Specialized Admissions Programs
How to apply for more selective majors
A specialized admissions program is one where program admission and registration in program classes are restricted to a certain number of students meeting pre-determined criteria. This means that you are initially accepted into the university as a pre-major and then you must submit a supplemental application for consideration for acceptance into a specialized admissions undergraduate major. Specialized admissions status is justified where student demand exceeds available resources (student/faculty ratios, instructional facilities, equipment or specific accrediting requirements) or students require minimum skills to be admitted into the program (such as Music or PGA Golf Management). Specialized admissions programs have separate admissions processes and selection criteria. Not all students who meet the selection criteria are admitted into these majors. The selection process is competitive and space is limited in each incoming class.
Degree programs that require a supplemental application due to specialized admissions are listed below. Admission to FGCU does not guarantee admission to any of these programs.
Marieb College of Health & Human Services:
- BS Clinical Laboratory Science
- BSN Nursing
College of Arts & Sciences:
- BME Music Education
- BA Music - Performance
- BMT Music Therapy
- BA Music
Lutgert College of Business:
- BS PGA Golf Management
Students do not need to submit supplemental applications until their sophomore year or completion of program prerequisite requirements.
- If you are applying to a specialized admissions program in the Marieb College of Health & Human Services, visit the program's website. All undergraduate majors in the Marieb College of Health & Human Services have a selective admissions process. Some of these programs are designated as specialized admissions as described above. The selective admissions process requires students to meet certain selection criteria to be considered for admissions as a full major. Visit the college's website to learn more about the selective admissions process.
- If applying in music, refer to the Bower School of Music & the Arts website regarding audition information, BSM application and deadlines.
- If applying to PGA Golf Management, consult the website regarding application information and deadlines.
Florida Residency DetailsToggle More Info
A current FGCU student, classified as a non-Florida resident, seeking reclassification must contact the Office of Records & Registration.
Residency for Tuition Purposes
A Florida resident for tuition purposes refers to whether a student qualifies as an in-state Florida resident or an out-of-state resident. If admitted, this classification determines a student’s tuition and fee charges as a Florida resident pays less per credit hour than a non-Florida resident. The requirements for Florida residency status are defined in Florida Statute Section 1009.21.
A claimant must complete the Florida Residency Declaration For Tuition Purposes form and submit at least two supporting documents to prove his/her Florida residency status (in-state) for tuition purposes. If a claimant indicates “non-resident” on the residency form, then he/she does not need to submit any supporting documents to prove this status.
A U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, and an eligible non-U.S. citizen may be classified as Florida residents (in-state status) provided legal residence has been established in the state of Florida for at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term for which Florida residency is sought. Contact the Admissions office for more information on the types of eligible non-U.S. citizens.
Initial residency classification is determined by the Admissions office when a student applies to the university. A student is classified as an out-of-state, or non-Florida, resident until he/she provides all relevant information and required documents to prove his/her Florida resident status. Failure to provide this information in a timely manner could result in the student’s status remaining as a non-Florida resident (out-of-state), which results in higher tuition and fee charges. The Florida Residency Declaration For Tuition Purposes is an online form available for students to provide the necessary documents described below.
A claimant seeking Florida residency for tuition purposes must have established and maintained a legal Florida residence at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term for which Florida residency is sought. Maintaining a legal residence in Florida requires substantial physical presence as a condition. However, absolute physical presence is not required. For example, a claimant might take vacations outside Florida without altering his/her residency status. Finally, in some circumstances, a claimant may leave Florida to work or attend school temporarily in another state and remain eligible for residency. Eligibility in these circumstances depends on the extent to which the claimant maintains Florida legal ties and did not establish ties with another state.
A legal residence in Florida must be as a bona fide domicile rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in the university. Living or attending school in Florida will not establish legal residence. If a student’s status is out-of-state, then he/she may be eligible for Florida residency only if he/she qualifies by one of the exceptions, as provided in Florida Statute Section 1009.21.
