Calhoun Honors College

Why Honors at Clemson?

Why Honors at Clemson?


Study Abroad

Apply Now for 2016Why do nearly 1300 Clemson students call the Calhoun Honors College home? Academic rigor. Intellectual growth. Challenging courses and research opportunities. Faculty mentoring. Funding for study abroad, research, and professional development. Award-winning advising. Read on for even MORE of the benefits and opportunities available to Clemson Honors students. You can also read what our students, alumni and faculty say about their Honors experiences in the Honors Spotlights.

Cultural Intellectual Engagement

EUREKA! Before Honors students’ Clemson careers officially begin, they can get a jump start on undergraduate research through EUREKA!, a five-week residential program that combines working closely with top Clemson faculty on a research project with beginning the transition to college life.

DIXON GLOBAL POLICY SCHOLARS Honors students may apply to participate in the Dixon Global Policy Scholars program as early as spring of the first year. Dixon GPS provides extensive opportunities for students to develop a deeper understanding of global politics and international policies through study travel, specialized seminars, and dedicated mentoring.

ADVISING FOR NATIONAL FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS The Calhoun Honors College is Clemson’s clearinghouse for the major national fellowships and scholarships such as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Goldwater and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships. The Honors experience, both in and out of class, is designed to support students interested in these opportunities to excel at the national level.

FREE TICKETS TO BROOKS CENTER PERFORMANCES Honors provides a limited number of tickers to theater, musical, lecture and dance performances at Clemson's Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Honors Community

Honors enrichment activities take place across campus, but the Honors Academic Activities Center serves as the hub of the Honors community. Many Honors courses are taught in the Center, Honors staff hold drop-in advising hours there, and all Honors students may access the space in the lower level of Holmes Hall 24/7 to meet and study.

More than 300 Honors students live in the Honors LLC in Holmes and McCabe Halls, which includes specialized programs developed by Honors resident advisors and a Faculty in Residence who lives in the building to offer dedicated mentoring to residents and to plan intellectually enriching activities.

HONORS MENTORS New Honors students are paired with Honors Mentors, older students who volunteer to provide peer guidance on being successful at Clemson both in and out of the classroom.

Academic Enrichment

In addition to smaller Honors sections of courses taught throughout the University (for example, an Honors section of Chemistry 1010 with 60 fewer students than the non-Honors section), the Calhoun Honors College works closely with top Clemson faculty to develop new courses that address the changing world as well as student interests. Recent Honors seminars have focused on graphic novels as literature, sustainable energy, math and magic, spies and spy novels, nanotechnology, and education policy.

Honors students have priority access to the University's course registration system and register for classes along with seniors during the earliest days of pre-registration. This allows Honors students to fit one or more Honors courses into their class schedules, and to register for specialized and advanced courses appropriate to their courses of study.

 Calhoun Honors College students are allowed to check out library materials for an extended period of time. Also, Honors students may check out certain materials that normally are not allowed to leave the library. Under the University’s library loan policy, Honors students are treated the same as graduate students.

Out of Class Opportunities

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR INTELLECTUAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Honors students may apply for Educational Enrichment Travel Grants during summer and winter breaks to support internships, volunteer work and study travel. Students attending or presenting at conferences in their disciplines may request Conference Travel Funds to register for and travel to the meetings. Once students begin departmental honors, they may request a Departmental Honors Research Grant for supplies, travel and other resources necessary to complete their research.

SUPPORT FOR STUDY ABROAD The Honors College offers a wide range of opportunities to study and serve around the world. Some study for five weeks in Brussels, Belgium, "The Capitol of Europe". The Duckenfield Scholars Program sends two Honors students to study at Oxford University in the summer. Students may also request Educational Enrichment Travel Grants to support foreign study, work and service during summer breaks.

Honors students may apply to join the Dixon Fellows Program, which pairs undergraduates with a top Clemson professor to explore a wide range of intellectually challenging topics through readings, theater, film and travel.


Honors students are competitive when applying for internships, co-ops, and awards during their undergraduate careers. In fact, Honors students have received the last 10 Norris Medals, Clemson’s annual award for most outstanding graduating senior. And since 2006, 20 students have been named Goldwater Scholars, the top award for science and engineering undergraduates, matching the number of awards at Princeton, Yale and MIT in many years.

Upon graduation, Honors students pursue graduate education at the top medical, law, professional and graduate schools in the US and around the world. Recent graduates are currently enrolled at MIT, Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton. Those who choose to enter the working world are hired by Fortune 500 companies, including KPMG, Fluor, General Electric and BMW. Some continue to volunteer and serve around the world, and work for agencies such as the Peace Corps and Teach for America. Since 2010, 52 Clemson students have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships or have been named NSF GRF Honorable Mentions.