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About Clemson

Mission and Vision

Clemson University first opened its doors in 1889 with a very clear vision: to “be a high seminary of learning in which the graduate of the common schools can commence, pursue and finish the course of studies terminating in thorough theoretic and practical instruction.”

Thomas Green Clemson’s now famous words left to us in his will have guided the University’s actions through the years, from a college focusing on the art and science of agriculture to a university teaching students in more than 70 undergraduate and 100 graduate degree programs.

Today, our vision is focused on the future while we remember where our roots were first planted.

Vision Statement

Clemson will be one of the nation’s top-20 public universities.

Mission Statement

Clemson University was established to fulfill our founder's vision of "a high seminary of learning" to develop "the material resources of the State" for the people of South Carolina. Nurtured by an abiding land grant commitment, Clemson has emerged as a research university with a global vision. Our primary purpose is educating undergraduate and graduate students to think deeply about and engage in the social, scientific, economic, and professional challenges of our times. The foundation of this mission is the generation, preservation, communication, and application of knowledge. The University also is committed to the personal growth of the individual and promotes an environment of good decision making, healthy and ethical lifestyles, and tolerance and respect for others. Our distinctive character is shaped by a legacy of service, collaboration, and fellowship forged from and renewed by the spirit of Thomas Green Clemson's covenant. 

University Description

Clemson University is a selective, public, research university in a college-town setting. Clemson's desire is to attract a capable, dedicated and diverse student body of approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with priority to students from South Carolina. The University offers a wide array of high quality baccalaureate programs built around a distinctive core curriculum. Graduate, continuing education, doctoral and research programs contribute to the state of knowledge and to the economic future of the state, nation and world. The university provides bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 100 majors through five academic colleges: the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; the College of Business and Behavioral Science; the College of Engineering and Science; and the College of Health, Education and Human Development.

Clemson combines the benefits of a major research university with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and individual student success. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, have opportunities for unique educational experiences throughout South Carolina, as well as in other countries. Experiential learning is a valued component of the Clemson experience, and students are encouraged through Creative Inquiry, internships, and study abroad, to apply their learning beyond the classroom. Electronic delivery of courses and degree programs also provide a variety of learning opportunities. Clemson’s extended campus includes teaching sites in Greenville and Charleston, five research campuses and five public service centers throughout the state of South Carolina, as well as four international sites.

The University is committed to exemplary teaching, research and public service in the context of general education, student engagement and development, and continuing education. In all areas, the goal is to develop students’ communication and critical-thinking skills, ethical judgment, global awareness, and scientific and technological knowledge. The distinctive character of Clemson is reflected in the culture of collegiality and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, the administration, and the university board.

Approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees, October 19, 2012
Approved by the SC Commission on Higher Education, March 22, 2013

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