Southern Virginia University (SVU)

1 University Hill Drive, Buena Vista, VA

Campus image of Southern Virginia University

Southern Virginia University, located in Buena Vista, Virginia, was founded in 1867 when it was known as the Bowling Green Female Seminary. By 1900 the school had changed location and became known as Southern Seminary. From 1922 to 1996 the school continued operation as a junior college, but financial difficulties and declining enrollment threatened closure.

As a result, member of the Church for Latter-day Saints took over operation of the institution and transformed it into a four year liberal arts institution. Renamed Southern Virginia College, the school opened to an enrollment of 764 students which has increased to nearly a 1000 annually and once again changed its name, this time to the current one.


Southern Virginia University offers a small but diverse selection of degrees to choose from. A bachelor's degree typically takes four years to complete and requires a mixture of general education, lower and upper division courses, and some extracurricular courses that individualize the learning experience. Students may also take on a minor, requiring the addition of several courses of study, and resulting in a second area of study, though not as intensely or in depth as the first.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students wishing to attend Southern Virginia University must submit an application, all pertinent transcripts and test scores, and receive an ecclesiastical endorsement regardless of religious affiliation. After submission, all information will be reviewed by the school resulting in a formal evaluation of one's academic record and extracurricular activities, with a final decision made shortly thereafter.

Once the decision is made, the student will be notified, and if admitted will be supplied the relevant material for beginning their transition to SVU. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used by the school to determine aid awards.

Admission Requirements & Details

The admission details below may give you an idea of the candidates SVU accepts. The details may include application requirements and recommendations, as well as any college credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • Dual Credits
  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

The total student enrollment at Southern Virginia University is about 730, with undergraduate students making up about 100% of the total student population and graduate students making up the rest.

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Annual tuition is estimated to range between $15,000-$18,000 for both in-state and out-of-state students
  • Per unit charges are around $730 for part time students

Financial Aid Details

The information below lists the financial aid types students are receiving. Also shown are the percent of students receiving aid and the average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid99%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships98%$4,424
Receiving Student Loans59%$9,085
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Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To support students and graduates, Southern Virginia University may provide student services like those listed below:

  • Remedial instructional courses
  • Career path counseling
  • Employing students to lower education costs
  • Assisting students to find work

Graduation Rates

The overall graduation rate of SVU is close to 33%.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years28%
Graduating in 5 Years4%

Intercollegiate Athletics

Southern Virginia University is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NAIA Division I classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Baseball (Capital Athletic Conference)
  • Basketball (Capital Athletic Conference)
  • Football (Capital Athletic Conference)
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field, X-Country
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
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Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by Southern Virginia University by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Computer and Information Sciences

English Language and Literature

Family and Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages and Literature


Liberal Arts and Sciences

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Social Sciences

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Private Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Southern Virginia University.

Also, check out our college lists below, which can help students compare schools to one another:

Data Disclaimer

Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2010-2016. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Southern Virginia University for official up-to-date information.

Contact Information

General Contact

Admissions Office

Financial Aid Office

School Reviews

Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Based on 2 Reviews for Southern Virginia University

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