Frequently asked questions

​​​​​​About CMU

  • Where is CMU located?

    CMU's main campus is conveniently located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, a progressive city of about 25,000 residents in scenic Northern Michigan. Mount Pleasant is approximately 70 miles north of Lansing, about 1 hour and 15 minutes by car.

  • What kind of a community is Mount Pleasant?

    Mount Pleasant is a classic college town, with a quaint downtown district which features specialty stores and boutiques of all types. These shops are within walking distance of campus. While this community is fond of its classic appeal, it also is proud of its many modern facilities. New governmental buildings, numerous churches, modern hospitals, a large community library, developed parks and convenient shopping plazas blend comfortably with Mount Pleasant's heritage.

  • What is CMU's campus like?

    CMU is a nationally distinguished university with 27,452 students statewide and beyond. CMU enrolls approximately 19,634 students on the main Mount Pleasant campus. There are about 600 international students from over 60 countries represented on campus.

    Central Michigan University offers a virtual tour of campus from which you can learn more about campus life. If you are in the Mount Pleasant area and would like to meet with us please contact the us at (989) 774-1619 or email us at

  • What is the weather like?

    Mount Pleasant has four distinct seasons, spring, summer, fall and winter. Normal temperatures in January range from 10°F (-12°C) to 32°F (0°C); normal July temperatures range from 73°F (23°C) to 90°F (32°C). Activities take place year round on campus and because nothing is beyond walking distance all students are able to enjoy campus life!

  • What calendar does CMU follow?

    • Fall semester (August-December)
    • Spring semester (January-May)
    • First Summer semester (May-June, optional six-week session)
    • Second Summer semester (June-August, optional six-week session)

    For more information, visit our academic calendar.

  • CMU Quick Facts

    Quick Facts about CMU!
  • When was CMU founded?

    Central Michigan Normal School opened its doors on Sept. 13, 1892, with 31 students attending classes in a rented building in downtown Mount Pleasant. The school grew quickly, and by 1918 it had become a four-year public college with 450 students attending classes on a campus that consisted of 25 acres and five buildings.

    Central Michigan University has evolved into a doctoral research public university that is ranked among the best in the Midwest. CMU provides its growing student population with state-of-the-art facilities and technology, faculty who are dedicated to student-centered teaching and research, and a selection of more than 200 programs at the bachelor's, master's, specialist's and doctoral levels.


  • Does CMU have a transfer credit policy?

    International students with University or College credit from OUTSIDE of the United States must have those credits evaluated by Educational Credit Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES). Credit evaluation is not mandatory for admission however, transfer credit cannot be determined without the evaluation results from WES or ECE.

  • What are CMU's general education requirements?

    General education at CMU consists of two areas of liberal study and achievement, University Program and Competency Requirements, which are required of all students.

    For more information, please refer to the online bulletin.

  • What is the undergraduate grading system?

    ​GradesHonor Points Per Semester Hour
    NNo grade submitted
    NCNo Credit
    ZDeferred Grade
    HHonors Program​

Academic Advising and Assistance

  • When can I receive academic advising?

    Undergraduate students will meet with an academic advisor during the two-day orientation for new international students. ELI and Bridge students will be placed in classes based on the placement test results. Graduate level students should meet with their program advisors following orientation.

  • What is the TOEFL institution code for CMU?

    To have your official TOEFL score sent to CMU enter 1106 when asked for the institution code.

  • Do I need to prove English proficiency if I have studied in the United States?

    Students who have studied in the United States for 3 or more years are exempt from the English language requirement. Individuals from countries where English is the native language are also exempt. Click here​ for a complete list of countries with exempt status.

  • Can I defer my enrollment?

    Students who are accepted to CMU and then wish to have their enrollment deferred to another semester must notify the International Admissions Officer of their decision. At that time their file will be updated to reflect the new anticipated enrollment term and an updated admission letter and I-20 sent. Students will be required to submit a current bank statement if the account balance date is older than one year. Students who have already paid the SEVIS fee should notify the OGE as soon as possible, but no more than 30 days after the program start date shown on the I-20, to prevent the record from terminating.

