Incoming Freshman Information

Cooper Library Fountain

We are delighted that you are interested in becoming a member of the Clemson University Honors College. Please review our Admissions webpages and the Q & A Guide.  If you still have questions, please email and someone will reply to you as soon as possible - usually within 24 hours.

Before submitting your Honors College application, you must first apply to Clemson University using the Clemson Application, Common Application, or Coalition Application, as listed under the First Year Application Process; all three are viewed exactly the same as part of the Honors Admissions process.  If students apply via the Common Application or Coalition Application, they will be emailed by Clemson University after submission with instructions for setting up their Clemson University Student Portal where students can check the status of their Undergraduate Application and apply to the Honors College.  Please keep in mind that this means students will not have access to the Honors Application until after setting up their student portal.

Honors Admission Process

PLEASE take great care in reviewing your application BEFORE SUBMITTING. We are NOT able to cancel a submitted application nor can we change the status of your application from submitted to unsubmitted so you can edit your application after submission. The only changes you can make after submission are to upload additional supplemental materials. If, after reading the guide you still have questions, please email We are happy to help you with our process!

  • Admission to the Clemson University Honors College is by an online application that is separate from, and in addition to, your application to Clemson University.  As mentioned above, students can only access the Honors Application via the student portal after submitting the Clemson University Undergraduate Application.
  • 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. 
  • Admission to the Honors College is highly selective, with applicants typically ranking in the top four percent of their high school class. Through their high school activities, application essays, and other application materials, successful applicants will show clear evidence of intellectual engagement and vision as well as community engagement and leadership.
  • Freshman enrollment in the Honors College is limited to approximately 350, less than ten percent of the freshman class.

Honors Fee: Students in the Honors College are assessed an Honors Fee ($500 per semester for AY2021-2022). This fee supports new and enhanced Honors College programs and activities which enrich our students' educational experiences inside and outside the classroom.

The Application

A complete Clemson University Honors College freshman application includes
    1. *The student application (submitted via the Clemson University applicant portal)
    2. **A teacher letter of recommendation and form, submitted by the teacher using the portal (detailed instructions provided to the teacher via email after the applicant enters the teacher’s contact information),
    3. **A counselor recommendation letter and form submitted by the counselor using the portal (detailed instructions provided to the counselor via email after the applicant enters the counselor’s contact information within the Honors application),
    4. A current transcript (uploaded via the Clemson University portal or the counselor can attach a copy of the applicant’s transcript when completing the counselor recommendation form). Unofficial copies of the student transcript are acceptable.

You can verify receipt of ALL of your Honors application materials by reviewing your Clemson University applicant portal. This information is available to you immediately upon submission of your Honors application.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Below are important dates and deadlines for submitting your Honors College application. Please take note of all deadlines and the resulting notification timelines for Honors College admission.

Applications completed between March 2 and April 20 may be considered on a space available basis. However, we cannot guarantee that such applications will receive consideration. Late applicants will be notified of their Honors status on or before April 30. Applications completed after April 20 will not receive consideration.

Honors College application deadlines:

For Notification By

Honors College Application* Deadline (submitted online)

Required Materials** Deadline (submitted online)

February 15th for Priority Applicants November 1st (11:59 p.m. EST) November 15th (11:59 p.m. EST)
April 1st for Non-Priority Applicants February 22nd (11:59 p.m. EST) March 1st (11:59 p.m. EST)

Other Important Dates

Priority appeal submission deadline*** March 1st
Priority appeal decision notification April 1st
Non-priority appeal submission deadline*** April 15th
Non-priority appeal decision notification April 30th

***The link to the Honors admission Reconsideration Form will be available in your Honors admission decision letter.

 Note: To graduate with Honors Distinction students must complete the requirements for General and/or Departmental Honors. See specific requirements for Honors Programs listed in the Honors Student Handbook (PDF).



Clemson's Merit Based Scholarship Program

National Scholars Program

The National Scholars Program (NSP) is Clemson's premier undergraduate, merit-based scholarship program. The NSP provides a competitive scholarship for eight semesters of undergraduate study. While not a part of the Clemson University Honors College, the NSP bases finalist selection on rigorous reviews of the Honors application. Click here for information about the NSP selection process and timeline; the NSP follows the earlier Honors priority deadlines. For more information visit the National Scholars Program website.