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Application Guidelines and Process


M.S. Application

M.S. admission notification update by mid-May.

Ph.D. Application

Ph.D. applicants receive notice by mid-June for Fall admission and mid-November for Spring admission.  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.

Below you will find information regarding test score and GPA guidelines, application instructions, and deadlines.

Our FAQ page covers many other questions, we encourage all prospective students to review that information.

Admissions Guidelines

The review committee evaluates each application as a whole, weighing all of a student's qualifications including GRE/TOEFL test scores, GPA, previous education/transcript details/, work experience, interests, and recommendation letters.

For your reference, the following are typical minimum test scores of successfully admitted candidates in recent years.

GRE SCORES – revised scoring system 
Verbal  153 
Quantitative 155 
Written 3.0


  1. Not all candidates that meet minimum test scores will necessarily be admitted as other items on the student’s application are equally important.
  2. Similarly, students with scores that are marginally below these levels are not automatically denied admission if other credentials are strong.
  3. The above minimums may vary slightly from cohort to cohort
  4. Applications can only be reviewed by the Department of Automotive Engineering once marked as “complete”. All applicants are responsible for ensuring material are submitted prior to the deadlines and will be required to use the Application Status Check to verify that all information was received by the Clemson University Graduate School. 

Additional requirements

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

Application Instructions

The admissions application is found online
Your materials are loaded into a system that will allow us to evaluate your application and act accordingly.

The following items are needed to complete your application. These documents can be submitted electronically. Test scores are submitted through the testing agency. Unofficial transcripts and letters of recommendation are submitted as part of the application process.
Official GRE scores (Clemson’s ETS code is 5111. There is no additional department code.)
Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for International Students (Clemson’s ETS code is 5111. There is no additional department code.)
Unofficial Transcripts
Letters of Recommendation Students should submit at least two letters of recommendation and can submit three. Any students applying for the GATE program should submit three letters of recommendation.

The Graduate School also offers detailed information on supporting materials.

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.

Office of Graduate Admissions
209 E-Martin Hall
Clemson University
SC 29634

*Clemson students do not need to submit a transcript.


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 (Ph.D. only) September 15 is the final deadline for full consideration.

For more information, visit both our graduate admissions FAQs and those published by the Clemson University Graduate School. Either the graduate student services coordinator or the graduate coordinator can assist with questions that are not answered by this site or the graduate school’s site.

Tuition and fees

Please visit the Graduate School's site for the most current information about tuition and fees. "Automotive engineering" is the first program listed under the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.