Calhoun Honors College Q&A - Clemson University

Calhoun Honors College and National Scholars Program

Small classes with Clemson's best professors . . . a dynamic learning community . . . opportunities for cultural enrichment and study abroad . . . cutting-edge undergraduate research in the sciences, engineering, arts, and humanities . . . above all, a place to learn and grow with motivated students and dedicated faculty and staff. If this sounds like where you want to spend the next four years, Clemson's Calhoun Honors College may be for you.


Q: What are the advantages of membership in the Calhoun Honors College?

The Calhoun Honors College emphasizes intellectual growth and development both inside and outside the classroom. We offer challenging and exciting courses; professors who love teaching and care about their students; and staff and advisors who are always ready to offer guidance and assistance. Calhoun Honors College students receive priority for course registration and free tickets for many cultural events, and are eligible to apply for grants for research or to support internships or foreign travel. Above all, we offer an environment in which students can learn from each other and from leading researchers and scholars. We're making exciting changes every day, and encourage our students to share their ideas and enthusiasm with us as we move forward.


Q: How do I apply to Calhoun Honors College?

To apply to the Calhoun Honors College, you must first complete the on-line application to Clemson University (for more information, see http://www.clemson.edu/admissions/undergraduate/index.html). Once you have applied to Clemson and received your Clemson University ID number (from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions), you may apply to the Calhoun Honors College at http://www.clemson.edu/cuhonors/prospective-students/admissions/. Please note that the Calhoun Honors College application is separate from, and additional to, the Clemson University application.


Q: What are the application deadlines?

The priority deadlines for application to Calhoun Honors College are as follows:

  • You must submit your application to Clemson University no later than December 1, 2019
  • You must submit your application to the Calhoun Honors College no later than December 8, 2019
  • All supporting materials - including your transcript, and online recommendation forms from a teacher and counselor - must be received by the Calhoun Honors College no later than December 15, 2019.

Students who meet these deadlines will be eligible for consideration for Clemson's National Scholars Program (see below) and will be notified of their Calhoun Honors College admissions status by February 15, 2020. The Calhoun Honors College web-based application system opens on approximately August 1, 2019.

Although we encourage all students to meet the priority deadline, the deadline for application to the Calhoun Honors College for Fall 2020 freshman admission is February 22, 2020, with all supporting materials due by March 1, 2020. Students who apply to the Honors College after February 22, 2020, or whose supporting materials are submitted after March 1, 2020 may be considered for admission to the Honors College on a space available basis. However, we cannot guarantee that such applications will receive consideration.


Q: What are the elements required for the Calhoun Honors College application to be considered complete?

There are five elements required for a complete application:

  1. The student application, submitted online
  2. A teacher recommendation form, submitted online
  3. A counselor recommendation form, submitted online
  4. A current transcript uploaded to the student application or counselor recommendation (can be mailed, emailed or faxed directly to the Calhoun Honors College by a counselor)
  5. SAT or ACT score report received by Clemson's Office of Undergraduate Admissions (it is not necessary to submit scores directly to the Honors College - Honors will import scores sent to Clemson Undergraduate Admissions).

Please note that the student application, the teacher recommendation form, and the counselor recommendation form must be submitted via the Calhoun Honors College web-based application system.


Q: Are there minimum criteria for my application to be considered?

A: A student admitted to the Honors College typically has an SAT score of at least 1380 (new version) or an ACT score of at least 30. We consider applicants with standardized test scores below these typical thresholds provided that the applicant has an otherwise exceptional academic record.


Q: What is the typical profile of Honors students and how many incoming students enroll in the Honors College?

A: Historically, admitted Honors students have an average SAT score of 1500 (new version) or 34 on the ACT. Successful Honors applicants must have earned high grades in high school, and must demonstrate clear evidence of intellectual engagement and vision, leadership and service, and co- and extra-curricular involvement. Freshman enrollment in the Honors College is limited to just under 10 percent of the freshman class, or approximately 325 students.


Q: If I meet these minimum criteria, am I guaranteed admission to the Calhoun Honors College?

A: No. Meeting the general criteria discussed above means only that you are eligible for consideration, and that your application will be reviewed. Satisfying these criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the Calhoun Honors College. The Honors College also emphasizes engagement and intellectual curiosity; as such, the selection committee strongly considers an applicant's essay responses, intellectual experiences, and extracurricular involvement.

Because admission to the Calhoun Honors College is highly competitive, and because enrollment is limited to approximately 325 students, many applicants will be denied admission even though they meet, or even exceed, the general test score averages.


Q: If I am accepted to the Calhoun Honors College, will I get a scholarship?

A: Although many members of the Calhoun Honors College receive scholarships and/or financial aid from Clemson University, there are no scholarships specifically associated with membership in the College. Nor does the awarding of an academic merit scholarship from any source carry with it automatic admission to the Calhoun Honors College. For scholarship and financial aid questions, please contact Clemson's Financial Aid Office.


Q: What is the Clemson University National Scholars Program and how do I apply?

A: The National Scholars Program is Clemson's premier undergraduate scholarship program. There is no separate application for the National Scholars Program; finalists are chosen based on reviews of the Calhoun Honors College application. The award is based on merit and is granted through a rigorous, competitive evaluation process that considers proven academic excellence, intellectual engagement and vision, and a significant record of extracurricular involvement and leadership. The National Scholars Program provides a competitive scholarship and is renewable for an additional three years of continuous undergraduate study. The NSP also offers study abroad opportunities and specialized and focused advising to support students' academic and professional success. Students selected as finalists for the National Scholars Program will be notified in January 2020 and will be invited to campus for a required interview weekend.

To be considered for the National Scholars Program, your Honors application must meet the priority deadlines outlined above: you must apply to Clemson University by December 1, 2019, and to the Calhoun Honors College by December 8, 2019 (with all supporting materials received by December 15, 2019). Applications that do not meet these deadlines WILL NOT be considered for the National Scholars Program, but will be considered for admission to the Calhoun Honors College. To ensure compliance with these deadlines, the National Scholars Program recommends that students complete their Clemson University and Calhoun Honors College applications well before the posted deadlines.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your Clemson University application is submitted by December 1, 2019 deadline and Calhoun Honors College application is submitted by December 8, 2019 and completed by December 15, 2019.

Clemson University offers equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or status as disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.

Students who apply to the Calhoun Honors College after February 22, 2020, or whose supporting materials are submitted after March 1, 2020, may be considered for admission to the Honors College on a space-available basis. However, we cannot guarantee that such applications will receive consideration.


Back to Application Menu