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International Student Admissions Requirements

Francis Marion University is committed to promoting international understanding through intercultural exchange. The admission of qualified international students from countries throughout the world allows FMU to offer a uniquely diverse student body.

Francis Marion University welcomes applications for admission from international students. To ensure ample time for all required documentation to arrive at Francis Marion, it is important to apply as early as possible. International degree-seeking students must be accepted to FMU by: July 1 to begin classes in the Fall Semester; November 1 to being classes in the Spring Semester and April 1 to begin classes in the Late Spring and Summer Semesters. Students applying for undergraduate study (to receive a bachelor's degree) are responsible for all expenses. The University does not award financial aid to international students for undergraduate study although some scholarships are available for qualified students.

International students must be proficient in the English language and must be good students in their own country before they are accepted to FMU. The course of study must include course selections from English, history, mathematics, and science as well as appropriate test scores. International students should complete the educational equivalent of an American High School diploma to be considered for admission to FMU. Further information about these requirements can be obtained from the educational system in the applicant's own country or from the Admissions Office at Francis Marion University.

Some international students may qualify for in-state tuition under the South Carolina Sister-State initiative. Students from Brandenburg, Thuringen, or Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, state of Queensland, Australia and province of Taiwan, Republic of China could be eligible. Once you’ve applied for admission and you think you may be eligible to receive the waiver please contact our Residency Officer in the office of Admissions.

In addition to all other admissions materials, students must complete an Einwohnermeldeamt certificate of residency (translated into English) or send, in English, a letter from the Education Ministry in Germany confirming residence in one of the states listed above. Certificates are available from the FMU admissions office. For more information on the Sister-State initiative, consult the SC Commission on Higher Education web site at

The following steps must be completed in order for international students to be considered for admission to FMU:

  1. Application Form
    Submit complete application for admission. The principal or headmaster of the school the applicant now attends or last attended must answer all questions on the application form in the designated area. The application form must be accompanied by a $35 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Financial Certification
    Applicants must provide proof of their ability to pay expenses. This support can come from the applicant's family or sponsor. The cost of attendance is approximately U.S. $30,023.00 per year. This total includes tuition, room, food, books, and miscellaneous expenses. The University requires an official statement from a bank, employer, sponsor, or some other official affidavit of support. Financial certification must be sent to the University before an I- 20 can be sent to the student. Applicants can expect to use one-half of the total each semester. Financial certification should come directly from the source.  To complete the certificate of financial support please
    click the appropriate form here: 2013-2014 undergraduate or 2013-2014 graduate.
  3. School Records
    Applicants should request transcripts or certificates of satisfactory study from each institution attended. Examples of this include "A" or "O" levels, baccalaureate, bachillerato, Reifezeufgnis, or other school certificates. These records should include an English translation of the subjects studied, grades received in those subjects, and degrees, diplomas, or certificates earned. An explanation of the school's grading system should accompany the transcripts. To be considered official documents, all transcripts must come directly to FMU from the educational institution attended. Students who have completed university work from institutions located outside the U.S. must have those transcripts certified by the World Education Services (WES). More information is available at
  4. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    The TOEFL is required of all international students except those whose native language is English. An acceptable score is at least a 500 (61 on the web version) on the TOEFL.
    Information about the TOEFL can be found at many schools or at US Embassies, Consulates, or offices of the United States Information Service. If information is not available in the applicant's country, it can be obtained by writing: TOEFL, Box 6161, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6161, USA.

In some instances students who are transferring from other postsecondary educational institutions in the United States may be accepted for admission to Francis Marion University without TOEFL scores. This could occur if the student has a high verbal score on the SAT or good grades on Freshman English courses at the institution from which the student is transferring.


When the FMU Office of Admissions receives official copies of all required credentials, a letter of acceptance or denial will be sent. If an applicant is accepted, the University may require additional proof of financial status before an I-20 is issued. Immigration laws of the United States require every institution to certify that each international student has adequate finances to cover expenses incurred while pursuing a baccalaureate degree. Please note that all documents such as TOEFL scores, financial information, and transcripts must be sent directly from the applicable institution to the Francis Marion University Admissions Office. Facsimiles of documents except for the admissions application, will not be accepted nor will copies mailed directly from the applicant or his family.

Included with the acceptance letter will be a student health form. International students are required to complete a health history form, supply dates of previous immunizations, and have a current PPD, which is a TB skin test. The current immunization form must be presented to FMU Student Health Services before the student will be allowed to register for classes. Additionally, International Students are required to provide proof of insurance. Questions regarding this form should be directed to the FMU Student Health Center at (843) 673-9707.


The following figures represent an estimate of the amount of money needed to study at FMU for an undergraduate student for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters. Tuition and fees are subject to change and all students should come prepared with additional sources of funds. Courses in the summer are optional and currently cost $870.80 per credit hour for undergraduate students and $890.80 per credit hour for graduate students.

I-20's will not be issued until official bank statements or other documents providing proof of sufficient funds to cover educational and living expenses are received.

2013-2014 Fees




Undergraduate tuition



Student Act Fees



IT Fees



Reg Fee



Total Tuition & Fees




Room and Board



Books and Supplies



Living Expenses



Grand Total



All international students must have adequate health insurance for the duration of enrollment at FMU. If the student does not have existing coverage, health insurance may be purchased through the University at a cost of approximately $500 per year. The University cannot assume any responsibility for the medical costs of its students.


Upon acceptance to FMU, the Admissions Office will send the student a visa-qualifying document. In most cases, this is the I-20, which is used to obtain an F-1 student visa. Visas may be obtained at the American Embassy or Consulate. To obtain a visa the following documents must be provided to the Embassy or Consulate staff: 1) Passport, 2) I-20, and 3) Current financial certification (official documents should be obtained by the student and taken to the Embassy at the time of application for a visa).

Applicants who are already in the United States will not need to obtain a new visa but are still required to submit visa information. These applicants should request a transfer which will extend the time of the visa to allow adequate time to complete the baccalaureate degree at FMU. An I-20 will be issued and the transfer can be complete when the student arrives on campus. International students must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 hours) during the Fall and Spring semesters in order to maintain student immigration status.


Last Published: July 14, 2014 12:24 PM
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