Fisk University | St. Lawrence University Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies

Fisk University

Since 1995, St. Lawrence University has offered students the opportunity to study at Fisk University during the spring semester. The agreement between Fisk and St. Lawrence University is reciprocal; Fisk students spend fall semester on the St. Lawrence University campus.

  • Based in Nashville, TE
  • Spring semester
  • Pre-requisites: one course with significant African-American content
  • Fisk University is an Historically Black University (HBU)
  • Live in Fisk dorms


Location     Academics     Co-curricular     Housing     

Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts


Fisk University started out as the Fisk School in former Union army barracks in 1866 - two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It became Fisk University on August 22, 1967. Its founders hoped it would be an educational institution that would be open to all, regardless of race, and that would measure itself by "the highest standards, not of Negro education, but of American education at its best."

From its earliest days, Fisk has played a leadership role in the education of African Americans. Fisk faculty and alumni have been among America's intellectual, artistic and civic leaders in every generation since the University's beginning. Among its alumni are W.E.B Du Bois (class of 1888), social critic and cofounder of the NAACP; John W. Work, Sr., John W. Work Jr. and John W. Work III, acclaimed composer-musicologists; Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice; John Hope Franklin, eminent historian; and Nikki Giovanni, poet.

More African-American alumni of Fisk go on to get their PhDs than any institution, black or white, in the United States.

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For information on the Academic Departments at Fisk, Course Descriptions and Class Schedules, refer to the information on Fisk University's web page.

It is the responsibility of individual students to have the courses they intend to take approved by each department chair. A Credit Approval Form will be included in the acceptance packet for the Fisk Program.

Some departments may limit the number of courses taken off-campus that may count toward a major, or they may have other regulations about how such courses transfer. It is essential that students confer with their advisors and department chairpersons well in advance of leaving for Nashville in order to plan their academic programs and avoid problems.

In order to get full academic credit for a semester's work at Fisk University, SLU students must take at least sixteen semester hours. With prior approval by the appropriate SLU department chair, students may take any course offered at Fisk University as long as the student is qualified and there is space available.

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St. Lawrence students who participate in this exchange have access to all of the clubs, organizations, and events offered at Fisk University. 

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Students live in Fisk student dormitories with a roommate.

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Please click here to find the Program Calendar.

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Pre-departure: The CIIS office organizes in depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students participation in the program. This includes a program specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information. There is also an orientation session lead by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while off-campus.

On-site: Students participate in new student orientation which provides them with details about courses, campus, student-life, and living in Nashville.

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Program Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the Fisk University exchange program please contact one of the following people.

CIIS Office: Karen Smith, Director of Off-Campus Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

Faculty CoordinatorDr. Mary Jane Smith - Questions about program academics.

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