March 1, 2024

Tiger pride is literally stamped on the roads leading to campus, the big orange paw prints shouting that you’re in Clemson country now. I visited the South Carolina public university with my HECA colleagues on a rainy day in March, but the weather didn’t dampen our tour guide’s enthusiasm.


Eight colleges make up Clemson University, which has about 22,000 undergrads and an acceptance rate of 49%. Colleges include:

Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences

Architecture, Art & Construction

Arts & Humanities

Behavioral, Social & Health Sciences



Engineering, Computing & Applied Sciences



  • Clemson has the only architecture program in the South Carolina university system, and a portfolio is not required for consideration. 
  • The direct-admit nursing program is quite competitive, with 2000 applying for a cohort of 200 this year. 
  • Because of the nationwide teacher shortage, students who apply to education may have a slight advantage in admissions. 
  • Psychology and sports communication are growing, and the business school this year had 13,000 applications for 1000 slots.
  • Clemson offers a B.S. in automotive engineering. 
  • In 2026, the College of Veterinary Medicine will open. Pre-med and pre-vet advising helps students be sure to stay on track.


Apply early action to get your best shot at acceptance to Clemson. The deadline is October 15. You will need to fill out the SRAR, and Clemson will use that to recalculate your GPA and rate the rigor of your coursework. If your school provides class rank, that will be considered as part of the holistic review. Additional factors are the major, your state of residence, and personal qualities. The Common App personal statement will be read for context, but it is not part of the review process. If you’re applying for a limited major, that is, one that has a cap on the number of students it can accept, then consider a second major that’s less competitive, though there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to transfer into your preferred major and still graduate in four years.

Though South Carolina doesn’t dictate the number or percent of in-state students to be in their university system, admissions told us that it’s currently 50% but they want that to be 52 to 54%. That will obviously affect out-of-state admissions. 

Clemson draws East Coasters with Southern flair