Clemson University

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Clemson University / ˈ k l ɛ m s ən / is an American public , coeducational , land-grant and sea-grant research university in Clemson , South Carolina .

Founded in 1889, Clemson University consists of six colleges: Agriculture , Forestry and Life Sciences ; Architecture , Arts and Humanities ; Business and Behavioral Sciences ; Engineering and Science ; Health and Human Development ; and Education . [8] As of 2015, Clemson University enrolled a total of 18,016 undergraduate students for the fall semester and 4,682 graduate students [9] and the student/faculty ratio is 16:1. [10] The cost of in-state tuition and fees is about $13,882 and out-of-state tuition and fees is $32,800. [10] U.S. News & World Report ranks Clemson University tied for twenty-first amongst all "national" public universities. [11] Clemson University is classified as a "highest research activity" university. [2]


Thomas Green Clemson , the university's founder, came to the foothills of South Carolina in 1838, when he married Anna Maria Calhoun , daughter of John C. Calhoun , a South Carolina statesman and seventh U.S. Vice President . [14] When Clemson passed away on April 6, 1888, he left most of his estate, which he inherited from his wife, in his will to be used to establish a college that would teach scientific agriculture and the mechanical arts to South Carolinians. [2] His decision was largely influenced by future South Carolina Governor Benjamin Tillman . Tillman lobbied the South Carolina General Assembly to create the school as an agricultural institution for the state and the resolution passed by only one vote.

In his will, Clemson explicitly stated that he wanted the school to be modelled after what's now Mississippi State University : "This institution, I desire, to be under the control and management of a board of trustees, a part of whom are hereinafter appointed, and to be modelled after the Agricultural College of Mississippi as far as practicable." [2]

In November 1889, South Carolina Governor John Peter Richardson III signed the bill, thus establishing the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina. As a result, federal funds for agricultural education from the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act and the Hatch Act of 1887 were transferred from South Carolina College to Clemson. [14]

Clemson Agricultural College formally opened in July 1893 with an initial enrollment of 446. From its beginning, the college was an all-white male military school . The school remained this way until 1955, at which time it changed to "civilian" status for students and became a coeducational institution.

In 1963, the school admitted its first African-American student, future Charlotte, North Carolina mayor Harvey Gantt . [2] In 1964, the college was renamed Clemson University as the state legislature formally recognised the school's expanded academic offerings and research pursuits. [18]


Enrollment [4]
College Total
College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences 3,930
College of Arts, Architecture, and Humanities 2,215
College of Business and Behavioral Sciences 4,993
College of Engineering and Science 7,167
College of Health, Education, and Human Development 2,838


The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies the university as more selective , [19] after the university admitted less than 55 percent of those who applied to be freshmen in 2006. [20] [2]

Clemson University emphasises on the rigour of high-school study and standardised test scores, either SAT or ACT . The university additionally considers class rank, extracurricular activities, and an optional personal statement. The average incoming freshman had a combined SAT score of 1220 and a high-school weighted grade-point average (GPA) of 3.99 in 2010. [22] In 2008, admission was the most competitive in university history.

Clemson University had over 15,000 applications for its freshman class of approximately 2,800 students. It was especially competitive for out-of-state students, in that it is a state-supported institution. Of those 15,000+ applications, over 10,000 were from outside of South Carolina; however, a little over 1,000 freshmen from additional states gained admission. [23]

Research and rankings

The university endeavours to become a "Top 20" public institution, undergoing a process of enhancing its graduate programmes while continuing to emphasise the quality of the undergraduate experience. It has steadily moved up the rankings for public universities from 34, to 30, to 27, to 22 in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 respectively: according to the U.S. News & World Report . In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Clemson as the 25th top state school in the US, and in 2015 the ranking improved to a tie for 21st.

However, a few have questioned Clemson's efforts to improve its rankings. In 2009, an administrator revealed that "Clemson manipulated class sizes, artificially boosted faculty salary data and gave rival schools low grades in the rankings' peer reputation survey", with the goal of manipulating its U.S. News & World Report ranking. Since then the administrator retracted a few of her statements and the university denied any wrongdoing. [32]

The renowned economist Robert Tollison joined the Clemson faculty in August 2008. As part of its push to enhance graduate-level education, several new Ph.D. programmes have been created including interdisciplinary doctoral programmes in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design (RCID), and Planning, Design, and the Built Environment (formerly Environmental Design and Planning). Also noteworthy is a new master's degree in historic preservation, jointly offered in collaboration with the College of Charleston .

