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4822 East Palmetto Street
Florence, SC 29506
p. 843-661-1362
w. www.fmarion.edu

Francis Marion University

Francis Marion University Rating: 3.8/5 (6 votes)

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Francis Marion University (FMU) is located in Florence, South Carolina. It was first built on a 100-acre plot of land that was a gift from the Walter G. and J.W. Wallace families. Founded in 1970, it was established as a college and then reached university status in 1992.

Since its inception, its academic offerings have expanded along with its physical campus, adding many new majors and programs as well as new classrooms, labs, and residence halls. Nearly every building on campus today is new or has been reconstructed or renovated since it was built. One of only 13 public, coeducational universities in the state, the school seeks to offer a premier liberal arts education through both undergraduate and graduate programs.


Academics are divided into three areas: the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Business, and the School of Education. Students can earn undergraduate degrees in each of these areas or pursue a Master in Business Administration degree at the graduate level.

The College of Liberal Arts offers a wide variety of academic fields of study. Students can major in sciences like biology, chemistry, sociology, and more, or study subjects like history, nursing, modern languages, and mathematics. The Schools of Business and Education offer even more concentrated academic programs with tightly-integrated courses and concentrations.

Students can expand their education even further by participating in international studies or an exchange program, qualifying for the honors program, or following a pre-law course of study. The Robert E. McNair Center is also an excellent resource for students who want to participate in research, honors, study abroad opportunities, and more. Staff members are always available to help students make the most of their college careers.


Astronomy students and planetary enthusiasts alike will enjoy the on-campus observatory, a two-story structure with a 12-foot rotating dome and a 14-inch reflecting telescope. The observatory was built in 1982, and today it houses the main telescope as well as six others on the second floor.


Students have full access to academic resources in print and online at the James A. Rogers Library. The sixth-largest academic library in South Carolina, the James A. Rogers Library offers a number of programs and resources to students and community members alike. In particular, students can access over 385,000 print volumes and many electronic databases.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Both online and paper applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Once an entire application with supporting documents has been submitted, the admissions office will make an admission status decision within a week. Incoming students can access the application online at the Apply Now webpage under Admissions. The application can be completed online through the digital program, emailed as an attachment, or printed out and sent via regular mail.

In addition to the application form, incoming students will need to provide official transcripts from high school and for each previously-attended higher education institution, as well as official SAT or ACT scores and a non-refundable $30 application fee. Applications must be completed by noon on the Friday before a semester’s classes begin, which gives students plenty of extra time to get their applications in. Any questions can be directed to the Admissions Office staff members, who are available via email or during office hours.


FMU is predominantly an in-state school. At least 95 percent of its students are residents of South Carolina, particularly the Pee Dee area. However, there is still diversity on campus, with more than 35 states and 15 countries represented in the student body. Many students are also first-generation college students, which means they are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

Student activities fall into six categories: university-sponsored, honor, academic, special interest, Panhellenic Council, and Inter-Fraternity Council. University-sponsored groups include the Student Government Association, the University Programming Board, and the student newspaper The Patriot. Students can also participate in Greek life through either of the two councils or join an interest-oriented club like Habitat for Humanity, College Republicans, College Democrats, the Ecology Club, and more.

Student Newspaper

The Patriot is the student newspaper. It is published six times each semester and features news, campus entertainment, and opinion columns as well as sports and community sections. Students who are interested in journalism may want to pursue a spot as a columnist or article writer, and budding photographers can get shots of campus events published in print and online. Members of the campus and the local community can pick up paper issues for free or visit the website or Twitter account for the most up-to-date information.

Fine Arts

Actors, musicians, singers, and artists have the opportunity to get involved in fine arts through the Peter D. Hyman Fine Arts Center. The Fine Arts Center houses the art and music wing, as well as studios for teaching art and music and a year-round art gallery. There is also a recital hall and a university theatre.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Patriots compete in the NCAA Division II with six men’s and women’s varsity teams. The school’s colors are red, white, and blue. Student athletes partipate in intercollegiate games as part of the Peach Belt Conference of southeast schools. Athletic facilities include fields, courts, a stadium, and university centers for men’s and women’s basketball and for volleyball.

Facilities are also provided for students who just want to stay in shape or participate in gym activities. Campus members have access to eight tennis courts, a lighted baseball complex, an eight-lane track, softball and soccer fields, an outdoor recreational pool, and more. Students can also get involved by joining intramural teams or participating in fitness classes and events.

