Claflin University

claflin university accreditation

Historically Black, Liberal Arts Education at Claflin

Claflin University appears in our ranking of 30 Great Colleges With An Increasing Student Population.

Ranked the U.S. News & World Report’s seventh-best HBCU, Claflin University is a top-tier United Methodist Church affiliate conferring 41 bachelor’s and four master’s degrees, including seven fully online majors, at a 14:1 student-faculty ratio with experiential learning. For example, the Biology B.S. builds a 120-credit, STEM curriculum with hands-on School of Natural Science research fellowships for 90 percent placement success at Duke, Princeton, Purdue, Virginia, and more. Chaired by Dr. Donna Gough, the 120-credit Mass Communications B.A. lets undergrads declare the Journalism or Public Relations track, write for The Panther, join Sigma Tau Delta, and intern at WLTX 19.

On Moodle, the RN to BSN at Claflin University is South Carolina’s only such 60-credit HBCU program for registered nurses to take eight-week online classes like Healthy Communities with one Saturday meeting each month and two clinical rotations, such as Parkridge Hospital. The School of Business led by Dr. Tara Saracina offers the MBA in Management for an 18-month, ACBSP-accredited plan of 36 credits plus Boeing Enterprise internships and a Global Visionary Leadership Program. Other degrees include the Spanish B.A., Elementary Education B.S., Music B.A., Political Science B.A., African Studies B.A., Psychology B.A., Biotechnology M.S., and Criminal Justice M.S.

About Claflin University

Claflin University originated on October 27, 1869, when Methodist Episcopal minister Alonzo Webster arrived from Vermont to teach freed slaves at the former Baker Biblical Institute. That December, the General Assembly chartered it and named it after its generous 27th Governor. In 1882, South Carolina’s earliest HBCU awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degree. By the 1890s, the Methodist Church General Conference and Missionary Society had funded Claflin. In 1920, Claflin debuted a liberal arts curriculum to replace the industrial arts courses. Fully accredited in 1947, Claflin was a center for Civil Rights Movement protests throughout the 1960s. Given senior status in 1999, Claflin University started its first master’s for the MBA in 2002.

Endowed for $26 million, Claflin University now employs 131 full-time faculty teaching 1,978 Panthers from 19 countries for 77 percent retention online and on-site with 65+ clubs like Friends of the Earth. In 2015, Clafin was named University of the Year by HBCU Digest. In 2018, Claflin University received six national awards at the Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. Times Higher Education ranked Claflin among the top 800 institutions overall. On Niche, Claflin boasts America’s 20th best criminal justice degrees, 135th top studio art programs, and 192nd best sociology majors. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education ranked Claflin University second for highest graduation rate. Washington Monthly also declared Claflin the 24th best Southern value.

Claflin University Accreditation Details

On December 8, 2011, Claflin University announced that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees voted to reaffirm the Level III accreditation through the 2020-21 cycle under its eighth president, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, who earned the I. DeQuincey Newman Humanitarian Award. Located 221 miles east via Interstate 20 in Decatur, Georgia, this elite 11-state Southeast Region accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Education Department and South Carolina State Board of Education. Claflin’s Internal Audit Office also lists the following five programmatic accreditations:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • American Chemical Society

Claflin University Application Requirements

Admission to Claflin University is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since just 2,437 of the 4,073 Fall 2017 applicants were chosen for competitive 60 percent acceptance. First-year Panthers must verify a high school or General Education Development diploma. Four units of English plus three units of Math and Science are prerequisite. Freshmen need a minimum un-weighted GPA of 2.80. Scoring above 880 on the SAT or 17 on the ACT is mandated. The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College invites undergrads with GPAs of 3.5 and higher. Online degree completion programs are reserved for adults age 22 or older with 40+ transfer credits and GPAs over 2.0. The RN to BSN specifically necessitates 60 associate-level credits and South Carolina nursing license eligibility. Graduate school entrants submit proof of an accredited, four-year bachelor’s with GPAs above 3.0. The Biotechnology M.S. requires STEM foundation courses like Biology and Statistics. Online M.Ed. cohorts must be working certified K-12 teachers. Just three master’s programs require GRE or GMAT scores in the upper 50th percentile.

Claflin University has rolling domestic admission until August 1st for Fall, January 1st for Spring, and May 1st for Summer. International students exceeding the 550 TOEFL or 5.5 IELTS mark must apply by March 1st, August 1st, or February 1st respectively. Accordingly, log into the MyClaflin portal to submit the online application for $50 ($75 if foreign). Have diplomas and official transcripts physically mailed to 400 Magnolia Street in Orangeburg, SC 29115. Testing reports are electronic using SAT/GRE code 5109, ACT code 3840, or GMAT code 003424. Other program-specific checklists include the 2-3 recommendations, 500-word purpose statement, qualifications résumé, nursing license, teacher certification, financial affidavits, and health forms. Inquire further by contacting (803) 535-5382 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Claflin University billed full-time undergrads $8,076 per semester or $16,152 annually. Bachelor’s majors paid the $123 technology fee, $116 athletic & cultural fee, $59 breakage fee, and $21 pre-alumni fee each term. Living at the Orangeburg campus’ dorms like Kleist Hall added $2,447 for semester housing. Standard meal plans for The Paw were $2,671 extra. Student teaching semesters incurred a $130 fee. Claflin budgeted $1,850 for books and $5,200 for miscellaneous. Traditional annual undergrad study equaled $33,198 on-site and $28,204 at home. Online programs charged $1,814 per three-credit course. The Graduate School had full-time tuition of $7,152 each semester or part-time tuition of $596 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid in Corson Hall disburses $23.33 million combined yearly for 95 percent of Claflin Panthers to claw open packages averaging $12,855 each. University funds include the Allen Britt Endowed Scholarship, Steward Twins Memorial Scholarship, Alice Carson Tisdale Honors Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Sen. Clementa Pinckney Memorial Scholarship, Spencer & Rev. Minnie Anderson Scholarship, and Lambda Sigma Omega Psi Phi Scholarship. The Palmetto Fellows Program gifts up to $7,500 each year for South Carolina residents. Other state assistance like the LIFE Scholarship, HOPE Scholarship, Tuition Grant, and National Guard College Program helps. The United Negro College Fund lists Claflin among 37 HBCUs for 400 funding opportunities, such as the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship and Foot Locker Foundation Scholarship. Filing FAFSA forms by April 15th unlocks Federal Pell Grant, Opportunity Grant, Work-Study Award, and Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan options.

Search through six accredited departments for 50+ Christian programs at the Claflin University website.