The university is home to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). [33] The CU-ICAR is a 250-acre (101 ha) automotive and motorsports research campus located in nearby Greenville, South Carolina . The department of Automotive Engineering was ranked tenth in the world in 2015. [34] ICAR will include a graduate school offering master's and doctoral degrees in automotive engineering, and offering programmes focused on systems integration. The campus additionally includes an Information Technology Research Center being developed by BMW . BMW, Microsoft , IBM , Bosch , The Timken Company and Michelin are all major corporate partners of the CU-ICAR. Private-sector companies that have committed so far to establishing offices and/or facilities on the campus include the Society of Automotive Engineers and Timken. Plans for the campus additionally include a full-scale, four-vehicle capacity rolling-road model wind tunnel .

In 2004 the Restoration Institute was founded. Its mission is to "advance knowledge in integrative approaches to the restoration of historic, ecological, and urban infrastructure resources." The institute is located in North Charleston and subsume the Hunley Commission that's currently undertaking the stabilisation of the H.L. Hunley , the world's first submarine to sink a ship. As of 2013, the institute is constructing a 7.5MW and a 15MW wind turbine test facility for $100 million, to open on November 21. [35] [36]

In 2011, The Princeton Review ranked Clemson first for town-gown relations are great, second for happiest students, second for jock schools, third for everyone plays intramural sports, eighth for students pack the stadiums, and ninth for best career services. [37]

In 2012, SmartMoney named Clemson University as seventh best salary returns on tuition. [38]

In 2012, U.S. News ranked Clemson University third for having the most financial resources per student. $26,293 was spent on the average student at Clemson University. [39]

In 2015, Clemson University broke ground on the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center in the City of North Charleston. The 70,000 sq.ft. facility is estimated to cost more than $22 million. [40]

Colleges and schools

In July 1955, the four schools that made up Clemson ― Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Engineering and Textiles ― were transformed into nine colleges: Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Commerce and Industry, Education, Engineering, Forestry and Recreation Resources, and Nursing. This structure was used by the university until 1995 when the university's nine colleges were condensed into five: Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts, and Humanities; Business and Behavioral Science; Engineering and Science; Health, Education, and Human Development. [41] As of July 14, 2014, the Eugene T. Moore School of Education broke off from the College of Health, Education, and Human development, thus fitting the sixth college. [42]

College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) supports Clemson University's land-grant mission to provide education, research and service to the public. CAFLS faculty members teach major subjects and core curricula while preparing students to be leaders, creative thinkers, and communicators. Emphasis is placed on engaging students in research, internships/coops, study abroad, and service learning. CAFLS research is focused on the sustainability of agriculture, forests, and natural resources; food and packaging systems to ensure a healthy and safe food supply; and biomedical sciences to improve human and non-human health. [43]

College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities

The College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities (CAAH) contains three schools: the School of the Arts, the School of Design and Building, and the School of the Humanities. One of the departments of the College, the School of Architecture, was ranked as the No. 16 graduate school for architecture in the country by Design Intelligence. [44]

College of Business and Behavioral Sciences

The College of Business and Behavioral Science (CBBS) is an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited college within the university specialising in business fields as well as the social sciences like economics. Through high levels of interaction and collaboration between students, faculty, business and industry, non-profit centers, and civic and governmental agencies, the college nurtures individual development, bolsters entrepreneurial thinking, spurs social and economic prosperity, provides customised professional education, and sparks a lifelong desire for learning.

With a unique college structure that combines traditional social and behavioural science disciplines with applied business disciplines, CBBS merges the strengths of the two disciplines to develop students prepared for a wide variety of opportunities. [45]

College of Engineering and Science

The College of Engineering and Science (CoES) specialises in engineering as well as the physical sciences like physics and chemistry. Inspired by Thomas Green Clemson's dream to create a "high seminary of learning to benefit the agricultural and mechanical arts," engineering and sciences have been an integral part of the University's development. Since the first degrees were granted in 1896, Clemson engineers and scientists have made significant contributions to South Carolina, the nation and the world.

