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Robert E. McNair Scholarship


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 Admissions Office.

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. Online Application

    The online application must be accompanied by a $41 non-refundable application fee. This can be paid through the online payment portal once the application has been submitted or by calling the Cashier's Office at 843.661.1596.

  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. $31,650.00 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: 2015-2016 Undergraduate or 2015-2016 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 evaluated 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) or International English Language Test System (IELTS)

    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 internet based 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. 

    The IELTS may be used in lieu of the TOEFL. Information about the IELTS can be found at

    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 course 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 the immunization form should be directed to the FMU Student Health Center at (843) 661-1844.


The following figures represent an estimate of the amount of money needed to study at FMU for an undergraduate student for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 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 $956.80 per credit hour for undergraduate students and $978 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.

2014-2015 Academic Year

Tuition and Fees


International (Undergraduate Academic Scholarship/ Sister-State)

International (Undergraduate)

International (Graduate)

Undergraduate Tuition




Student Activity Fees




Information Technology Fees




Registration Fee




Total Tuition & Fees








Room & Board




Books & Supplies




Living Expenses




Total Living and Books








Grand Total






All international students must have health insurance for the duration of enrollment at FMU.  If an international student has insurance that meets these requirements below, they must submit a copy of the policy coverage and proof of validity in English to the International Student Advisor upon arrival in the United States. 

Students with a F-1 Visa

  • $50,000 or greater major medical benefit (per accident or injury)

  • $25,000 repatriation benefit

  • $50,000 medical evacuation benefit  (to his or her home country)

  • Medical deductible not to exceed $100 (per  accident or illness)

Students may acquire insurance coverage from the following vendors:


Upon acceptance to FMU, the Admissions Office will send the student an I-20 that 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 
  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 to get a new I-20. These applicants should request a transfer in SEVIS before the new I-20 will be issued by FMU. 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 3, 2017 10:38 AM
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