Fisk University

Since 1995, St. Lawrence University has offered students the opportunity to study at Fisk University, Nashville, TN during the fall or the spring semester. Fisk University is one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the US with its roots in the Fisk School established in former Union army barracks in 1866, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It became Fisk University on August 22, 1967. The agreement between Fisk and St. Lawrence University is reciprocal; Fisk students can spend the fall or spring semester on the St. Lawrence University campus. Nashville and its surrounding area offers a wealth of history, arts and entertainment to explore.

  • Based in Nashville, TN
  • Fall or Spring semester
  • Pre-requisites: 3.0 GPA & one course with significant African-American content
  • Fisk University is a Historically Black University (HBU)
  • Live in Fisk residence hall

Apply to Fisk University

Location     Academics     Co-Curricular     Housing     Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts


Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Consistently recognized for its academic excellence, Fisk is ranked No. 6 on the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report. Fisk also ranked No. 1 in the nation among HBCUs for social mobility and No. 3 in the nation for research expenditures among small liberal arts colleges. Fisk university is deeply committed to student leadership, success, and service. Fisk excels at preparing its highly motivated student body for elite graduate schools and outstanding careers. From the classroom to the boardroom, a Fisk education gives students the tools to turn their passions into careers and prepares them to make a difference in the world. To learn more about Fisk University, please visit their website. 

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 3rd level educational institution in the United States.

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See Fisk University's website for information on academic departments, course descriptions, and class schedules.

It is the responsibility of individual students to have the courses they intend to take approved by each department chair. A Credit Approval Form is available on each student's Studio Abroad application.

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.

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. Click here to take a virtual tour of Fisk University's campus.

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See Fisk University's website for the academic calendar. The Fall semester typically begins in early August and ends in mid-November. The Spring semester typically begins in early January and ends in early April.

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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 led by the CIIS office on culture shock, pre-departure preparations, 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: Kim Longfellow, Assistant Director of Off-Campus Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

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

Apply to Fisk University

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