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Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College Rating: 3.4/5 (5 votes)

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Spartanburg Methodist College (SMC) is a private two-year college affiliated with the United Methodist Church in the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina. The focus of the school is preparing students for transfer to a four year college or university. Unlike most two-year colleges which focus on technical and trade education, SMC teaches an almost entirely liberal arts curriculum.

The school has been a part of the community of Spartanburg for a century. It was founded in 1911 by Methodist pastor Dr. David English Camak as Textile Industrial Institute (TII), a work-study cooperative that provided high school education to young adults working in textile mills in the Spartanburg area. Under the auspices of TII, students alternated between working for one week, then taking classes for one week. Starting in 1927, the school gradually added college classes and dropped high school classes, until it became Spartanburg Junior College in 1942.

In 1965, the school put on a spurt of growth to grow the campus and the student body to its current levels. This period of growth culminated in a name change in 1974, when Spartanburg Junior College took on its current name of Spartanburg Methodist College.

SMC has been a religious school since its inception. Today, it is most closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church through the General Board of Global Ministries and the Board of Global Ministries of the South Carolina Annual Conference. Although SMC is a small school, with about 800 students enrolled at any given time, the campus is large, spreading over 110 wooded acres inside the Spartanburg city limits.


There are four degree programs and one certificate program at SMC: Associate in Science, Associate in Arts, Associate in Religious Studies, Associate in Criminal Justice, and Paralegal Certification. The student/faculty ratio is 19:1, making for small and personal classes.

The paralegal certificate program is geared toward adult students. Classes are held in the evenings in ten-week blocks, so that adults who other commitments such as work and family miss a block, they can simply resume their education with the next block.

Library Resources

The Marie Blair Burgess Library contains more than 50,000 print volumes and an additional 50,000 ebooks. The library makes good use of interlibrary loan through PASCAL, a consortium of academic libraries in South Carolina, giving students access to millions of volumes. The Mary Ellen Suitt Art Gallery, located in the Marie Blair Burgess Library, features rotating exhibits by visiting artists, local artists, and faculty and student artists.

Transferring to a Four Year Institution

Roughly 90% of students transfer to a four-year college or university. SMC hosts an annual college day for students to introduce them to representatives of area colleges where many students go on to complete bachelor’s degrees. Some of the most popular schools for transfer are Anderson University, Art Institute of Charlotte, Bervard College, Charleston Southern Unviersity, Clafin University, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Columbia College, Converse College, Erskine College, Lander Unviersity, Limestone College, North Greenville University, Presbyterian College, Southern Wesleyan University, USC Aiken, USC Columbia, Webster University, Winthrop University, and Wofford College.

Most Popular Fields of Study


70% of first-year applicants are admitted. Although SMC is explicitly Methodist, it is not necessary to be a Methodist to attend. More than 25 diverse religious faiths are represented in the student body.

Financial Aid

96% of students receive some form of financial aid. In addition to the usual assortment of financial aid options offered by the federal government and the state of South Carolina, SMC offers several of its own scholarships. The Miliken Scholar, Camak Scholar, Trustee Scholar, Presidential Scholar, and College Opportunity Scholarships are all academic merit-based. There are also leadership scholarships available in the areas of athletic training, athletics, cheerleading, dance, drama, Eagle Scouts, music, newspaper, United Methodist, and yearbook.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5251st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in South Carolina.



The student body is split fairly evenly between men and women. About 67% of students are European American, 27% are African American, and 4% are Latino American. Students from all parts of South Carolina, several states, and a few foreign countries attend SMC. About 6% of students come from outside South Carolina.

Clubs and Organizations

There are several clubs and organizations for students on the SMC campus. General interest organizations include the computer programming club, the criminal justice club, the psi omega theatre fraternity, the student government association, and People Organizing Programs Successfully (POPS). Publications on campus include the newspaper, Trailblazer; the annual literary magazine, Illusions; and the yearbook The Olympian. There are no traditional fraternities or sororities on campus, but there is a coed service fraternity, Kappa Sigma Alpha. There are three national honor societies on campus: Sigma Kappa Delta, Phi Theta Kappa, and Psi Beta.

Campus ministry is a very important piece of student life at SMC. Campus ministry groups include Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Presbyterian Student Association, Wesley Fellowship, and Campus Crusade for Christ. In keeping with the traditions of the Methodist church, there also is a strong focus on music and theatre on campus. Popular groups include Gospel Choir, Liturgical Dance Team, Chapel Drama Team, Handbell Choir, SMC Singers, SMC Troubadours, SMC Players, and Jazz Ensemble.

Student Services

SMC offers comprehensive services to their students in order to make their educational experience as successful as possible. Available services include academic counselling, financial counselling, individual counselling, mentorship opportunities, tutoring, application assistance for transferring to four year college and universities, and career counselling.