Local Community

The school is located in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, which is home to a blend of residential, industrial, and business entities. The campus itself is 400 acres, rich in greenery and landscaping. There are more than 100 acres of pine and hardwood forests within the university’s lands, and a network of trails makes this area available to students for both study and pleasure. Part of this land has recently been purposed into an arboretum, still in development, which will give students and visitors the opportunity to study native tree species. The area surrounding the campus is also known for its natural beauty and foliage.


The faculty and staff are selected for their professional expertise and dedication to the college’s mission. Over 80 percent of faculty members hold doctoral degrees or terminal degrees in their fields. The faculty to student ratio is 1 to 15, which means that students have the opportunity to build closer, more meaningful relationships with their professors. Students also enjoy a small average class size of 21.

Information Summary

Ranks 14th in South Carolina and 1063rd overall
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Robert E. McNair Science Building :: Francis Marion University Biology Department :: Francis Marion University Campus Building :: Francis Marion University

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in South Carolina and 423rd overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 1 0.02
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 6 0.14
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 39 0.93

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 256 0.68
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 3 0.01
Forcible Rape 16 0.04
Robbery 76 0.20
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 537 1.43
Larceny 2,530 6.75
Vehicle theft 163 0.43

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3070th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in South Carolina.

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Florence, SC 29506
Surrounding communitySmall suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population21,333 (16,191 urban / 5,142 rural)
Households7,431 (2.66 people per house)
Median Household Income$26,468
Families5,260 (3.18 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (smaller programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate with arts & sciences (education dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringPost-master's certificate
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District4507

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1333rd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $8,978 $8,978 $17,956
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $408 $408 $408
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $449 $449 $898
FT Graduate Tuition $9,184 $9,184 $18,368
FT Graduate Required Fees $408 $408 $408
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $459 $459 $918
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $20,923 $20,923 $29,901
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $20,923 $20,923 $29,901
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $13,891 $13,891 $22,869

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $8,802 $9,066 $8,802 $9,066 $17,269 $17,774
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,900 $1,436
On-Campus – Room & Board $6,620 $6,820
On-Campus – Other Expenses $8,065 $4,437
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $6,620 $6,820
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $8,184 $4,437
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $6,334 $4,437

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$33
Graduate Application Fee$33
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 3,951 (1,168 male / 2,783 female)
Admitted 2,239 (657 male / 1,582 female)
Admission rate 57%
First-time Enrollment 744 (231 male / 513 female)
FT Enrollment 743 (230 male / 513 female)
PT Enrollment 1 (1 male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment4,058

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Basketball Conference Peach Belt Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Peach Belt Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Peach Belt Conference

ACT Test Admission

1202nd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 47%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 15 / 22
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 16 / 21
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 22

SAT Test Admission

1023rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 49%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 410 / 530
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 420 / 530
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 830 / 1060

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,533
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$3,962
Board Fee$3,070

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 9 235 7 11 4 375 26 668
Accounting 10 1 1 1 5 1 19
Applied Psychology 2 11 1 14
Art Teacher Education 1 1 2
Art/Art Studies, General 2 1 8 1 12
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 41 1 3 1 40 4 90
Business Administration and Management, General 4 16 1 2 19 1 43
Business/Managerial Economics 1 1
Chemistry, General 2 6 8
Computer and Information Sciences, General 1 4 5
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 2 1 3
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 7 15 22
Economics, General 1 3 4
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 5 2 18 25
Elementary Education and Teaching 4 10 14
Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields, Other 3 1 4
English Language and Literature, General 6 17 23
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing
Finance, General 2 8 6 1 17
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General 1 5 6
History, General 4 19 2 25
International Relations and Affairs 2 1 3
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 1 2 3
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 4 3 7
Management Information Systems, General 4 7 2 13
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 13 9 1 23
Mass Communication/Media Studies 1 14 7 22
Mathematics, General 5 3 8
Music Management 1 1 2
Nursing Education
Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration, Other
Physics, General 1 1 9 2 13
Political Science and Government, General 11 16 3 30
Psychology, General 22 1 20 3 46
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 17 1 2 78 1 100
School Psychology 1 8 1 10
Sociology 24 7 31
Special Education and Teaching, Other 5 15 20

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1669th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $66,002 ($70,760 male / $56,918 female)
Number of FT Faculty 204 (105 male / 99 female)
Number of PT Faculty 267
FT Faculty Ratio 0.8 : 1
Total Benefits $5,064,382

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