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Arnold School of Public Health

About Columbia

The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia, the state's capitol city and cultural hub. It has been in this location for over two hundred years, with the old section of campus (the "Horseshoe") being widely recognized for its lasting beauty. Greater Columbia has over 583,000 residents, over 600 restaurants, 8 major hospitals, and 5 large shopping malls. The city of Columbia is located 2 1/2 hours by car from the Grand Strand at Myrtle Beach, 2 hours from historic Charleston, and 2 hours from the scenic Smoky Mountains. Average annual snowfall is less than 2-inches and rarely lasts a day. Recreational opportunities include boating, fishing, and skiing on Lake Murray (located only 20 minutes from campus), music and arts festivals, and a nationally recognized zoo.

The economic climate is vibrant and the cost of living much less than is usually associated with urban areas. The University community is ethnically diverse, as demonstrated by its national ranking of tenth in the number of master's degrees awarded to African Americans. Columbia is a vibrant place to live.

Informational Links for Columbia, South Carolina


Columbia has a plethora of cozy and affordable housing options! Columbia is home to many off-campus student housing complexes , as well as a multitude of options not targeted to students. Looking for a roommate?  Visit USC’s message board  or the USC Housing, Sublets, & Roommates Facebook page. Contact a student representative for advice related to housing options in Columbia. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.