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Automotive Engineering

Admissions FAQ

What makes Clemson's automotive engineering program different? Our entire focus is automotive engineering - it is our sole reason for existence. By narrowing our focus, we can give students deep knowledge in a particular area like powertrains, vehicle electrification or hybrid propulsion while helping them understand the breadth of the automotive industry. We are creating engineers with both technical skills and business sense, an approach recommended by automotive industry leaders and enhanced by key objectives outlined in ASME's Vision 2030.


  • What is the application deadline?

    The Automotive Engineering Department’s admission notifications will begin in late January and continue through May for Fall intake students. Admission notifications for Spring intake students will begin in late September and continue through November.

    All materials for the review process should be submitted electronically, with applicants able to check their application status using the online status check. International applicants must also consider any Office of International Services deadlines that relate to I-20 issuance.

    Fall enrollment (open to both M.S. and Ph.D. students) - apply by January 15 for full consideration for admissions and funding/fellowships. The application window will remain open until April 30, but applications arriving after January 15 are subject to vacancies in the program.

    Spring enrollment September 15 is the final deadline for full consideration.

  • What materials are required to apply?

    M.S. Application

    Bachelor’s degree in engineering, applied sciences, or math with a GPA of 3.0 or equivalent from an accredited program. While not required, two years of post-BS industry experience is a plus.

    Ph.D. Application

    Ph.D. applicants are required to identify a project together with a faculty member agreeing to be an advisor before the application will be considered. Top candidates will be offered full financial support, assuming that performance continues to be up to standards. Support will be offered through various means, including research and teaching assistantships, fellowships and grants. To increase the chances of success with your application as well as in your Ph.D. program, you are encouraged to reach out to and identify a faculty advisor willing to engage and support you with long-term funding. You can do this by contacting the faculty individually, with your CV and the statement about your areas of research interest.

    A master’s degree is typically desired. Students wishing to enter the Ph.D. program directly after obtaining their B.S. degree must have a GPA of 3.5 or better. Degrees must be in engineering, applied sciences, or math.

    Application Instructions

    All supporting material will be submitted electronically. Students admitted to Clemson and who decide to attend can submit official transcripts to Graduate Admissions upon arrival on campus.

    1. Letters of Recommendation (2)
    2. Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended*
    3. GRE Scores Strongly Encouraged, Not Required (Beginning Fall 2023)
    4. TOEFL/IELTS Academic scores (international applicants whose native language is not English)

    Application Review Process

    The Department of Automotive Engineering program is seeking to admit a diverse cohort of students and is utilizing the holistic approach for the application review process. Our faculty committee looks at GRE scores, GPAs, previous experience - both educational and industrial, recommendations, and essays before making a decision. Using this holistic approach, strengths in one category can help make up for deficiencies in another. Please review the Preparing to Apply- Supporting Materials page for helpful tips on writing your Personal Statement, CV and resume samples, recommendation requests and more.

    If you are accepted, you will need to submit an official transcript*. Clemson requires one official academic transcript from each previously attended institution. These transcripts are sent directly to the address below in a sealed university envelope. Graduate Admissions will not accept faxed or scanned copies. Do not send high school transcripts or any certificates other than degree certificates. To ensure proper handling, do not send official transcripts until you have received your letter of acceptance.

  • Will I receive financial aid?

    Financial support is awarded based on the availability of funds and academic merit. If a student changes his/her subject area after support has been extended, support eligibility is reviewed, and funding may or may not be provided. Automotive engineering Ph.D. students are given priority for financial support.

    Graduate students are eligible for financial support if they are (1) enrolled in full-time graduate studies, (2) in good academic standing, i.e., not on probation, and (3) making satisfactory progress toward their degree.

    Graduate Assistantship: A graduate assistantship is a part-time employment opportunity that provides partial tuition and may include a stipend. Graduate assistants receiving funding pay a flat fee for tuition and fees. To receive the reduced tuition and fees for a particular semester, a qualified student must be on the department payroll by end of the second week of that semester. Assistantship opportunities will be emailed to students when they become available. The emails will contain details about the position and application instructions. Students should not send unsolicited resumes/CVs to faculty members, as these messages will be deleted. In general, only Ph.D. students will be considered for assistantships due to the compact nature of the master’s degree curriculum.

    Fellowships: Funding for fellowships generally comes from donors who would like to contribute to the success of our students. Students must be enrolled for at least nine credit hours to receive a fellowship.

    Currently, our fellowship sponsors include Bosch, BMW, Bridgestone, Cooper Standard, Draxlmaier, FEV, JTEKT Koyo, Mazda, Plastic Omnium, SAGE Automotive, and Stäubli. The department also offers a number of fellowship opportunities for deserving students.

    Unlike assistantships, many of our fellowships are open to M.S. students. All incoming students who meet the deadlines (Jan. 15 - fall admissions and Sept. 15 - spring admissions) are considered for fellowships. For most of our fellowships, there is no additional work on the student's part. The admission application provides the information needed for faculty to make decisions about fellowship awards.

    If other fellowships are available and involve a separate application form, accepted students will receive application information. Please note that fellowships with separate application processes may have additional criteria, including the ability to work in the US without sponsorship ( US citizenship), specific interests, or experience.

    The fellowship award, which generally ranges from $5,000-$10,000, allows students to enjoy the benefit of in-state tuition.

  • Who do I contact for program details?

    Degree Program Coordinators

    The Graduate Student Services Coordinator is the initial contact for graduate students arriving on campus. The Graduate Student Services Coordinator and the Program Coordinator are the authorities on regulations and procedures pertinent to the graduate programs and should be contacted whenever questions or problems occur.

    ME Graduate Contacts
    Name Title Office Email
    Jeremiah Farmer Student Services Coordinator 322 Campbell Grad Engineering Center
    Dr. Benjamin Lawler Graduate Coordinator 4 Research Drive

Graduate Program

Information on Automotive Engineering Courses for Clemson University Graduate Program can be found in the Graduate Student Course Catalog. For answers to commonly asked questions, please view the Graduate School FAQ page.

Potential applicants interested in graduate studies at Clemson University will submit their application and all supporting material to the Office of Graduate Admissions. All material for the review process will be submitted electronically, and applicants can check the status of their application by using the online status check.