CoES was formed in 1995, joining the engineering disciplines with the chemistry, computer science, geological science, mathematical science, and physics and astronomy departments. [46]

College of Health and Human Development

The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) teaching, research and service efforts focus on public health sciences, nursing, education, and parks, recreation and tourism management. Inspired by the motto "The Engaged College with a Personal Touch," the college's vision and mission are to create collaborative models that enhance community well-being and to prepare skilled professionals and creative leaders who build healthy, well-educated communities. [47]

Calhoun Honors College

Established in 1962, Calhoun Honors College strives to enrich the educational experience of highly motivated, academically talented students by providing opportunities for study and research that are most of the time unavailable to undergraduates. The college provides accelerated learning programmes to the university's most talented undergraduates as well as unique research opportunities. Entrance to the college is quite competitive, with only 250 incoming freshmen accepted each year with an average SAT score of 1400 or higher and finished in the top three percent of their high school graduating class. [48]

Eugene T. Moore School of Education

Established in 2014, the Eugene T. Moore School of Education is Clemson's newest college. Named for the late Eugene T. Moore, it is centred in the famous Tillman Hall . The college has a few 600 undergraduate students, and 600 graduate students, with the mission to embrace the diverse faculty, staff, and students and providing them with a diverse set of experiences. The SoE additionally houses the nationally acclaimed , and the Moore Scholars. [49]

Graduate School

The Graduate School offers more than 100 graduate degree programmes in 85 disciplines on the college's main campus and at sites like Clemson at the Falls, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research and the Clemson Architecture Center as well as a few online/distance-learning programs. Many of the graduate programmes are highly ranked nationally, and the school offers several unique interdisciplinary programs. [50]

Student life


In addition to their varsity programs, Clemson offers a wide variety of intramural sports :

Fraternity and sorority life

The university's fraternities and sororities system (or Greek system) is somewhat different from additional large universities in the southern U.S. in that there are no Greek houses on campus, as interfraternity activity didn't begin until 1970, following the abolishing of the military cadre requirements at the university. There are residence halls designated for fraternities and sororities, but there are no traditional Greek houses on campus. Notwithstanding there are a few fraternity houses off campus near the college. The Fraternity Quad on campus (consisting of seven fraternity and sorority halls) is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council 's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The remaining sororities' on-campus housing is located on the additional end of campus, in what's commonly referred to as "the horseshoe," in Smith and Barnett Halls.

The College Panhellenic Council Chapters at Clemson University include Alpha Phi , Alpha Chi Omega , Alpha Delta Pi , Chi Omega , Delta Delta Delta , Delta Zeta , Gamma Phi Beta , Kappa Alpha Theta , Kappa Delta , Kappa Kappa Gamma , Sigma Kappa , and Zeta Tau Alpha . [51] The Interfraternity Council Chapters include Alpha Gamma Rho , Alpha Sigma Phi , Alpha Tau Omega , Beta Theta Pi , Beta Upsilon Chi , Chi Psi , Delta Chi , Delta Tau Delta , FarmHouse , Kappa Alpha Order , Kappa Sigma , Lambda Chi Alpha , Pi Kappa Alpha , Pi Kappa Phi , Phi Delta Theta , Phi Kappa Tau , Phi Sigma Kappa , Sigma Alpha Epsilon , Sigma Chi , Sigma Nu , Sigma Pi , Tau Kappa Epsilon , and Triangle . [52]

As of the 2015-2016 school year there are twenty two IFC Fraternities, twelve NPC Sororities, and nine NPHC Chapters, which make up approximately 25 percent of the undergraduate student body. [53] In the Spring of 2011, there were 3,370 students involved in Greek life, which is about twenty-three percent of the 14,531 undergraduate students. Also, the mean GPA of each sorority was above the all-university mean. [54]

Military heritage

Although the university became a coeducational civilian institution in 1955, it still maintains an active military presence. Cadets still participate throughout home football games, throughout which cadets hold the ropes as the team enters from the Hill, and they complete pushups for every Clemson point scored, just as the Tiger does.

The university is home to detachments for U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) as well as a host school for the U.S. Marine Corps PLC programme adjacent to the Semper Fi Society.

In addition to students from the university, these organisations additionally serve students from Anderson University , Southern Wesleyan University , and Tri-County Technical College . The following organisations are present amongst the military personnel at Clemson: [55]

The university's AAS squadron was selected to be home of Arnold Air Society's National Headquarters for the 2005–2006 year, and again for the 2006–2007 year. This is the first time in AAS's history that any university has served as national headquarters two years in a row. [56] The squadron again serves as national headquarters for the 2015-16 school year.

