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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, rank in class, SAT/ACT scores, talents and leadership qualifications. We want you to do well here, so we will review your high school curriculum, GPA, rank and test scores first. Leadership, extra-curricular activities and other achievements are important, but are of secondary importance in our decision-making process.
Here is the mid-range student profile (where the middle 50 percent of our accepted students fall) for our primary admission factors for the Class of 2009. Keep in mind that we do not look at the writing section of the SAT. If you take a test more than once, we only consider the highest score of each section across all of your exams.

  • A/B unweighted GPA average
  • 1100-1240 SAT for in-state students (critical reading and math only). 1160-1280 SAT for out-of-state students (critical reading and math only).
  • 22-26 ACT for in-state students. 24-28 ACT range for out-of-state students
  • Class rank in the top 15 percent
  • Strong high school curriculum (above our required curriculum)

HIGH SCHOOL COURSE CURRICULUM (strongly recommended)

To be well prepared for the challenging academics at the College of Charleston, freshman applicants should complete the following courses in high school. While this curriculum is strongly recommended, the 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. Includes Algebra I and II, and geometry.
Laboratory Science 4 units. Two of the units must be in biology, chemistry or physics.
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
Electives 4 additional units of college preparatory courses


Prior to enrolling, you must have earned either a high school diploma, or its equivalent — the General Educational Development Test (GED). The GED will be used in place of a high school diploma only if you left high school at least two years before you intend to enroll at the College. The minimum GED score for admission is the score used for awarding an equivalent high school diploma in the state where you took the test. If you earned a high school diploma, you must submit an official final transcript that verifies your graduation even if you have already been accepted or have enrolled. If you earned a GED, you must send us transcripts from the most recent semester of high school you attended.


We are happy to accept and review 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 four 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. We would also like to see course descriptions so we can understand the content of your program, how challenging the courses were and how your grades were determined.  
  • 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. 
  • Your homeschool curriculum should be from a fully accredited and recognized homeschool organization. If it is not, we require a GED.

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