Southern Adventist University
Your Passion. God's Purpose.
Founded in 1892, Southern Adventist University consistently nurtures students to grow both academically and spiritually. Currently recognized as the largest Seventh-day Adventist undergraduate institution in North America, Southern offers more than 100 majors.
Our dedicated faculty and staff strive to equip students for the world into which they are graduating—a world with fluid job markets and a fast-changing global economy. Every year since 2002, Southern has received a top tier ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guide. Southern remains committed to preparing students for a calling, a career, and a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
While Nursing and Business may be two of the most popular majors on campus, there are endless possibilities, including new programs such as Physical Therapist Assistant and Political Science. If you feel God calling you toward a specific career, Southern most likely offers the courses necessary to help get you started down that path.
Our professors are more than simply teachers; they’re mentors and spiritual leaders as well. Call them smart. Call them cutting edge. And before long, you’ll likely grow to call them friends.
The best way to see what makes Southern unique is to visit our beautiful campus and experience University life for yourself. During your visit, you will receive a guided tour, meet with faculty to learn more about our academic programs, and speak with a counselor about the admission process, scholarships, and financial aid. You can schedule a campus visit at southern.edu/visit.
We know during your visit you will see the difference at Southern, where we’re not just qualifying graduates for a career but preparing them for a lifetime of service to others.
Undergraduate Students: 2,400
Graduate Students: 319
States Represented: 49
Countries Represented: 38
Percentage of Undergrads Living on Campus: 78.5%
2020-21 First-Year Class:
Average ACT: 23
Average SAT: 1,104
Average GPA: 3.7
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Tuition: $22,980 (2022-2023 academic year)
Room and Board: $8,010
Books and Fees: $1,100 (estimate)
Average Package of Scholarships, Grants, and Loans: $22,700
Full-time Students Receiving Financial Aid: 98%
Aid from Southern: More than $18 million in university-based funds are awarded to undergraduate students each year.
Cost Comparison: Tuition and fees at Southern cost 34% less than the national average for private colleges and universities and 11% less than public out-of-state colleges and universities.
Return on Investment: Southern ranked #8 in Tennessee for 2020.
Clubs and Organizations: Nearly 40 different ways to connect
Music: Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Southern Ringtones, Jazz Ensemble, I Cantori, Bel Canto, Die Meistersinger, and other musical groups
Cultural Clubs: Asian Club, Black Christian Union, Latin American Club, and Middle Eastern Club
Faith Opportunities: Residence hall worships, vespers, LifeGroups, multiple on-campus churches and services (such as Collegedale, Spanish American, Connect, Merge), more than 25 nearby Seventh-day Adventist churches, more than 20 student-led ministries
Intramural Sports: More than half of Southern students participate in intramurals.
“In public school, I didn’t fit in with the culture so always knew I wanted to attend an Adventist college. But the process of choosing a place to spend four years was daunting. My first college tour was to Southern, and I was immediately blown away by the beautiful campus. I also found the environment refreshingly kind after the coldness of high school. I hid my visitor badge and pretended that I was a regular student, and people I didn’t know smiled at me in passing! My tour guide was extremely helpful and later invited me to sit with her and her friends when she noticed me eating alone. I was so convinced that Southern was where God wanted me to be that I didn’t tour anywhere else. The friendliness on campus impacted my decision in a huge way, so now I always try to flash a smile at strangers.”
“As a freshman international student from Portugal at a community college in the U.S., I struggled to adapt to a new culture and language. I began to pray about a place where I could find the best spiritual and academic experiences, and then asked God for a sign about my calling. While trading pins on the last day of the Pathfinder event at Oshkosh, someone offered me a Southern pin in exchange for a completed application. I was accepted within a week, and after a semester I’ve seen firsthand how Southern helps students not only survive in college but also thrive!”
“When I transferred to Southern after my year as a student missionary, I was worried about feeling like I belonged. But I easily made a lot of Christ-centered friends during new student orientation and at my job in the Office of Ministry and Missions. Southern is focused on creating a strong environment for students to improve our relationships with God. I’m grateful that I get to be on this campus and feel excited about my personal growth while here.”
“I love where Southern’s located. Not only is it near Chattanooga and Atlanta, but there’s a ton of stuff to do outdoors. Some of my favorite things to do with my friends include going hiking, hammocking, and especially cliff jumping! The fact that there are so many places where you can do that within a short distance from here is just awesome. I love Southern’s hiking and biking trails, the Collegedale Greenway, and just the beauty of campus, like looking down across campus from up on the Promenade.”
“When I first decided to apply to Southern, I really didn’t think I would be able to afford it. My family isn’t able to help me pay for college, so the struggle between wanting to have an Adventist college experience and worrying how I would pay for this amazing experience made me skeptical. I started speaking to an admissions counselor, and he informed me of all the different four-year scholarships I was eligible for. Once I got my payment plan, I realized I could actually go to the university that I felt God was calling me to. When I arrived at Southern for the first time, the feeling was even more surreal. I became enchanted by this stunning campus that now feels like a little piece of home, and I couldn’t be more grateful!”