  • Is there an orientation session?

    New International Student Orientation is a two-day mandatory orientation for all new international students. The two-day session covers academic advisement and registration, cultural adjustment, immigration regulations, employment and much more. Lunch and a light breakfast is provided both days.

English Language Institute and Bridge Program

  • How do I apply to the English Language Institute?

    Complete an application online. Select " Apply now to the English Language Institute".

  • Can I take academic classes if I am admitted to the ELI?

    Admission to the ELI is not an admission to the university. You will only be able to take language training courses offered by the ELI which are credit or non-credit courses only. To take academic courses you must complete an application for undergraduate admission or graduate admission.

  • How do I apply to the undergraduate Bridge program?

    Complete an application online. Select "Apply now to the Undergraduate Bridge Program". If you do not submit an official TOEFL or IELTS report your application will automatically be considered for the bridge program.

  • What is the Bridge program?

    The Bridge program for undergraduate international students allows applicants who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS, or need additional language training, to be admitted conditionally to the University as an undergraduate student. Bridge students are required to take a placement test administered by the ELI prior to enrolling for classes. Your score will determine what classes are needed to meet the requirement for regular admission.

  • How long will the Bridge program take?

    On average, students admitted to the bridge program take about one year to complete their language training studies before going on to their academic major. Many things can influence the length of time needed to complete the ELI including an individuals proficiency at the time of admission.

Campus Safety

  • Does the campus have police patrols?

    The CMU Police Department serves and protects members of the campus community 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The police officers are certified by the State of Michigan. CMU police officers patrol campus buildings and grounds to help ensure a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. For more information on campus safety initiatives, please visit our emergency preparedness website.

  • What about emergency phones on campus?

    Twenty-five blue-light emergency phones have been strategically placed on the CMU campus to enable members of the campus community and visitors to report emergencies or crimes in progress or to contact the CMU police for any reason. Each phone is marked with a blue light and offers a direct line to the CMU police dispatcher.

  • Are safety escort services available?

    The Safe Rides program, sponsored by the CMU Police Department, provides students access to fully marked Safe Rides escort transportation between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters. To use the service, simply call 774-HELP (4357) and two student patrollers will be dispatched to your location in a vehicle. You also may contact the CMU Police department using a blue-light phone. The call will be free of charge.

  • Does CMU have a drugs and alcohol policy?

    CMU supports the laws of the state of Michigan and strives to create an environment that supports healthy decisions and lifestyles. CMU also respects the rights of individuals who choose to not use alcohol and not experience the impact of others' misuse of alcohol. Each residence hall has floors designated alcohol and tobacco free (ATF).

    If you choose to live on an alcohol and tobacco free floor you agree that you will not consume any alcohol or smoke or chew any tobacco at any time, on or off campus. Central Michigan University promotes activities that are conducive to a healthy living and learning environment. For more information email or visit

Travel Tips

  • Is there transportation from Lansing, Detroit or Chicago?

    The Office of Global Engagement offers transportation during arrivals week from Lansing Capital Region International Airport (LAN) in Lansing, MI for NEW international students. Students who fly into Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DET) can take the Michigan Flyer Bus system to Lansing. Students who fly into Chicago can take the Amtrak Train to Lansing. You must still contact the OGE to make arrangements to be picked up during one of our scheduled pick-up times. For arrival dates and times please see the pre-arrival information.

  • Should I bring currency with me?

    It is not recommended to travel with large amounts of cash.  A small amount of currency (USD$) can be brought for immediate needs such as meals at the airport or other incidental costs while traveling.​  There is a bank and ATM on campus as well as numerous banks in the town of Mount Pleasant.  Most merchants will accept credit or debit cards, just ensure your cards are international and you are able to use them in the USA.

  • I'm transferring to CMU from another school in the U.S.  Do you have a transfer form?

    Yes!  If you are tranferring to CMU from another school in the U.S., you will need to let your current school know you're tranferring.  If helpful, you may use the form found here to assist with that SEVIS transfer process.