Impressions Of
College of Charleston

Academic Experience

Male Finance and Data Science Double Major C/O 2022

How would you describe the learning environment in your major? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I’m in the Honors College, and I would say the school in general isn’t highly competitive. In fact, I think it’s more difficult for people than I expected coming into it, but I wouldn’t call it competitive. On the other hand, I’d say the Honors College is moderately competitive. You have to put more time into your studies to get the same results as non-honors classes. There are also a lot of other requirements as an honors college student.

How accessible are the professors in your department?
Extremely. For me, I took advantage of the fact that all of the professors are extremely eager to help any of their students, but especially ones that show initiative and care. I have a few professors who I consider mentors, in addition to my advisor. They all help me and have offered me internship opportunities. They help me figure out what I’m good at, what I’m not good at, and will help me with assignments I’m struggling with. They are very engaged with any students that care.

Female Communications Major C/O 2019

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your Communications major?
My Communications major is presentation driven. I present once or twice a week depending on the course load. There’s a lot of synthesis of arguments that I have, such as condensing a research paper I did into a presentation. That’s usually the last assignment I have for the semester. For Creative Writing, I have a 10-page paper due every two weeks.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I’ve been surprised by the Communications department. I declared the major not thinking it was going to be impactful for me because it’s a catch-all. Now, I’m in a capstone course through the Leadership department, and I have an incredible network of professors that are willing to talk to me. That mentorship within the Communications department is incredible.

How would you describe the learning environment in your major? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely collaborative. Compared to my high school, it’s nowhere near as competitive. We’re all in the same spot, and everyone wants to make their writing and speaking better. It’s really supportive, especially from my peers.

Female Public Health Major C/O 2018

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
It depends on the year and the different classes you’re taking, but it’s a lot of problem sets and a couple of papers. You have to take Biology classes, which is the majority of my work now. The great part about the Public Health classes here is it’s very independent, so you can develop your own programs and your professors will help you evaluate them. They really set up the curriculum well. They’ll start you off with classes where you develop skills and then you use those skills later on because to graduate as a Public Health major you have to you have to do an internship. It progressively gets more difficult by the end.

How would you describe the learning environment in your major? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely collaborative. All my classes are less than 25 people, which is really nice. You’re talking with people throughout every class. The only big 100-person lectures that I have are Biology classes. Other than that, everyone is really excited to help each other out in class. I don’t feel awkward asking people questions or asking my professor a question. Everyone is there to help each other out and I think that kind of goes along with the major. Everyone is a really considerate person and I’ve never met anyone in my major that I couldn’t get along with.

Social Opportunities

Male Finance and Data Science Double Major C/O 2022

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
The party scene is okay. It helps to be in a fraternity, but it’s not completely necessary to find stuff to do. Other than that, sometimes I’ll go out, but I generally hang out with friends at their houses.

How happy were you with the weekend options at Charleston? Is there anything you would change?
I’d say there’s a bigger bar scene. It would be nice if they had more bars that are 18+. I don’t know of any, except for on specific nights where there are 18+ events. Fraternities aren’t really big here, but it seems like they are because there aren’t a ton of other parties unless you’re on a sports team. It pushes a lot of people to join frats, which is fine, but I think a lot of people just aren’t into that, and their freedom to do what they want in their personal time is limited by it.

Female Undeclared on Major in C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are usually fraternity parties, which are a big thing as a freshman. Bars are also a large part of the college scene here. There are sometimes 18+ events at these bars, where the fraternities and sororities will hold events.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Not that big. I’m not in a sorority, and I can attend any party or event. I go to events with girls that are in sororities just as friends, so I don’t think anyone needs to be in one when going to Charleston.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Depending on homework, usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Female Public Health Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
At Charleston, my freshman and sophomore year I did a lot of Greek life parties and things like that. But, now that kind of went away, I would definitely say it’s more of a bar school. You go out on King Street and there are around 20 bars that college kids go to. That’s basically what College of Charleston nightlife is right now.

What’s an alternative of going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I have a few friends who are really into art, so there are art walks constantly in Charleston. If you’re not into going to parties or bars you can walk down King Street and you can just stumble upon an art walk. You can pretty much just walk from gallery to gallery.

Campus Culture

Male Finance and Data Science Double Major C/O 2022

How would you describe the student body?
It’s tough because there are a lot of different types of people. For the most part, I’m surprised again at how I wouldn’t really call this a party school, despite the acceptance rate being really high. I think a lot of students really care about their academics and their future. Especially in the business school, everyone is really professional, but also everyone likes to have fun. There’s lots of stuff to do in Charleston. [In 2019, the acceptance rate is 79%.]

