Office of Admissions
For non-degree students:
The College of Charleston encourages applications from all academically qualified persons. There is no discrimination in the admission process based on the applicant’s gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veterans’ status, genetic information, or disability. Applicants who do not initially meet the College of Charleston’s admission requirements may be considered for admission when there is sufficient evidence to suggest the ability to do satisfactory work at College of Charleston.
The following policies and procedures are applicable to all applicants and matriculating students:
Final, official copies of all secondary and collegiate transcripts from each institution attended must be filed prior to enrollment. Failure to provide information regarding each institution attended or to submit official transcripts may result in withdrawal of any offer of admission, restrictions on registration and/or dismissal from the College. For some applicants, we may require additional documentation specific to application questions. Some non-degree students are not required to submit collegiate or secondary school transcripts.
Eligibility to return to prior institution
Applicants to the College must be eligible to return to the last institution attended and must not be serving academic suspension at that or any other institution. Students who are on disciplinary suspension or have other disciplinary or criminal violations, including pending charges, will be conditionally considered for admission in accordance with the College of Charleston policy 8.1.15 Admitting Applicants for Enrollment with a Criminal or Disciplinary History. These students as well as other applicants are required to provide disciplinary records to the College of Charleston and give written consent and FERPA waiver(s) to have College of Charleston officials discuss their disciplinary history and status with officials from their previous institution(s) and other relevant parties, in the sole discretion of the College.
Federal financial aid is only available to students in a degree-seeking status.
Policies governing transfer credit and credit by exam (AP, CLEP, IB, etc.) and equivalencies are managed by the Transfer Resource Center. Detailed information can be found through the Transfer Resource Center (https://transfer.cofc.edu/).
Students, who take courses via mixed modalities, including distance education and online courses, must meet all appropriate admission requirements. Admissions applications for all students, including those intending to access coursework online may be filed online.
Risk Management Assessment
All applicants are required to answer questions relating to their criminal and disciplinary history, as outlined in College of Charleston, Policy 8.1.5.
Privacy and Security Policies
Information on the privacy and security policies governing applicants’ personal information can be found online at the College’s policy website at policy.cofc.edu.
Appeal of admissions decision
Every student that is not offered admission to the College has the right to appeal their decision. The committee only accepts student-written letters of appeal. An applicant should only appeal if there is substantial new information that the committee was not aware of at the time of the original decision. An applicant should not appeal just to request a second review of their application.
Special circumstances are considered and appeals are evaluated on a case by case basis by an admission professional.
All students are required to complete a health form and show proof of immunization. Health forms may be downloaded from our website at http://studenthealth.cofc.edu. Physical exams are not required.
Freshmen Admission (degree seeking)
A freshman applicant is a person who has not attended a university, college, or technical school. Applicants who attended a post-secondary institution while still in high school are also classified as freshmen.
Freshmen applicants must have earned either a high school diploma or its international equivalent, or the General Educational Development Test (GED) and submitted verification of this credential prior to enrolling. The minimum acceptable GED score for admission is the score used for awarding an equivalent secondary school diploma in the state where the test was taken. If a GED is submitted in place of a high school diploma, students must provide their high school record complete through the most recent period of high school attendance. The results of the GED will normally be used in place of the high school diploma only if the applicant left secondary school at least two years before intended enrollment at the College of Charleston. Applicants must provide information about their activities during the time that were not enrolled in school.
Application requirements, deadlines, and detailed information can be found at http://admissions.cofc.edu/applyingtothecollege/freshmen. Options for fall admission include early decision, early action, and regular notification. Consideration of scholarship awards may require that application deadlines are met.
The College of Charleston maintains a holistic review process involving both quantitative and qualitative components which guide the office of admissions in reaching their final decisions. The admissions committee carefully weighs the student’s academic preparation (which includes grades, rank in class, and rigor of courses taken), SAT/ACT results, personal statements and essays, leadership qualification, and special talents. Special circumstances are considered and each application is reviewed and evaluated individually by admissions professionals.
Applicants for freshmen admission must submit:
- A completed application form with a nonrefundable application fee, or application fee waiver.
