Welcome to Clarkson University!

Clarkson University is a nationally ranked research university and the institution of choice for more than 3,400 enterprising, high-ability undergraduate and graduate students. Clarkson has strong undergraduate & graduate programs in engineering, business and the arts & sciences. We invite students from our exchange colleges & universities to study for a semester or a full-year at our Potsdam, New York campus.

If you wish to study at Clarkson University as an Exchange Student, you must be enrolled as a full-time student at one of our partner universities.

About Clarkson

The quintessential college town experience, Potsdam is home to two universities! Clarkson University is 2.5 hours North of Syracuse, NY, 4 hours Northeast of Albany, and 6 hours North of New York City. We are a gateway to the nearby major Canadian cities of Ottawa and Montreal. Students often visit the 6,000,000 acre Adirondack Park and Lake Placid, New York, the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.

Academic Highlights

  • Majors in: Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Sustainable Environment
  • One of every five Clarkson graduates is a CEO, president, senior executive or owner of a company.
  • Research intensive
  • Top-Tier national university

Campus Life 

  • 100+ student-run clubs and organizations where you can easily find other students who share your interests and hobbies. Club sports are popular too - whether it's soccer, hockey or ultimate Frisbee just to name a few.
  • You can meet up with friends at the 56,000-square -foot Student Center located at the center of campus.
  • Listen to a lecture by day or enjoy live performances by night in the three-story atrium theater.
  • The setting lends itself to countless recreational activities including hiking on our own 640-acre campus.


All exchange students are guaranteed housing and required to live on-campus. Exchange students are assigned apartment-style housing in either Woodstock Village, Riverside Apartments, or Townhouse Apartments. Students will be housed with a mix of other international students and American students in order to provide the best cultural experience. Each apartment includes the basic furnishings: beds, desks, built-in wardrobes, dressers, refrigerator, stove, and living and dining room furniture. Students are responsible for providing their own kitchenware, cookware, bedding, and linens.  Students will know who their roommates are prior to arrival. We encourage exchange students to organize what they will contribute to the apartment with their roommates before arrival. Students may shop online and/or ship items right to the International Center so they will be here upon arrival. There are communal laundry facilities in Woodstock Village, Riverside Apartments, and Townhouse Apartments.

How to Apply

If you wish to study at Clarkson University as an exchange student you must be enrolled as a full-time student at one of our partner institutions. The application process starts with your home university submitting your nomination. Our partners are emailed the nomination link each term.

  • Nominations Fall Semester/Full Year - March 1 - April 15
  • Nominations for Spring Semester - August 1 - September 15

Once we receive the nomination, students will receive an email with a link to the application.

  • Application Deadline Fall Semester / Full Year - May 1
  • Application Deadline Spring Semester / October 1

Detailed Information About Coming to Clarkson

As a nationally ranked research university, we are the institution of choice for more than 3,400 enterprising, high-ability undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in 50+ rigorous academic programs of study. Our faculty are on the leading edge of research of international relevance. Across the institution and its campus locations across New York, faculty and students develop close, mentoring relationships and make lifelong connections that guide career success.

Semester Dates
  • Fall Semester (semester 1) - end August through mid-December 
  • Spring Semester (semester 2) - early January through mid-May 
  • Academic Calendar
Application Dates

Fall/Full-year: March 1-May 1
Spring: August 1-October 1

Arrival Dates

Fall 2024 - August 21 & 22 (Students cannot move into campus housing earlier than August 21.)
Spring 2025 - January 6 & 7 (Students cannot move into campus housing earlier than January 6.)

Departure Dates

The residences will close by the morning after the last final exam. However, it is university policy that students leave within 24 hours after their last final exam. This exam schedule will be available late October for Fall Semester and mid-March for the Spring Semester. 


Exchange students are eligible to apply for a J-1 or F-1 Visa. We will guide you through obtaining your visa, but you must know if you are applying for a J-1 or an F-1 visa when you fill out your application.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance coverage is compulsory. If you are coming as a J-1 there are specific coverage requirements. If you are coming in on an F-1 there are no specific requirements, but we recommend having the same or more coverage as a J-1. We encourage you to review different policies and pick one that is right for you. Some additional providers are listed on NAFSA's website. TRAVEL INSURANCE IS NOT HEALTH INSURANCE.

Students entering the U.S. under the J-Exchange Visitor program to study are required to meet minimum health insurance coverage requirements. We highly advise F-1 visa holders to meet these minimum benefits as well.These include:

  • Medical Benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • At least $25,000 for Repatriation of Remains
  • At least $50,000 for Medical Evacuation to your home country
  • A deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
Estimated Expenses

Exchange students do not pay tuition. You pay for your living expenses (housing and food) as well as other entertainment types (travel, books, incidental, health insurance) of expenses.

What do you need to complete your application?

  1. Most up to date transcript in a PDF
  2. Completed Certificate of Finances Form (COF) located within the application, saved as a PDF.
  3. Financial documents that support the amount specified in the COF. All documents must be in English. Letters from a bank must be on bank letterhead, signed, and stamped. The documents do not need to support the exact total amount, just at least the amount in the COF. All must be in PDF format.
  4. English Ability Form, located in the application or upload a PDF of TOEFL or IELTS scores. We recommend having a TOEFL score of 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, and 80 Internet-based or an IELTS score of 6.5.
  5. PDF of a valid passport
  6. Seven (7) classes that you intend to enroll in while at Clarkson.

Final Steps

Once your application materials are complete and accepted you will be emailed a username, email address, and pin so you can set up your student account as well as your acceptance letter. You will be assigned a "To Do" list. Some items you will need to complete in your student portal are:

  • Student Health Documents 
  • Photo for your Student Identification Card
  • Housing Contract
  • AssessAbility Form
  • SF Terms Agreement
  • Health Insurance e-form

Once you have set up your password, you will have access to our intranet site which will provide you with details for arrival. This course will provide you with all of the information you need to know for making your final class selections, prearrival shipping address, and more!

Please see the resources listed below and if you have any additional questions not listed here, please email internationalcenter@clarkson.edu

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