Clemson University Honors Q&A Guide

Small classes with Clemson's best professors . . . a dynamic learning community . . . opportunities for cultural enrichment and study abroad . . . cutting-edge undergraduate research in the sciences, engineering, arts, and humanities . . . above all, a place to learn and grow with motivated students and dedicated faculty and staff. If it sounds like where you want to spend the next four years, the Clemson University Honors College and the National Scholars Program may be for you!

What are the advantages of membership in the Honors College?

Clemson Honors emphasizes intellectual growth and development both inside and outside the classroom. We offer challenging and exciting courses; professors who love teaching and care about their students; and staff and advisors who are always ready to offer guidance and assistance. Clemson Honors students receive priority for course registration and free tickets for many cultural events and are eligible to apply for grants for research or to support internships, conference attendance, or foreign travel. We offer an environment in which students can learn from each other and from leading researchers and scholars. We're making exciting changes every day and encourage our students to share their ideas and enthusiasm with us as we move forward.

How do I apply to Clemson University Honors College?

To apply to the Clemson University Honors College, you must first complete the online application to Clemson University (for more information, see As part of the Clemson University application, you will be asked if you are interested in applying to the Honors College.  If you click "Yes," the Honors College application will become available in your Clemson University applicant portal.  You can also initiate your Honors application directly from the applicant portal. Please be advised that if you apply via the Common App or Coalition, Clemson University will not receive your application until mid-August so you will not be able to access your Applicant Portal, including the Honors application, until that time.

What are the Honors application deadlines?

The Clemson University Honors College application opens on August 1, 2021.

The priority deadlines for application to the Clemson University Honors College for August 2022 admission are as follows:

  • You must submit your application to the Clemson University Honors College no later than November 1, 2021.
  • All required materials must be received by the Clemson University Honors College via the method listed below no later than November 15, 2021:
    • Transcript (unofficial or official) uploaded via your applicant portal or uploaded by your guidance counselor via the Honors Recommendation Request Form
    • Teacher recommendation form and letter via the Honors Recommendation Request Form
    • Counselor recommendation form and letter via the Honors Recommendation Request Form

Students who meet these deadlines will be eligible for consideration for Clemson's National Scholars Program (see below).  We expect to release priority round Honors admissions decisions by February 15, 2022.

Although we encourage all students to meet the priority deadlines, the final deadline for application to the Clemson University Honors College for Fall 2022 admission is February 22, 2022, with all required materials due March 1, 2022.

Students who complete their Honors College application after February 22, 2022, or whose required materials are submitted after March 1, 2022, will be considered for admission to the Honors College on a space-available basis.  We cannot guarantee that such applications will receive consideration.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all required materials are submitted in a timely manner.

What are the elements required for my Clemson Honors College application to be considered complete?

As indicated above, there are four elements required for a complete application:

  • The student Honors application, submitted via the Clemson University applicant portal
  • A teacher recommendation form and letter, submitted by the teacher via the Honors Recommendation Request Form
  • A counselor recommendation form and letter, submitted by the counselor via the Honors Recommendation Request Form
  • A current transcript (can be uploaded by the student via the applicant portal or by the counselor as part of the Honors Recommendation Request Form)

Are there minimum criteria for my application to be considered?

To be considered for admission to the Honors College, applicants must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.70. Exceptions may be made under unusual circumstances.

How many teachers and counselors can I include as recommenders in my application?

Your Honors application is considered complete and will be moved forward for review after one Honors teacher and one Honors counselor recommendation have been received, along with a copy of your transcript.

Your application portal will continue to accept support materials through the end of the application cycle, however, they may not be considered once your application status is awaiting decision.

Please keep in mind that the Honors application review committee will also have access to all materials (including letters of recommendation) provided in support of your general application to Clemson University admissions.

If I meet the minimum unweighted GPA requirement, am I guaranteed admission to the Clemson University Honors College?

No. Meeting the minimum unweighted GPA requirement means only that you are eligible for consideration, and that your application will be reviewed by the Honors Admissions Committee. Satisfying this criterion does not guarantee acceptance into the Clemson Honors College. In recent years, successful applicants have typically taken a rigorous high school curriculum and have demonstrated in their applications clear and solid evidence of intellectual engagement and vision, leadership and service, and co- and extra-curricular involvement.

The Admissions Committee pays particular attention to the applicant’s high school record, activities and awards, required essay submissions, and the teacher and counselor recommendations.

Because admission to Clemson Honors is highly competitive and enrollment is limited to approximately 350 students, many applicants will be denied admission even though they meet, or even exceed, the minimum unweighted GPA criterion.

What about standardized test scores?

For the 2022 admissions cycle, Clemson University has adopted a test-optional policy. Applicants are not required to submit a standardized test score to be considered for admission to Clemson for the 2022-2023 academic year.  However, if you would like your scores to be reviewed, please request that they be sent directly from the testing agency to Clemson University.

If I am accepted to the Clemson University Honors College, will I get a scholarship?

Although many members of the Clemson University Honors College receive scholarships and/or financial aid from Clemson University, there are only a very limited number of scholarships specifically associated with membership in the College. Moreover, the awarding of an academic merit scholarship from any source does not carry with it automatic admission to the Honors College. For scholarship and financial aid questions, please contact Clemson's Financial Aid Office.

If I am denied admission to the Clemson University Honors College, am I denied admission to Clemson University?

No; the admissions processes for the Clemson University Undergraduate and Clemson University Honors College Programs are completely separate. Students who are not accepted into the Honors College may still be accepted into Clemson University.

What is the Clemson University National Scholars Program, and how do I apply?

The National Scholars Program (NSP) is Clemson's premier university-wide undergraduate scholarship program. There is no separate application for the National Scholars Program; finalists are chosen based on reviews of the Clemson University Honors College application. The award is based on merit and is granted through a rigorous, competitive evaluation process that considers proven academic excellence, intellectual curiosity and vision, and a significant record of community engagement and leadership. The National Scholars Program provides a full cost of attendance scholarship and is renewable for an additional three years of continuous undergraduate study. The NSP also offers study abroad opportunities and specialized and focused advising to support students' academic and professional success. Students selected as finalists for the National Scholars Program will be notified in January and will be invited· to participate in a required interview and evaluation process.

To be considered for the National Scholars Program, your Honors application must meet the priority deadlines outlined above. Applications that do not meet these deadlines WILL NOT be considered for the National Scholars Program. To ensure compliance with these deadlines, the National Scholars Program recommends that students complete their Clemson University and Clemson Honors applications well in advance of the posted deadlines.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your application, including all required materials, is submitted by the above deadlines.


Clemson University offers equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or status as disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.