Sep 25, 2021  
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Southern Adventist University welcomes applications from students who seek a university career that unites spirituality and academic integrity and who commit themselves to an educational program designed according to Christian principles as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The University does not discriminate in admissions on the basis of age, gender, race, color, ethnic or national origin, religion, or handicap.

Application Procedure for Admission

  • Prospective students should request application forms from the Admissions Office or can apply on the Internet at
  • Completed paper applications should be returned to the Admissions Office with an application fee of $40. Online application fee is $25.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to request any former schools (high school and college) to forward transcripts to the university in support of the application. These will become the property of the University. 
  • It is the student’s responsibility to forward the ACT or SAT test scores to the university. 
  • Upon receipt and evaluation of the application, transcripts of credits and test scores, the Admissions Office will notify the applicant of the admission decision.

Southern Adventist University must have received a final official high school transcript or GED scores from each student before he or she will be allowed to proceed to registration.

Admission of Freshman Students*

For priority processing and scholarship consideration, applications of incoming freshmen should be submitted by March 1 for the fall semester. There is no priority deadline for the winter or summer semesters. Applications will no longer be accepted for the fall, winter, or summer semester upon the first day of classes.

Applicants for regular admission as freshmen (less than 24 college credits) must satisfy one of the following three conditions at the time of enrollment:

Regular Acceptance

  1. Graduate from an approved secondary school with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale) in major subjects,** and have a minimum composite ACT (American College Test) of 18 or an SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1290 (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing).
  2. Pass the General Education Development (GED) test with a minimum score of 150 on each section and a total score of at least 650 overall, and have a minimum composite ACT (American College Test) of 18 or an SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1290 (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing). Each GED applicant must have an official transcript of his or her grades and credits sent to the Admissions Office from the high school most recently attended.

  3. Applicants who have completed their high school education in a home school setting must have an ACT (American College Test) minimum composite test score of 18 or an SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score of 1290 (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing), and submit a portfolio which must include the following documents:
    • If the student participated in or completed a course of study through a correspondence school, the student must submit an official transcript from that school. If the student was taught partially or completely within the home, then it will be necessary to create a transcript of class work of the entire high school experience. Include course description, when the course was taken, as well as grade achieved. For example, “Algebra I: Fall, 2013, B+, 1 unit”. The home school transcript must show the graduation date and be signed and dated by one of the parents.
    • A written statement reflecting on the value the student received from his or her home school experience.

*Those planning to enter professions such as business, computing, education, journalism and communication, nursing, music education, or religion should also consult the respective school for any additional admission requirements.

**Major subjects: English, mathematics, natural science, religion, social science, and foreign language.

Conditional Acceptance

  1. If either the high school GPA, GED, or ACT/SAT composite score is below the minimum requirements as stated above, the student may appeal to the Admissions Committee for consideration of acceptance on conditional standing.

  2. Conditionally accepted students must attend JumpStart, a five week summer session that begins before the fall semester. This session will include a free three-hour course (SmartStart) as well as a special Academic Power Tools (APT) class. The following criteria will be used in placing conditional standing students for the fall semester:
    • Those that receive an earned grade of at least a “C” in both the three-hour SmartStart class and the APT class will be allowed to enroll in the fall semester as a student in good academic standing.
    • Those that receive an earned grade lower than a “C” in either the three-hour SmartStart class or the APT class will have their enrollment status for the fall 2014 semester reviewed by the Academic Review Committee for a final admissions decision.
    • Those that receive an “F” in the three-hour SmartStart class or the APT class will be academically dismissed prior to the fall semester.

Subjects Required for Admission

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.

Admission of Transfer Students

For priority processing and scholarship consideration, applications of transfer students should be submitted by June 1 for the fall semester. There is no priority deadline for the winter or summer semesters. Applications will no longer be accepted for the fall, winter, or summer semester upon the first day of classes.

Regular Acceptance

Transfer students must submit a transcript from an officially accredited college or university, with evidence of a GPA of 2.00 in major subjects, as well as a minimum composite ACT (American College Test) of 18 or an SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1290 (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing) prior to registration. Students who have a transfer GPA of 2.50 or above in 12 hours of major subjects such as general education courses offered at Southern in general education areas I or S (see Catalog under General Education ), may be exempt from the ACT/SAT requirement unless required by individual department or school.

Conditional Acceptance

  1. If the college GPA is below the minimum requirements as stated above, the student may appeal to the Admissions Committee for consideration of acceptance on conditional standing.
  2. Transfer students with an ACT composite of 16 or 17 (SAT 1170 - 1280) and a cumulative GPA between 2.0-2.49 will be accepted on conditional standing.
  3. Conditionally accepted students may take no more than 13 semester hours during the first semester.
  4. Conditionally accepted students are required to take Academic Power Tools-a class designed for students who want to learn to be successful in college. An additional fee for this class is required that is not included in tuition charges.

