The University of South Carolina-Beaufort is located in the state’s “Lowcountry” area along the extensive coastal strip; the city of Beaufort is located approximately 50+ miles to the southwest of the state capital of Charleston, and roughly the same distance northeast of Savannah in neighboring Georgia.
The school, also referred to simply as USC-Beaufort, was originally established in 1795 as Beaufort College with the intention of serving the educational needs of surrounding planters’ families. During the Civil War, the school was forced to close and was actually occupied by Union forces for use as a make-shift hospital. In 1959, higher education was reinitiated at USC-Beaufort due to the expansion of the University of South Carolina system; in 2002, USC-Beaufort was finally upgraded to the status of “senior campus” and since then offers baccalaureate degrees. At more or less the same time, the school opened a second campus in Bluffton (situated a few dozen miles to the southwest).