Southern Adventist University

Founded in 1892 in Graysville, Tennessee, Southern Adventist University is a private Seventh-day Adventist college in Collegedale, Tennessee. It was the first Adventist school in the southern part of the United States. Today, Southern Adventist University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.


Southern Adventist University admits 93% of applicants. Half of these accepted students achieve an SAT score around 800 to 900, or an ACT score of 19 to 26. This institution is quite small, with an enrollment of only 2,139 undergraduate students. Many students here enjoy studying nursing, elementary education, kinesiology, and exercise science.


Compared to many colleges and universities averaging in the forty thousands, Southern Adventist University’s tuition is on the more affordable side. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the tuition averaged out to $22,520. This, of course, is strictly tuition and fees, and not including other costs like transportation, books and supplies, room and board, and other personal expenses.


Collegedale, Tennessee is a suburb of Chattanooga with a population of only 11,256. It is a small town, but one of the best places to live in Tennessee. Residents get the dense suburban feel and can enjoy plenty of parks in the area. The average commute time is 18.5 minutes; compared to the national average of 26.4 minutes, it’s easy to get around in Collegedale. It’s also more affordable to live here than in many other places in the U.S. In such a competitive economy, it’s relieving for Collegedale residents to know that the unemployment rate is only 3.4%. Recent job growth is looking up in this area, so students wishing to stick around after college graduation should have little to no issues finding a job.


There are great housing options at Southern Adventist University. The institution offers single-student housing for those under 23 years of age, and family housing for older couples or families. Generally, students living on campus can expect to spend about $6,750 per year, while off-campus residents can expect to spend about $8,300 per year on room and board.

Single-Student Housing

Single students under the age of 23 must live in the residence halls unless they are residing with their parents locally. There is a $250 deposit and housing application required to apply for housing. There are two residence halls for undergraduates: Thatcher Hall (women’s) and Talge Hall (men’s). Undergraduate students wishing to live off-campus may do so as well.

Family Housing

There are numerous housing options available for rent for student families either owned by the campus or nearby. The university provides a list of local rental properties available in the surrounding area for students’ convenience. Depending on your lifestyle and budget, you can choose to rent an apartment, house, mobile home, or room. The price varies greatly depending on which option you choose. Some may have utilities wrapped into the monthly rent, while others may charge for them separately.

Academic Programs

When it comes to academic majors, there is a lot to choose from at Southern Adventist University. And regardless of what major you choose, there are a plethora of courses you can take to “dabble” in a concentration and get a well-rounded education. Majors at this university include:

  • Allied health
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Education and psychology
  • English
  • General studies
  • History and political science
  • Industrial technologies
  • Interdisciplinary studies
  • Journalism & communication
  • Mathematics
  • Modern languages
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Physical education, health, and wellness
  • Physical therapy
  • Physics
  • Religion
  • Social work
  • Visual art and design

Learn more about each individual major and find the full curriculum of required courses for a specific major or minor by checking out Southern Adventist University’s extensive online catalog.

Studying abroad is an experience that students look forward to in college. Southern Adventist University actually offers their own programs through Adventist Colleges Abroad. These are designed for undergraduate students, but graduate students are also welcome. If you are interested in participating in study abroad, the best time to do so is in your second year. By then, you’ll have had enough time to adjust to college life.


What a lot of incoming students don’t know is that they may qualify for more scholarships than they think. In fact, students who maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and full-time status are eligible to fully renew certain scholarships for up to four years at Southern Adventist University.

There are a few scholarship guidelines for future applicants to be mindful of:

  • They are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until funds are depleted, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply!
  • They are distributed equally over fall and winter semesters.
  • Financial aid must not exceed costs for tuition, general fees, room rent, and a capped amount for food and books.
  • Southern Adventist University may change or amend any scholarship policies at any time.

Some renewable scholarships for incoming freshmen to consider include:

Freshman Academic Scholarship

  • You are eligible if you’ve earned a respectable high school GPA and solid SAT or ACT score
  • Automatically awarded once transcripts and test scores are received by the school

Freshman State Scholarship Replacement

  • If you lose your state scholarship, this is a solid replacement

Freshman Leadership Scholarship

  • If you’ve served in certain positions during your final year in high school, you may qualify for a $10,000 freshman leadership scholarship

Freshman Lightbearer Scholarship

  • Geared towards students who graduated from a public high school, home school, or private high school not run by an Adventist organization
  • For giving Adventist education a try, you may qualify for an $8,000 freshman bridge scholarship if you stay for at least 2 years

National Merit Scholarship

  • Took the PSAT in high school and scored well? National Merit finalists receive a full-tuition scholarship for 4 years as long as they maintain at least a 2.0 GPA

In addition to these renewable scholarships, there are plenty of other scholarships and grants available to Southern Adventist University attendees.


Racial diversity is excellent at Adventist Southern University. The student body consists of mostly whites, but there are also a good amount of Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, and Asians. This is positive as it’s important for many to be able to meet people from different backgrounds and learn from them.

As far as gender demographics go, the male to female ratio is on par with national averages. It’s not exactly perfectly equal, but it’s considered pretty balanced with an undergraduate population of about 1,090 males and 1,510 females.

Compared to other colleges where the age range of the student body is typically 18-21, Southern Adventist University attracts a good amount of students older than that range too. Coupled with ethnic diversity, students really get the opportunity to meet people coming from unique places and experiencing different stages of life.


Health and wellness is so important to success in college. That being said, don’t forget to make time for fitness in your busy schedule! Southern Adventist University offers a variety of intramural sports for both male and female students to partake in:

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Floor hockey
  • Futsal
  • Racquetball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Southern Adventist University encourages students to have fun while staying fit and absorbing cultural experiences of others around them by participating in athletics.