Apply for Residential

Live on campus with people who share your drive to achieve


Courses and housing in GSSM's residential program are offered tuition-free thanks to funding by the State of South Carolina and support from the GSSM Foundation.

Families are asked to pay a portion of the direct costs for meals eaten at GSSM through the meal plan fee. Financial assistance for the meal plan, provided by our alumni, staff, and corporate partners via their annual contributions to the Foundation, supports our pledge that no student accepted into the program will be prevented from attending due to financial considerations. We do not ask for a family's financial information in the admissions process and we do not consider it when making admissions decisions.

Some January interim course choices have associated fees to cover course costs, but many are offered without fees. To facilitate broad participation, some travel-based Interim courses may offer financial assistance.

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Students apply for GSSM's Residential Program in the 10th grade to join the fall of their 11th grade year.

There are no minimum GPA, or standardized test scores, required for admission. The most competitive applications typically demonstrate excellent grades in advanced academic coursework.

Applications for Residential are due March 9th. Applications for Accelerate are due February 24th. 

Admissions Requirements

A current resident of the state of South Carolina

Complete a minimum of 10.5 credits before the end of the school year in which you apply, including 7-8 total hours of coursework in the following areas:

  • 6 credit hours in the following core courses:
    • Algebra 1
    • Algebra 2
    • Geometry
    • English 1
    • English 2
    • One lab science course (Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)
  • 1-2 credit hours in one of the following areas:
    • One year of a foreign language 
    • Social studies course
  • 2.5-3.5 additional credit hours in the following areas:
    • Any elective course
    • One or two years of the same foreign language
    • Fine arts
    • Computer science
    • Social studies course
    • Second lab science
    • Health
    • Physical education/JROTC 
    • US History
    • Economics
    • US Government

Demonstrate emotional and mental maturity

Application Dates

Residential Program Application Dates*
Open: October 2, 2023
Close: March 9, 2024
Rolling Admissions: March 9, 2024 until seats are filled or June 8, 2024

Golden Opportunity Days: Invitation Only
Residential Applicant Interviews (On Campus): Saturday, April 13, 2024
Math Assessment Test (Virtual): Tuesday, April 2, 2024 & Thursday, April 4, 2024, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Decision Released: Friday, April 26, 2024
Decisions Response Deadline: Friday, May 3, 2024
*Dates are subject to change. Please keep checking the website and stay in touch with your admissions team.
Save the Date: Govie Day, Saturday, May 11, 2024 (For Admitted Students Only)

Accelerate Program Application Dates*
Open: October 2, 2023
Close: February 24, 2024

Math Assessment Test (Virtual): Invitation Only
Tuesday, March 12, 2024, and Thursday, March 14, 2024, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Decision Released: Monday, April 8, 2024
Decisions Response Deadline: Friday, April 12, 2024
*Dates are subject to change. Please keep checking the website and stay in touch with your admissions team.

Application Checklist

Application Tip:

The application is comprised of two parts: General Information & Supplemental Essay.

The General Information part of the application must be submitted before accessing the supplemental essay. Submit the general application as soon as possible to access the essay.

You can submit your application before the teacher and school counselor evaluations are completed. After you provide the teacher and school counselor’s contact information in the first part of the application, click submit to access the supplemental essay and checklist. The checklist will enable you to track the progress of your application along with teacher and school counselor evaluation completion.

  1. Online application
  2. Short Answer Essay Question (500-750 words)
  3. English, Science, and Math teacher evaluations
  4. School Counselor documents request form (sent in February 2024 by Office of Admissions): high school transcript, 1st-semester report card, and EOCEP scores (courses for which student has received credit to date).
    • End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP): End-of-course tests for gateway courses awarded credit units in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Defined gateway courses currently include Algebra 1, Biology 1, English 2, and United States History and the Constitution, or courses with other names and activity codes in which the academic standards corresponding to these subjects are taught.
    • Any admitted students that take courses over the Summer of 2023 will only receive credit for any art courses taken.
  5. Official high school transcript including first semester grades, list of second semester courses and class rank. Transcripts must contain all hours/credits and grades to be considered for admissions. If your transcripts are not in English, you must submit a certified transcript translated into English.  Applicants with foreign course work must submit a course-by-course evaluation with GPA from a NACES approved company. An admissions decision will not be made until the evaluation and all transcripts are on file. Credential evaluations are done by NACES approved companies and are not conducted by any member at GSSM. In order to get a credential evaluation you will need to contact the NACES approved company directly.
  6. Standardized Test Optional: Official PSAT, Pre-ACT, SAT or ACT scores taken since January 2022 are optional. For more information on our test optional policy, please visit our test optional page.
  7. Golden Opportunity Days (2-day event) (Interview & Math Assessment Test): Admissions will review applications and invite qualified residential applicants to take part in Interviews (in-person or on campus) and the Math Assessment Test (virtually via Zoom) as part of the application process during “Golden Opportunity Days". The interviews will be an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to get to know more about us.  The GSSM Math Assessment Test is 45 minutes long with approximately 30 questions that do not allow the use of a calculator. The questions measure a student’s understanding of Geometry, Algebra I, and the first part of Algebra II.* This is required for invited applicants only.  This test is used only for admissions purposes. Another assessment will be given to students admitted to the school to determine final math placement.

*Scoring will take into consideration a student’s status for having completed or currently being enrolled in Algebra II

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are optional for the 2023-2024 Application Cycle. For students who submit standardized test score reports, the admissions committee will consider them when making an admissions decision. It is up to you to determine whether your scores will add to or detract from your application, but a lack of scores will not count against you. If you choose not to submit your scores, the admissions committee will emphasize the other components of your application more. Thus, you will want to ensure the rest of your application effectively highlights your strengths to demonstrate you as a motivated and academically talented student.

  • Last SAT date to apply for the GSSM Class of 2026 is Dec. 2, 2023 (registration deadline is Nov. 2, 2023)
  • Last ACT date to apply for the GSSM Class of 2026 is Dec. 9, 2023 (registration deadline is Nov. 3, 2023)

GSSM does not require students to take the essay portion for either test. Use GSSM Code 410997 to submit an official score for the SAT. Use GSSM Code 410997 to submit an official score for the ACT.

Nondiscrimination Statement

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or disability in admission to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies should be made to South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, 401 Railroad Ave, Hartsville, SC 29550, 843-383-3906. For further information on federal nondiscrimination regulations, including Title IX, contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at or call (800) 421-3481.