Frequently Asked Questions

​If there is any information you need that is not listed, please don't hesitate to contact us.
About CMU Campus Safety
Academics Costs & Scholarships
Academic Advising & Assistance Housing
Admissions Process Travel Tips
English Language Institute/ Bridge Program Support Services
Campus Life


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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, a modern hospital, 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 international students from over 60 countries represented on campus.
Central Michigan University offers an online interactive campus map 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 Office of International Affairs at (989)774-4308 or e-mail 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.

How many academic colleges does CMU have?
CMU is a multifaceted national university that offers students more than 200 programs at the Bachelor's, Master's, Specialist's, and Doctoral levels. CMU has 8 distinct colleges in which students can actively pursue specific academic areas of interest.

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.

What are some of CMU’s traditions?
CMU is a campus rich in traditions. From the Rose Rowdies at basketball games to Homecoming Weekend, there is something for everyone.
Our colors are maroon and gold and our mascot is a flying 'C.'
Some of our more popular traditions include:
  • Leadership Safari: This four day leadership camp is reserved for new students only! It's a great introduction to college life and leadership development.
  • Gentle Fridays: This outside carnival/fair is a great stress reliever before spring exams.

Who are the members of CMU’s leadership team?
To see a complete listing of the Administrative Officers please click here.
To see a complete listing of our Academic Deans please click here.

How can I contact students, faculty, or staff?
CMU offers a number of online directories to help you find students, faculty and staff on our campus. Click here to visit the CMU directory.

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Does OIA 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 undergraduate academic programs does CMU offer?
CMU has over 200 academic programs to choose from. For an A-Z liksting of CMU’s undergraduate programs, click here.

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.

How do I choose a major?
Undergraduate students select from more than 200 programs. To view a complete list of undergraduate majors click here.
CMU students are required to sign a major by the time they earn 56 semester hours of credit, which is generally a student's junior year. Once decided, a student contacts their respective departments to sign their major/minor with a member of that department's faculty. The 56-hour policy also applies to new transfer students.

What is the undergraduate grading system?
Grades Honor Points Per Semester Hour
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
E 0.3
CR Credit
N No grade submitted
NC No Credit
I Incomplete
W Withdrawal
X Audit
Z Deferred Grade
H Honors Program

What graduate degrees are offered?
At CMU, we have been offering graduate degrees for over 50 years, and as you will see, our current offerings include master's degrees in more than 70 fields, specialist's degrees in 2 fields, and doctoral degrees in 8 fields. In addition, for those who want to commit to less than an entire master's degree, we now offer graduate certificates in many areas. To visit the College of Graduate Studies Web site, click here.


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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.

How do I find an ACT testing center?
Resources for locating an ACT testing center can be found here.

How do I find an SAT testing center?
Resources for locating an SAT testing center can be found here.

How do I find a TOEFL testing center?
Resources for locating an TOEFL testing center can be found here.

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. Contact us for a complete list of countries with exempt status.


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How do I apply?
You may submit your CMU application online. To process your application we must receive the following:
  • Official secondary school transcripts.
  • Financial support form signed by your sponsor with a certified original bank statement.
  • $35 application fee (payable by check or money order in USD funds.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS report.
  • ACT or SAT test results if you have taken them.
Students are encouraged to apply 4 months prior to the semester they plan to attend.
Transfer students must also supply official evaluations from WES or ECE for all post-secondary institutions attended. Transfer credit cannot be awarded without the evaluation and may result in having to repeat courses. For more information contact:
Office of International Affairs
International Undergraduate Admissions
Ronan Hall 330
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Telephone: (989) 774-4308

What are the admission requirements?
A solid academic background will help prepare you for success at the college level. To be ready for this challenge, we stress high academic achievement in several rigorous subjects. Central Michigan University and the Presidents Council of State Colleges and Universities strongly recommend the following high school background:
4 years of:
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biological and physical sciences
  • History and social sciences

Is an admissions essay required?
An essay is not required for admission however, applicants may attach a separate sheet to provide any information we should consider in reviewing your application and records for admission. You may wish to include extracurricular and leadership activities. You may also wish to explain special situations or circumstances that may have had an impact on your academic record in high school or at another college or university.

Is English proficiency required for admission?
Proficiency in the English language is required for regular admission status. Applicants who have taken the TOEFL or IELTS should request an official report be sent to the Office of International Affairs, International Undergraduate Admissions.
Applicants who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS may apply to the undergraduate bridge program or to the English Language Institute (ELI). Applicants admitted to either program will be required to take a placement test before enrolling for classes. The placement test is administered by the ELI to determine English language proficiency levels.

When will I find out if I’ve been admitted?
Prospective students are encouraged to apply four months prior to the start of the term in which they wish to begin their studies at Central Michigan University. Applicants usually are notified informally by email of their admission status within four weeks after we receive a complete application, which include the application fee, official academic records and certified financial documents. Each application receives individual attention.
After the four week period of allowing for application review, if you have not received an admissions response you may check on the status of your application by contacting us at 1-989-774-4308 or If you choose to check on your status via e-mail, please provide us with your full name and date of birth.

Can I send copies of my transcripts?
Official transcripts must be submitted to complete the admission process.Photocopies of the original document are not considered official.

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 OIA 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.


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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 undgergraduate 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 administerd 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.


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How can I get involved?
At Central Michigan, you'll find activities, meetings, and events at all times of the day and night. To view CMU's event calendar click here. You may also visit the Office of Student Activities & Involvement for information on organizations and clubs.

