Quick Facts About Southern

Location: Collegedale, Tennessee (pop. 11,437)

Campus: 1,300 acres with 26 major buildings

Motto: Power for Mind and Soul

Mission Statement: Grounded in Jesus Christ and dedicated to the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we equip students to embrace biblical truth, embody academic and professional excellence, and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.

President: David Smith, PhD

Religious Affiliation: Seventh-day Adventist. Southern welcomes individuals of other faiths.student body


Undergraduate Students: 2,530
Graduate Students: 411
States Represented: 50
Countries Represented: 41
Percentage of Undergrads Living on Campus: 63%

2018-19 First-Year Class:
Average ACT: 23.0
Average SAT: 1,104 (combined math and critical reading)
Average GPA: 3.52
Female: 55%
Male: 45%


Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1classroom

Undergraduate Fields of Study: 64 baccalaureate majors, 17 associate majors, plus numerous emphases, minors, and certificate programs

Graduate Degrees:
Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP
Master of Arts in Religion, MA
Master of Business Administration, MBA
Master of Ministry, MMin
Master of Science in Computer Science, MS
Master of Science in Counseling, MS
Master of Science in Education, MSEd
Master of Science in Nursing, MSN
Master of Social Work, MSW

Classes with Fewer than 30 Students: 81%

Full-time Faculty: 164

Accreditation: SACSCOC, AAA (with additional accreditations for individual schools and departments)

More about Student Achievement 


U.S. News & World Report has identified Southern as a “Top Tier” institution for 18 consecutive years. It also ranked Southern as the most diverse regional university in the South in 2019.

Princeton Review: Southern was recognized by the Princeton Review in its “Best in the Southeast” category, a designation earned by only 25 percent of the institutions studied. (Princeton Review’s 2016 Best Colleges: Region By Region)


Christian Service Program: More than 1,400 students participated in Christian Service programs during the 2017-2018 school year. These programs included opportunities like Westside for Jesus, Freshman Community Service Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Day. The Christian Service Department has 51 community partners that make community service opportunities possible for clubs.

musicLifeGroups: More than 1,200 students participated in LifeGroups (student-led small group Bible studies) last year.

Living in Balance Quality Enhancement Plan: To strengthen the pursuit of wholeness, the university chose to focus on increasing cardiorespiratory fitness in students. The two-hour general education physical activity requirement was increased to four, meaning students will take one physical activity course per year.

Southern Scholars: Scholarships are awarded for participation in this program, which gives intellectually motivated students enriched learning experiences and a community of peers devoted to a vigorous life of the mind that encourages student responsibility for their learning. 

Study AbroadApproximately 50 students each year take classes in another country.

Missions: Students have the opportunity to spend a year as full-time missionaries or participate in short-term trips through the uQuest Missions office and Evangelistic Resource Center.


Tuition: $21,100 (2018-2019 academic year)

Room and Board: $6,940 (2018-2019 academic year)

Books and Fees: $1,100 (estimate)

Average Package of Scholarships, Grants, and Loans: $19,158 (2017)

Full-time Students Receiving Financial Aid: 95% (2017)

Cost Comparison: Tuition and fees at Southern cost 38% less than the national average for private colleges and universities and 13% less than public out-of-state colleges and universities. 

Return on Investment: Southern ranked #12 in Tennessee for 2019.

campus lifeCAMPUS LIFE

Clubs and Organizations: 45+ different ways to connect

Music: Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Southern Ringtones, Jazz Ensemble, I Cantori, Bel Canto, Die Meistersinger, other musical groups

Cultural Clubs: African Student Union, Asian Club, Black Christian Union (BCU), French Club, Latin American Club (LAC), Oceania Islander Club, Peruvian Club

Faith Opportunities: Residence hall worships, vespers, LifeGroups, three on-campus churches (Collegedale Church, Spanish American Church, Connect), more than 25 nearby Seventh-day Adventist churches, more than 20 student-led ministries

Intramural Sports: More than 55% of Southern students participate in intramurals.