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Clemson University


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One of the country's most selective public research universities, Clemson University, serves a uniquely driven and highly accomplished student body.
Ranked as the 23rd best national public UniversityUniversity by U.S.News & World Report, Clemson is a science- and engineering-oriented college dedicated to teaching, research, and service. Founded in 1889, we remain committed both to world-class research and high quality of life. Ninety-two percent of our seniors say they would pick Clemson again if they had it to do over.
Clemson's retention and graduation rates rank among the highest in the country for public universities. We were named among the best public college values by Kiplinger magazine in 2017, and Princeton Review named us among the "Colleges that pay you back" in 2017.
Our beautiful college campus sits on 1,400 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the shores of Hartwell Lake. However, we also have research facilities and economic development hubs throughout South Carolina — in Greenville, Greenwood, Anderson, Columbia, and Charleston. The research, outreach, and entrepreneurial projects led by our faculty and students drive economic development and improve quality of life in South Carolina and beyond. A recent study determined that Clemson has an annual $1.9 billion economic impact on the state.
Just as founder Thomas Green Clemson intertwined his life with the state's economic and educational development, the Clemson Family impacts live daily with their teaching, research, and service.
When you come to Clemson, you are immediately welcomed home as part of the family — offering a sense of place and lifelong connections. Game-changing research, a focus on serving our community, rigorous academics, high-caliber faculty, spirited family. It is all in a day's work at Clemson. Our community of students, teachers, scholars, and staff collaboratively anticipate and meet our rapidly changing world's needs — in whatever form that takes.
Clemson's commitment to graduate education has seen a 96 percent increase in doctoral enrollment in the past decade. Our students have the advantage of studying with top professionals in their field at a nationally ranked research university on Clemson's main campus and sites around the state.
Not every path to Clemson is the same. We understand that. So whether you are starting our Bridge to Clemson program, are just getting around to starting your degree, are coming back to school, or want to take classes for professional development, we have a path for you to reach your goal.
When students come to Clemson, they expect the best in both academics and campus life. That is why we strive to offer outstanding housing, dining, transportation, health services, activities — everything that makes Clemson feel like a home away from home. However, we never lose sight of the big picture. Clemson is, first of all, a place to get a top-quality education. We understand that employers are looking for well-rounded employees who are driven, passionate, and able to juggle multiple priorities. Our students learn that both inside and outside of the classroom — and 92 percent of our seniors say they would choose Clemson all over again.
At Clemson, you will find faculty, students, and staff collaborating – with each other, with peers at other universities, with funding agencies and with industry partners – in pursuit of bold ideas and innovative answers. Our collective diligence and determination help distinguish Clemson as an R1 Carnegie research university. To build our international research reputation, we are building a world-class research environment, promoting a culture of discovery and excellence, increasing research activity, and focusing on Clemson's innovation clusters, identified in ClemsonForward, Clemson's strategic plan.
University founders Thomas Green and Anna Calhoun Clemson had a lifelong interest in education, agricultural affairs, and science. In the post-Civil War days of 1865, Thomas Clemson looked upon a South that lay in economic ruin, once remarking, "This country is in a wretched condition, no money and nothing to sell. Everyone is ruined, and those that can are leaving."
On April 6, 1888, Thomas Clemson's death set in motion a series of events that marked the start of a new era in higher education in South Carolina. In his will, he bequeathed the Fort Hill plantation and a considerable sum from his assets to establish an educational institution that would teach scientific agriculture and the mechanical arts to South Carolina's young people.
Clemson Agricultural College formally opened as an all-male military school in July 1893 with an enrollment of 446. It remained this way until 1955 when the change was made to "civilian" status for students, and Clemson became a coeducational institution. In 1964, the college was renamed Clemson University as the state legislature formally recognized the school's expanded academic offerings and research pursuits.
More than a century after its opening, the UniversityUniversity provides diverse learning, research facilities, and educational opportunities not only for the people of the state — as Thomas Clemson dreamed — but for thousands of young men and women throughout the country and the world.

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