Southern Adventist University

Updated November 30, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Southern adventist University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Psychology and Counseling Programs at Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Small Colleges for a Counseling Degree.

Through its School of Education and Psychology, Southern Adventist University offers a range of psychology and counseling programs. The university offers a standard BA in Psychology that allows students to study different areas of the social sciences. Students typically earn their degrees while also studying history or business. Its Bachelor of Science program offers more options for students. They can choose the clinical concentration or a concentration in family systems, psychobiology or industrial and organizational psychology.

Students in the basic BA program will take Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Research Design and Statistics I and II and History and Systems of Psychology. They must also do a practicum, which most students do in the final semesters of their junior years. This gives students the chance to practice the skills they learned in their classes. Students can work for child abuse agencies, mental health clinics and other types of organizations. The university asks students to take courses relating to their concentrations too. The family systems concentration includes courses such as Human Sexuality, Family Counseling, and Marriage and Family.

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Southern Adventist University also offers two graduate programs in counseling. The first is a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students will take at least 50 credits and take classes in the fall, winter and spring semester each year. They can complete their studies in two years. Though students have the choice of doing a thesis, they must do practicum work. Students will do two practicums during the regular school year and then do advanced internships in the summer when they have more free time. They'll also take required classes that include Career Counseling, Crisis Counseling, and Child and Adolescent Problems and Treatments.

The university's MS in Professional School Counseling prepares students for handling some of the difficult situations that can arise in a school setting. Though it asks students to take classes over six semesters, it features different courses than the last program does. Those classes include Advanced Lifespan Development, Assessment and Appraisal, and Ethics and Legal Aspects of Counseling. Students will complete practicums and internships in the field too.

About Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University is one of the few schools of higher learning in the country that has an affiliation with the Seventh-Day Adventists. Founded in 1892 after the end of the Civil War, it opened as the Graysville Academy and offered classes for students in the south as they recovered from the battles that ravaged many of their hometowns. This school then became the Southern Industrial School, Southern Training School, and Southern Junior College. As a junior college, it offered two-year degree programs for college students. It operated as the Southern College of the Seventh-Day Adventists before becoming Southern Adventist University. This last name change came about after it gained regional accreditation.

Also called SAU and just Southern, the university has a reputation for being one of the most conservative colleges in the country. Its residence halls only allow students of the same genders to live together. Students must also follow a strict code of conduct and agree to follow the honors code. The university has a rural location in Tennessee with a campus that offers actives and clubs for students to help them find things to do without leaving. Southern Adventist University has an enrollment of around 3,000 students.

Southern Adventist University Accreditation Details

SAU has accreditation for its teaching, music and nursing programs, but it also has regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is a type of primary accreditation that covers the entire university and all its degree programs. This accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC). It applies to transfer students who want to carry credits into a new program and any student who needs financial aid.

Southern Adventist University Application Requirements

Southern only accepts students who have a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher and an ACT score of at least 18. Those who took the SAT in lieu of the ACT must receive an equivalent score. The university recommends that students submit their undergrad applications by March 1, especially if they want to apply for financial aid. Transfer students have until June 1 to submit their applications. Prospective undergrads must submit both an application and official high school transcripts. The university will also accept homeschool transcripts and equivalency diplomas. All students must submit an official test score too.

Graduate students can only enroll in a degree program if they have a bachelor's degree. Though Southern allows students to submit their unofficial transcripts if they are still in college, it requests official transcripts before those students can start their classes. Grad students will submit the university's application and complete each section on it before mailing their transcripts. Certain programs may ask for a standardized test score, resume and/or writing sample.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The average cost that undergrads attending Southern pay is around $29,150 a year. This includes both the university's fees and its base tuition rate. Room and board will add around $7,000 to a student's annual costs. Graduate students pay around $11,400 per year, which includes all university fees too. Students in one of the counseling programs will also pay extra for the transportation costs of getting to and from their internships and practicums.

SAU asks students to submit the FAFSA when they apply to the university. This is the only way that students can get any of the government grants and loans that are now available. The amount of funding that students get will depend on how much their families can contribute towards their costs. Graduate students can use this same form to get unsubsidized loans.

Institutional aid is also available from the university. Incoming freshmen can qualify for a scholarship based on their grades in high school and their standardized test scores. Some students qualify for awards of $2,000 each year, but some students will get a full scholarship that gives them $80,000 over the course of four years. Students who do missionary work also qualify for a scholarship from the university. Southern Adventist University offers institutional grants and other types of aid for students enrolled in any program available from its School of Education and Psychology and its other departments.

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