Medical Schools in South Carolina: List + How to Get In

May 22, 2024
8 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/22/24

Dreaming of becoming a doctor in South Carolina? Keep reading to discover how to get into these Deep South medical schools.

There’s no doubt medical schools in South Carolina are solid options for getting an MD. What makes studying here different is the way students can customize their path to best fit their interests and values. Your roadmap to medicine should be specific to you and reflect areas that you find meaningful.

Whether you want training in emergency medicine, osteopathy, global health, or research, South Carolina has schools to develop your skills and talents best. Knowing the differences will help you determine what the best school is for you.

image of dots background

Medical Schools in South Carolina

There are four med schools in South Carolina: three for allopathic medicine (MD granting) and one for osteopathic (DO granting).

1. Medical University of South Carolina

What makes MUSC stand out as a SC med school is that it allows select students to complete their studies in three years instead of four. This is known as their Accelerated Medical Pathway. With high-achieving academic and professional conduct, students can be eligible to be a part of one out of nine special residency programs that MUSC offers.

What’s more, the Accelerated Medical Pathway is part of the greater Flex Phase Pathways. Through these modules, students can focus on areas they feel more aligned with their interests and values. Some example pathways include research, global health, and health humanities.

If you want to tailor your medical education a bit differently, then the Medical University of South Carolina can provide you with an alternative approach and opportunity. Also, fast-tracking your education can be a good idea if you’re worried about how much medical school costs.

2. University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Columbia)

USC Columbia is another option for students pursuing medical school in South Carolina. While the school doesn’t have any specific course requirements for admission, you’re encouraged to take classes in sciences such as biology and chemistry.

If you’re trying to graduate as quickly as possible, you should know that the school does sometimes admit students with only 90 semester hours even if they haven’t graduated yet. In addition, you’ll need some healthcare experience. This can include things like volunteering, shadowing physicians, or even EMT work.

USC Columbia is a safe bet when it comes to medical schools in South Carolina. Not only is USC the largest single university enterprise in the state, but its main Columbia campus is something all South Carolinians are bound to be familiar with. What’s more, many may have even studied there for their undergraduate degree.

3. University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Greenville)

USC Greenville prides itself on taking a different approach to medical education. One of the key areas they differentiate themselves is by emphasizing EMT training in their curriculum. This means that after you become certified in the first year, you’ll be working 12 hours per month in various EMT settings, from ambulances to emergency departments.

The medical curriculum was also the first to ensure lifestyle medicine was taught every year of their program. Students looking to learn a more holistic and person-centric approach to medicine would be well served here. Lifestyle medicine emphasizes nutrition, behavior, exercise, and other day-to-day contributors to health.

If you’re quick on your feet and have an affinity for fast-paced environments, then USC Greenville could be one of the best medical schools in South Carolina for you. 

4. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

VCOM trains students and teaches them a comprehensive osteopathic medical education. Their curriculum approach has some overlap with traditional medical schools but emphasizes providing patient care in disadvantaged settings. 

During years one and two, students will learn preclinical education. The core emphasis is focused on primary care in struggling communities. During third-year clinical education, students will be able to complete at least one or more clinical rotations with a faculty member who’s trained in osteopathic medicine.

The fourth year is when students will have the ability to be a part of a four-week medical outreach program. The outreach provides care in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and El Salvador. No matter the path students choose to pursue if providing primary care to struggling communities speaks to you, then VCOM is a strong choice as a South Carolina med school.

Below is a table to summarize the stats for South Carolina’s medical schools, including location, degree type, tuition, and more!

School Location Degree Type Tuition (In State/Out of State) Avg GPA Avg MCAT Acceptance Rate
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Charleston MD $27, 551 / $47, 117 3.7 (4.0 Scale) 511 4.8%
University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Columbia) Columbia MD $21, 444 / $43, 575 (per semester) 3.7 508 3.2%
University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Greenville) Greenville MD $42,888 / $87,150 3.7 - 3.75 509 2.8%
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Carolinas (VCOM) Spartanburg DO $51, 800 3.5 - 3.6 500 - 506 10%

If you’re going for the traditional medicine route, then the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Columbia), and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Greenville) all offer MDs, Edward via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) grants DOs.

Each of these schools has different approaches and emphasis not only on their medical curriculum but what they look for when accepting future students.

Tips for Getting Into South Carolina Medical Schools

It’s clear that if you’re looking to become a doctor in South Carolina, you’ll be able to pursue your path to medicine. While every application will benefit from a high GPA, competitive MCAT, and diverse volunteer hours, having specific goals in mind can help you stand out. 

Narrowing down what factors are important to you can help you decide what to highlight during interviews, volunteer experience, and supplemental applications. Whether you’re interested in osteopathy, emergency medicine, or research and global health, finding which schools align with your interest can help you use your time most effectively.

Getting into medical schools in South Carolina is a journey that takes planning and commitment. That’s why you should never be afraid to reach out if you need any extra help or advice.

Here’s what Sarah had to say about our services:

“I can't even begin to fathom how much time and stress I have saved because my counselor would point me to specific med school resources she knew I should research based on her knowledge of my background, interests, and accomplishments and her experience of doing this for decades. She knows med school admissions like the back of her hand. Without Natalie’s expertise, I imagine I would have been drowning in the blue ocean of online resources, trying to determine the veracity of advice from online forums.”

FAQs: South Carolina Medical Schools

Do you still have questions about med school in South Carolina? Check out our FAQs below!

1. How Many Medical Schools Are in South Carolina?

There are 4 medical schools in South Carolina:

  • Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston - offers an MD degree
  • The University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia - offers an MD degree
  • University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville - offers an MD degree
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Spartanburg - offers a DO degree

The first three schools offer allopathic medicine programs leading to an MD degree, while VCOM offers an osteopathic medicine program leading to a DO degree.

2. What Is the Best Medical School in South Carolina?

The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston is widely considered the best medical school in South Carolina. While the University of South Carolina schools in Columbia and Greenville are also high-quality options, MUSC stands out with its integrated academic health system, accelerated pathway, innovative curriculum, and strong primary care focus.

3. What MCAT Score Do I Need for MUSC?

MUSC has a minimum MCAT score requirement of 500 to be considered for an interview. However, the average MCAT score for students matriculating (accepted) into MUSC is significantly higher at 511.

If you still need help getting your desired score, book a free consultation with our MCAT tutors to get into MUSC.

After working with our tutors, Donald received 517 on the MCAT. Here’s what he shared regarding his experience:

“Joana went through every mistake from my practice exams to help me understand the concepts better. This ensured that I didn't make the same mistakes on the exam. I am happy to have found Inspira and Joana as my tutor for the MCAT.”

Final Thoughts

The journey to becoming a doctor means finding out what information is most important to you. Although you don’t need to have everything figured out when applying to SC med schools, having a general list of aspects of medicine that appeal to you will not only help you find which parts of your application need improvement but also communicate to the schools why you’re a good fit for their program.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.
Get Free Consultation
image of dots background

You May Also Like