Founded in 1970, Francis Marion University is named in honor of South Carolina’s Revolutionary War hero, General Francis Marion, who was nicknamed “The Swamp Fox” for using terrain and guile to outwit his Loyalist adversaries.
Today, FMU is one of South Carolina’s 13 four-year, state-assisted universities. Classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a master’s level university, FMU takes pride in providing a strong comprehensive, liberal arts education in a broad range of undergraduate majors enhanced by three professional schools – the School of Business, School of Education, and School of Health Sciences. The University also offers graduate programs in business, education, psychology and nursing, and in Fall 2016, will begin its graduate degree in Physician Assistant Studies.
FMU offers an excellent learning environment, small enough to afford students personalized attention from faculty and staff, and large enough to let students expand their horizons. All faculty members have advanced degrees, and 81 percent of the full-time faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees.
While 95 percent of its students come from South Carolina, the University enrolls students from 36 states and 16 foreign countries, allowing students to experience the diversity of people from other cultures. The student-faculty ratio is 15 to 1, and the average class size is 21. The average age of undergraduates is 21, while the average age of graduate students is 36.
Francis Marion University is located six miles east of Florence, S.C., on nearly 500 wooded acres dotted with beautiful foliage and mature landscaping. Campus facilities include modern classroom buildings, laboratories and residence halls – all in a safe, comfortable learning environment.
The University also has a presence in downtown Florence. The Luther F. Carter Center for Health Sciences represents the future of health and medical education at FMU and in the Pee Dee. The Center is fully equipped with the latest educational technology including a simulation center, an OSCE suite, and dedicated laboratory space for anatomy, physical examinations, and clinical skills training. The Center will open in Fall 2016 and house FMU’s Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Education Program, the new Physicians Assistant Program, Clinical Psychology Masters Program, and USC’s 3rd- and 4th- year Medical Student Clinical Programs.
The FMU Performing Arts Center, also located in downtown Florence, is a 68,000 square foot, state-of-the-art performance and educational venue. Its facilities include the 849-seat Mainstage with a fly tower, the 100-seat Experimental Theatre, the BB&T Amphitheatre and an Academic Wing for the Department of Fine Arts.
The University also has a number of recreational facilities that are available for use by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and by the University’s intercollegiate athletic teams. The athletic facilities include the Griffin Athletic Complex. Named for the long-time athletic director and baseball coach, the Griffin Athletic Complex was completed in the Spring of 2012. Located across the street from the FMU campus and adjacent to the Education Foundation Building, the complex includes Clifford S. Cormell (baseball) Field at Sparrow Stadium, Murray G. Hartzler (soccer) Field, the FMU Softball Stadium, Marion L. “Spyder” Webb Plaza, Lake (“W”) Coleman, and a field house with office space and locker rooms.
The Pee Dee Education Center is located on the south end of the FMU campus. The Center is a regional educational consortium serving 19 area school districts, 72,000 students and 5,000 teachers. FMU works closely with the Pee Dee Education Center to provide resources and services to school districts in the Pee Dee, such as the Pee Dee Mathematics and Science Regional Center which is housed in the facility.
The University offers to the community programs and services in continuing education, technical and professional assistance, industrial and economic development, and artistic and cultural enrichment. Many cultural activities (concerts, lectures, plays, art exhibits, planetarium and observatory shows, and film series) are offered free to the public.
The University has an outstanding NCAA athletic program with seven sports each for men and women. The University's school colors are red, white, and blue, and the mascot is a patriot.