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College Profile: Southern Virginia University

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Southern Virginia University (SVU) is a liberal arts college located in Buena Vista, Virginia that promotes standards and values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) while not being owned nor operated by the Church. Founded as Southern Seminary in 1867, it is now a private, 4-year coeducational institution. Due to SVU's promotion of LDS standards and ideals, 96% of students are Church members. The University is accredited by the American Academy for Liberal Education, and the campus consists of more than 155 acres (0.63 km2).
1 University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA
540-261-8400 (general)
540-261-4351 (financial aid)
540-261-8421 (admissions)

Mission Statement

Southern Virginia University Mission Statement Our mission is to prepare leader-servants in the workplace and the world, in the community and the church, and in the home. We serve faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and welcome all who live our values. We accomplish our mission by providing the finest undergraduate education available in letters, arts, and sciences within a wholesome Latter-day Saint environment. Students, faculty, and staff at Southern Virginia University are committed to being academically or professionally accomplished, spiritually rooted, service oriented, and self-reliant. We embody Southern Virginia's core values, which are scholarship, discipleship, accountability, enthusiasm, and refinement. Southern Virginia University seeks to establish a replicable self-sustaining model of higher education that can serve Latter-day Saints throughout the world.

General Information
Other Names SVU
Type Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
Control Private not-for-profit
Size Under 1,000
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Calendar System Semester
Title IV Eligibility Participates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Relgious Affiliation Not applicable

College Student Services Offered
Yes Remedial ServicesYes Academic/career counseling service
Yes Employment services for studentsYes Placement services for completers
No On-campus day care for students' children   

College Special Learning Opportunities
No ROTCNo Distance learning opportunities
No ROTC: ArmyYes Study abroad
No ROTC: NavyNo Weekend/evening college
No ROTC: Air Force   

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
More info

Southern Virginia University Website

Admissions Considerations & Recommendations
Open admission policy No
Admission test scores Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language Required

Applicants (most recent fall period)
Admissions (most recent fall period)
Percentage of Students Submitting Test Scores
SAT Percentile Scores
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ACT Percentile Scores
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Percentage Receiving Financial Aid
Average Amount of Financial Aid Received
Average Tuition for Full-Time Undergraduates
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Average Tuition for Full-Time Graduates
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Comprehensive Fee for Full-Time Undergraduates
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Per Credit Hour Charge for Part-Time Undergraduates
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Per Credit Hour Charge for Part-Time Graduates
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Student Body
762 Student Body SizeYes On-Campus Housing
833 Fall Applicants560 Total Dormitory Capacity
823 Fall Admissions

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College Levels Offered
No Less than one year certificateNo One but less than two years certificate
No Associate's degreeNo Two but less than 4 years certificate
Yes Bachelor's degreeNo Postbaccalaureate certificate
No Master's degreeNo Post-master's certificate
No Doctor's degreeNo First-professional degree
No First-professional certificate

