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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to Get Into Clemson University: Admissions Stats + Tips

What’s Covered:


Clemson University is a large, public university located in Clemson, South Carolina. With a student population of over 23,000, Clemson is the second largest university in the state. The school is particularly known for its strong engineering program, which boasts a fantastic industrial engineering program. Other popular majors include nursing, accounting, and computer science. Clemson is also known for its sports teams as a Division I school.


How Hard Is It to Get Into Clemson University?


In 2020, the acceptance rate for Clemson was 51%, and 29,070 prospective students applied. Clemson does not offer Early Action or Early Decision.


Clemson is competitive to get into, but your own personal chances of acceptance may be higher or lower depending on your test scores, GPA, and extracurricular activities.To better understand your chances of admission, we suggest that you check out the chancing calculator, a tool that allows you to input your college profile and will give you your chances of admission at a particular college. Best of all, its completely free!


Average Academic Profile of Accepted Clemson University Students




The average GPA of accepted students at Clemson was 4.39 for the 2021 cycle. 




The 50% percentile SAT score was 1305 and ACT was 30. 59% of students submitted SAT scores, and 41% ACT scores. It is important to note that Clemson has adopted a test-optional policy, however, most students submit their scores. Clemson super-scores the SAT and ACT.  


Class Rank


Class rank is very important for applicants to Clemson. 52.6% of applicants were in the top 10% of their graduating high school classes, and 97.5 in the top half. 


What is Clemson University Looking for?


Each college evaluates applicants slightly differently. This section will discuss what in particular Clemson University looks for as they admit students. 


How Clemson University Evaluates Applications


Clemson is known for using a “data driven” model to determine applicants. This means that the university tends to look at “hard” metrics such as GPA, test scores, coursework, and ranking. Below are the most important criteria for admissions, according to public data. 


According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Clemson University considers the following factors “very important”:


  • Rigor of secondary school record
  • Class rank
  • Academic GPA
  • Standardized test scores


These factors are “considered”:


  • Application essay
  • Recommendations
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Talent/ability
  • Alumni/ae relation


These are “not considered”:


  • Interview
  • Character/personal qualities
  • First generation
  • Geographical residence
  • Religious affiliation/commitment
  • Racial/ethnic status
  • Volunteer work
  • Work experience
  • Level of applicant’s interest


How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Clemson University


You may be wondering how you can become a competitive applicant for Clemson University. To be competitive, try to aim for the following goals: 


1. Achieve at least a 4.39 GPA while taking the most challenging classes available.


This requires you to be at the top of your class, and taking honors/AP classes in order to be competitive. 52.6% of accepted students were in the top 10% of their graduating class, and 85.2% in the top quarter. 


Since the average GPA is higher than a 4.0, you may be wondering how many AP classes you should take in order to achieve the highest GPA possible. The number of AP classes is dependent on your year in school, how relevant the courses may be to your future major, prerequisites needed, and the average GPA of the schools you are applying to.


If you are a freshman or sophomore and your GPA is lower, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA. In order to compensate, we suggest trying to increase your SAT or ACT score.


2. Aim for a 1380 SAT and 32 ACT


The 50th percentile SAT score is 1305 and ACT is 30. You should aim for the 75th percentile score of 1380 or 32 in order to be more competitive, but anything within this range is still competitive. 


Although Clemson is test-optional, we still suggest that you take the exam. This can be useful as students who submit have a higher chance of being admitted. If you score is above the 25th percentile, we recommend submitting your score. Do you want to know if you should submit your score? Get a recommendation using our free Chancing Engine


It is important to note that Clemson superscores. You should aim to take the ACT or SAT 2-3 times to maximize your superscore.


3. Cultivate a strong portfolio of extracurriculars


Universities accept students with a strong extracurricular profile. Extracurriculars fall into different categories, and admissions evaluate the tier and depth of activity that you participate in. Tier 1 extracurriculars include activities such as being a nationally ranked athlete, or winning a prestigious competition such as the International Biology Competition or Intel Award. 


Tier 2 activities include leading a school team such as Model UN, debate, or science olympiad. This can also include winning regional or state awards. 


Tier 3 activities include holding a minor leadership position in a club or organization, or being part of a sports team. Tier 4 activities include general membership in a club, or participating in band or orchestra. 


You should have a mix of various tiers of activities to be competitive for Clemson. Ideally, you should have done 1-2 well developed activities. For Clemson, we recommend having a few Tier 2-3 activities. More activities is not always better–instead, you should have just a few but dedicate time and effort to them.


4. Write engaging essays


Since admissions committees have so many applicants to choose from, they tend to accept students with interesting essays that show the student’s interests and passions. Through the essays, you want to show that you’re a fit for the particular university. Take a look at how to write the Clemson essays.


5. Apply early 


Although Clemson does not have Early Action or Early Decision, you should apply early if you want to receive your admissions decision early. In order to be considered for scholarships, you’ll want to apply by January 2. 


How to Apply to Clemson University


Application Timeline


Priority Deadline

November 1

Notification for priority deadline sent out

February 15

Deadline for regular admissions

February 22


Application Requirements


Applicants can apply to Clemson using the Clemson Application, Common Application, or Coalition Application.


The overall application requirements include:  


  1. Completing the application through the Clemson Application, Common Application, or Coalition Application
  2. Paying the $70 application fee
  3. Sending your test scores from The College Board or ACT 
  4. Submitting your transcripts to Clemson


Learn more about Clemson University


Want to know more about Clemson University? Check out our other resources about Clemson below. 


Clemson University Admissions Requirements


Clemson University Livestreams


What Does it Cost to Attend Clemson University?

Short Bio
Juliette is a senior at Cornell University studying Industrial & Labor Relations. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, running, drinking coffee, and exploring different hiking trails in Ithaca.