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The Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C)

The Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C) is a community service oriented program structured to bridge academia and practice by teaching in a hybrid environment. It is part of the Clemson Design Center in Charleston.

The faculty is composed entirely of practitioners. Students are able to participate in a robust internship / mentorship program (for credit, pay and AXP credits) with local architects and other professional and civic organizations. Studio projects are geared toward service learning wherein students are working with client groups on projects that have direct benefit to communities.

CAC.C studios are offered in two tracks, urban architecture and community/design-build. Past projects include projects for the City of Charleston, the Charleston Civic Design Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston Parks Conservancy, the Community Action Group for Empowerment (CAGE), the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Project Okurase (Ghana), the City of North Charleston, and the many others. The Center has won several national awards including NCARB Prizes from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) as well as the American Institute of Architect’s Best Mentoring Practices award in 2006.

The city of Charleston itself is part of the CAC.C learning experience, and studying in Charleston one of America’s finest urban environments. An historic city replete with excellent examples of public space and extraordinary examples of historic civic and domestic architecture.

Students may also take advisor-approved elective courses at the College of Charleston. 


The CAC.C is located in the Cigar Factory on East Bay Street. The former cigar and textile manufacturing plant, built in 1881, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The programs in the newly renovated facility will be known as the Clemson Design Center. The Clemson Design Center includes studio space, classrooms, seminar rooms, laboratories, library, multipurpose space, shop spaces, faculty and staff offices.


Since CAC.C students may be permitted to take courses at the College of Charleston, the CAC.C generally follows the College of Charleston academic calendar. See the CAC.C Master Calendar link that is updated each semester.


In Charleston, students find and rent their own apartment. Students are encouraged to live on the peninsula, within walking or biking distance of the CAC.C, so that they can experience the city and its architecture to its fullest. Nevertheless, finding housing in Charleston requires planning to negotiate your Clemson apartment lease and to find and apartments in Charleston.  You should consider finding students who may want to sublet in Clemson and/or Charleston in Semester 4 if you will be in Charleston in Semester 5, or vice versa.  

Tuition and Fees

Students studying in Charleston pay resident or non-resident tuition + academic fees. There are no program fees for the program in Charleston. Students are responsible for securing their own housing. Find a more detailed listing of off-campus tuition and fees here.