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Admissions Requirements

Admission to Southern begins with an application. You can apply online to get started. Part of the application process is evaluating what education you’ve already received to ensure you start well at Southern.

Two Simple Admission Requirements

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High School Transcript or GED

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Students must graduate from an approved secondary school or pass a high school equivalency test (GED or HiSet).
  • High School GPA Minimum (4.0 Scale)* - 2.5
  • GED Total Score Minimum (Out of 800) - 650 (150 on each section)
  • HiSet Total Score Minimum (Out of 100) - 62 (8 in each subtest and 2 on the essay)
*Must include major subjects: English, Mathematics, Natural Science, Religion, Social Science, and Foreign Language. See FAQ for further breakdown of required subjects.

Transcripts can emailed to applications@southern.edu or mailed to the address below:

Enrollment Services
Southern Adventist University
PO Box 542
Collegedale, TN 37315
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ACT or SAT Score Requirements

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Students must have one the following:
  • ACT Composite Minimum - 18
  • SAT Total Score Minimum - 960
Sending your scores each time you take the ACT or SAT can benefit you by allowing Southern to consider you for all available enrollment-related opportunities. Southern automatically calculates superscores, but each full test score must be on file to be included in the superscore.

To send your test scores, request ACT or SAT to send your scores directly to us or email a PDF of your test scores to applications@southern.edu.
Test scores are not required for admission purposes for the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 semesters if you have a high school cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above. However, they are required to be accepted into certain academic programs, and to register for classes with test score prerequisites. Check our FAQ section below to learn more.
Those planning to enter professions such as business and management, computing, education, journalism and communication, nursing, music education, or religion should also consult the respective school for any additional admission requirements.

Important Dates

Priority Application Deadline
For priority processing and scholarship consideration, a prospects application should be submitted by the following dates for the fall semester. There is no priority deadline for the winter or summer semesters.

  • Freshmen Priority Deadline March 1
  • Transfer Priority Deadline June 1
International Students
International students must apply and complete the acceptance process by the following deadlines. If the deadline has passed an I-20 will not be issued for that semester. For more information visit the International Admissions Page.

Fall Semester
  • Application Deadline: June 1
  • Acceptance Deadline: July 1
Winter Semester
  • Application Deadline: October 1
  • Acceptance Deadline: November 1
Commitment Deposit
After acceptance, the $250 commitment deposit should be paid before the following dates to guarantee placement for the upcoming semester. If it is paid after the stated date, placement will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. The Commitment Deposit becomes non-refundable after May 1. The full policy can be found in our catalog.

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Winter Semester: November 1
How to Pay the Commitment Deposit
Visit southern.edu/payment and login using your Southern email account or call 1.800.SOUTHERN to pay over the phone.

Visit Us!

While not officially part of the admissions process, we'd love to have you come to campus, show you around, answer your questions, and provide you with any guidance you need as you're applying. You can find out more about visiting us here.


Approved secondary schools must be accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Canadian Education Ministry. Home Study International is also approved.

Applicants to freshman standing must have, at the minimum, the following subjects in their secondary program:

  1. Three units of English, excluding journalism and communication.
  2. Two units of mathematics, one of which must be algebra. If Algebra 1 has not been taken, MATH 081 must be taken to make up for this deficiency.
  3. Two units of science. A college class in biology, chemistry, or physics must be taken in addition to general education science requirements if this condition is not met.
  4. Two units of social studies.
  5. Two units in a foreign language are required for a B.A. degree. If deficient, one year of a foreign language at the college level will be required.
  6. Computer competency is strongly recommended.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements for regular acceptance will be considered for admission on academic probation as outlined below.

  1. Grade point average (GPA) not lower than 2.25 (on a 4.00 scale).
  2. Minimum composite ACT (American College Test) not less than 16 or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) not less than 880 (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing, Math).
  3. GED minimum score of 145 on each section and total score of at least 580 overall.
  4. HiSET minimum score of eight in each subtest, two on the essay and total scaled score not less than 45.
Applicants admitted on academic probation are expected to attend a one-week summer intensive followed by an approved SmartStart class. Alternative options are offered on a case-by-case basis for fall and winter semesters. Academic probation allows a maximum enrollment of 13 credit hours.

Students will be reviewed by the Academic Review Committee at the end of the semester at which time they will either be placed on regular standing, remain on probation, or be academically dismissed.

Applicants wishing to request additional consideration of their admission decision may appeal to the Admissions Committee. Appeal should be made in writing to applications@southern.edu.  For more information on how to appeal, contact your admissions counselor.

Academic Programs

  • School of Education and Psychology
  • School of Journalism & Communication
  • BIOL 101, 151, 152
  • CHEM 107, 119, 120, 151
  • CPTR 108, 124
  • EDUC 242
  • ENGL 101
  • JOUR 105
  • MATH 117, 120, 191
  • PHYS 211