History of USCB

Beaufort CollegeThe University of South Carolina Beaufort is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the nation. Its lineage dates back to the original 1795 charter of Beaufort College. By official act two centuries ago, the South Carolina Legislature authorized the college to confer degrees in the liberal arts or sciences, degrees that were equivalent to those conferred by other colleges in Europe and elsewhere in America. The onset of hostilities in the Civil War forced the college to close in 1861.

In 1959, by another official act, the South Carolina Legislature created the Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina on the original site of historic Beaufort College and authorized it to offer the same courses taught at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. In 1994, USCB embarked on a major expansion program. International Paper, a global leader in the paper and packaging industry, donated 80 acres of land to build an additional full-service campus for the university in Bluffton, the region’s fastest growing area. The county government agreed to finance construction of the campus if the university would designate it as a four-year institution of higher learning. When the state approved its new, four-year status, construction began.USCB

In June 2002, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education granted USCB baccalaureate status. In 2004, it was accredited as a Level II baccalaureate degree-granting university. In August of 2004, the first classes began at what came to be known as the South Campus. The original campus in Beaufort was called the North Campus. In the fall of 2005, the newly constructed on-campus student apartments opened on the South Campus.

Today, South Carolina’s newest four-year university offers baccalaureate degrees and a wide variety of continuing-education programs at its two full-service campuses. The two campus names also have changed. The North Campus is now the Historic Beaufort Campus and the South Campus is the Hilton Head Gateway Campus.  

While honoring its 200-year commitment to providing a liberal arts education, the University of South Carolina Beaufort continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of higher education as well as the diverse needs of coastal Carolina and the Lowcountry.