The C-4 Pershing Rifles have won the national society's drill meet eight times: 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. [56] Company C-4 additionally performs colorguards, twenty-one-gun salutes, exhibition-drill performances, and POW/MIA ceremonies. Company C-4 performs colorguard performance at the university's home football games. In addition to the C-4 drill company, the university is the former home of the fourth Regimental Headquarters (4RHQ), the National Headquarters for the Junior ROTC level of Pershing Rifles (BlackJacks) and the Co-ed Auxiliary for Pershing Rifles (CAPeRs).

Its Air Force ROTC Detachment 770 "Flyin' Tigers" was selected as the No. 1 "medium-sized" Air Force ROTC detachment in the nation for 2006 (the "High Flight" and "Right of Line" awards), No. 1 Detachment in the "Southeast" in 2006 ("medium-sized") and 2007 ("large-sized"), and No. 1 in the state of South Carolina (out of three — University of South Carolina and The Citadel) for three consecutive years (2005, 2006 and 2007).

The university has additionally developed a group of Marines and Marine Officer Candidates within an organisation called the Semper Fi Society. The society isn't associated with the ROTC, but can lead to a commission into the U.S. Marine Corps via the Platoon Leaders Course program.

Student media

Clemson University has two student-run newspapers. Founded in 1907, The Tiger is the oldest student-run newspaper in South Carolina. The Tiger publishes local and university related news pieces. Additionally, the paper publishes opinion articles on general and national issues, lifestyle articles on topics like beer, sex, and music, and a large section on sports topics. The Tiger is published weekly, on Fridays, and maintains a staff of 20 senior members and 75 junior staff members. [75] Clemson University's second newspaper is the Tiger Town Observer. This newspaper focuses on political news and topics. The newspaper identifies itself as a "traditionally conservative" news source and lists its political values as liberty, transparency, lifelong learning, free market and charity. [57]

Additionally, Clemson University Student Media produces Taps, the university's official yearbook after 1908, and the Chronicle, a literary magazine after 1897.

Clemson University additionally has a student-run television station, CTV, which was established in 1994 [58]

Clemson University's student-run radio station, WSBF-FM , broadcasts in the upstate on 88.1FM and online at and hosts live concerts for the student body and community.

Clemson University's student-run Literary Magazine is called The Chronicle and is published biannually. The Chronicle publishes poetry, art, and short stories.

The student-run international affairs magazine at Clemson is called The Pendulum. It was established in 2014, and is published biannually in print and online. The Pendulum focuses on international politics, economics and global affairs.


Tiger Paw

The Tiger paw became the official logo for Clemson University in 1970, in place of the previous tiger logo. The change was inspired by President Robert Edwards to "upgrade the image of the university." The company tasked with creating the new logo contacted the Museum of Natural History in Chicago and requested a plaster imprint of a tiger paw. The paw is now used on all athletic teams and collegiate documents. The tiger paw is additionally painted on surfaces throughout campus and in footprint patterns on highways leading to the campus.

Homecoming and Tigerama

Every year Clemson students have the opportunity to attend Homecoming and Tigerama. The Clemson Homecoming tradition began in 1914 and has been held annually at Clemson University ever since. Throughout homecoming week, numerous student organisations design and build Homecoming floats on Bowman Field. The floats are then revealed on the Saturday of the football game and judged by a select panel. Since 1957, Clemson has held "Tigerama" on the Friday night of homecoming week. Tigerama is one of the nation's largest student-run-pep rallies, averaging about 40,000 people. This Clemson event includes the crowning of Miss Homecoming, skits by numerous academic organizations, as well as a fireworks show. [59]

Welcome Back Festival

Clemson University's Welcome Back Festival is held every year, on College Avenue in downtown Clemson, on the Monday after University housing opens. At the festival surrounding stores, businesses, and restaurants provide free gifts, merchandise, and samples to new and returning students. Performances are additionally held in the downtown area throughout the event, featuring numerous local artists and bands. [60] The festival is sponsored by the Clemson Student Alumni Council, and the money raised benefits the Student Alumni Council Endowment Scholarship Fund, which has raised more than $38,000 for the scholarship fund. [61] Over 10,000 students attended the twenty-fourth Annual Welcome Back Festival on August 20, 2012. [62]

Tiger Prowl

Tiger Prowl is held on either the Monday or Tuesday after University housing opens, on Bowman Field and a portion of Highway 93 on Clemson's campus. More than 400 registered student organisations attend Tiger Prowl, including organisations in volunteer and service, recreational activities, and Greek life. [63]

First Friday Parade

The First Friday Parade has been held on the Friday before the first home football game every year after 1974. The parade includes fraternities, sororities, the Clemson marching band, the university President, as well as a large number of additional student organizations. The parade route travels through portions of Highway 93 and Main Street and concludes at the university's amphitheatre , where the first pep rally of the year is held. In 1985, the parade had its highest attendance, when accompanying CBS commentators were the Grand Marshalls.

