There are over 40 public and private institutions in South Carolina that offer either clinical or non-clinical degree programs that prepare students for careers in the field of health care. Most schools offer nursing programs that qualify students for the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed registered nurses. Several schools have graduate-level degree programs geared towards preparing students interested in advanced medical careers. Some schools offer solely administrative degree programs in the allied health field, such as health administration or health promotion.
Clemson-based Clemson University offers both practical and administrative health care programs at the undergraduate and graduate-level, such as a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Healthcare Genetics. The baccalaureate-level health sciences program requires students complete between 120-128 total credits, depending on their chosen track of study. This program allows students to concentrate their studies in one of the following four areas: health promotion and education, pre-professional studies in health, health services administration, or cardiovascular imaging leadership. Core classes will cover epidemiology, research and evaluation methods, human health and disease, and an overview of health care systems. In addition to courses covering topics relevant to each concentration, students will participate in an internship, in which they will be required to complete 180 hours of hands-on experience.
The BSN consists of 123-125 total credits and integrates didactic training with clinical experiences and community service work. Individuals who are already working as a registered nurse (RN) may be interested in the RN to BSN completion program, which requires 124 total credits. Coursework for either option will cover professionalism in nursing, nursing care for children, pathophysiology for health care professionals, research in nursing, and community health nursing. The PhD in Healthcare Genetics is an interdisciplinary program that will give students an in-depth understanding of genetics, healthcare genetics, psychology, political science, and policy. This program enables students to concentrate their studies in one of the following areas: interventionists, bench science, or ethics and health policy.
Coastal Carolina University
Conway's Coastal Carolina University offers three undergraduate programs in the health care field, a BS in Public Health, Health Administration, or Nursing, all of which are administered through the Department of Health Sciences. The health promotion program consists of 120 total credits and enables students to choose from one of the following focus areas: cognate, communication, fitness, or health services leadership. Core coursework within the major will cover personal and community health, principles of health promotion and education, advanced emergency care, nutrition, issues in family life and sexuality, and a nine-credit internship that will prepare students for a variety of career opportunities in health care. The 124-129 credit health administration program integrates general education coursework with classes within the health sciences department and 45 credits of major-specific courses. Program coursework will cover health policy, business finance, economics, health care payment, leadership and organizational change in health care, and managing health care information. The 120-credit nursing program is designed for registered nurses who hold a diploma or associate-level degree and are looking for advanced training. This program combines general education requirements with foundations and additional classes specific to the major, such as health assessment, nursing across the lifespan, community health nursing, nursing research, and transition to professional nursing.
College of Charleston
Charleston-based College of Charleston offers two undergraduate programs within the health care field, a BS in Exercise Science and either a BS or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Health. Individuals interested in the exercise science option will take 71 credits within the major, including core classes, required courses, and a series hand-picked electives. Program coursework may cover concepts in fitness assessment and exercise prescription, therapeutic exercise, general medical conditions, motor learning, and sports psychology. The BS in Public Health is a science-based program that consists of 58 credits at minimum and will include courses within health policy, the environment, and ethics. Program coursework may include global health, principles of nutrition, personal and community health, education policy, and urban planning. The BA option requires students complete at least 50 credits and students will complete a series of major-specific courses in addition to classes under the following categories: research methods, health policy, the environment, and ethics. Students will also be required to choose a health care issue and take courses specific to that area, such as health psychology, problems in context, or death and dying.
Greenville Technical College
Greenville-based Greenville Technical College offers three Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs in the health care field, including health information management, medical laboratory technology, and nursing. Individuals interested in the AAS in Health Information Technology must complete 72 credits, including a series of program-specific classes and two clinical experiences. Coursework for this program will cover medical terminology, health information science, medical records and the law, and supervisory principles. The associate-level medical laboratory technology program is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of medical settings through intensive didactic training and several clinical experiences. Students must complete 78 total credits, including hematology, advanced clinical chemistry, physiology, and introduction to medical laboratory technology. The 68-credit AAS in Nursing prepares students to gain employment as professional nurses in various health care settings. Coursework for this program will cover pharmacological therapies, basic care and comfort, health promotion, and mental health nursing concepts.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College
Conway's Horry-Georgetown Technical College offers several practical health care programs and one administrative option. Students can earn an AAS in Nursing, Radiologic Technology, or Dental Hygiene. The 74-credit nursing program equips students with a solid understanding of the basic nursing concepts as well as hands-on training in the field through laboratory practice and clinical rotations. Coursework for this program will cover basic concepts of pharmacology, chronic health problems, mental health nursing, trends and issues in nursing, and family-centered nursing. The radiologic technology program consists of 92 total credits and coursework will include applied radiography, radiation biology, introduction to CT, and imaging topics. The dental hygiene associate program consists of 83 credits and integrates intensive didactic training with various clinical experiences. Program coursework may include nutrition, dental radiography, head and neck anatomy, tooth morphology and histology, and integrated dental hygiene.