Degrees and Certifications
Art (Bachelor Degree)
The art major fosters the student's effort to develop a personal creative style, encouraging exploration of various artistic media and appreciation of the work of artists working in other times and places. Students acquire a foundation in studio art, art history, and design while learning to express themselves formally, skillfully, and with creativity.
Biology (Bachelor Degree)
This course focuses on cellular processes including biochemistry, biomolecules, photosynthesis, glucose metabolism, genetics, and protein synthesis. Includes a laboratory component. Prerequisite: high school biology.
Computer Science (Bachelor Degree)
Computer science is the systematic study of computational systems and computability. It includes theories for understanding the analysis, design, implementation, validation and verification of solutions to complex problems, and for the elicitation, representation, manipulation and visualization of knowledge. More simply put, computer scientists learn to understand what a computer can and cannot do, how computers can efficiently perform specific tasks, how computers can store and retrieve specifics type of information, how computers can most effectively organize and display information, and how computers can appear to behave intelligently. Building on the core ideas of a liberal education, the Computer Science major combines theory with practical experiences to develop skills in problem solving, programming, communication, and collaboration in order to help students realize their potential to assume leadership roles in an increasingly technical world. Computer Science majors can prepare for careers in research, development and teaching by pursuing graduate degrees, or they can apply their skills in virtually any industry, from business to biochemistry, and from education to entertainment.
English (Bachelor Degree)
English study is tremendously rewarding and has much to offer both the practical and the inquiring student because of its focus on the essential human endeavors of reading, critical thinking and interpretation, and writing. English study enhances aesthetic perception and engages us vicariously through literature with the perennial themes and questions of the human condition with the aim of understanding our own lives in today's world. Students study literary and other texts in English in generic, aesthetic, historical, religious, and other contexts, including the theoretical and interdisciplinary contexts the faculty bring to the courses they teach.
Family and Child Development (Bachelor Degree)
The family and child development major prepares students for careers serving families and children. The major also prepares students for graduate programs in the social sciences. Courses emphasize research-based knowledge about marriage, contemporary families, and human development. Family and child development majors learn about: families in society, internal family dynamics, human growth and development majors learn about: families in society, internal family dynamics, human growth and development over the life span, human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, family resources management, parent education and guidance, family law and family policy, ethics, and family life education methodology.
Liberal Arts (Associate Degree)
Historically, the liberal arts were considered the branches of study fit for free men (liber is Latin for "free"). They were contrasted with skills needed for more mechanical trades and professions. Today a liberal education befits the members of all classes and genders. Rigorous thought, aesthetic sensibility, appreciation of historical context, an understanding of the natural world, awareness ofof one's own and others' institutions and culture, and an aptitude for creative expression should belong to anyone wishing to live a meaningful life and to participate constructively in society. The liberal arts major aims to produce these and related abilities. The liberal arts student also fulfills, at least in part, the injunction to "become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people" (Doctrine and Covenants 90:15). When suitably completed or supplemented, the liberal arts major is excellent preparation for a career or graduate program in law, business, medicine, education, public service, the arts, and other fields.
Philosophy (Bachelor Degree)
Philosophy wrestles with fundamental questions in all areas of human knowledge and activity. Such questions include: How does knowledge differ from mere belief? Do I determine my actions or are they determined by causes other than myself? Is my mind different from my body? What makes an action right? What makes a life good? What makes a society just? What makes a work of art beautiful? Struggling with and developing reasoned views about such issues enlarge one's capacity for clear thinking, effective writing, and persuasive speaking. Philosophy encourages the intellectual curiosity necessary for a life of sustained inquiry and cultivates a taste for matters of importance over matters of show. Moreover, philosophy's preference for rational persuasion over compulsion prepares one for responsible citizenship in a diverse nation and world
Physical Education and Recreation Administration (Bachelor Degree)
Physical education and recreation administration prepares students in the areas of athletic and recreational leadership, systems management, budgeting and finance, program development, and facilities management, and provides a foundation in the philosophy of service provision and current issues in the field. Students learn to provide professional services to meet the athletic, recreational, leisure and youth leadership needs of communities, schools, families, and individuals. Employment may be found in community recreation agencies; private, commercial, industrial, campus, or military recreation programs; youth agencies; schools and colleges; hospitals, residential treatment facilities, or adaptive recreation programs; state or national parks; sports management or commercial recreation settings.
Spanish (Bachelor Degree)
The Spanish major covers the language, literature, and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Spain has a rich heritage dating from pre-Roman times to the present. It includes the drama of conquest and reconquest, the resulting mixture of Visigoth, Roman, Arab, and other cultures, and the adaptation of the Spanish people to the diverse landscape of the Iberian Peninsula. The recorded history of Latin America, by contrast, is relatively short. Latin America nonetheless offers a panorama of geographical regions, each with its own history and culture -- from the Gauchos of Argentina to the ancient Incas of the Andes, from the conquest of the Aztecs by the Conquistadors to the African influence on Caribbean culture. Understanding these cultures better prepares one to be a citizen of the world. In addition, the study of Spanish language and its development expands students' understanding of how languages work, including English. This in turn helps one think more logically and express oneself with more imagination.
Theater (Bachelor Degree)
The theater major at Southern Virginia University provides students with experience in creative and technical aspects of theatre, including acting, directing, playwriting, design, and technical theatre. The major seeks to awaken and enhance students, creative abilities in performing, writing and design as well as to develop skills needed to evaluate artistic works.

All Academic Programs
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