Family situations related to legal residency:
- If a dependent student has been residing continuously with a legal resident adult relative other than the parent for at least 3 years immediately prior to the first day of classes of the term which Florida residency is sought, the dependent student may provide documentation from the adult relative or from the parent. Both the dependent student and the adult relative or the parent must meet the consecutive 12-month legal residence requirement.
- The legal residence of a dependent student whose parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart will be considered Florida if either parent is a legal resident of the state – regardless of who claims the dependent student for federal income tax purposes.
- For a dependent student, the legal residence of his/her parents is prima facie evidence (i.e., evidence that establishes a fact if uncontested) of the student’s legal residence; however, the evidence may be reinforced or rebutted, relative to the age and general circumstances of the dependent student, by the other evidence of legal residence required of or presented by the dependent student.
- For a dependent student, the legal residence of his/her parents who are domiciled outside this state is not prima facie evidence (i.e., evidence that establishes a fact if uncontested) of the student’s legal residence if that student has lived in this state for 5 consecutive years prior to enrolling or re-registering at a higher education institution.
- A student who physically resides in the state may be classified as a resident for tuition purposes if he or she marries a person who meets the 12-month requirement and who is a legal resident.
- A student who is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes and who marries a legal resident of the state or marries a person who becomes a legal resident of the state may, upon becoming a legal resident of the state, become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes upon submitting evidence of his or her own legal residency in the state, evidence of his or her marriage to a person who is a legal resident of the state, and evidence of the spouse’s legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application for reclassification.
- A student shall not lose his or her resident status solely by reason of his/her service or parent’s service in the Armed Forces outside this state.
- For students who have been classified properly as a resident for tuition purposes but who, while enrolled, lose resident tuition status because he/she or his/her parents establish domicile or legal residence elsewhere, shall have the benefit of in-state tuition for a 12-month grace period (extended to the end of the term in which the 12 months is reached).
Dependent vs. Independent Status
The determination of dependent or independent status is important because it is the basis for whether a student needs to submit his/her own documentation of residency (as an independent) or his/her parent's or guardian’s documentation of residency (as a dependent). A claimant may either be an independent student or the parent of a dependent student.
Dependent Student. A student, whether living with a parent or not, who is eligible to be claimed by his/her parent under the federal income tax code is classified as a dependent student. A parent means either or both parents of a student, any guardian or a student, or any person in a parental relationship to the student. To be considered a "qualifying child" or "dependent" for federal income tax code purposes, the following must be true:
- The student must be the parent’s son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendent of any of them.
- The student must be:
- under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than the parent (or spouse, if filing jointly)
- under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student and younger than the parent (or spouse, if filing jointly), or
- any age if permanently and totally disabled.
- The student must have lived with the parent for more than half of the year subject to IRS exceptions.
- The student must not have provided more than half of his/her own support for the year.
- The student is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).
In some situations, a student cannot be claimed as a dependent. Generally, a married student cannot be claimed as a dependent if he/she files a joint return with his/her spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children. See IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for additional tests to determine who can be claimed as a dependent.
Independent Student. A student who meets any one of the following criteria shall be classified as an independent student for the determination of residency for tuition purposes:
- The student is 24 years of age or older by the first day of classes of the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution.
- The student is married.
- The student has children who receive more than half of their support from the student.
- The student has other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student.
- The student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard or Reserves for purposes other than training. The U.S. Armed Forces consist of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy.
- At any time since the student turned age 13, where both the student's parents are deceased, or the student is or was (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court or in foster care.
- The student is determined an unaccompanied homeless youth by a school district homeless liaison, or by a staff member of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
- The student is working on a master's or doctoral degree during the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution.
Evidence that the student meets one of these criteria will be requested by the university.
