Clemson University

Originally established in 1893 as the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, Clemson was an all-male military school focused on scientific agriculture and mechanical arts. Sixty years later, the university transformed into a civilian, co-educational institution. It expanded its academic focus and research interests, becoming officially known as Clemson University in 1964.

Since its expansion, Clemson has intently focused on becoming a “Top 20” public institution, and has steadily climbed in the rankings by nurturing its graduate studies while continuing to strengthen its undergraduate programs. One of the university’s most renowned academic endeavors is the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, a campus focused on automotive engineering research. BMW, Microsoft, IBM, Bosch, The Timken Company, and Michelin are all major corporate partners of the center.

Clemson stresses the importance of what it calls “engagement,” and encourages students to participate in on- and off-campus opportunities. The school facilitates this goal by offering students a plethora of ways to become involved. The Cooperative Education Program enables students to work directly under a mentor in their field. Students are encouraged to tackle real-world problems by partaking in team-based investigations led by a faculty mentor. In addition to more traditional study abroad programs, Clemson also offers programs that allow students to study and work in Washington, D.C.

Because of the school’s origins as a military academy, it still maintains an active military presence. It’s also home to U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve Training Corps., and gives students the opportunity to become Air Force officers while pursuing their college degrees.

Clemson has an active student body and school spirit is HIGH. During the annual Spirit Blitz Week, students are encouraged to wear orange, the school color, in support of the football team. The Clemson Homecoming Tradition is a century-old annual event that has students building and showing off Homecoming floats to enthusiastic crowds, crowning a Miss Homecoming, and participating in Tigerama, one of the country’s largest student-run pep rallies. Over 40,000 people participate in Tigerama every year.

Greek life is also a big deal at this school, so if you’re planning to join a fraternity or a sorority in college, you might want to know that there are 44 of them at Clemson, and that about 25% of all students are members. While there are no traditional Greek houses on campus, there are residence halls designated for Greek use and off-campus fraternity and sorority houses.

There is so much to say about Clemson’s campus, but let me focus on the fact that this school has its own beach. Yes, you read that correctly. The university is situated along Hartwell Lake, and Clemson’s Campus Beach and Recreation Area is mere minutes from main campus. What can be better than being able to go for a dip or just lounge on the sand as a way to reward yourself for doing well on an exam or turning in a top-notch essay? Sounds pretty ideal to me.

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