Midlands Technical College
Located in West Columbia, Midlands Technical College offers an AAS in Health Information Management, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), an AAS in Dental Hygiene, and an AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology. The 83-credit health information management program gives students a strong understanding of health information systems and procedures through an extensive, science-based curriculum. Students will take a handful of general education courses in conjunction with program-specific coursework, such as medical pathology, pharmacology for medical record coding, professional competencies, and medical terminology. In addition to the didactic portion of the program, students will be participate in several supervised clinical experiences. The associate-level nursing program is designed to prepare students for positions as an RN through extensive training, both didactic and hands-on. This program consists of 68 credits and will cover mental health nursing, fundamentals of nursing, nutrition and diet therapy, pharmacology for nurses, and medical terminology. The 84-credit dental hygiene program focuses on preventative care and integrates program coursework with hands-on training at various locations. Students may study dental hygiene principles, public health dentistry, periodontology, medical and dental emergencies, and dental radiography. The AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology consists of 80 total credits, including a clinical practicum and application-based classes. Program coursework will cover hematology, dialysis and body fluids, clinical chemistry, immunology, and microbiology.
Piedmont Technical College
Greenwood's Piedmont Technical College offers an AAS in Nursing through the School of Nursing, and an AAS in Radiologic Technology and an AAS in Cardiovascular Technology, both of which are administered through the School of Health Science. The nursing program consists of 68 total credits and graduates will be prepared to sit the licensing exam and become an RN. Coursework for this program incorporates intensive clinical training with lectures on a variety of nursing-related topics, such as pharmacology, mental health, trends and issues, care of children, and leadership. The 89-credit radiologic technology program will equip students with the technical skills and fundamental understanding of the basic concepts related to the field. The curriculum will cover patient care procedures, radiographic imaging, radiation biology, applied radiography, and an imaging practicum. The associate-level cardiovascular technology program consists of 74 credits and will prepare students to work in invasive cardiology or non-invasive cardiology health care settings. Program coursework will include medical terminology, cardiovascular patient assessment, and medical physics and instrumentation. Students will also be required to complete several clinical experiences at various locations, providing them with extensive hands-on training.
Tri-County Technical College
Pendleton-based Tri-County Technical College offers several health care programs, among them an AAS in Nursing. The nursing program consists of 66-67 credits and integrates lectures, lab-based classes, and clinical training, providing students with a well-balanced understanding of the field. Program coursework may include holistic health concepts, pharmacology, professional research and reporting, complex health concepts, and family health concepts.
Trident Technical College
Charleston's Trident Technical College offers several health care programs, including an AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology, an AAS in Dental Hygiene, and an Associate Degree in Nursing. The 79-credit medical laboratory technology program integrates didactic training with a 12-credit clinical experience at the end of the program. In addition to several recommended prerequisites, program coursework may cover phlebotomy, medical lab fundamentals, immunology, clinical instrumentation, and hematology. The associate-level dental hygiene program consists of 84 total credits and integrates lectures with hands-on training gained through several clinical experiences. Program coursework may cover general and oral pathology, dental hygiene principles, dental radiography, public health dentistry, and dental health education. The nursing program administered by the Division of Nursing offers several program tracks, including an accelerated option, two practical nursing diploma programs, and two certificates in the field. The traditional associate-level program consists of 68 credits and combines required coursework with clinical applications classes, providing students with extensive training in the field. Coursework will cover health promotion for families, human growth and development, nursing care management, leadership, and mental health promotion.
University of South Carolina - Columbia
The Columbia branch of the University of South Carolina offers one undergraduate program in nursing and a multitude of graduate-level programs in health care, including a Master of Nursing Administration and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The 122-credit BSN boasts a curriculum full of science-based general education requirements and coursework within the major. Core nursing classes will provide students with a strong understanding of various nursing-related topics, including health and wellness, nutrition, pharmacology, and the history of nursing. This program will also include several application and clinical-based experiences in various settings.
Many clinical health care professionals must be licensed, and this process may include the completion of a recognized training program and passing a state-approved exam. Listed below are overviews of health care programs offered at the 10 largest schools in South Carolina. There is also a comparison table to let you review each school's degree offerings and tuition information.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Health Care Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Clemson University||University, public; distant town|| Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Philosophy in Health Care Genetics
|$15,374 in-state and $37,128 out-of-state*|
|Coastal Carolina University||University, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Public Health,
Bachelor of Science in Health Administration,
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
|$11,716 in-state and $26,828 out-of-state*|
|College of Charleston||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science,
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Public Health
|$12,838 in-state and $32,020 out-of-state*|
|Greenville Technical College||Two-year, public; small city|| Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management,
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
|$4,566 in-district, $4,974 in-state, $9,078 out-of-state*|
|Horry-Georgetown Technical College||Two-year, public; small city|| Associate of Applied Science in Nursing,
Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
|$4,252 in-district, $5,212 in-state, and $8,380 out-of-state*|
|Midlands Technical College||Two-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management,
Associate Degree in Nursing,
Associate in Dental Hygiene,
Associate in Medical Laboratory Technology
|$4,530 in-district, $5,610 in-state, and $13,074 out-of-state*|
|Piedmont Technical College||Two-year, public; distant town|| Associate of Applied Science in Nursing,
Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Cardiovascular Technology
|$4,421 in-district, $5,165 in-state, and $6,413 out-of-state*|
|Tri-County Technical College||Two-year, public; rural fringe||Associate of Applied Science in Nursing||$4,326 in-district, $5,670 in-state, and $9,750 out-of-state*|
|Trident Technical College||Two-year, public; small city|| Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene,
Associate Degree in Nursing
|$4,551 in-district, $5,033 in-state, and $8,484 out-of-state*|
|University of South Carolina - Columbia||University, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Nursing Administration,
Master's in Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner,
Master's in Family Nurse Practitioner,
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
|$12,616 in-district; $12,618 in-state and $33,298 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES, College Navigator.