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Future Students:



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about Graduate Education


Francis Marion University

 School of Education

 Graduate Q & A


1.  When are graduate courses offered?

During the fall and spring semesters, graduate courses meet from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Courses meet one day per week (Monday-Thursday). A weekend format is available for some courses. Courses are taught using Blackboard Collaborate which allows students to participate in live webcasts and watch prerecorded ones. Some courses are available online, and a few are face-to-face only.

During the two summer sessions, graduate courses meet 8 times for 5-hour sessions. Course times are usually 8 a.m.-1 p.m. or 2-7 p.m. Courses typically meet twice weekly for 4 weeks, either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. A weekend course or online option is available for at least one course each session. Blackboard Collaborate (see above) is available for most courses.
If you are interested in off-campus cohort opportunities, please contact Ms. Jennifer Stone (843) 661-1460.


2.  Can I take courses online?

Yes. The graduate programs now offer some courses online. For more details, refer to question 1.


3.  When can I begin the graduate program?

Students may begin a graduate program at the start of any semester. (Fall, Spring, or any Summer Session) Contact the Graduate Office for application deadlines. (See question 6.)


4.  Do I have to be accepted into a graduate program to take a graduate course?

You can take courses as a non-degree student. You must pay the application fee, complete the application, and submit a copy of your valid teaching certificate to register for graduate courses.

As a degree-seeking student, you are allowed to take up to 12 hours while completing your file.

Note: You must be fully accepted into a graduate program to be eligible for most financial aid—please check with your financial aid counselor for specific information and guidelines.


5.  How long does it take to complete the program?

The M.Ed. programs are 36 hours. You can complete the program in 6 semesters (1½ years) by taking 6 hours each semester.

The M.A.T.-LD program is 51 hours. If you took 3 semesters of 6 hours, 3 semesters of 7 hours, and 1 semester of 12 hours (final student teaching block), you could complete the program in 7 semesters (2 years).

Note:  The student teaching block (12 hours) can only be completed during the fall or spring semester in a public school setting. You cannot be employed by the school district during your student teaching block. (EDUC 770).


6.  How do I contact the Graduate Office?

Contact: Gloria Keith (SAB 115)

    Francis Marion University
    Graduate Office
    P.O. Box 100547
    Florence, S.C. 29501-0547

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon-Fri (contact for summer hours)

Phone Number: (843) 661-1284; FAX: (843) 661-4688


7.  Who do I contact when it is time to register for courses?

For the Instructional Accommodation,
    Dr. Tracy Meetze, Coordinator:  (843) 661-1558,

For the Learning Disabilities (M.Ed.) program,
    Dr. Polly Haselden, Coordinator:  (843) 661-1472,

For the Learning Disabilities (M.A.T.) program,
    Dr. Cindi Nixon, Coordinator:  (843) 661-1551,

If you are unable to reach the coordinators, please contact the School of Education office at (843) 661-1460.

***Please list “graduate program information” or “graduate registration” on the subject line of your email. ***


8.  Where do I find information on financial aid?

Available online and at the Financial Aid Office (SAB 117)

Note: Graduate students are usually only eligible for loans.

To determine your loan eligibility, complete the FAFSA online at .  You must register for a Personal Identification Number (PIN), if you don’t already have one.  If you use the electronic format, it should take approximately 3-5 days for the Financial Aid Office to receive it. Manual transactions take approximately 4-8 weeks to process.  Financial Aid will review your form and award money based on your eligibility.

Financial aid counselors are assigned by applicant’s last name.

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon-Fri

Phone Number: (843) 661-1190; FAX (843) 661-1195


9.  How do I confirm my schedule and pay tuition fees?

If you have financial aid (scholarships, loans, etc.), then confirm your schedule online through SwampFox. Click “apply fee”…or pay fees with a credit card…or…submit your bill to the Cashiers Office, SAB 103.

Notepaying your fee confirms your schedule.

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon-Fri (*lunch break 1-2 p.m.)

Phone Number: (843) 661-1300


10.  What does it cost to take one 3-hour graduate course?

Contact the cashier's office for on-campus tuition rates. Discounted tuition is available through a school district cohort with a minimum of 15 participants per course. Please contact Mrs. Lindsay Sturkie ( or (843) 661-1466), Graduate Recruiter, for more information on cohort options.


11.  What is LiveText and how do I purchase it?

LiveText membership is required for all degree-seeking students to submit course assignments. More LiveText information is available on the School of Education website.


12.  Where do I go to purchase my textbooks?

At Patriot Bookstore, located on campus (Smith University Center)

Hours of Operation and Phone Number:

Patriot Bookstore: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon-Fri (843) 661-1345


13.  Where do I get a parking sticker? How much does it cost?

Cashiers Office in the Stokes Administration Building (SAB 103)

Cost: $15. Vehicle information (make and model of car, tag #) is necessary to complete sticker registration.

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon-Fri (contact for summer hours)

Phone Number: (843) 661-1595


14.  Where do I get a student ID?

Contact the front desk at the James A. Rogers Library on campus. If you need to go after hours, please call to schedule an appointment. Please note that a valid* FMU ID is necessary to access most of the Library's subscription databases from off-campus.

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon-Fri (*lunch break 1-2 p.m.)

Phone Number: (843) 661-1300

*If you have never used your current ID card to check out books, please go to the Library Circulation Desk to have your card validated.


Last Published: October 7, 2013 12:52 PM
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