Public Health Schools and MPH Programs in South Carolina

With a moderate climate and average cost of living, South Carolina is an ideal place to call home. If you live in South Carolina and are looking for a degree program to improve your quality of life and the lives of others, obtaining an advanced degree in public health could be an excellent option for you. 

Master of Public Health (MPH) programs prepare graduates to take on challenging leadership roles at community health organizations, healthcare offices, mental health facilities and other occupations with high demand and job security. The salaries, strong demand for public health experts and excellent quality of life make South Carolina a good choice for those considering an MPH program and career in public health.

For those interested in public health as a career, the University of South Carolina (UofSC) offers nine MPH degree programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Read on to learn more about South Carolina MPH programs and specializations to consider, and the career outlook across the state.

Public Health Schools and Highlights in South Carolina

For those who want to earn a public health masters degree in South Carolina, there is one choice: the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. 

The University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health

921 Assembly St., Columbia, SC 29208

The University of South Carolina, located in the state capital of Columbia, was founded in 1801. As of 2019, there were 27,502 undergraduate students and 5,987 graduate students enrolled at this public university.

The Arnold School of Public Health at UofSC is the only school of public health in the state. The school offers bachelor’s of arts and bachelor’s of science degrees with a major in public health, as well as a nationally ranked public health graduate program. The university touts its experienced, nationally known public health faculty. According to the university site, the Arnold School of Public Health leads the university in extramural funding per tenure-track faculty and is a “major contributor to the university’s recognition by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution of both ‘high community service activity’ and ‘high research activity.’”


Online MPH Programs in South Carolina 

Online MPH programs in South Carolina offer convenience and flexibility to fit your schedule from anywhere. In online MPH programs, you can learn how to put people in contact with the services they need and develop programs to meet people’s healthcare needs.

While there is only one public health school in South Carolina, the University of South Carolina offers two concentrations in online MPH programs: 

  • Health Services Policy and Management. This concentration teaches the knowledge and skills to be a leader in the public or private sectors.
  • Health Promotion, Education and Behavior. – Professional Online Program. This concentration is for those already working in health departments, communities, schools and worksite settings who want to become “a more impactful agent of change in your career and in people’s lives.” 

When considering public health for your graduate program, rest assured that you have online options to help preserve your independence and your ability to work full time. Discover other online MPH programs in the United States.

Public Health Careers Outlook in South Carolina

The need for public health specialists is expected to remain high for the foreseeable future, and a few of these positions bring close to six-figure incomes. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of medical and health services managers will grow 32% nationwide from 2109 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The annual mean wage for medical and health services managers in South Carolina in 2019 was $101,990, the BLS reports.

For salaries and project job growth of additional public health career opportunities in South Carolina, view the  following data  provided by O’Net Online:

Job TitleAvg. Salary in SCAvg. Salary in USProjected Job Growth in SC, 2018–2028Projected Job Growth in U.S., 2019–2029
Health Specialties Professors
Environmental Health Specialists
Medical and Health Services Managers /Healthcare Administrators
Health Educators
Occupational Health Specialists
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Health Informatics Specialists 

*Estimate not released/provided by O*NET

Specializations to Consider in South Carolina

Based on the information above, Medical and health services managers and health educators are two specializations to consider if you plan on living in South Carolina. While many public health experts in the state make around the same or less than the national average, people in those two roles make more.

  • Medical and health services managers/healthcare administrators in South Carolina make an average of $90,830 a year, compared to the national average of $100,980.
  • Health educators in South Carolina make an average of $59,470 a year, compared to the national average of $55,220.

Where South Carolina really shines when compared to the rest of the nation is projected job growth. Of the 10 public health roles listed in the table above, seven are growing at rates faster than the national average. Those are:

  • Biostatisticians.
  • Health Specialties Professors.
  • Environmental Health Specialists.
  • Occupational Health Specialists.
  • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians.
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists.
  • Health Informatics Specialists. 

Organizations to Work with a Public Health Degree

Career options for MPH graduates can be challenging, rewarding and diverse. As an MPH graduate in South Carolina, you may find the following career resources helpful in your employment pursuit:

State Health Information

There are many reasons to consider starting a public health career in South Carolina, but the quality of life in this coastal state is a big draw for many people. The state has 2,876 miles of Atlantic shoreline and 47 state parks to enjoy, plus its own unique takes on soul food, seafood and barbecue. 

South Carolina ranks #36 in the nation when it comes to health care. There is a tremendous need for public health specialists in South Carolina based on the number of people living in poverty and without insurance. Of South Carolina’s nearly 4.8 million people, 18 percent live in poverty, 34 percent are obese, and 16 percent have no health insurance. 

Additionally, nearly 18 percent of adults in South Carolina smoke cigarettes. This is significantly higher than the national average of 14 percent. Unfortunately, high school smoking and vaping rates in South Carolina are also higher than the national averages, setting the stage for prolonged and significant public health needs. 

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Information last updated February 2021