Spirit Blitz Week

Spirit Blitz Week is annually held a week before a prominent football game. The Spirit Blitz Week tradition originated in the 1980s, and encourages students to wear orange throughout the entire week and promotes athletic events throughout the week. It additionally includes the Spirit Blitz Pep Rally, which is held throughout any available day of the week before the football game. [64]

Two-dollar bills

A university tradition has been in place, after September 24, 1977, for the school's fans to spend two-dollar bills on trips to away football games. The tradition began when Clemson played against Georgia Tech "for the last time", as Georgia Tech didn't wish to travel to Clemson for future football games. Of the seventeen games played between Georgia Tech and Clemson between 1953 and 1977, only once, in 1974, did the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to Memorial Stadium. In Atlanta, Georgia, Clemson fans purchased items with two-dollar bills stamped with "Tiger Paws" to show how they contributed to the local economy, which began the tradition. The tradition became quite popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Alma mater

The Clemson University alma mater originated in the 1910s after a group of Clemson ROTC cadets in May 1918 was asked to sing the school's song at a gathering of ROTC cadets in Plattsburg, New York ; they were unable to do so, as Clemson had no song at the time. One of the cadets in attendance, A.C. Corcoran of Charleston, South Carolina , decided to remedy the situation and wrote the words to the alma mater and set them to Annie Lisle , which was the melody of Cornell University 's alma mater, as well as a large number of others. The words were later officially accepted by the then-named Clemson Agricultural College as the alma mater and was first performed by the Clemson Glee Club on February 17, 1919. [65]

In 1947 the club "Tiger Brotherhood" decided that, rather than continue borrowing another school's melody, the university should compose its own. As a result, the Tiger Brotherhood sponsored a contest to have Clemson students compose a unique melody. On May 5, 1947, Clemson University's school newspaper "The Tiger" announced Robert E. Farmer of Anderson, South Carolina , a member of the glee club at the time, as the winner. Farmer's melody was slightly altered in 1970, but was restored to its original tune in 2009. [65]

Fight song

The university's fight song is the jazz standard , the " Tiger Rag ".

Tiger push-ups

During home football games, after Clemson scores a touchdown , the Clemson tiger mascot performs push-ups equal in number to the number of points Clemson has scored at the time. The Tiger press-up tradition began in 1978 by the Tiger mascot at the time - Zack Mills. The Tiger mascot outfit weighs 45 pounds, with the head itself weighing 20 pounds.

Ring Ball

The annual Ring Ball, organised by the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government and Student Alumni Council, is a nighttime celebration on the Carillon Gardens for graduating seniors as they receive their Clemson rings. The tradition began in the 1930s but was cancelled in 1936 due to a flu epidemic. The tradition was reestablished on April 26, 2013. [66]

Blood Bowl

Clemson University and the University of South Carolina host a blood drive competition to determine who can donate the most blood throughout a week before their annual rivalry football game. Since the tradition began in 1985, more than 90,000 pints of blood have been donated. The blood drive is sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, and donations at Clemson benefit The Blood Connection and the AnMed Blood Center. [67]

Memorial Stadium traditions


Clemson University teams are known as the Tigers. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports after the 1953-54 season. Men's sports include baseball , basketball, cross country, football , golf, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

The most-prominent athletics facilities on campus are Memorial Stadium , Littlejohn Coliseum , Doug Kingsmore Stadium , Historic Riggs Field , and Fike Recreation Center . Clemson has won four national championships including football (1981), two in men's soccer (1984 and 1987), and men's golf (2003).

Public safety

The Clemson University operates with the Clemson University Police Department and the Clemson University Fire & EMS, for public safety needs. Both departments are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The University Fire & EMS has one station, located at 1521 Perimeter Road. The Police Department is located at the West End Zone of Frank Howard Field.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

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