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Apply to Clemson as a First-Year Student

Ready to join the Clemson Family? Apply now.

Clemson Application Coalition Application Common Application

You are considered a first-year applicant if you are currently enrolled in high school or have not enrolled in or earned credit at another college or university following high school graduation.

Clemson students in orange t-shirts stand in the shape of a tiger paw on the football field in Death Valley.

Application Schedule and Deadlines

Fall Semester Enrollment

Date Event
August 1 Application opens
December 1 Applications must be submitted by this date for priority notification
December 31 Deadline for test scores and transcripts for priority consideration for academic scholarships
February 15 Notification date for students who meet priority deadline*
May 1 Application deadline

Spring Semester Enrollment

Date Event
December 15 Application deadline

*Some students may receive their admissions decision earlier than February 15.

How to Apply to Clemson

  1. Review important dates and deadlines.

  2. Complete the application.

    Submit your application through the Clemson Application, Coalition Application or the Common Application. No preference is given to any application in the admission review process.

  3. Pay the application fee.

    There is a $70 application fee. Clemson accepts all major credit cards. If you cannot afford to pay the application fee, please fill out the financial sections of the application completely. This information will determine if you meet the level of need we can approve by policy for a fee waiver. If you have other hardships concerning the application fee, please reach out to the counselor for your state.

  4. Request your test scores be sent from The College Board or ACT.
    (optional for 2022-2023 academic year)

    Clemson only accepts official test scores sent by the testing agency. Clemson superscores both the SAT and ACT.

    • Clemson’s institutional code for the SAT is 5111.
    • Clemson’s institutional code for the ACT is 3842.

  5. Submit your transcript.

    Official academic transcripts should be submitted by your high school counselor through Parchment, Common App or the Coalition Application. If those options are not available, transcripts can be mailed or sent via email.

Are You a Tiger? These Are the Qualities We Look For.

Clemson Tigers are hungry for academic challenges.

One of the clearest indicators of your fit at Clemson is your academic performance in high school. We examine your GPA, class rank and the rigor of the classes you took to gauge your ability to rise to academic challenges.

Most of our applicants have competitive GPAs and present transcripts with college preparatory, honors and AP coursework based on what is offered by their high school.

All applicants for first-year admission should have completed the following courses:

Recommended High School Curriculum

Course Type Credits
English 4 credits
Mathematics 3 credits
Laboratory Science 3 credits
Foreign Language 3 credits*
Social Sciences 3 credits
Other 2 credits
Physical Education/ROTC 1 credit
Fine Arts 1 credit

*Students who have completed fewer than three credits of the same foreign language are encouraged to apply. Select majors may have additional requirements.

Does Clemson have a preference for AP, IB or dual-enrollment courses?

AP, IB and dual enrollment offerings vary widely from school to school, so we look at your coursework in the context of what was offered at your high school. Future Clemson Tigers shine by accepting the challenge when AP, IB or dual enrollment classes are offered in high school. Visit Transfer Course Equivalency to gauge how many of your AP, IB and dual-enrollment courses translate to Clemson credit, or view the IB Credit Chart and AP Credit Chart to learn more.

How does Clemson evaluate standardized test scores (SAT or ACT)?

For the 2022 admissions cycle, Clemson 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.

If a student chooses that test scores should be used, the scores must be submitted electronically by the respective testing agency. We will automatically update your application file with any new test scores we receive by our application deadlines. Clemson does not require the SAT or ACT essay.

Clemson University super-scores both the SAT and the ACT. For the SAT, this means that the overall total SAT score will then be derived by taking the highest of the evidence-based reading and writing/math scores.

According to The ACT, superscoring at Clemson means that we “consider a student’s highest ACT section (or subtest) scores regardless of test date. The super composite ACT score is calculated as the average of the best ACT English, Reading, Math, and Science subject scores and is used as one of multiple factors in admission and financial aid.” Beginning in September 2020, students who want test scores used are encouraged to send Clemson their ACT test scores utilizing the Superscore reporting option.

You can view our First-Year Student Profile to learn more about test score ranges for admitted students.

What role does your choice of major play?