- Official or unofficial high school records complete up to the time of application.
- Results of the SAT or ACT. The College’s ACT code no. is 3846 and SAT code no. is 5113. Submission of the optional writing scores for either test is encouraged but not required.
Students who enroll must submit:
- Official transcripts of secondary school work, including verification of graduation and receipt of a diploma, or GED results.
- Students who have completed post-secondary work, including dual-credit, while in high school must submit official final transcripts of their college work whether or not they expect to receive credit, and whether or not the coursework is posted to their high school transcript.
- Official SAT or ACT test results sent directly from the testing agency. Enrolling students must request that the results of the tests be sent to the College of Charleston directly from the testing agency prior to orientation.
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 the state does not require an accredited homeschool curriculum, we will abide by those rules for admission consideration.
To be well prepared for the challenging academics at the College of Charleston, freshman applicants should take a rigorous secondary school program of study that includes a variety of subjects. The following curriculum shows the best preparation for enrollment at the College of Charleston. This curriculum will also ensure that South Carolina students are in compliance with the course 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 due to circumstances beyond their reasonable control. Students must address these deficiencies in a statement to the office of admissions.
||3 (4 recommended)
(At least two must be from the same foreign language.)
(One unit of U.S. history is required; a half unit of economics and a half unit in government are strongly recommended.)
|Physical Education or ROTC 1
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 or social sciences.
Cougar Advantage Admissions Initiative
Public school students from South Carolina s, applying for admission for the 2020 fall semester and thereafter, will be automatically admitted based on a rank in class that places them in the top ten percent. Additional details and information about qualifications is posted on the Cougar Advantage website.
First Year Impact Admission (Freshmen)
Some freshmen students are required to participate in the First-Year Impact program as a condition of their admission. These students are identified by the admissions staff during the admissions process. Upon matriculation, First-Year Impact students are assisted by special academic support services to ensure that they are given a solid foundation on which to build their academic success. The First Year Impact program is managed by the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence.
Transfer and Bridge Programs
Students participating in transfer and bridge programs must successfully complete program requirements and then complete an application before enrolling at the College of Charleston for the subsequent semester. Additional information about transfer and bridge programs is available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Charleston Bridge is a one-semester, residential program that will give select South Carolina high school student admission to the College of Charleston, following a semester of work at Trident Technical College.
Charleston Bridge participants are identified and invited to participate through the College of Charleston’s admissions process.
At the end of the fall semester, students who have net bridge requirements will be eligible to transfer to the College of Charleston in the January immediately following the end of the fall semester and will be required to participate in the First Year Impact Program.
iCharleston is a one-semester, international, residential program that will give selected applicants admission to the College of Charleston following a semester of work at an international partner collegiate institution.
iCharleston participants are identified and invited to participate through the College of Charleston’s freshman admissions process.
At the end of the fall semester, students who have met bridge requirements will be eligible to transfer to the College of Charleston in the January immediately following the end of the fall semester and will be required to participate in the First Year Impact Program.
Deferred Enrollment and Gap Year
Freshmen who have been admitted are eligible for deferred enrollment or a gap period up to one academic year. A gap semester or year typically consists of a program or period of non-credit bearing experiential activities that are undertaken after high school graduation. Scholarship awards will not be deferred but be based on the year of entry. Transfer students are not eligible for deferred enrollment or a gap period.
College Coursework Elsewhere during gap period
If a student takes college coursework during their gap period, acceptance to the college will be voided and the student will be considered a transfer applicant.
Please note: a change in status from freshman to transfer will void any previously offered institutional scholarships. Additionally, South Carolina residents should be aware of the LIFE scholarship eligibility requirements once college coursework has begun.
Transfer Admission (degree seeking)
Students who have previously attended, or are currently attending, either a two-year or four-year college should apply as transfer students and submit a transcript from each college or university attended. Prior to matriculation a final official transcript is required from each college or university attended, whether or not credit was earned or courses completed. Failure to provide information regarding each college or university attended or failure to submit transcripts may result in withdrawal of any offer of admission, restrictions on registration and/or dismissal from the college.
