What We Look For

You’re more than a test score. That’s why the College of Charleston admissions committee takes a holistic approach to evaluating your application. As a test optional school, you can choose to submit their application with or without SAT and ACT scores. But often, applicants and their parents want to know what the average first-year student who enrolls at the College looks like. More information on test score optional.

Admitted Freshmen Profile for the Middle 50 Percent:

In-State Students

  • GPA range: 4.1 to 4.8 (SCUGS).
  • SAT range: 1120-1290.
  • ACT range: 23-29.
Out-of-State Students:
  • GPA range: 3.7 to 4.2 (4.0). 
  • SAT range: 1190-1330
  • ACT range: 26-31.

Note: We superscore both the SAT and ACT. 

Note: These values are based on students who indicated they wanted to submit their scores to be considered in their application decision. Students who applied tested score optional (TSO) were not included in this calculation.  

Go To The Application

In support of our holistic file review process, admissions decisions will be based on the following criteria regardless of residency:

  • High school coursework (see below)
  • GPA (weighted or unweighted)
  • Test scores (if submitted)
  • Class rank
Four units (years) of English: such as literature, grammar or composition. 
Four units (years) of mathematics: in algebra 1, algebra 2, and geometry (or an equivalent of credits in integrated algebra and geometry), and 1 credit of pre-calculus, trigonometry, or calculus.
Three units (years) of laboratory science: including credits in laboratory sciences: biology, chemistry, or physics.
Two units (years) of world language: these must be from the same language.
Three units (years) of social science: in U.S. History, World history/civilization/geography. Credits in economics, government, sociology, psychology, and similar topics are acceptable.
One unit (year) of fine arts: One unit in appreciation of, history of, or performance in one of the fine arts.
Two units (years) of electives: Additional college-preparatory courses; additional mathematics credits are recommended for students intending to pursue a science degree and additional world language credits are recommended for all students.

The College of Charleston admissions committee can consider applicants who have not taken all of these courses. 

Additional information about college preparation and awareness can be found on the SC Commission on Higher Education website.

Mid-Year High School Graduates

If you're graduating from high school in December and enrolling at the College of Charleston in January, you must submit an official letter from a principal or counselor confirming the successful completion of graduation requirements. (Be sure your letter includes the date you'll receive your 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 first-year students entering in the spring semester. Visit Financial Aid for more information on federal and need-based aid.

General Educational Development test (GED)

The College of Charleston welcomes GED applicants. Applicants who earned a GED must submit: 

  • Official GED transcript and GED diploma: The transcript and diploma must be sent to CofC via your GED account online to be considered official.  We do not accept GED documents self-submitted by the applicant.   
  • If you were previously enrolled in a high school prior to your GED instruction, please request the official transcript(s) be sent to CofC by your high school.  If you have taken any dual enrollment classes while in high school, please submit your college transcript(s). 
  • Standardized tests: The SAT and/or ACT are not required for GED applicants.  However, it is strongly recommended to submit a standardized test score if it has been less than a year since you have received your GED diploma.   

Homeschooled Students

The College of Charleston welcomes applications from homeschooled students. Please review the following information to ensure 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 dual enrollment classes at a local community college.  
  • We require a transcript. It should list all classes taken (with specific course titles), credits per class, the academic year(s) in which each class was completed, and at what school the classes were completed. We would also like to see class descriptions so we can understand the content of your program, rigor of each class (Honors, AP, etc.), and how your grades were determined.  
  • If you were previously enrolled in a high school prior to your home instruction, please request the official transcript(s) be sent to CofC by your high school.  If you have taken any dual enrollment classes while in high school, please submit your college transcript(s). 
  • We strongly recommend taking two 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. 
  • Standardized tests: If the homeschool curriculum does not include any dual enrollment or Advanced Placement (AP) classes, then an ACT or SAT score will be required to complete the application. The SAT and/or ACT test is waived for homeschool students who have completed dual enrollment classes, AP classes, and/or IB classes.  If you are taking Dual Enrollment classes the second semester of your senior year, then we will require these mid-term grades in order to make an admissions decision. 
  • The College of Charleston respects each state’s homeschool laws. If your state does not require an accredited homeschool curriculum, we will abide by those rules for admission consideration. South Carolina homeschooled students must be registered with a fully accredited and recognized homeschool organization. If it is not, we require a GED diploma and transcript. 

We encourage homeschooled students to contact your admission counselor to discuss any questions regarding the application. 

Gap Year or Post Grad Year Applicants

First-year students are eligible for deferred enrollment or a gap period (up to one academic year). Transfer students are not eligible for deferred enrollment or a gap period.

If a student decides to take college coursework during their gap period, acceptance to the college will be voided and their status will switch to a transfer applicant. College transcripts will be required and the application will be subject to the transfer admissions requirements.

Please note: a change in status from first-year student to transfer will void any institutional scholarships. Additionally, South Carolina residents should be aware of S.C. state scholarship eligibility requirements once college coursework has begun.

Process for Requesting Deferred Enrollment or a Gap Period

Students must email admissions@cofc.edu specifying how long (one or two semesters) they wish to take, as well provide a brief summary of their intended activities during this time.

In order to confirm your deferment, you must pay the $400 enrollment deposit. This deposit will be transferred over to the future term for which you intend to enroll. Deposits paid are non-refundable. 

Requests must be submitted no later than May 1.