Florida State University-Panama

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Florida State University-Panama, or FSU-Panama is an international branch campus of Florida State University located on the isthmus of Panama. [1] FSU has operating a broad curriculum program in Panama City of the Republic of Panama for over 50 years. [2] The campus, located by the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal, provides students with many facilities, including the largest English-language library in the Republic of Panama, computer facilities, research facilities, student housing, and athletic facilities. The student population is generally international and comes from the United States, the Republic of Panama and other countries.

An international branch campus (IBC) is a form of international higher education whereby one or more partnering institutions establishes a physical presence in a foreign location for the purpose of expanding global outreach and student exchange. Generally named for their "home" institution and offering undergraduate and graduate programs, graduating students are conferred degrees from one or all partnering institutions, dependent on the agreement. Instruction most often occurs in properties owned or leased by the foreign institution, sometimes with a local partner, and may also include additional services and facilities to mirror Western universities. IBCs are delivered in many formats and currently exist all over the world. As a relatively new method of delivering post-secondary education, IBCs have been deemed successful and yet face continual criticism.

Florida State University university in the United States

Florida State University is a public space-grant and sea-grant research university in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Founded in 1851, it is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida.

Isthmus Narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas

An isthmus is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo is an isthmus that consists of a spit or bar, and a strait is the sea counterpart of an isthmus.



The first campus was established in 1957 [3] and served as an academic institution where U.S. military and Zonians located in the Panama Canal Zone could continue their education while staying in Panama.

A Zonian is a person associated with the Panama Canal Zone, a political entity which existed between 1903 and the absorption of the Canal Zone into the Republic of Panama between 1980 and 2000. Many Zonians are descendants of the civilian American workers who came to the area during the early 1900s to work and maintain the canal. Today Zonians might work at the canal itself. Others may have been American citizens born in the Canal Zone or who spent their childhood there. A significant presence of American canal workers remained in the Canal region until 1999.

Panama Canal Zone Former unincorporated territory of the United States surrounded by the Republic of Panama

The Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated territory of the United States from 1903 to 1979, centered on the Panama Canal and surrounded by the Republic of Panama. The zone consisted of the canal and an area generally extending five miles (8.0 km) on each side of the centerline, excluding Panama City and Colón, which otherwise would have been partly within the limits of the Zone. Its border spanned three of Panama's provinces. When reservoirs were created to assure a steady supply of water for the locks, those lakes were included within the Zone.

In the 1990s, the university was located in the Albrook 808 Building in a former U.S. Army Air Force station. Courses on international affairs, computer science, psychology, and economics were given. Most of the students were U.S. citizens or relatives. After Albrook was reverted to the Panamanian state, FSU moved to the Chino Panameno School, giving classes at night for people who worked from 1997 to 1999.

The campus had various locations in Panama City, but was for many years located in La Boca (The Mouth), near the mouth of the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal.

Panama City City in Panama

Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama. It has an urban population of 880,691, with over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. The city is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of Panama. The city is the political and administrative center of the country, as well as a hub for banking and commerce.

In summer 2009, the campus relocated to the Ciudad del Saber or the City of Knowledge, [4] a reverted area which was previously a U.S. Army base, Fort Clayton, but was closed in 1999 per the Torrijos–Carter Treaties.

Ciudad del Saber

Panama's Ciudad del Saber is a government-sponsored cluster of academic organizations, technology companies and non-governmental organizations, managed by the foundation of the same name. It is located just across the Miraflores locks, in what used to be United States Army South headquarters, Fort Clayton.

Fort Clayton

Fort Clayton was a United States Army base in the former Panama Canal Zone, later part of the Republic of Panama.

Torrijos–Carter Treaties Two treaties signed by Panama and the United States in 1977, concerning the Panama Canal

The Torrijos–Carter Treaties are two treaties signed by the United States and Panama in Washington, D.C., on September 7, 1977, which superseded the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903. The treaties guaranteed that Panama would gain control of the Panama Canal after 1999, ending the control of the canal that the U.S. had exercised since 1903. The treaties are named after the two signatories, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Commander of Panama's National Guard, General Omar Torrijos.

In fall 2013, the satellite campus began offering a master's degree in International Affairs. [5]

FSU-Panama's new building before rehabilitation in the Ciudad del Saber. July 2008. FSU Panama Canal Branch NewBuilding.png
FSU-Panama's new building before rehabilitation in the Ciudad del Saber. July 2008.
The new campus in 2014. FSU Republic of Panama.JPG
The new campus in 2014.

Study Abroad Program

Many students take part in FSU's "2+2" program, whereby after completing two years of study at FSU Panama, they can receive in-state tuition at the main campus in Tallahassee. [6]

There are a few degrees which can be completed fully at FSU Panama:

These programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). [7]


The library at FSU-Panama contains the largest collection of English-language books in the country. FSU Republic of Panama Library.JPG
The library at FSU-Panama contains the largest collection of English-language books in the country.

Student organizations

FSU Panama has its own student government association as well as its own student newspaper, the FSU Pananole. There are many other clubs and groups, such as the Mandarin Club and the Environmental Club.


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  1. http://international.fsu.edu/index.aspx
  2. http://international.fsu.edu/Types/College/Panama/Panama.aspx 8/19/2009
  3. http://international.fsu.edu/Types/College/Panama/Panama.aspx
  4. http://panama.fsu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=80&Itemid=1
  5. http://panama.fsu.edu/academics/graduate-program/masters-in-international-affairs/
  6. http://www.international.fsu.edu/Types/FYA/FYA.aspx
  7. http://panama.fsu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=57 8/19/2009
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  9. http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_10/issue_09/sports_04.html
  10. http://www.panamaseminoles.com/noticias/42

Coordinates: 9°00′19″N79°35′22″W / 9.00528°N 79.58944°W / 9.00528; -79.58944