Students are considered in attendance at an institution if they are registered for classes after the end of the drop/add period. Academic and/or disciplinary information from previous collegiate institutions is required whether or not a student was considered in attendance at that institution.
Transfer applicants must not be serving academic suspension at that or any other institution. Students who are on disciplinary suspension or have other disciplinary or criminal violations, including pending charges, will be conditionally considered for admission in accordance with the College of Charleston policy 8.1.5 Admitting Applicants for Enrollment with a Criminal or Disciplinary History. These students as well as other applicants may be required to provide disciplinary records to the College of Charleston and give written consent and FERPA waiver(s) to have College of Charleston officials discuss their disciplinary history and status with officials from their previous institution(s) and other relevant parties in the sole discretion of the College..
To be competitive for transfer admission, applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 2.600 from a regionally-accredited institution, calculated on a 4.000 scale. Special circumstances are considered and each application is reviewed and evaluated individually by admissions professionals. Freshman credentials are also evaluated unless a student has completed 24 credit hours or more.
Application requirements and deadlines can be found at http://admissions.cofc.edu/applyingtothecollege/transfers.
A link to the College of Charleston policy related to the statewide transfer articulation of coursework from South Carolina two-year colleges is located at https://transfer.cofc.edu/transfer-credit/transfer-from-sc-schools.php.
Readmit Students (degree seeking)
For undergraduate students returning after an absence from the College of Charleston, a cumulative College of Charleston GPA of a 2.000 or greater is required for admission. If a student has attended another college or university in the interim, official transcripts must be submitted for review.
For students who left the College with less than a 2.000 overall GPA, the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence will individually evaluate and make a decision on the conditional readmission of the candidate based on their current potential for academic success. If a student has attended another college or university in the interim, official transcripts must be submitted for review.
Application requirements and deadlines can be found at http://admissions.cofc.edu/applyingtothecollege/transfers. Readmit applicants with a College of Charleston GPA of less than 2.000 must meet specified application deadlines: Fall term - May 1; Spring term - Nov 1.
Note: For additional details see the Readmission section of the catalog.
Bachelor of Professional Studies
To become a student in the Bachelor of Professional Studies one must be 21 years of age with an earned high school diploma (or equivalent) and at least 30 credit hours of completed coursework in the following:
Oral and Written Communication (6-7 credit hours)
- English 101 or English 110
- Public Speaking (COMM 104 or equivalent)
Humanities and Fine Arts (6 credit hours)
- Art History/Music App/Theatre/Philosophy/Religious Studies/Ethics/Literature (choose two courses from two different disciplines)
History (3 credit hours)
- History-U.S./European/World (choose one)
Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credit hours)
- Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology/Political Science/Economics or Geography (choose two courses from two different disciplines)
Natural Science/Mathematics (12 credit hours)
- Chemistry/Physics/Biology/Astronomy or Geology (choose one)
- Statistics (MATH 104 or MATH 250)
- One additional MATH course beyond College Algebra.
- An additional 3 credit hours to be fulfilled by either an additional math or natural science or logic course.
Students who have previously served active duty, in the reserves or in the national guard should apply as transfer students and submit an official or unofficial Joint Services Transcripts (JSTs) or Community College of the Air Force transcripts (CCAF) from their respective branch of service. Prior to matriculation, a final official transcript is required from any college or university attended while in service, whether or not credit was earned or courses completed. Failure to provide information regarding each college or university attended or failure to submit transcripts may result in withdrawal of any offer of admission, restrictions on registration and/or dismissal from the college.
Students are considered in attendance at an institution if they are registered for classes after the end of the drop/add period. Academic and/or disciplinary information on their service record or from previous collegiate institutions is required whether or not a student was considered in attendance at that institution.
Transfer applicants must not be serving academic suspension at that or any other institution. Students who are on disciplinary suspension or have other disciplinary or criminal violations, including pending charges, will be conditionally considered for admission in accordance with the College of Charleston policy 8.1.5 Admitting Applicants for Enrollment with a Criminal or Disciplinary History. These students as well as other applicants may be required to provide disciplinary records to the College of Charleston and give written consent and FERPA waiver(s) to have College of Charleston officials discuss their disciplinary history and status with officials from their previous institution(s) and other relevant parties in the sole discretion of the College.
