Clemson Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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“If you are applying to Clemson University whether you and a new freshman, an international student or even a transfer student, Clemson students see everyone as family. You may hear that many times if you tour the campus or read reviews written by students. It’s true. From simple things to needing a pencil in class to finding a ride home, everyone is there to help and support each other. Not one unhappy, frowny face can be found.” – smoakybear, AdmitSee

If you’re looking for green spaces, a strong community, and pretty reasonable tuition (well, relatively), Clemson just might be the place for you. If you’re a golfer, it’s probably especially appealing. With a student population of almost 19,000, there isn’t quite enough for each student to have his or her own acre…but there almost is, with a campus set on 17,000 acres. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know about Clemson admissions: how to get into Clemson, Clemson SAT scores, Clemson ACT scores, and much more.

First of all, here are the vital stats.

Clemson at a Glance

Clemson SAT Scores (average)1303
Clemson ACT Scores (average)29.4
Clemson admissions rate 47%
Clemson GPA average (2016)4.0

What can we make of this? Well, the test scores are a little high, above the averages of 1000 (SAT) and 20.8 (ACT). But more than anything, keep an eye on that GPA! As you’ll see in a bit, Clemson admissions really appear to value strong GPAs over test scores—great news if you’re a hard worker but get test anxiety.

Clemson SAT Scores

Clemson SAT scores, on average, total 1303. Yes, 1303 is a high average score. But I’m actually glad it came out to 1303. This is actually an impossible score to get on the SAT, which is graded in increments of 10—it’s simply the average of all students’ scores. So if you scored a 1200 on the SAT and are dreaming of Clemson, don’t worry: you still have a great shot of getting in.

It’s just as helpful to look at the middle 50% range of scores for admitted students, because they provide a good range to aim for on test day. But although higher scores–and, of course, the coveted perfect SAT score–will definitely help your application, remember that 25% of students were accepted to Clemson with lower scores.

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing620-690

Clemson ACT Scores

There is no official breakdown of Clemson ACT scores per section (even to U.S. News & World), but it does provide a helpful composite range on its website. Clemson ACT scores had a mid-50% range of 27 to 32. Definitely high—but if you’ve got your heart set on Clemson, know that it’s absolutely possible to achieve these scores!

Clemson Acceptance Rate

Clemson’s acceptance rate is 47%. Its acceptance rate for in-state students was 49%. What does that mean? Clemson was ever so slightly likely to let in students from South Carolina. Great news if you live in-state! But if you’re an out of state student, don’t worry–by getting stellar test scores and submitting a great application, you still have an almost 1 in 2 chance of getting in.

Clemson GPA Average

Yep, Clemson test scores are pretty high. The Clemson GPA average, though, is incredible: 4.0. And the 50% range? 4.0-4.0.

But what do you do if you’re longing to walk those 17,000 acres but you had a hard time freshman year, or you had mono last semester, or for whatever reason you just didn’t get straight As? Definitely still apply. Students with GPAs in the 3.0-3.24 range got into Clemson—they’re just in the lower 25% of Clemson’s GPAs for admitted students. In the meantime, polish up those essays and boost your test scores as high as you can!

(Not sure what your GPA is? Calculate it here!

Clemson Freshman Profile

Who’s the typical Clemson freshman? With almost 19,000 students, you can be pretty sure that it’s probably a bit of a stretch to find a type. There are some trends, though! The most popular majors include engineering, biological sciences, and pre-business. Also, if you’re worried about being the only out-of-state student, you can stop worrying. However, South Carolina did send the most students to Clemson (makes sense), then North Carolina (ditto), Georgia (okay), and New Jersey (wild card!).

Clemson Other Admissions Requirements and Info

Clemson recommends that applicants have the following courses under the belt.

  • English — 4 credits
  • Mathematics — 3 credits
  • Laboratory Science — 3 credits
  • Foreign Language — 3 credits
  • Social Sciences — 3 credits
  • Other — 2 credits
  • Physical Education/ROTC — 1 credit
  • Fine Arts – 1 credit


Really, it’s six of one and half-a-dozen of the other, as the saying goes. In other words, it won’t make a difference to your application, so try out the tests and see which one comes more naturally to you. Then, focus on studying for that test.

I got waitlisted. Do I have a shot of getting in?
Don’t give up hope! In 2017, of the 924 students on the waitlist, 876 were eventually offered admission. If you’re wait-listed, the best thing to do is to write a polite letter to your admissions officer emphasizing your interest in Clemson (believe me, they definitely want to take students who are interested in attending!).

What’s this you said about golf?
Glad you asked! Clemson is one of only a handful of schools that has a PGA Golf Management program, and boasts several PGA tour golfers among its alumni.

How to Get Into Clemson

Getting into Clemson is an impressive feat, but even if you haven’t gotten straight As, it’s still possible to get in. Make sure that your letters of recommendation are strong, you write stellar essays, and you score as high as possible on the ACT or SAT. (Having an awesome putt probably doesn’t hurt, either). Good luck!

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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  • Rachel Kapelke-Dale

    Rachel is a Magoosh Content Creator. She writes and updates content on our High School and GRE Blogs to ensure students are equipped with the best information during their test prep journey. As a test-prep instructor for more than five years in there different countries, Rachel has helped students around the world prepare for various standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT, and she is one of the authors of our Magoosh ACT Prep Book. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University, an MA in Cinematography from the Université de Paris VII, and a Ph.D. in Film Studies from University College London. For over a decade, Rachel has honed her craft as a fiction and memoir writer and public speaker. Her novel, THE BALLERINAS, is forthcoming in December 2021 from St. Martin's Press, while her memoir, GRADUATES IN WONDERLAND, co-written with Jessica Pan, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. Her work has appeared in over a dozen online and print publications, including Vanity Fair Hollywood. When she isn't strategically stringing words together at Magoosh, you can find Rachel riding horses or with her nose in a book. Join her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

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