How do you like the size of your school in terms of undergraduate enrollment?
I think it’s perfect. It doesn’t feel like high school where I see the same faces every day. There are definitely a ton of people to meet. So far, I haven’t had a class over 25-30 people. Also, the professors have a smaller pool of students to be attentive to, so that helps as well. They have time for everyone who seeks out their time, at least in my experience. [There are about 9,900 undergraduate students at College of Charleston, with a 14.5 to 1 Student to Faculty Ratio.]

Female Communications Major C/O 2019

How do you like the size of your school in terms of undergraduate enrollment?
I think it’s a good size. I went to a really small high school and didn’t like it because it was so tiny, and everyone was the same. Here, there’s a lot more diversity and so many people to meet all the time, but it’s not too big to where it’s overwhelming. [There are about 9,900 undergraduate students at College of Charleston.]

Do you feel more so like you’re more so a resident of Charleston than a student at your school?
I think everyone that goes to school here feels like they live in Charleston, not like they go to the College of Charleston. A lot of the bars we go to are predominantly college bars, but it’s nice being surrounded by adults, businesses, and people in their professions that I can get advice from.

Female Undeclared on Major in C/O 2021

How would you describe the student body?
It is a city, so there are a lot of different types of people. We have earthy crunchy people, and people who dress nice and shop all the time. There are also many people from the North. [Excluding South Carolina, the top five states students come from are New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts.]

Do you ever feel more so like you’re a resident of Charleston than a student at your school?
Yes, I feel a lot of that. This year I live in an apartment off-campus up on King Street, which is the main street in Charleston.

How has the size of your school influenced your social experience?
The size is perfect. You always meet new people but also see everyone you know.

Charleston, SC

Pros of

  • “The architecture is awesome.”
  • “There are many different opportunities because it’s such a tourist city. If you’re interested in business or food and beverage you have so many opportunities here to make connections.”
  • “It’s really easy to get a job here if you want to be a working student because there are so many different restaurants, hotels, and all that stuff. Somewhere else it might be hard to get a job if it’s just all college kids, so I love that about this school.”
  • “It’s by the beach.”

Cons of

  • “I struggle financially here. Things in the city are expensive because it’s a touristy town.”
  • “It’s hard to get off the peninsula, and it is tough because there are no grocery stores here.”
  • “There are hurricanes and sometimes floods.”
  • “It’s a tourist city so you always have carriages going by and random people walking around campus, which can be annoying sometimes when you’re trying to get somewhere.” [For eight consecutive years Charleston was voted top small city in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Survey.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Finance and Data Science Double Major C/O 2022

What’s something you wish you knew about College of Charleston before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that as far as social life goes, fraternities are a much bigger deal than people told me before. I wasn’t planning on joining one, but I incidentally am going to now. Not because I feel like I’m missing out, but it would be nice to be part of one. Also, the food is terrible. Charleston itself has some of the best food, but the dining halls have the worst food ever.

What is something a prospective student going into the honors college may want to know that we haven’t touched on yet?
If you’re debating on whether or not to join the honors college, I think it’s a must. If you’re looking at College of Charleston and you’re a pretty highly motivated person that’s able to get into it, there’s no reason not to. I think they tell you it’s not more work, and that you just have more people looking after you, but it’s definitely more work. It’s a lot more than they advertise, but it’s not a bad thing.

Female Undeclared on Major in C/O 2021

What’s something you wish you knew about The College of Charleston before entering as a freshman?
Transportation is hard if you do not have a car. Freshman year is the only time you typically live on campus, and living off-campus is expensive which is something to think about.

What’s something that a prospective student may miss out on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Folly Beach, and all of the good restaurants in Charleston.

Female Public Health Major C/O 2018

What’s something you wish you knew about College of Charleston before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how expensive it was going to be. When you’re here in the city you end up paying really high rent, you’re always going out to eat, and the drinks are really expensive. All of my friends have jobs because you need a job to support the lifestyle here.

What’s something that a prospective student may miss out on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They should definitely check out King Street, but hopefully everyone who visits will go there. Also, make sure to see The Battery because you see the side of Charleston that’s not the city. It’s really beautiful, it draws you in.

 

Reasons to attend and not to attend College of Charleston

To Attend

  • “It’s the perfect balance between a city school and an off-campus environment.”
  • “The faculty is really eager to help you. If you connect with them and put forth an effort, then they’re going to be there to help you along the way.”
  • “I like that balance between the social scene and the academic scene. People here will spend Monday through Wednesday in the library and then Thursday through Saturday going out. I like that balance a lot.”
  • “Most beautiful campus in America, voted by Travel and Leisure.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you’re looking for a college to go to that’s an Ivy or a name brand school, it’s not the place for you. People don’t think of the College of Charleston as having very rigorous academics.”
  • “If you’re looking for a party school, it’s fun, but it’s not all [it’s made out to be.]”
  • “If you like sports. We have sports teams, but no one really goes to them.”
  • “If you aren’t looking for an expensive college experience and if you’re looking to save money.”
Notice: College of Charleston is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by College of Charleston.

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