Transfer Credits

Southern accepts credits from all regionally accredited institutions and verifiable credit from international and non-accredited institutions. Credit by examination taken at other colleges will be accepted according to Southern Adventist University standards (see “University Credit by Examination” in the Academic Policies section of the Catalog). Background deficiencies revealed by transcripts and entrance examinations will be given individual attention.

The criteria for evaluating transfer work from an accredited school is based on guidelines given in Transfer Credit Practices AACRAO 2012 guide. The ACE recommendation guide is used for evaluating transcripts for the veterans of the armed forces. Credit may be considered for courses taken at institutions which are not regionally accredited only after the student has completed at least 16 semester hours at Southern Adventist University with a 2.00 or better average. Transfer courses that are comparable to Southern Adventist University courses may be recorded with an earned grade of “C-” or higher. All college transfer work from Tennessee will be recorded to meet the requirements of the HOPE scholarship. Transfer credit from international foreign schools must be evaluated by a credentialed foreign evaluator. As a general rule, accredited international institution credit is usually issued with pass/fail grades.

A student who has been dismissed from another institution because of poor scholarship or citizenship, or who is on probation from that institution, is not generally eligible for admission until s/he can qualify for readmission to the institution from which s/he has been dismissed.

Transfer students must submit both their official college and high school transcripts to the Enrollment Management Office before being allowed to continue registering for classes.

Admission of Non-Degree Students

Individuals who do not meet the above University admission requirements or who do not wish to become degree candidates, but who may desire limited credit for transfer to another institution of higher learning, may be allowed to register as non-degree students. A non-degree student may enroll for a maximum of five semester hours per term.

Admission of International Students

The application deadline for international students is June 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the winter semester. An international student must also complete the acceptance process no later than July 1 for the fall semester or November 1 for the winter semester otherwise an I-20 will not be processed for that semester.

In addition to meeting the freshman or transfer acceptance criteria, an international student must send official records of all credits, degrees, diplomas and other credentials. Since certificates and records filed for examination are not ordinarily returned, applicants should send certified copies if the documents in question cannot be easily replaced. These documents must also be submitted through the following credential evaluation service before an admission decision is determined*:

  • Foreign Credits (
    • Secondary and post-secondary course work must be submitted using Course-by-Course evaluation.

Proficiency in English, both written and oral, must be proven before admission. This may be done by:

  • Taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-Based Test (IBT) or Paper-Based (PBT). Students whose TOEFL IBT score is 79 (PBT 550) or higher meet the official admission level.
  • Scoring a 4.0 on the iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency)
  • Completing four years of secondary education within the United States with a GPA of 2.50 and scoring a Composite, English, and Reading score of 18 or above on the ACT.

Those who do not meet the above criteria will be evaluated for ESL admission once the office has received all required academic credentials.

*Documents from institutions located in Bermuda and the Bahamas are exempt from using the evaluation services. Students entering from Canada should have their official high school transcript evaluated by Foreign Credits if no cumulative GPA is issued by their school.

F1 Visa_International Student I-20 Process

All students desiring an I-20 must meet the following criteria.

  1. Be academically accepted
  2. Submit legible copy of passport
  3. Submit Declaration of Finances form to document available funding sufficient to pay first year expenses at Southern
  4. Submit bank statements that gives evidence of support to the financial claims on the Declaration of Finances
  5. Pay the $3,000 International Student Deposit required of all non-U.S. citizens, except for citizens of Canada, Bermuda, and the Bahamas

All F1 visa status students are required by current immigration laws to be enrolled in a full course study (a minimum of 12 hours) for each semester in attendance. NOND 080 - Academic Power Tools , may count as part of the international student’s load.

According to current immigration laws, international students with student visas may work on campus provided that employment is available, and provided that the student is enrolled in a full course of study (minimum of 12 hours) for each semester in attendance and is making progress to the completion of a degree. On-campus employment is limited up to 20 hours per week when there are regular classes held. Such employment may be full time (up to 40 hours per week) during school vacation periods provided that the student intends to register for the subsequent academic semester. The Human Resources Office monitors hours worked and notifies the student and the campus employer when a student works in excess of 20 hours per week. If a student’s work exceeds 20 hours per week, the student will become out of status with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Spouses may work only if they have a student visa (or other eligible visa) of their own.

International students on non-immigrant visas are required by law to secure permission before accepting any off-campus employment.

International students should not leave their homeland until they have in their possession: 

  1. An admissions letter of acceptance from Southern Adventist University
  2. Form I-20 (from Southern Adventist University)
  3. A valid passport
  4. A valid visa to travel to the United States

In addition to regular University expenses, there are other expenses for an international student. (Please refer to the Financing Your Education section of the Catalog.)