A student who does not meet one of the criteria outlined above may be classified as an independent student only if he/she submits documentation that he/she provides more than fifty (50) percent of the cost of attendance for an independent, in-state student as defined by the university (exclusive of federal, state and institutional aid or scholarships).
The following documents are examples of evidence that must be provided to the university to prove a student’s status as an independent if the student is under the age of 24 by the first day of classes of the term:
- Marriage certificate, insurance information showing marital status, most recent tax return showing marital status;
- Tax returns showing support of children or other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student;
- Military discharge documents;
- Legal documents showing a student is a ward/dependent of the courts; or
- Documentation showing that the student provides more than fifty (50) percent of his/her support for the year (examples may include: tax return, W-2 form, pay stubs, employer earnings verification).
A claimant (or a parent if the student is a dependent) must submit documentation that he/she has been a Florida resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes for which the student is enrolling. At least two of the following documents must be submitted, with dates evidencing the 12-month qualifying period. At least one of the documents must be from the First Tier. As some evidence is more persuasive than others, more than two may be requested. No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive. Additionally, there must not be any contrary evidence establishing residence in another state.
First Tier (at least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list):
- A Florida voter's registration card.
- A Florida driver's license.
- A State of Florida identification card.
- A Florida vehicle registration.
- Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the claimant.
- Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
- Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (2 or more years) if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.
- Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a consecutive 12-month period.
Second Tier (may be used in conjunction with one document from First Tier):
- A declaration of domicile in Florida.
- A Florida professional or occupational license.
- Florida incorporation.
- A document evidencing verifiable family ties to a Florida resident, as defined for tuition purposes.
- Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
- Any other document that supports the student's request for Florida resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payment; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payment; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
The university reserves the right to require additional documentation to determine the resident status of any student. If Florida residency status for tuition purpose is denied, the student may send an appeal to the Admissions office.
Examples of documents that may not be used:
- Hunting/fishing licenses
- Library cards
- Shopping club/rental cards
- Birth certificate
- Social Security Card
- Florida Concealed Weapons permit
- Insurance Card
A student who has his/her tuition and fees waived or exempted according to the following sections of Florida Statutes shall be classified as a Florida resident and shall not be required to submit additional residency documentation for tuition purposes for the duration of the exemption or waiver eligibility period:
- S. 112.19(3), F.S.: Dependents or spouses of law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officers killed in the line of duty,
- S. 112.191(3), F.S.: Dependents or spouses of firefighters killed in the line of duty,
- S. 112.1912(2), F.S.: Dependents or spouses of first responders killed in action,
- S. 112.1915(3)(d), F.S.: Dependents of teacher or school administrators killed or injured in the line of duty,
- S. 961.06(1)(b), F.S.: Wrongful incarceration (for example documentation see Appendix D),
- S. 1009.25(1)(c), F.S. and (d): Custody of Department of Children and Families, in the care of a relative or adopted from the Department of Children and Families, and
- S. 1009.25(1)(f), F.S.: Homeless
After eligibility for the waiver or exemption has expired, the student must be reclassified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes to continue receiving in-state tuition benefits.
Exceptions & Qualifications
The Florida Statute, section 1009.21, permits a student who does not meet residency requirements to be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes if he/she is in exceptions and qualifications categories below. The university requires documentation in support of the following exceptions; however, the student does not have to show 12 months of residence in Florida prior to qualifying. The exceptions and qualifications categories are as follows:
- A student who was enrolled as a Florida resident for tuition purposes at a Florida public college/university, but who abandon Florida domicile and then re-enroll in Florida within 12 months of the abandonment – provided he/she continuously maintains the re-established domicile in Florida during the period of enrollment. (This benefit only applies one time.)
- An active duty member of the Armed Services of the United States residing or stationed in Florida (and spouse/dependent student) and an active drilling member of the Florida National Guard at the time of acceptance to the university; or military personnel not stationed in Florida but his/her home of record or state of legal residence certificate, DD Form 2058, is Florida (and spouse/dependent student).
