Frequently Asked Questions


If you are a new student, you should start with our online application. Returning students who have discontinued or deferred their enrollment for one or more semesters are generally not required to submit a new application. They should contact their admissions advisor for specific instructions on how to re-apply

Start Your Application

Yes; all applications must be completed online. If you do not have internet access, please call your admissions advisor who will complete the application with you over the phone.

Office of Admissions
Southern Virginia University
One University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA 24416
Phone: 540-261-8401
Toll Free: 800-229-8420
Fax: 540-266-3806

Yes. At Southern Virginia, we value missionary service and will help you make mission deferment plans now so you can transition smoothly when you return from service. Returned Missionaries also receive an annually renewable RM scholarship.

Absolutely. Homeschooled students apply and are accepted to Southern Virginia University on a regular basis. Review the application procedures.

We require all incoming students to submit official transcripts for all prior attended institutions. In order to expedite the admissions process, however, Admissions will accept transcripts sent via fax or email to make an admissions decision. Students who fax or email transcripts must also mail official transcripts prior to registering for classes, or they will not be permitted to Southern Virginia University.

High school senior applicants must submit official, final transcripts that reflect final senior grades and graduation. Official transcripts must be mailed directly to Admissions in an envelope sealed by the institution providing the transcripts, or emailed through a certified third-party service such as

Please send transcripts to:

Office of Admissions
Southern Virginia University
One University Hill Drive
Buena Vista, VA 24416
Fax: 540-266-3806

The Ecclesiastical Endorsement is required for all students seeking admission to Southern Virginia, regardless of religious affiliation. Ideally, an Ecclesiastical Endorsement for the fall semester should be submitted by May 1.

Students with a un-weighted GPA below 2.5 or a test score lower than an ACT 18 or three-part SAT 1210 may be offered provisional acceptance. Students accepted with provisional status are required to meet all the requirements of the academic success course in their first semester before being granted full acceptance. Failure to meet the contractual requirements of this course may result in dismissal from the University.


Yes. Southern Virginia University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the oldest, largest and most prestigious accreditor of colleges and universities in the southern United States. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia certifies Southern Virginia University to operate and grant baccalaureate degrees. Additionally, Southern Virginia is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in federal financial aid programs.

The liberal arts are the cornerstone disciplines of education: the humanities, sciences, social sciences and mathematics. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to help students hone their capacities to speak and write effectively, analyze and interpret information, and form and then express enlightened opinions.

We cannot say whether you will find our classes difficult, but we can tell you that Southern Virginia courses are meant to challenge you to work hard and to help you develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and persuasive writing skills.

The first lifeline in every class is your professor. Each faculty member has office hours during which you can visit and ask additional questions—something many of our students take advantage of. We also provide a tutoring center where students can receive individual instruction in writing, math, science, the humanities and other disciplines.

No matter which university you attend, students who choose to transfer will almost always lose some credits. Southern Virginia has formal articulation agreements with Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University that help with the transfer of credits for students who transfer from or to those institutions. We are currently pursuing similar agreements with other institutions.

It is up to each individual school to decide whether they will accept credits from any particular institution. As is common with many schools, students may occasionally experience difficulty trying to transfer credits from Southern Virginia to another school. In those situations, we will do our best to work with those specific universities on a case by case basis to help our students transfer their credits.

Southern Virginia University professors are highly qualified to teach. Four-in-five have the terminal degree (Ph.D., M.F.A., etc.) in their fields.

Unlike large universities, highly qualified faculty members, not teaching assistants, always teach courses at Southern Virginia University.

Our nationally recognized and innovative Travel Study program offers 10-15 foreign and domestic trips each year. Learn more about Travel Study.

Student Life

Southern Virginia regularly hosts a variety of activities to allow students to get involved and have fun. In addition to movie nights, dances, theatrical performances, athletic events and other activities, students find countless ways to get involved on campus in student clubs and organizations. When no activity is scheduled, The Kimball Student Center provides a relaxed atmosphere with pool tables, ping-pong, air hockey, video games, and other ways to kick back and have a good time.

Students can visit the United States Capitol Building, the Washington D.C. Temple, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and a number of other historic sites and attractions located only a few hours away from campus. Locally, there are movie theaters, restaurants, art galleries, shops and museums. With two other colleges in a 10-mile radius, there is always something happening. There are also a number of opportunities for those who enjoy the outdoors including hiking the Appalachian trail, biking, camping, and exploring the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Southern Virginia offers several housing options for students including traditional residence halls, houses shared by multiple students and townhouse-style apartments. On-campus housing options for married students include the Gayle Smith Apartments. View housing options at Southern Virginia.

Nearly even: 52 percent women, 48 percent men.

There are many ways for you to get involved on campus and make friends. Here are just a few ideas: audition for a play or choir, sign up for intramurals, join a club, serve in the community, and attend university and Institute activities. Learn more about campus life.

The Code of Honor is a set of standards for personal conduct that encourages members of the university community to live as leader-servants. The Code of Honor is based on the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By signing the Student Pledge on their Ecclesiastical Endorsement, all students, as a condition of admission, commit to abide by and uphold the Code of Honor while they are enrolled at Southern Virginia University regardless of their religious affiliation. Learn more about the Code of Honor.

Latter-day Saint Environment

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates six wards for young single adults at Southern Virginia University.

Institute courses are not required at Southern Virginia University, but all students are highly encouraged to enroll in an institute class. Students can receive up to eight hours of elective credit by taking Institute classes without any additional costs. Learn more about the Buena Vista Institute of Religion.

Although the majority of our students are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, anyone who is willing to live by the Code of Honor is welcome on campus. Students who are members of other faiths are encouraged to be active in their own faith.


Laptops and computers are not required but are highly recommended. Computers with Internet access and printers are available in the Library and in the computer lab for students who are unable to bring their own computer.

No, you do not need a car at Southern Virginia University. Many services are available within walking distance of campus. The library shuttle transports students to and from the libraries at nearby Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute and to other locations, such as Walmart, for $1.

Yes, but it is not necessary.

The Roanoke Regional Airport is only 50 miles from campus. The university provides shuttles to and from the Roanoke Airport for $45 each way.

In addition to having a full-time nurse on campus in the Student Health Center, the university employs two full-time athletic trainers for athletic injuries. There are medical clinics and physician’s offices near campus, as well as a full-service hospital only seven miles away.

Yes, we are very active on many social media sites. Read our blog, the Scoop, and follow Southern Virginia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and SoundCloud.

We welcome a wide variety of excellent and inspirational speakers to our campus for our weekly forums and devotionals as well as the Leadership Lecture Series. Past speakers include Sister Julie B. Beck, Stephen R. Covey, Robert Millet, Clayton M. Christensen, and others. Download audio from recent speeches.

There are a growing number of internship opportunities on campus for interested students. In addition, our Career Development Center can introduce students to internships at organizations off campus that will prepare them for life in the workplace.