Transfer admission guidelines strongly suggest a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.600 (in-state), 3.000 (out of state) from all previous institutions attended, calculated on a 4.000 scale. Special circumstances are considered and each application is reviewed and evaluated individually by admissions professionals. Freshmen credentials (high school record and SAT or ACT scores) are not required for evaluation. A student’s service record and ACE credits obtained while in service will take the place of high school credential requirements.
Second Degree Students (degree seeking)
Students interested in applying to the College of Charleston for a second degree of any kind should apply as transfer students. Candidates with prior Associates’ degrees should apply as transfer students.
International Applicants (degree seeking)
International applicants, being defined as anyone who is not a citizen of the United States or a U.S. permanent resident, are required to provide additional documentation. United States citizens who are applying with educational credentials from outside of the U.S. may need to submit international documentation and testing, but are not required to provide the financial certification information. In addition to submitting freshman or transfer application materials, international students must provide proof of English proficiency, certification that they have adequate funds to meet their educational expenses and following documents:
These documents include but are not limited to:
- A copy of their current passport ID page. Additional documentation regarding citizenship and citizenship status may be required.
- An official copy of secondary and post-secondary transcripts with certified word for word English translations.
- A course-by-course evaluation of post-secondary work (university-level course work or 13th year of secondary school) from any non-U.S. institution. For transfer credit to be evaluated an official evaluation must be submitted from a credential evaluation agency along with course descriptions/syllabi for each course. A current list of preferred evaluation services can be found on the website.
- Demonstration of English proficiency and official submission of standardized test scores directly from the testing agency is required of international applicants. An official copy of the applicant’s ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, or iTEP must be submitted. For specific scores requirements and additional information, please reference the website.
- iBT TOEFL (code: 5113) minimum score of 80
- IELTS minimum overall score of 6.5
- iTEP Academic Plus minimum score of 3.8
- SAT (code: 5113) minimum Evidence Based Reading & Writing (EBRW) score of 500
- ACT (code: 3846) minimum Reading score of 18 and English score of 20
- English Language Institute (ELI): Successful completion of ELI Level 3B with minimum GPA 2.800, along with letter of recommendation from ELI director or coordinator.
Special circumstances are considered and each application is reviewed and evaluated individually by admissions professionals. Application requirements and deadlines can be found online. Students should allow 2-4 months for completion of these requirements.
Upon depositing and in order to receive their Form I-20, international applicants must provide a certificate of finances that gives specific information on their ability to meet the financial demands of tuition, fees and cost of living at the College of Charleston. Details about required financial certification documentation can be found on our website.
Students who do not currently meet English proficiency standards may be offered the opportunity to begin study at the College of Charleston in the English Language Institute. Under specified conditions, these students may be allowed to take a limited number and selection of courses in a degree-seeking program. Once English proficiency has been achieved, the student may be fully enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
International Students (non-degree seeking and exchange)
International applicants seeking to enroll for credit courses without intent on earning a degree from the College of Charleston need to complete a non-degree application (please see http://admissions.cofc.edu/applyingtothecollege/non-degreeprograms/index.php for the application and additional information) and must provide proof of their English proficiency and certification that they have adequate funds to meet their educational expenses.
International students seeking to enroll into one of the College of Charleston formal bi-lateral exchange programs are required to complete the non-degree admissions application and submit it to the contact individual of the program. Please refer to http://international.cofc.edu/study-abroad/bilateral.php for information regarding the various offerings.
English Language Institute
The ELI program is designed to enhance English language skills needed in academic, professional and social settings. Instructors are trained in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to create a rewarding and enjoyable classroom experience. For information and application, see http://englanginst.cofc.edu/. Programs in Intensive English Language, English for Professionals Seminar, and the English Language and U.S. Culture Summer Program are offered.
