CofC Receives Authorization to Offer First Doctoral Degree

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

President Glenn McConnell ’69 issued the following statement to the College of Charleston community Wednesday after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed legislation authorizing CofC to offer a doctoral degree in computer and information science. Such a program would be the first doctoral degree in the 247-year history of the institution.

Dear Campus Community:

As you may recall, the College has been exploring for some time the idea of offering targeted doctoral degrees in areas where there is a need and demand by our city, region and state. To that end, in August 2014, the Board of Trustees approved an updated mission statement, which designated the University of Charleston, S.C. “as a research institution where the graduate and research programs with the College are housed.” The University of Charleston, S.C., is authorized to offer and award doctoral degrees.

I’m thrilled to announce that on Monday, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed H. 3793 into law, which authorizes the College of Charleston to offer a doctoral degree in computer and information science. This legislation enables the College to have a doctoral program in addition to any we may choose to offer through the University of Charleston, S.C.

This new law is another significant accomplishment that puts the College on the road to offering more terminal degree programs in the near future. To be clear, we still need to create the doctoral degree and seek approval from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education just as we would do for any new program that we would seek to add. That being said, we have cleared a key step in the approval process.

Our 2009 strategic plan called for the College to offer targeted doctoral degrees and that is the direction in which we are headed. With this step forward, we affirm that the College is and will continue to be a nationally preeminent, comprehensive, public university deeply rooted in the liberal arts and sciences tradition and dedicated to its public mission of advancing the region’s economy, culture and future. We will expand our programmatic offerings over the next few years, and computer science and information management is a wonderful place to start.

I look forward to continuing down this road with all of you to ensure the College’s relevancy and sustainability for many more years to come.