Applicants
2,463 Total Admissions
756 Total Freshmen Enrollment

58.68% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Rigor of secondary school record

Class rank
Character/personal qualities
Religious affiliation/commitment

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 560
SAT Math 460 550
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math 18 24
ACT English 19 25
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $22,800
Fees $40
Total $23,200
Room and Board (on campus) $9,000
Estimated Total On Campus $32,200


Average Financial Aid Packages 2014/2015

$18,823 First year students
$21,767 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2014/2015

$4,343 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$3,503 Average need-based loan

$25,000 grant to assist CSU’s Veteran Students

Representatives from Palmetto Warrior Connection and America’s Warrior Partnership presented a $25,000 check to Charleston Southern University this week to assist Charleston Southern’s veteran students. “We are proud to be a partner with CSU,” said...