What types of organizations can I join?
CMU has more than 240 registered student organizations, and you can find many groups that reflect your interests. Some of these include:
  • Academic honoraries: Students with specific academic interests and high levels of academic achievement are invited to join these special societies.
  • Residence hall groups: Each residence hall has a group of active volunteers who help plan activities. Each residence hall also elects members to a campus-wide assembly that plans campus events.
  • Sport and activity programs: If you enjoy playing sports, you'll find a variety of intramural programs and activities to match your interests. Some examples include basketball, bowling, canoeing, cross-country, cycling, football, golf, handball, indoor and outdoor track, power volleyball, racquetball, skiing, softball, swimming and wrestling. We have one of the largest intramural programs in the country. In fact, 55 percent of our students participate in intramural sports.

Does CMU offer volunteer opportunities?
CMU offers hundreds of meaningful volunteer opportunities that will build your resume while preparing you to become a thoughtful, actively engaged individual. These experiences are coordinated by the Volunteer Center in the Bovee University Center.


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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 Web site.

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 e-mail or visit​


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How much is tuition?
The Department of Homeland Security regulations require that Central Michigan University obtains verification of financial support from all international applicants prior to issuing an I-20. the following expenses are estimates only and reflect the minimum costs for a full course of study; they are subject to change and are adjusted annually.
  • Undergraduate Tuition - $18,936 (based on 24 credit hours)
  • Living Expenses - $11,894
  • Total for 1 year - $30,830
More detailed information on costs is listed here. CMU also has a payment plan to ease financial burdens. Information on the payment plan for the current school year is listed here.

Can I apply for financial aid?
Financial Aid through CMU is not available to international students however, you may qualify for one of the merit based scholarships available through the Office of International Affairs.

Are scholarships available?
The Office of International Affairs provides merit awards based on academic and other achievements. Scholarships available to eligible international students include:
  • President's Award
  • Continental scholarship
  • Global scholarship
For more information click here.


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What is CMU’s housing policy?
Central Michigan University’s campus residency policy requires that freshmen and sophomore students live in a residence hall. Students who have completed four full-time undergraduate semesters may live in housing of their choice. The sophomore requirement may be waived except for students who are recipients of CMU merit-based scholarships with a dollar value equal to or greater than $2,500. These students will be required to reside on campus during their sophomore year.
Many lifelong friendships are formed when people live together in a residence hall community. All residence halls are conveniently located on the main campus and are easily accessible to all academic buildings and athletic facilities. Living on campus puts students at the center of campus life—close to classes, professors, and academic resources. Nearly 6,000 students live in CMU's 22 residence halls, which are among the nicest in the nation. Each hall complex includes an academic adviser's office, a 24-hour computer lab, a success coach and two areas have fitness centers. Residence hall suites have separate bedrooms, study areas and bathrooms. Individual rooms are wired for high-speed Internet access.  Three residence halls are open twelve months per year, Celani, Saxe and Herrig Hall remain open year round. Most first year international students reside in Herrig Hall. On campus apartments are also available. Click here to learn more about these great opportunities.

How many roommates will I have, and can I choose them?
A very limited number of rooms have been designated for single occupancy.
If you wish to have a specific roommate, both of you must request each other on application materials. We cannot guarantee residence hall preferences or roommate requests, but we honor them whenever possible. For a better chance of living together, it is best to apply together.

What are my meal options?
The four residential restaurants located throughout the campus provide dining services for students living in the residence halls and off-campus. Flexibility in dining options is available and students may enroll in a voluntary dining membership, with a choice of seven options. Extended dining hours accommodate class schedules, and a wide variety of food is served with an "all you care to eat" policy. Special events are planned weekly which feature specialty menus, decor and a lot of fun. Students actively participate in the operation of their dining locations through food committees. Dining options are complimented with the operation of late-night Snack Stores at each Residential dining location.


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Is there transportation from Lansing, Detroit or Chicago?
The Office of International Affairs 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 Chicageo can take the Amtrak Train to Lansing. You must still contact the OIA 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?
For large amounts it is recommended to bring travelers checks purchased from your banking institution. A small amount of currency can be brought for immediate needs such as meals at the airport or other incidental costs while traveling.


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Does Mount Pleasant have public transportation?
Limited bus service is availalbe through ICTC. For schedule and fare information please see the ICTC website. Taxi-cab service is also available for local trips.

Can I get job on campus?
Depending on the type of visa you have you may be able to work on-campus only, part-time. More information on employment while an international student at CMU will be covered during the two-day orientation.

What is medical insurance?
Medical insurance in the United States protects individuals from high, unanticipated medical expenses due to illness or accidents. International students are required to obtain university approved health insurance coverage while a student at CMU. Information on CMU's plan can be found here.

Is there a medical clinic on campus?
University Health Services offers a wide variety of health care services and programs to CMU students, their spouses and other authorized users. There is a charge for the care we provide, but payment is not required on the date of service.
University Health Services is open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. To visit their Web site, click here.

What assistance is provided for students with disabilities?
Student Disability Services is located in Park Library 120. Services are provided to students who register with this office and submit the appropriate documentation of their disabilities. Students submitting the appropriate documentation may qualify for TDD, accessible transportation, sign language interpreters, wheelchair-accommodating housing, extended test times, readers for tests, note takers, visual assistance technology, and other reasonable and appropriate accommodations. For more information about these services and academic accommodations, call (989) 774-3018.​