- An active duty member of the Armed Services of the United States (and spouse/dependent student) attending a public college or university within 50 miles of the military establishment where he/she is stationed, if such military establishment is within a county contiguous to Florida.
- Full time instructional and administrative personnel employed by the State of Florida public school system or Florida public college/university (and spouse/dependent children).
- A student from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. The student must attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida public college/university.
- A full-time employee of a state agency, or political subdivision of the state, when the student fees are paid by the state agency, or political subdivision, for job-related law enforcement or corrections training.
- An active duty member of the Canadian military residing or stationed in Florida under the North American Air Defense (NORAD) agreement (and spouse/dependent student) attending a public college or university within 50 miles of the military establishment where he/she is stationed.
- An active duty member of a foreign nation's military who is serving as a liaison officer and he/she is residing or stationed in Florida (and spouse/dependent student) attending a public college or university within 50 miles of the military establishment where the foreign liaison officer is stationed.
- A qualified beneficiary under the Stanley G. Tate Florida Pre-Paid College Program.
- A Linkage Institute participant receiving partial or full exemptions from s. 1009.21, F.S., based on criteria approved by the Florida Department of Education per s. 288.8175(5), F.S., which establishes linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in Florida and foreign countries.
- Military personnel (and spouse/dependent children) not stationed in Florida but his/her home of record or state of legal residence certificate is Florida (as noted on an approved DD Form 2058 [s.1009.21(2)(a), F.S.], State of Legal Residence Certificate, or a Leave and Earning Statement, also called an LES or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Form 702).
Immigration & International Student Issues
A permanent resident is person who has been granted permanent resident status in the U.S. and has (or is waiting for) a Permanent Resident Card (identified as either Form I-151 or Form I-551). A permanent resident is eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes in Florida.
A non-immigrant is a foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. temporarily and for a specific purpose. Once in the U.S., he/she is restricted to the activity or reason for which his/her visa was issued. A student with certain non-immigrant visas may be eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes in Florida - contact the Admissions office for more information.
An unauthorized alien is a foreign national who lives in the U.S. without the required documentation. An unauthorized alien is not eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes in Florida; however, a dependent student who is a U.S. citizen may not be denied classification as a resident for tuition purposes based solely upon the immigration status of his or her parents.
Specialized Admissions Programs InformationToggle More Info
A specialized admissions program is one where both program admission and registration in program classes are restricted to a certain number of students meeting pre-determined criteria. This means that you are initially accepted into the university as a pre-major AND then you must submit a supplemental application for consideration for acceptance into a specialized admissions undergraduate major.
The specialized admissions status is justified where student demand exceeds available resources (student/faculty ratios, instructional facilities, equipment or specific accrediting requirements) or students require minimum skills to be admitted into the program (such as Music or PGA Golf Management). Specialized admissions programs have separate admissions processes and selection criteria. Not all students who meet the selection criteria are admitted into the specialized admissions majors. The selection process is very competitive and space is limited in each incoming class. Freshmen do not need to submit supplemental applications; applications are due in the sophomore year or when program prerequisite requirements have been completed.
Foreign Language RequirementsToggle More Info
All students admitted as freshmen or transfers must satisfy the foreign language admission requirement. A limited number of undergraduate students not meeting this requirement may be admitted; however, these students must fulfill the requirement prior to completion of the baccalaureate degree.
Admitted undergraduate students must demonstrate competency of foreign language by meeting one of these requirements:
1. Completing a foreign language or American Sign Language course in high school at the 2nd-year level or higher (i.e., Spanish 2, Haitian Creole 2, American Sign Language 2, etc.).
2. Completing a foreign language college course at the elementary 2 level or higher.
3. Obtaining qualifying scores on the AP, AICE, IB and/or CLEP exams. Learn more about the qualifying scores for foreign language in the FGCU Academic Catalog.