Francis Marion University

Francis Marion University

name = Francis Marion University
motto = "A Growing South Carolina Tradition."
Endowment = 16.4 million
established = 1970
type = Public
president=Luther F. Carter
city = Florence
state = South Carolina
country = USA
coordinates = coor dms|34|11|33|N|79|39|12|W|type:edu
enrollment =4,008
mascot = Patriots
colors=Red, White, and Blue
website= []
address= Francis Marion University
P.O. Box 100547
Florence, SC 29501
(843) 661-1362
1-800-368-7551 (toll free) |

Francis Marion University (formerly Francis Marion College) is a state-supported liberal arts university located seven miles east of Florence, South Carolina, USA. It is named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Francis Marion.


The university dates back to 1957, when the University of South Carolina set up a freshman center at the Florence County Library. A few years later, in 1961, USC-Florence was set up on land donated by the Wallace family eight miles east of Florence, South Carolina. In 1966, many in the Florence area pushed to establish a four-year university. Governor Robert E. McNair eventually signed into law an act creating Francis Marion College, effective July 1, 1970. The newly created Francis Marion College initially enrolled 907 students from 23 of South Carolina's 46 counties in 10 departments.

In 1992, Francis Marion College achieved university status and subsequently changed its name to "Francis Marion University". Today, Francis Marion enrolls over 4,000 students from 26 states and 16 countries. Francis Marion is one of South Carolina's thirteen state-supported universities. Since 1999, Francis Marion University has consistently ranked in the top 100 master's level institutions in the southern United States in "US News and World Reports" Best Colleges and Universities.


Located on a convert|400|acre|ha|adj=on tract of land originally included in a grant by the King of England and later made a cotton plantation by the Wallace Family, Francis Marion University is situated 7 miles east of Florence. The campus includes convert|100|acre|ha of mixed pine-hardwood and bottomland forests accessed by a series of trails. The University is located on U.S. Highways 76 and 301 and is just an hour's drive from Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand and 4 hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains. With a metropolitan-area population of 198,000, the city of Florence is nestled alongside Interstate 95, the main north-south corridor from the New England area to Miami, and at the eastern end of Interstate 20. The city is served by Amtrak, bus service, and a regional airport.


Francis Marion is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award bachelor's and master's degrees. The business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The teacher education programs of the university are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education under standards developed by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The chemistry program is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. The graduate psychology program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC) and meets the standards of training approved by the Council of Applied Master's Programs in Psychology (CAMPP). The Master of Science in Applied Psychology Program is accredited by the Interorganizational Board for Accreditation of Master's in Psychology Programs (IBAMPP). The theater arts program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), and the visual arts and art education programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The University is approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education and is a member of the American Council on Education and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Majors and degrees

Francis Marion University offers four undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of General Studies, and Bachelor of Science.

More than forty areas of study are available, including majors, cooperative programs with other institutions, and pre-professional programs. Students can choose to major in accounting, art education, biology, business economics, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice (concentration), early childhood education, economics, elementary education, English, finance, French, general business administration, German, history, international studies, management, management information systems, marketing, mass communication, mathematics, nursing, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, Spanish, theater arts, and visual arts. Students majoring in English, history, mathematics, political science, and sociology may choose the teacher certification option in these areas.

Graduate degrees include the Master's in Business Administration, Master's of Science in Applied Psychology (clinical/counseling and school psychology tracks) and several master's in education degrees. All master's degree programs are accredited by their respective professional organizations. A number of FMU's individual academic programs have also been accredited by specialized agencies

Academic facilities

The University's physical plant includes ten major buildings: J. Howard Stokes Administration Building, James A. Rogers Library, Robert E. McNair Science Building, Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Science Facility, Walter Douglas Smith University Center, Founders Hall, John K. Cauthen Educational Media Center, Peter D. Hyman Fine Arts Center, Thomas C. Stanton Academic Computer Center, and the Lee Nursing Building. In addition, the university constructed new dormatories and student apartments on campus in 2006. Francis Marion is also home to a two-story observatory, equipped with a 14-inch reflecting telescope, and a planetarium that offers public shows twice monthly.


According to the 2006-07 Student handbook, there are a total of 216 professors. 173 of those professors are full time. All faculty members have advanced degrees, and 84 percent of the full-time faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees. The average class size is 20 students. All students are assigned a faculty adviser (in their curriculum) to assist them with class scheduling and academic planning.


The Francis Marion athletics program is a member of the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference, which consists of twelve member schools in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The school sponsors seven intercollegiate men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field) and seven women's sports (basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.)

Greek organizations

Francis Marion University fields numerous Fraternities and sororities, as well as other clubs and organizations on campus. Fraternities and sororities present on campus include: Inter Fraternity Conference (IFC):
Alpha Tau Omega (Theta Xi),
Kappa Alpha Order (Delta Tau),
Tau Kappa Epsilon (Tau Sigma)

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC):
Alpha Delta Pi (Zeta Phi),
Kappa Delta (Epsilon Psi),
Zeta Tau Alpha (Eta Chi)

Nation Pan-Hellenic Conference (NPHC) :

Alpha Phi Alpha (Kappa Chi),
Delta Sigma Theta (Xi Omicron),
Kappa Alpha Psi (Mu Theta),
Omega Psi Phi,
Phi Beta Sigma ,
Sigma Gamma Rho ,
Zeta Phi Beta (Xi Nu)

Other Important Greek Affiliated Sororities & Fraternities :
Gamma Sigma Sigma (Eta Beta)

University Presidents

The University has had four presidents to date: Dr. Walter Douglas Smith (1969 to 1983), Dr. Thomas C. Stanton (1983 to 1994), Dr. Lee A. Vickers (1994 to 1999), and Dr. Luther Fred Carter is currently the president.

External links

* [ Francis Marion University]

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