South Carolina, with its nearly five million inhabitants, is the 23rd most populous state in the country. Its capital, Columbia, is home to the flagship campus of the University of South Carolina, which serves more than 50,000. A number of other prestigious institutions, like Clemson University and the College of Charleston, also call South Carolina home.

In recent years, South Carolina’s economy has grown faster than the rest of the country. A booming economy, coupled with a strong higher education infrastructure, means that graduates of online MBA programs in South Carolina are well-positioned to find steady and lucrative jobs in the state.

Pursuing an online MBA in South Carolina has a great many benefits, including a flexibility. Through taking courses online, you can save money on transportation, room, and board. By completing your coursework on your own schedule, you can continue to work or raise a family. Online MBA programs in South Carolina can be completed in as few as 12 months or on a more relaxed timetable. In some programs, you can choose to complete your degree 100% online or take some classes on campus. Some institutions, like the University of South Carolina system, offer satellite campuses across the state to make hybrid learning even more accessible.

In recent years, South Carolina’s economy has grown faster than the rest of the country.

You will have the option of focusing on a wide variety of concentrations within the umbrella of business administration, including health care leadership, finance, marketing, and supply chain management. Some programs require you to take the GMAT, while others waive this requirement for applicants with previous work experience. In short, how, when, and where you choose to earn your online MBA in South Carolina is largely up to you.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education
Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in South Carolina, by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for South Carolina Students

Online MBA programs in South Carolina feature dozens of concentrations in areas like innovation and entrepreneurship, business analytics, finance, marketing, and strategic management. Given the state’s economic profile, supply chain management and healthcare management are two of the most promising concentrations for students enrolled in South Carolina’s online MBA programs. Below is an overview of the sort of jobs you can expect to get with an MBA in these areas.

 

  • Supply Chain Management: Two of the largest industries in South Carolina are aviation and automobile manufacturing. An MBA with a concentration in supply chain management can, for example, position you for a management role in Boeing’s manufacturing division in North Charleston.
  • Healthcare Management: MBA graduates who studied healthcare management are ideally suited to take on leadership posts in the state’s university research centers, hospital systems, pharmaceutical companies, or other life sciences organizations.

Accreditation in South Carolina

There are two types of accreditation: regional and national. Regional accreditation is the most common and desirable form of accreditation for nonprofit schools. In South Carolina, the regional accreditation agency is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. National accreditation, which is done by one of a number of independent agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of Education, is more common for technical or vocational schools. While earning an advanced degree in business can open doors and increase your earnings, it is important to pursue your graduate studies at an accredited institution.

While South Carolina’s largest industry in terms of employment is retail trade, manufacturing remains a sizable segment of the state’s economy, driven in large part by the presence of Boeing and BMW. Despite recent cuts, Boeing continues to employ close to 7,000 workers at its North Charleston manufacturing campus, and BMW employs more than 10,000 workers at its factory in Spartanburg. The largest single employer in the state is the Medical University of South Carolina, at 13,000 workers. The largest network of employers is the Rock Hill Pediatric Association, which employs 60,000 workers.

Overall, the state’s economy has experienced consistent growth since 2010, though economists predict this has begun to level off. Between 2015 and 2016, the statewide average employment growth rate was 2.2%. The rate for the Charleston region during that same time period was 3.2%, outpacing growth in the Columbia region and the more rural upstate region. A strong and growing state economy makes the job outlook for South Carolina online MBA graduates particularly advantageous.

Top Employers in South Carolina

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
Medical University of South Carolina Healthcare Charleston 12,000
BMW Auto Manufacturing Spartanburg 10,000

Employment growth and business expansion means that demand for qualified managers will increase. And as that demand increases, so will potential salaries for those who have earned an online MBA in South Carolina.

By continuing your education, particularly at one of the best online MBA programs in South Carolina, you are investing in yourself. According to the Pew Research Center, individuals with master’s degrees earn, across the board, more than their peers who only hold a bachelor’s degree. This is particularly pronounced for those who hold MBAs, as these degrees can put you on the fast track to management positions and high-paying jobs. For those looking to enter the world of business or take the next step in their career, earning an MBA is a worthwhile investment.

Average Salary by Degree
Search Programs by Concentration

Careers for MBAs in South Carolina

Human Resources Managers

As companies in South Carolina continue to expand and hire personnel, HR managers will play an integral role. Projections Central projects a growth rate of 12.2% in this profession by 2024.

Medical and Health Services Managers

With hospitals already one of the top employers in South Carolina, opportunities abound for management professionals with an understanding of the unique needs of the healthcare field. Projections Central projects that this profession will grow by 15.8% by 2024.

Financial Managers

Financial managers, those directly responsible for the financial health of a company, are indispensable in any industry. The projected growth rate is 7.8%, according to Projections Central.

Industrial Production Managers

With a projected growth rate of only 4.9% over the next seven years, industrial production managers may not be as in demand as some of the above professions. However, professionals in this field are still needed as the manufacturing sector continues to expand in South Carolina.

Top Executives

For top executives, the story is less about growth than it is about income potential. In 2016, the median salary for these professionals was $103,950. Earning an MBA can set you down the path to these top leadership roles.

To find the program that works best for you, taking into account factors like cost, concentration, and format, you’ll need to research all of the available options in South Carolina. You can begin that research using the list below, which includes all accredited online MBA programs in the state.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Anderson University

Location Anderson, SC Tuition Tuition $15,660 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 3,212 School Type Private

Located in Anderson and affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, AU serves about 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students. Offered online, at AU's Greenville campus, or as a hybrid program, the AU MBA emphasizes business theory and practice and leadership principles from a biblical perspective. Once enrolled, students complete 36 credits by taking one asynchronous course at a time. Core courses include marketing management, global business, and leadership and ethics. The program's nine-hour concentration options include healthcare leadership, human resources, supply chain management, and marketing.

