The Medical University of South Carolina opened in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824 as a small private college for the training of physicians. It is one of the oldest continually operating school of medicine in the United States and the oldest in the Deep South. It has expanded into a state university with a medical center and six colleges for the education of a broad range of health professionals, biomedical scientists and other health related personnel. It also operates as a center for research and a public hospital. The College of Medicine began in 1823 with the incorporation of the Medical College of South Carolina, a private institution of the Medical Society of South Carolina. Seven Charleston physicians formed the initial faculty with 30 students enrolled in 1824. The first graduation was on April 4, 1825. With the exception of the American Civil War, the college has served continuously to the present, even when there was a total enrollment of two students. To achieve the financial backing for growth in the twentieth century, the college was transferred to state ownership and incorporated into the state's higher education system in 1913.