Access into many of the College of Charleston’s undergraduate courses is available to citizens of the South Carolina Lowcountry and others and facilitated through non-degree enrollment via the office of admissions and the office of summer sessions. Senior citizens, high school dual enrollment students, visiting students from other post-secondary institutions as well as individuals who wish to obtain higher education for employment purposes, graduate school preparation or for personal interest are encouraged to participate. Non-degree students must submit credentials that are appropriate to demonstrate their ability to satisfactorily complete coursework at the College of Charleston. Guidelines recommend an evaluation of transcripts from high school or previous colleges and test scores where appropriate. Students may need to show proof that course prerequisites have been met.
Applicants applying for admission as non-degree students must submit:
- A completed non-degree application for admission.
- Non-degree applicants who have not attended college may be required to submit their secondary school transcript(s) and results of either the SAT or ACT.
- Non-degree applicants who have attended college may be required to submit a transcript from each college attended, including coursework completed during a summer term.
- All applicants must also submit any additional items requested in the application materials or by the Office of Admissions.
Students who wish to take courses at the College prior to high school graduation should complete the application for dual enrollment located at http://admissions.cofc.edu/applyingtothecollege/non-degreeprograms/dualenrolledhighschoolstudents.php. All requested transcripts and official signatures are necessary before being considered for enrollment.
College of Charleston participates in Teacher Cadet coursework at selected local high schools. Participating high school students can receive college credit of three hours for EDFS 105 following successful completion of this course. Contact the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance at 843.953.5613 for additional information.
60+ Tuition Exemption Program
South Carolina residents who are at least 60 years old qualify for a tuition exemption under South Carolina State law (Section 59-111-320). If you are 60 years old or older, and a resident of South Carolina you can apply as a degree or non-degree seeking student on a tuition-free basis. While 60+ students do not pay tuition, there is a $50 registration fee. Students are responsible for paying any fees. Books and fees (i.e. application, lab, course, program fees) are not exempt.
- Students must apply and be admitted to the College of Charleston.
- Students must provide proof they have been an SC resident for at least 12 months.
- Students are required to complete U.S. citizenship verification upon admission (students can find instructions on how to verify Lawful Presence on the Office of Admissions website: https://admissions.cofc.edu/enroll/lawful-presence/index.php).
Visit 60+ Tuition Exemption Program (Undergraduate) for admission application instructions.
Verification of Lawful Presence
Section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended in 2008, requires that, to attend a public university in the state, a student must be a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States. College of Charleston is required to verify the status of all students prior to their enrollment. The Board of Trustees of the College has approved a verification process to comply with the law.
Procedures for U.S. Citizens
The College of Charleston will attempt to verify student citizenship via legally authorized federal or state data bases before asking students to submit proof of citizenship. If a student’s status cannot be verified through one of these data bases, then during new student orientation and/or prior to the start of classes the student will need to do one of the following:
- File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal-Student Aid) to College of Charleston- our code number is 003428;
- Present a valid South Carolina driver’s license issued after January 1, 2002;
- Present a current U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport that has not been expired more than 10 years
- Present an original U.S. or U.S. Territory Birth Certificate (not hospital certificate), Certification of Naturalization, U.S. Government-issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad of Certificate of Citizenship.
Every student must provide proof of U.S. citizenship before being allowed to enroll.
Questions about the College’s policy and procedures regarding this matter may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Procedures for Non-U.S. Citizens
Your admissions officer will verify your lawful presence in the United States when you apply to and enroll in the College. When your document expires or your status changes you must provide a copy of your current or renewed document to the Registrar’s Office. Students are not allowed to attend classes unless their lawful presence proof documents are current.
Proof of Lawful Presence Documents for Non-U.S. Citizens:
- Current Permanent Resident Card
- Current Visa Documentation (NOTE: If you have an F1 or J1 visa, please contact the Center for International Education.)
- Any other appropriate document which verifies lawful presence in the United States in accordance with the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (“SAVE”) operated by USCIS.
Completion of a FAFSA or possession of a South Carolina driver’s license is not sufficient proof of lawful presence without one of the above documents.
NOTE: International students should contact the Center for International Education by phone at 843.953.7661.