Southern Arkansas University

Updated November 30, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Southern Arkansas 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 Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University appears in our ranking of The 25 Best Low-Cost Master’s in Counseling Online Programs.

SAU offers a bachelor's in psychology through its Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Though the program requires that you take 120 credits of courses, some of those credits will come from your minor and any electives that you take as well as some required psychology classes. Abnormal psychology, child psychology, learning theories, adolescent psychology and the psychology of personality are some of the more popular classes available. The university now offers courses in forensic psychology as well as internships.

If you already have a social sciences degree, you might apply for a spot in the SAU graduate psychology program. Its graduate school offers a number of advanced psychology classes, including aspects of behavior, learning theory, theories of personality, behavior modification and industrial and organizational psychology. The university also has assistantships available for grad students.

Also available is a Master of Science in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. This program, which requires that you take a minimum of 60 credits of courses, is available entirely online or on campus, and students also have the option of using both on campus and online classes. Graduates will meet the requirements to obtain a counseling license in Arkansas. You'll take classes on group counseling, basic counseling skills, assessment procedures for counselors, counseling theories, ethical issues in counseling and marriage and family counseling. Southern Arkansas State University will also require that you do at least two internships.

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About Southern Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University is a public university with its main campus in Magnolia, Arkansas, which is just a short drive from nearby Louisiana.

Founded in 1909 as the Third District Agricultural School, it opened for classes two years later. Many of its early programs offered job training and prepared students for careers in the agricultural sciences. Its first name change came in the 1920s after the school earned the right to offer college courses. It became Southern State College in the 1950s after getting rid of some of the old programs to focus on a standard college curriculum. Citing its new programs and other factors, the college changed its name to Southern Arkansas University in the 1970s.

Also known as SAU, the university announced an initiative called the Blue and Gold Vision in the early 2000s. Named for its official colors, this program will bring in new buildings and renovate existing buildings to provide students with more resources. The program helped the campus build a new theater, arena and community centers as well as other buildings for its students. SAU grew quickly over the years and now has more than 4,000 enrolled undergrad and graduate students.

Southern Arkansas University Accreditation Details

As a prospective SAU student, you'll like knowing that it has regional accreditation, which comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). Before a college or university can get NCACS accreditation, it must agree to a full review of its practices, faculty members and other factors. The NCACS also requires that all colleges go through a review every 10 years to maintain its accreditation, which SAU did in the past. Knowing that specialized or program accreditation can help students, SAU also sought this type of accreditation for some of its programs like its music programs, which have accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education also accredited its education programs, and its business programs have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. SAU also has accreditation for some of its other programs from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. and the Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation.

Southern Arkansas University Application Requirements

SAU offers both conditional and unconditional acceptance to incoming freshmen. Those who receive unconditional acceptance are students who scored 19 or higher on the ACT, have a high school diploma and finished a college prep curriculum. A college prep curriculum must include three or more years of classes in math, life sciences and English as well as several years of social studies classes and at least one foreign language. All other students receive conditional acceptance. The university requires an ACT or SAT score, a high school transcript and an immunization record from a licensed doctor. You must also apply for admission online with the online application.

The graduate application requires that you pay a $25 fee when you submit it. Though the university will accept applications after its deadline, it increases its fee to $100. You'll need to provide the university with your social security number, current address, date of birth, ethnicity and the names of all schools you attended. You also need to list the date you completed your bachelor's degree and any graduate courses you took prior to enrolling in SAU. The program or course of study that you want to enroll in may have some application requirements of its own. You may need to submit a professional essay or statement, send in a copy of your resume or supply the program with letters of recommendation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

A full-time undergrad will take at least 12 credit hours but no more than 15 credit hours in a semester. Full-time undergrads who are also Arkansas residents pay a little over $3,300 per semester. The cost for nonresidents increases to around $5,200 a semester. Arkansas residents taking fewer credits pay $223 per credit hour, and nonresidents pay $345 per credit hour. All graduate students, whether they enroll on a part-time or full-time basis, pay $279 per credit hour as an Arkansas resident and $414 per credit hour as a nonresident.

SAU awards a number of scholarships to students each year. Prospective students can view a full list of all scholarship opportunities available on the university's financial aid website, including the deadline for each one and how to apply. A single scholarship can give you up to $5,500 that you can use for the upcoming school year. Southern Arkansas University also encourages graduate students and undergrads to file the FAFSA to find out about other types of financial aid. You may receive grants, loans or acceptance to the campus's work-study program. Other loans are available from banks and private lenders, and lenders base your interest rate on your credit history and credit score.

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