Honors College

The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College

The world needs scientists and thinkers who can prepare us for a future we can only imagine, healers and activists to care for the least amongst us, and artists and poets to enrich our lives and invigorate our souls. The world needs leaders and innovators who can bring the Claflin Confidence to the challenges of today and tomorrow. The world needs visionaries. The world needs you.

“Claflin Honors college graduates are excelling in graduate schools, medical schools, and law schools. They’re attaining positions of leadership in companies, schools, and social organizations all cross the world. Those are my peers and, I think to myself, I’ve got to do something great just like them!” - Saraiya N. Kalu

The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College is all about preparing visionary leaders. A prestigious college within Claflin University, the Honors College offers a uniquely rigorous and stimulating learning environment designed to develop and embolden the change leaders of tomorrow.

The Honors College confers exclusive recognition upon a small group of exceptional, high-achieving students who- because of their academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, and service to the community- consistently stand out among their peers.


Incoming freshmen must have a 3.5 unweighted grade point average, 24 ACT score or 1100 SAT score. ( Test scores required.) Continuing students are admitted to the Honors College on the basis of their academic performance at Claflin. If you meet the requirements and have been accepted by the admissions office, please click on the link below.
Honors Application Packet

The Claflin Honors ExperiencE

The Honors College at Claflin University provides a full academic and college experience that includes high-level learning, ongoing academic advising, cultural enrichment opportunities, community services experiences, and other programs designed to enhance and develop students’ academic and leadership potential.

Honors Scholarships

Honors students benefit from a wide range of prestigious scholarships. The Presidential Scholarship is awarded to three to four students each year. The University also offers a number of full four-year Honors College scholarships, along with partial scholarships that complement the financial aid package.

Exceptional Academics

Honors students take special honors courses in their core curriculum and within their specific areas of study. Honors courses are accelerated and academically challenging, highlighted by active engagement, collaborative problem solving, and a greater amount of reflective thinking.

Ongoing Leadership Development

Honors students take part in special leadership seminars, designed to enhance their experiential learning, personal development and leadership skills. Students are required to participate in a series of weekly Honors Leadership Development Seminars that include:

Exploration 101/102

Students examine diverse theories and styles of leadership potential and conduct self-assessments to determine their leadership potential style.

Inquiry and acquisition 201/202

Students conduct research relative to leadership and the required Senior Thesis, deliver presentations and discuss contemporary leadership issues.

Integration 301/302

Students research American and world leaders, continue to formulate the Senior Thesis, identify scholarship honors and awards for graduate and professional schools, and develop resumes.

Capstone 401

Students are assisted with the completion and presentation of their senior thesis, career planning, finalizing choices for graduate and professional school, enhancement of decision-making skills, conflict resolution, social and business etiquette, networking, and other competencies necessary for effective leadership.


An Exceptional Honors Preparation

  • Special honors core curriculum
  • Weekly leadership development seminars
  • Research fellowships, internships, co-ops, study abroad, and student exchange opportunities
  • Professional conferences, lectures, symposia, and seminars
  • Extracurricular and cultural enrichment activities
  • Individualized academic advising and counseling
  • Individualized coaching and mentoring for national scholarships and awards
  • Extensive community service, and service learning experiences

Real-World Experiences

Honors College students actively seek professional opportunities, gain valuable experience and, in the process, create highly impressive resumes. The practical experience includes:

High-Level Research

Honors students participate in undergraduate research and often present at regional and national conferences.

Internships and Co-Ops

Honors students gain real-world experience with leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, investment banks, major retailers, healthcare companies, non-profit organizations, U.S. government agencies, major universities, and more.

Study Abroad

Claflin honors students are strongly encouraged to immerse in native languages and cultures by studying abroad and engaging in international service learning and mission experiences. Students can discover countries such as Cost Rica, England, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, and Spain. 

Professional Conferences

Honors students attend national conferences, lectures, symposia and exhibits, where they learn from leading experts, present their own research, and network with professionals.

Honors Lecture Series

Throughout the year, as part of our Honors Lecture Series, honors students have the opportunity to hear inspirational messages from leading experts, present their own research, and network with professionals.

Campus Engagement

Honors students immerse in the campus life at Claflin. They sponsor a variety of campus events. They serve as Claflin Ambassadors. They are expected to participate in one or more campus clubs and organizations, to which they bring their leadership skills. They attend and participate in various academic and cultural activities. And, given so many opportunities to engage, honors students also give back-every honors student performs 70 hours of community service each year.

Scholarship Guidance

Honors students are strongly encouraged to apply for prestigious national merit scholarships, including Fulbright, Rhodes, Luard, Woodrow Wilson, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, Emerging Leaders, Leadership Alliance and more. The Honors College, in collaboration with Claflin’s Visionary Leadership Institute, mentors student leaders throughout the process, advising on applications, essays, interviews, and more.

The Honors Life

All freshmen female honors students live together in Kleist Hall, part of the University’s Living/Learning Center. Upper class females reside in Student Residential Center East, while male honor students live in Student Residential Center South. Honors students are able to live and learn with like-minded students-studying together, collaborating, mentoring one another, and of course, socializing and having fun.

Success Ahead

After four immersive years, Claflin honors students go far. They leave to study at the nation’s leading graduate and professional schools, including Duke Divinity School, John Hopkins University, Medical University of South Carolina, The Ohio State University, University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina School of Law, and more. They go on to great success as visionary leaders in leading companies and organizations across the nation and around the world. They leave with an education second to none- one that leads to a successful career and fulfilled life.


The Honors College makes up fifteen percent of the Claflin student body. It is a talented group of students- and a diverse one as well-with international students hailing from countries as far away as Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Vietnam.

What Is Your Vision?

Ready to realize your full potential as a visionary leader and make a change in the world? Learn more about the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College at Claflin University:

The Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College
Claflin University
The Honors Center
400 Magnolia Street
Orangeburg, SC 29115


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