Choice of major and residency play an important part in the evaluation process. Because some majors attract large numbers of applicants or have limited classroom space, admission requirements may vary. In addition, as a public institution, we give South Carolina residents priority in the evaluation process.

Students are encouraged to select two different intended majors. If you are not admissible in your first choice, we automatically consider your second. Selecting the same major twice is not recommended.

Special Major Considerations

An audition is required for students interested in pursuing music or theatre concentrations. For more information, visit the Performing Arts Department.

Applications for PGA Golf Management must demonstrate evidence of a playing proficiency reflected in a handicap of 8 or better. Each student’s handicap must be verified by a member of the PGA or by a high school golf coach. For more information, visit PGA Golf Management.

Clemson Tigers are engaged in their communities.

Many people have hobbies and interests. Clemson Tigers have passions and service mindsets that guide them to leadership roles in clubs, organizations, sports teams, volunteer activities, the arts, academic clubs and part-time jobs. Let us know about how you led your team to a championship win, the research you’ve conducted or the job you’ve excelled in while maintaining an excellent GPA.

Clemson Tigers come from a variety of backgrounds.

We are looking for students who bring varied experiences, knowledge and talents to Clemson. For this reason, diversity, legacy status and first-generation status are considered when reviewing applications. We understand that not everyone has the same opportunities. When reviewing applications, your coursework, activities and curriculum are examined in the context of what is offered in your high school.

Clemson Tigers have unique stories to tell.

We want to hear about the skills, experiences, challenges and triumphs that have shaped you. Upload an optional Personal Statement with your application to let us know if there are specific circumstances that impacted your academic performance for a specific period of time or in a particular class. We want to hear your story.

After You Apply

Here’s what you need to do after submitting your application.

We will provide updates on the status of your application via email, but you can also view your application status and updates by visiting your Applicant Portal. When you are accessing the Applicant Portal for the first time, please reference your email for log-in instructions.

Submit Transcript

Your high school transcript is required to complete your application file. Please allow seven to 10 business days for the receipt of transcripts to be added to your application file.

Submit Standardized Test Scores (Optional)

For the 2022 admissions cycle, Clemson 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 and allow seven to 10 business days for the receipt of test scores to be added to your application file.

Complete the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available on October 1. The amount of need-related aid for which you are eligible is determined by the information you supply annually on the FAFSA. To be considered for need-based scholarships, applicants must also submit the FAFSA to the federal processor by January 2.

Explore Financial Aid Options

There is no separate application process for the majority of scholarships and aid at Clemson. Students who want to be considered for academic recruiting or diversity scholarships must apply for admission by December 1 and complete their application file by December 31.

Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for additional information. Students will receive an email notification about their financial aid award package in the spring. If additional aid is needed, there are federal and private loan options or a Tuition Payment Plan available.

Need to edit your application?

If you need to change your major, edit your personal information, change your application term or withdraw your application, please visit your Applicant Portal.

Decision Types

Incoming first-year students who apply by December 1 and submit all their supporting materials by December 31 will receive an admission decision by mid-February.

Fall Admit

Admitted first-years for Fall have until May 1 to choose whether or not to enroll. Students admitted to Fall may opt in to the Summer term if they choose.

Clemson Summer Start

Some students are admitted to the Summer term through the Clemson Summer Start program. Students have until May 1 to choose whether or not to enroll.

Bridge to Clemson

Students admitted to the Bridge to Clemson program will begin their Clemson experience by taking courses at Tri-County Technical College for their first year. Bridge students must express interest in the program by April 24 and have until May 1 to commit to Clemson. Some students will also be offered a place on the Bridge to Clemson waitlist.

January Admit

Students admitted to the Spring semester will enroll at Clemson in January. Students may choose to take courses at another institution during the Fall semester and enroll as a transfer student. If students do not take courses during the Fall semester, they will enroll as a first-year student.


A limited number of students will be offered a place on Clemson’s waitlist. Students should carefully review their decision letter for information on how to express interest in the waitlist.


We encourage students who receive this decision to review our transfer admission guidelines and consider transferring to Clemson in the future.