Skip to Content

Application Process

PrerequisitesPhoto of Hunter Building

Most students who apply to the Clemson graduate chemistry program have completed a BS or BA undergraduate degree in chemistry, or have acquired the equivalent background. In most cases the undergraduate program will include at least two formal courses each in general chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry and at least one formal course in biochemistry and inorganic chemistry, along with the associated labs. Experience in research is also highly desirable. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Application procedure

The graduate school application may be completed on the Clemson University Graduate School website.

After completing the application you will need to supply the additional materials listed below before an admissions decision can be made. Your application will be processed most quickly if you send all materials directly to the Graduate School.


To apply to the Clemson graduate chemistry program, you must complete an application form and supply the following materials:

      • Transcripts from the undergraduate program and any prior graduate programs
      • GRE general exam test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) are recommended but not required if taking this exam presents a hardship
      • At least two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your background
      • A personal statement
      • Resume/CV

International students must also supply a test score for the TOEFL or IELTS exam. When sending a TOEFL score, be sure to include the score on the spoken English portion of the test. A TOEFL score of 80 or above is required of international students whose native language is not English. IELTS, PTE Academic, or Duolingo can be taken in lieu of the TOEFL exam.  A overall score of 6.5 or above is required for the IELTS exam, a score of 54 or above is required on the PTE Academic, and a minimum score of 115 is required for Duolingo.  The Chemistry Department strongly recommends a minimum score of 20 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL exam (or the equivalent for the IELTS, PTE Academic, or Duolingo).

All supporting documents should be uploaded as digital files in the application portal.


Application deadline

For full consideration, applications for the fall semester should be received by January 15. Exceptional candidates may be offered admissions on a rolling basis before January 15. Strong applications may be reviewed beyond the deadline.

Application fee and reimbursement

The fee for completing an official application through the Clemson University Graduate School is currently $80 for domestic applicants and $90 for international applicants. We have a number of application fee reimbursements that are available on a competitive basis. If you have completed the official graduate school application at, please contact us at to determine if you qualify for reimbursement of the application fee. 

English Language Proficiency for International Students

All newly admitted graduate students who are not native English-speaking students with a TOEFL speaking score below 26, an IELTS speaking score below 8.0, a PTE score below 74, or an overall Duolingo score less than 115 are required by South Carolina state law to pass an English-speaking exam upon arrival at Clemson. The Verification of English Skills Test (VEST) is administered by the English Language Programs department at Clemson University. The test consists of two sections: an interview and a teaching sample. A student must pass this exam before he/she can be certified to teach as a laboratory teaching assistant. It is expected that students will pass this exam sometime during the first year of study. If a student does not pass the exam by the end of the first year of study, then that student may become ineligible for continued departmental support as a teaching assistant. Additional information regarding the VEST can be found at


GRE Scores

GRE scores are recommended but not required if taking the GRE presents a hardship.  There are no minimum GRE score cutoffs for applications.. For currently enrolled students, the average GRE score is approximately 150 for the quantitative portion of the exam and 155 for the verbal portion. Further information on GRE scores of Clemson students across all disciplines is provided at this URL.

Students who wish to gather authentic information and practice material related to standardized test GRE may find the following links helpful: