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What We Look For

When you apply, the College of Charleston admissions committee looks at many things in your application, including your academic preparation, GPA, SAT/ACT scores, talents and leadership qualifications. Leadership, extra-curricular activities and other achievements are important, but are of secondary importance in our decision-making process.

The middle 50 percent of freshmen accepted for fall 2017:

  • scored between 1080 and 1220 (in-state), and 1090 and 1220 (out-of-state) on the SAT.
  • scored between 21 and 27 (in-state), and 23 and 27 (outof-state) on the ACT.
  • had consistent academic achievement in the A/B range.


To be well prepared for the challenging academics at the College of Charleston, freshman applicants should take a rigorous program in a variety of subjects. The following curriculum shows the best preparation for your enrollment at the College of Charleston. This curriculum will also ensure that South Carolina students meet the requirements from the SC Commission on Higher Education for entry into S.C. four-year colleges. The College of Charleston admissions committee can consider applicants who have not taken all of these courses. If you haven’t taken all of these courses, we encourage you to submit a statement and relevant documentation from your counselor or principal that explains why.

English 4 units, including one unit of English literature and one unit of American literature. Two units should have strong grammar and composition components.
Mathematics 4 units, including Algebra I and II, and geometry. Fourth higher-level math selected from among Algebra III/Trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, discrete mathematics, or a capstone math course.
Laboratory Science 3 units (4 recommended). Two of the units must be in biology, chemistry or physics.  The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, or physics) or from any laboratory science for which biology and/or chemistry is a prerequisite.
Foreign Language 3 units. Two units must be from the same language.
Social Sciences 3 units. Includes one unit of U.S. history. Government and economics are recommended.
Physical Education or ROTC 1 unit
Fine Arts 1 unit. Appreciation of, History of, or Performance in one of the fine arts.
Electives 1 unit. A college preparatory course in computer science (programming, not keyboarding) is recommended. Other acceptable electives include college preparatory courses in English, fine arts, foreign languages, humanities, laboratory science, mathematics, social sciences.

Mid-Year High School Graduates

If graduating from high school in December and enrolling at the College of Charleston in January, applicants must submit an official letter from a principal or counselor confirming the successful completion of graduation requirements, including the date by which the applicant will receive a high school diploma.

South Carolina residents who want to be considered for a S.C. LIFE or HOPE scholarship must complete the Early Graduation Form on the Commission of Higher Education website.

Academic scholarships are generally not available for freshman entering in the spring semester. Visit Financial Aid for more information on federal and need-based aid.


Prior to enrolling, applicants must have earned either a high school diploma, or its equivalent—the General Educational Development Test (GED). Applicants who earned a GED must submit transcripts from the most recent semester of high school attended.


College of Charleston welcomes applications from homeschooled students. The same requirements apply to a homeschooled student as to a traditional high school student. However, we would like to recommend some ways to make sure you are adequately prepared for the challenging curriculum at the College of Charleston.

  • We expect you to complete a challenging college-preparatory curriculum (see our recommended high school courses above). One way to do this is to take courses — such as physics and calculus — at a local community college. We strongly recommend that students take three years of a foreign language in high school. You could take upper intermediate-level courses (201 and 202 level) at a community college as a substitute.

  • We require a transcript. It should list subjects studied (with specific course titles), and should indicate the year in which each course was completed. We would also like to see course descriptions so we can understand the content of your program, how challenging the courses (Honors, AP, etc.) were and how your grades were determined. If you have taken any dual-enrollment courses while in high school, we also recommend submitting your college transcript.

  • We do not require SAT II subject tests. But submitting these scores to us will help us to determine your proficiency in core academic subjects.

  • South Carolina homeschooled students must be registered with a fully accredited and recognized homeschool organization. If it is not, we require a GED.

  • College of Charleston will respect each state’s homeschool laws. If your state does not require an accredited homeschool curriculum, we will abide by those rules for admission consideration.

The College does not offer personal interviews for admission purposes, however, we encourage homeschooled students or their parents to contactAmbar Jackson, admission counselor, to discuss the above recommendations or unusual circumstances regarding homeschool students.