Applicants do not need to submit a GMAT score and can begin at one of seven start times during the year. Applicants who have completed graduate coursework may transfer up to six credits into the program. Students can complete AU's online MBA in South Carolina in 20 months or less.

AU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Charleston Southern University

Location Charleston, SC Tuition Tuition $20,625 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 3,621 School Type Private

Charleston Southern, a private, Baptist university situated in Charleston, educates just under 4,000 students per year. The school's MBA program consists of 11 courses totaling 33 credit hours, and most students take two years to complete the degree. Applicants to Charleston Southern's South Carolina MBA online must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, show strong work experience, and submit GMAT scores or a waiver. Once enrolled, students can complete courses online, on campus, or in a hybrid format.

The curriculum includes foundations of management and marketing, business data and decision analysis, and the market process and the world economy. Students can choose from six distinct emphases: accounting, leadership, finance, human resource management, management information systems, and general management. This MBA program concludes with an exit assessment.


Concentrations
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Citadel Military College of South Carolina

Location Charleston, SC Tuition Tuition $37,530 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 3,506 School Type Public

A state-supported college, The Citadel stands out as one of six senior military colleges in the United States. Students at The Citadel can increase their social awareness and analytical abilities in order to succeed in global business by pursuing an online MBA in South Carolina. Designed for active-duty military members and working professionals, this degree requires 36 credits. The curriculum includes courses in accounting for executives, information technology management, and quantitative measurement for operations management along with a required capstone course.

Students select a specialization in entrepreneurship, finance, or supply chain. Entrepreneurship students learn about using technology in launching and marketing new businesses. Finance majors discuss topics such as taxes and liquidity management. Supply chain students concentrate on distribution, transportation, and logistics planning.

The Citadel holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


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Claflin University

Location Orangeburg, SC Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 94% Student Population 1,925 School Type Private

A historically black college in Orangeburg, Claflin is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school offers one of South Carolina's online MBA programs designed to help working professionals gain an international perspective on business. The 36-credit program includes courses such as strategic management, marketing management in a global environment, and advanced topics in management and policy information systems. Students can also select a nine-credit emphasis, such as management, marketing, entrepreneurship, or finance. Courses in these emphases include marketing research, project management, enterprise development, and bank management.

Applicants must submit GMAT scores and hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Claflin offers 31 additional credits of foundational business courses for applicants with a degree in a non-business area.

Claflin holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Limestone College

Location Gaffney, SC Tuition Tuition $23,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 3,139 School Type Private

Situated in Gaffney, Limestone serves more than 3,500 students. The school offers undergraduate degrees in a variety of subjects in addition to its 36-credit online MBA in South Carolina. Students pursuing their MBA take one course every eight weeks to graduate in just 22 months. The program requires three on-campus residence weekends in addition to 11-12 flexible online courses, including supply chain management, leadership and change, and organizational theory and behavior. Students can choose to concentrate in either healthcare administration or management and leadership.

Limestone offers military grants, corporate grants, and a 15% discount for veterans to help students afford their degrees. Applicants who hold five years of business experience or an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or above do not need to submit GMAT scores.

Limestone holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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North Greenville University

Location Tigerville, SC Tuition Tuition $16,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 2,689 School Type Private

A Southern Baptist-affiliated college in Tigerville, NGU offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, including an online MBA in South Carolina that students can earn in 18 months. The 36-credit degree emphasizes business analytics, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Full-time students take two courses per eight-week term. Students can pursue a general MBA or choose to concentrate in human resources, which requires 12 specialized credits of coursework.

Applicants can start the program before they have hands-on business experience. NGU permits enrollment at five points throughout the year and offers the program in online, on-campus, and hybrid formats. The program prepares students who concentrate in human resources to pursue two of the field's professional certifications. NGU's MBA program concludes with a course in professional ethics.

NGU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.


Concentrations
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Columbia International University

Location Columbia, SC Tuition Tuition $18,540 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 966 School Type Private

CIU, a Christian university in Columbia, educates about 1,250 students annually, evenly divided between its graduate and undergraduate programs. Most learners pursuing CIU's online MBA in South Carolina take 18 months to complete the required 36 credits, which help them develop leadership, organizational, and management skills. Courses include business research and data analysis, accounting for financial reporting and management, and organizational behavior and change management. These flexible, hands-on courses often include students from around the world.

CIU's MBA graduates go on to work in the traditional marketplace, pursue academic careers, or engage in church and ministry work. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 2.0 GPA or higher. International applicants and those with a GPA of less than 2.0 should contact the school about special admission requirements.

CIU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.


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Coastal Carolina University

Location Conway, SC Tuition Tuition $17,280 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 10,479 School Type Public

Serving more than 10,000 online and residential students from its campus in Conway, near Myrtle Beach, CCU offers one of the top South Carolina online MBA programs. Students focus on acquiring the practical, analytical, and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in business. CCU's 30-credit MBA takes just one year to complete, and the university admits students in the fall and spring semesters.

Core courses in the program include financial management, managerial responsibility and the law, and operations and global supply chain. Students also take nine credits of electives, which they can use to concentrate in healthcare administration. Courses in this emphasis include the U.S. healthcare system and healthcare financial decision-making. To gain admission to the program, students must demonstrate five years of business experience or GMAT scores that prove an aptitude for academic work.

CCU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


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There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in South Carolina. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school’s business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school’s website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.