Admission of English as a Second Language (ESL) Students

Students that meet the admission criteria of an international student except for the TOEFL/iTEP requirements can be accepted as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student if they have a TOEFL IBT score between 45 and 78 (PBT 450-549) or an iTEP score between 3.0 and 3.9. ESL students must enroll as special advisees of the English Department which administers the language classes. Students whose TOEFL IBT score is below 45 (PBT 450) or iTEP score is below 30 are not eligible for admission to the University. See English as a Second Language Program (ESL) in the English Department section of the Catalog for additional ESL information.

Admission to the Schools

Students majoring in a specific School should refer to that section of the Catalog for requirements pertaining to the admission into that School. The following Schools are:

Extension Classes

Extension classes are university classes offered on the campuses of Southern Union academies as an opportunity for seniors to earn university credit in skills areas that will fulfill part of the General Education requirements at Southern Adventist University. Instructors are academy teachers who are qualified with appropriate credentials and experience.

To enroll in an extension class, students may be members of the junior/senior class with a grade point average of 3.00 or above during the years of their secondary education.

The extension classes must duplicate their university counterparts in content, degree of difficulty, testing and grading. The use of formal Advanced Placement (AP) courses may be used where such are available.

Academies that would like to participate in this program must contact the Vice President of Academic Administration to make application.

Commitment Deposit

All Undergraduate Degree seeking students must pay or have on account the $250 Commitment Deposit in order to register for classes.This deposit is required regardless of whether the student is a commuter student* or residence hall/university housing student**. Priority deadlines for the Commitment Deposit are May 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the winter semester. Commitment Deposits are accepted after these dates, but all deposits become non-refundable after May 1 and November 1.

The Commitment Deposit must be kept on account in order for a student to register each semester. The deposit will be refunded after graduation or notification from the student on the intent to discontinue enrollment starting one month after the end of the last semester in attendance. If the student has an outstanding balance, the deposit will be used to cover the remaining balance before any credit is returned. In addition, for returning residence hall/university housing students, upon checkout of the student’s housing assignment this deposit can be used, as necessary, to cover damage to the rental unit.

The deposit must also be on the student’s account for residence hall/university housing students and allows students to reserve a room or apartment each succeeding year. The residence halls hold a Housing Fair each spring in order to facilitate room reservations for the following academic year. However, if a student changes his/her mind after reserving a room or apartment for the following year, and decides not to return, the Commitment Deposit is no longer refundable if notification occurs after June 1.

*Commuter students: Students who do not live in university housing.

**Residence hall/university housing students: Students who live in university housing, including Talge Hall, Thatcher Hall, Thatcher South, Southern Village, Virginia Apartments, Stateside Apartments, Spalding Cove Apartments, Winding Creek Apartments, and other apartments and houses owned by the university.

Admission to Graduate Programs

For information on graduate programs see Graduate Catalog.

The degrees offered are:

School of Business

  Master of Business Administration
    Healthcare Administration (Southern Campus, online)
    Management (Southern Campus, online)
    Marketing Management
  Dual Degree-MSN and MBA (Southern Campus, online)

School of Computing

  Master of Science in Computer Science
  Computer Science
  Embedded Systems

School of Education and Psychology

  Master of Science in Counseling
    Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    School Counseling
  Master of Science in Education
    Instructional Leadership
    Literacy Education
    Outdoor Education

School of Nursing

  Doctor of Nursing Practice  

Acute Care Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (online)

    Acute Care Specialization (online)  

Lifestyle Therapeutics (online)

  Master of Science in Nursing  
    Acute Care -Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    Primary Care Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    Primary Care - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Primary Care - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    Nurse Educator (available on campus and online)
  Accelerated RN to MSN  
    Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Adult/Gerontology
    Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    Family Nurse Practitioner
    Nurse Educator (available on campus and online)
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  Dual Degree-MSN and MBA (available online)  
  Post Master’s Certificate  
    Acute Care -Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    Primary Care - Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    Primary Care - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Primary Care - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (available on campus and online)
    Nurse Educator (available on campus and online)

School of Religion

  Master of Arts
    Biblical and Theological Studies
    Religious Studies
  Master of Ministry
    Church Leadership and Management
    Church Ministry and Homiletics
    Evangelism and World Mission

School of Social Work

  Master of Social Work
  Child and Family Advocacy and Treatment
  Entrepreneurship in Social Services
  International Social Work
  Mental Health Practice in Social Work
  Military Social Work and Veteran Services
  Spiritual Care in Nontraditional Settings
  Trauma and Emergency Management

Department of Global Community Development

  Master of Science in Global Community Development