Named in honor of statesman Thomas Green Clemson in 1889, Clemson University was founded under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to provide agricultural education. Clemson initially was an all-white male technical school until 1955 when women were admitted. Today, Clemson University is a premier public, state-funded research institution serving over 18,000 undergraduates and 4,600 post-graduates. Sprawling over 17,000 suburban acres, Clemson is located in South Carolina’s Pickens County at the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Endowed for $623 million, Clemson University is known for its Information Technology Research Center, which partners with IBM, Microsoft, and Bosch.
According to the U.S. News, Clemson is the 61st best national university, 21st top public school, 50th best college for military, and 16th most innovative school. In particular, Clemson has America’s 65th best engineering programs and 74th top teaching degrees. Princeton Review recognized Clemson University for having the 7th happiest students and 15th most engaged campus community nationally. In SmartMoney magazine, Clemson had the country’s 7th best salary returns on tuition investment. Forbes ranked Clemson as the South’s 22nd best college and nation’s 74th top research university. Clemson University also placed 12th nationally for conferring doctoral degrees to minority students in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
Clemson University Accreditation Details
Since 1927, Clemson University has been regionally accredited at Level VI by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The College of Engineering is approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The School of Nursing meet the standards of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The Eugene T. Moore School of Education aligns with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The College of Business has accreditation from the elite Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The School of Architecture is also accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
Clemson University Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 52 percent, Clemson University has very selective admissions criteria. Incoming freshmen must have a state high school diploma or GED equivalent. The first-year curriculum requires having at least four credits English, three credits math, three credits laboratory science, three credits foreign language, and three credits social science. Minimum grades aren’t listed, but admitted students have an average GPA of 3.62. Academic rigor with AP, IB, and Honors classes is considered. Clemson freshman achieve an average SAT score of 1795 and ACT score of 29.
Undergraduate transfers must have completed at least one collegiate year with 30 semester or 45 quarter hours at a regionally accredited institution. Having completed introductory English, math, and science courses is required. Incoming transfers must hold a minimum GPA of 2.5, but 3.0 is preferred. International students from non-English countries should score at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL. For graduate study, applicants must have earned a bachelor’s or higher at an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent. Maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA in the last 60 semester hours is required.
Before the December 1st priority deadline, students wishing to attend Clemson University must create a Tiger account for submitting:
• Completed online application form
• Copies of unofficial academic transcripts
• Official standardized test scores
• Proof of South Carolina residency (if applicable)
• Student financial certification form
• One to three letters of recommendation
• Current resume or curriculum vitae
• One-page personal goals essay
• $70 application fee by check or credit card
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates from South Carolina will pay $6,511 per semester for tuition. Non-resident undergrad students must afford $15,970 per full-time semester. Undergraduates must also budget for the $40 activity fee, $58 campus recreation fee, $160 health fee, and $118 technology fee. Part-time students can pay $581 (in-state) or $1,403 (out-of-state) per credit. Room and board is estimated to cost $2,630 and $1,950 respectively each semester. Graduate students living in South Carolina pay $4,941 per full-time semester. Non-resident graduates enrolled full-time are charged $10,275 each semester. Part-time graduate students are billed $663 (in-state) or $1,327 (out-of-state) per credit.
Approximately 89 percent of beginning, full-time Clemson students earn financial aid. Over $98 million in institutional aid is awarded. Students can earn scholarships like the Palmetto Pact Scholarship, Clemson Scholars Award, Non-Resident Merit Scholarship, Emerging Scholars Award, and Staff Senate Annual Scholarship. In-state residents should apply for the South Carolina HOPE Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows, or Need-Based Grant. Low-income students could qualify for the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. Tuition waivers are available for veterans, war orphans, and children of deceased law enforcement officers. Seniors over 60 years old receive free tuition. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available for part-time employment. If needed, students can also borrow Federal Perkins, Stafford, and Graduate PLUS loans.
Clemson University offers rigorous academic programs for invaluable 21st century education. Students can select from over 80 bachelor’s and 110 graduate degrees in Clemson’s nine colleges. Some unique undergraduate majors include Agribusiness, Construction Science, Forest Resource Management, Genetics, Graphic Communications, Packaging Science, Turfgrass, and Women’s Leadership. Motivated students can join the Calhoun Honors College. Students at Tri-County Community College (TCTC) may also complete a Bridge to Clemson Program. With a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, more than 51 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students for individualized attention.
Clemson employs 22 faculty who are active NSF Career Award winners. Students can engage in the university’s “very high research activity” through the Eureka! Undergraduate Research Program. Cutting-edge research is conducted in the International Center for Automatic Research, Restoration Institute, Small Business Development Center, Fran Hanson Discovery Center, and over 100 more facilities. Students can gain hands-on learning with the University Professional Internship/Co-op (UPIC) program. 23 living-learning communities are offered in the campus-owned residence halls. There’s also a large study abroad program arranging trips to Italy, Russia, Thailand, South Africa, and beyond.
Downtown Clemson is within walking distance for plenty of entertainment, dining, and nightlife options. Campus life is thriving with more than 400 student-run organizations. Around 25 percent of students participate in the 22 fraternities and 12 sororities. Thanks to Clemson’s military heritage, there’s a large U.S. Air Force and Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Each year, students congregate for the Welcome Back Festival, Tiger Prowl, First Friday Parade, Spirit Blitz Week, Ring Ball, and other events. Clemson University students also wear orange to cheer on the Tigers in 17 NCAA Division I sports.