first-year students

First Year Applicants

New classes, new faces, a new place. It can be tough starting out. That’s why the faculty and staff at FSU Panama City are here to help you every step of the way. Whether you’re still weighing your options on your dream job or have envisioned your future since you were in kindergarten, we have the tools to help you become the best version of yourself.

Applying for admission and getting accepted are the first steps in your academic journey here at FSU Panama City. Our team will be in touch to guide you through the admissions process. Once you have applied, the Application Status Check will allow you to check on the progress of your application and see your next steps. Schedule a campus visit to learn more information about the resources and opportunities that our beautiful campus has to offer.


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    A high-quality education doesn’t have to be expensive.

    At FSU Panama City, we do what we can to make sure your education is excellent and affordable. Benefit from Florida State’s national academic reputation while enjoying one of the lowest in-state tuitions in the nation and a small, nurturing environment.


What we're looking for

First year admission is a holistic and selective process, and no single criterion guarantees admission. Rather, we consider all the documentation you submit, and we carefully review your academic record and test scores to ensure you are prepared for the rigorous curriculum you will encounter at Florida State University. The holistic review process is based on graduating from a regionally accredited high school (or the equivalent) with specific academic courses, a cumulative grade point average based on these courses and test scores. Additional factors include the rigor and quality of courses and curriculum taken, strength of senior schedule, math level in senior year, number of years in a sequential world language and the written essay.

High School Course Units

The Florida Board of Governors sets the minimum eligibility requirements in the State University System (SUS). Satisfying these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to Florida State University. Admission is selective, and admitted students typically exceed the minimum requirements.

* Students must have earned a minimum of two sequential units of credit in one world language (e.g. Spanish I and Spanish II) or American Sign Language.

ACT/SAT Information

We require first year applicants to submit at least one ACT and/or SAT test score by the application deadline to be considered for admission. Florida State does not require the optional ACT writing score or the optional SAT essay. We encourage applicants to take both the ACT and SAT, and to attempt each exam more than one time to earn the highest possible score.

When evaluating students for admission, we use the highest earned ACT and SAT sub scores to calculate the ACT composite and/or SAT total (a process known as "super scoring").

The June SAT and June ACT are the latest tests that we will use in the admission process for applicants applying for the summer or fall term.

FSU Panama City is proud to offer the Testing and Education Reference Center (TERC) in our beautiful Library and Learning Center. We encourage prospective students to access the Testing and Education Reference Center (TERC) available for all prospective students free of charge. TERC allows users to Prepare for a test (AP, SAT, ACT, CLEP, PSAT), get general skills or STEM help, search for a school or scholarship, get career advice, and more. Additionally, both ACT and the College Board now offer test preparation programs. ACT has partnered with Kaplan Test Prep and will offer an ACT preparation program at no cost to low-income students and to all students at a significantly lower cost than traditional prep programs. The College Board has partnered with the Khan Academy and offers free, personalized SAT practice based on the student's PSAT/SAT test results.


Although the essay is not required but highly recommended, it provides another opportunity to learn more about you. The essay should be no longer than 500-550 words, and may be uploaded after the student's application has been received. Applicants should choose one topic from the list below:

  • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  • Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  • Has there been a time when you've had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  • What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What's the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  • Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Home Education and GED Information

Florida State University considers applications from students who are educated through a Home-Education program, or who have earned a GED. Home-Education applicants must complete the SSAR, while students earning a GED must submit official GED results along with an official, partial high school transcript.

Accelerated Credit

Up to 45 semester hours of credit can be awarded by taking AICE, AP, IB, or CLEP tests and achieving appropriate scores.* To receive credit, official test scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Credit will be awarded only once for the same subject, whether from credit by examination, dual enrollment, transfer credit, or FSU course credit. Credit awarded for dual enrollment or transfer courses takes precedence over credit by examination.

Students enrolled in college coursework prior to graduation from high school (dual enrollment) may be awarded college credit. An official college transcript will be required for the posting of credit. We will not post college credit from a high school transcript.

Subject to change. Legislation calls for an annual review to determine the appropriate examination scores and courses for which credit is to be granted.

How to apply

Applicants who graduate from high school and receive an AA degree at the same time must meet the first year admission requirements and the major requirements when submitting the admission application. The Panama City campus Academic Program Guide provides you with a detailed program description, an academic map and a link to your department of interest.


FSU Panama City encourages first-time college students to apply by November. 1, 2022.  Starting Nov. 1, 2022, admissions decisions will be provided on a continual basis or rolling basis. The final deadline for first-year applications is July 29, 2023. All information used to make an admission decision must be received by the published deadline.

The Process

Log on to the Application Status Check regularly to monitor the status of your application materials.

Please note that letters of recommendation are not required and will not be used in the decision-making process.

Florida State University encourages applications for admission from qualified students regardless of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected group status in accordance with all pertinent federal, state, and local laws on non-discrimination and equal opportunity.

Remember to Monitor Your Application

The Application Status Check allows you to regularly monitor the status of your application and required materials. Most of our communications, including our admission decisions, will be available on the Application Status Check. You are responsible for regularly checking your email account and the Application Status Check. Please ensure that we always have your most up-to-date email address, and include in your address book.