Community Service

Providing community service to others is a large part of student life at the university. Every year the Centennial Service Challenge encourages each and every student to donate 100 hours of service to the Spartanburg community. On the Freshman Day of Service, all first-year students work together to clean, paint, cook, and landscape at schools, shelters, churches, soup kitchens, and assisted living facilities. Many students also participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Challenge by making soup for a local soup kitchen and competing to see who can gather the most servings of non-perishable food items. A large number of students participate in a mission trip over fall break to participate in Habitat for Humanity building projects.


There are 7 residence halls on campus, mostly with double rooms. 75% of students live on campus. All residences feature wireless internet, phone jacks, and laundry facilities. SMC prohibits the use or possession of alcohol by students on or off campus. This means that a student enrolled at SMC, even one of legal drinking age, cannot drink an alcoholic beverage off-campus without potential reprisals.


The cafeteria on campus, is known as Pioneer Café. It features daily pizza, a chef’s station with made-to-order stir fry and fajitas, a well-stocked salad bar, and regular vegetarian options.

Student Enrollment Demographics


The athletics department is known as the Pioneers. They compete in 14 intercollegiate sports in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I. Competitive sports include men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, softball, wrestling, and volleyball. The men’s soccer team has a particularly strong winning record.

Local Community

The city of Spartanburg is home to about 40,000 permanent residents, with a population of a quarter-million in the greater metropolitan area and over 10,000 college and university students. There are six separate learning institutions in the city, officially qualifying it as a “college town”. Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Spartanburg is convenient to the coastline and beaches as well as recreational opportunities in the mountains. The city is serviced by Amtrak, Greyhound, and two different airports for convenient transportation.

Recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities in Spartanburg include Hollywild Animal Park, Cowpens National Battlefield, a downtown sculpture tour, Live Oaks Farm, Westgate Mall, a series of networked walking and biking trails, fishing, camping, and boating at Croft State Natural Area, Ship Wreck Cove Water Park, RetroFest, Spartanburg County regional History Museum, the Pacolet Indian Summer Festival, Spartanburg Science Center, listening to bluegrass music at the Albino Skunk Festival, and more. The mild climate in Spartanburg lends itself to outdoor recreational opportunities all year round.

Many graduates stay in Spartanburg after graduation and make it their permanent community. Top employers in the Spartanburg area who hire SMC graduates include Spartanburg Regional Health Services, County of Spartanburg, Marriott-Renaissance Park, Spartanburg County School District 7, and the several colleges and universities in the area. The world headquarters for Extended Stay Hotels, Advance America, Denny’s, and Miliken are also all located in the Spartanburg area and employ large numbers of local college graduates.


SMC alumni include major league baseball players Orlando Hudson, Mookie Wilson, Reggie Sanders, and Lee Gronkiewicz.


Clubs and Organizations. Campus Life. Spartanburg Methodist College. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.

Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.

How to Apply. Admissions. Spartanburg Methodist College. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.

Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.

Things to Do While Visiting Spartanburg. City of Spartanburg. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 32nd in South Carolina and 1846th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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college Sparrow hall :: Spartanburg Methodist College College Logo :: Spartanburg Methodist College SMC Shield :: Spartanburg Methodist College School sports logo :: Spartanburg Methodist College

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in South Carolina and 28th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 4 0.50
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 3 0.37

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 513 1.37
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 5 0.01
Forcible Rape 12 0.03
Robbery 127 0.34
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 684 1.83
Larceny 1,952 5.21
Vehicle theft 220 0.59

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Spartanburg, SC 29301-5899
Surrounding communityMidsize suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population30,152 (28,626 urban / 1,526 rural)
Households11,602 (2.56 people per house)
Median Household Income$38,112
Families8,003 (3.07 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Private Not-for-profit
Undergraduate PopulationHigher full-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingSmall two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationUnited Methodist
Congressional District4504

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1390th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $14,882 $14,882 $14,882
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $903 $903 $903
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $402 $402 $402
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $28,791 $28,791 $28,791
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $27,595 $27,595 $27,595
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $17,795 $17,795 $17,795

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $14,118 $15,113 $14,118 $15,113 $14,118 $15,113
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $7,918(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses $2,800(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $4,900(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $2,200(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $500(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$20
Graduate Application FeeN/A
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 1,389 (710 male / 679 female)
Admitted 1,224 (609 male / 615 female)
Admission rate 88%
First-time Enrollment 469 (250 male / 219 female)
FT Enrollment 469 (250 male / 219 female)
PT Enrollment N/A (N/A male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment818

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NJCAA

ACT Test Admission

1294th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 49%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 13 / 20
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 16 / 20
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 15 / 20

SAT Test Admission

1244th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 60%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 380 / 490
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 390 / 480
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 770 / 970

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity594
Meals per Week19
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 3280th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $51,714 ($52,129 male / $48,982 female)
Number of FT Faculty 29 (18 male / 11 female)
Number of PT Faculty 50
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $337,796

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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1000 Powell Mill Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301-5899
p. 864-587-4000
w. www.smcsc.edu/

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