2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Southern Arkansas University in Profile

Campus History

Southern Arkansas University is located in Magnolia, Arkansas, which has a population of 11,162. Magnolia is approximately 55 miles east of Texarkana, 80 miles northeast of Shreveport, and 140 miles south of Little Rock. Magnolia is a growing, progressive town in the heart of an agri-business, industrial, timber, and oil-producing area. The citizens of the region have continually shown interest in SAU students by encouraging them to participate in the civic and social life of the community.

Southern Arkansas University was founded as the Third District Agricultural School. One of four such schools established by an Act of the Arkansas General Assembly in 1909, it opened in January 1911 as a district secondary school for southwest Arkansas. In 1925, the state legislature authorized the school to add two years of college work to its curriculum and to change its name to Agricultural and Mechanical College, Third District. It carried both high school and junior college courses until 1937, at which time the high school courses were discontinued.

In the fall of 1949, the Board of Trustees, exercising authority vested in it by the state legislature, decided to make the college into a four-year, degree-granting institution. The Board authorized the adding of third-year college courses to begin with the fall semester of 1950, and fourth-year or senior courses to begin with the fall semester of 1951. By Act Eleven, January 24, 1951, the state legislature changed the name of the institution to Southern State College. In 1975, the college was approved and accredited to offer a master of education degree in selected academic areas. The name was changed to Southern Arkansas University on July 9, 1976.


Southern Arkansas University has an enrollment of approximately 5,094 students. In the fall 2022 semester, there were 3,148 undergraduate students and 1,946 graduate students. 


Southern Arkansas University faculty are recognized experts in their fields, with many having national and international reputations as scholars and researchers. In order to maximize interaction between students and faculty, SAU maintains small class sizes in most academic programs.


The Magale Library is a center for scholarly activity at SAU. The library’s collections include approximately 143,000 volumes, 14,000 audio-visual titles, 374,000 microfilm and microfiche pieces, 55,000 government documents, 372 periodical subscriptions, 168,000 e-books from 12 digital libraries, 97,000 online streaming academic videos, and online full-text access to 116,000 periodical titles from over 185 databases with indexing and abstracts for additional titles. The library provides additional study resources including desktop computers in open labs, laptop computers, computer study rooms, multimedia study rooms, and two labs for library instructional purposes with desktop computers. Magale Library staff provides face-to-face and electronic library research assistance, instructional class sessions, online video tutorials, and library guides to assist users with their information needs. The library also hosts many educational and cultural events throughout the year. Online access to library resources is available through the library homepage at web.saumag.edu/library.

Residential College

The Residential College is a selective living/learning community designed for freshmen students that focuses on students’ academic and personal success through leadership development, citizenship, and service learning. To be eligible for the program, a student must be a beginning freshman, have a composite ACT score of at least 22, and have leadership/volunteer experience in high school. RC students also enroll in courses together during their first year at SAU and take an active role in planning and initiating activities and service projects in their residence hall and across campus. Members of the RC may apply to be a part of the Sophomore Residential College after their first year at SAU.

School of Graduate Studies

The mission of the Southern Arkansas University School of Graduate Studies is to prepare individuals for positions of leadership in a variety of professions by providing advanced and specialized education. The curricula and instructional technologies are designed to meet the needs of students and to prepare them to compete in a diverse and dynamic society.

For more information about the School of Graduate Studies, please see our Graduate Catalog available at web.saumag.edu/graduate.

Student Activities

SAU has many registered student organizations active in campus activities and functions, including national sororities and fraternities. For more information, contact the Office of Student Activities at (870) 235-4925.

Student Athletics

SAU sports activities encompass individual and team events. Varsity teams compete in the NCAA Division II Great American Conference with men’s competition in baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, tennis, and track and women’s competition in basketball, cross-country, golf, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball. Men’s and women’s rodeo teams also participate in intercollegiate competition. The University sponsors intramural activities throughout the year.

Student Housing

SAU has men’s, women’s and co-ed residence halls as well as the University Village, Mulerider Pointe, and University Court Apartments. Students should contact the Office of Housing for information by calling (870) 235-4047.

University Memberships

SAU holds memberships in the following national organizations:

The Higher Learning Commission

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

The American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation

The American Association of University Women

The American Council on Education

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The National Collegiate Athletic Association

The National Collegiate Honors Council

The National Commission on Accrediting

The National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations

The United States Center for Coaching Excellence

University Accreditation

Southern Arkansas University is accredited by the following entities:

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
(312) 263-0456 or 800-621-7440

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Engineering Accreditation Commission
415 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
(404) 975-5000

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
777 South Harbour Island Boulevard, Suite 750
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 769-6500

The Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP)
1140 19th Street N.W., Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 223-0077

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
1725 Duke Street, Suite 500
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
(703) 519-2058

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP)
P.O. Box 578
Chapel Hill. NC 27514
(909) 593-5205

The National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE)
364 Patteson Drive #272
Morgantown, WV 26505

Alumni Association

The mission of the Southern Arkansas University Alumni Association, Inc. is to strengthen the connection of our alumni, former students, and friends through fostering meaningful engagement opportunities, providing increased awareness and support of Southern Arkansas University, and increasing member participation.  All students who have attended Southern Arkansas University are eligible to be general members of the Alumni Association.  The alumni office plans various yearly events to which former students and friends are invited. Such events include Homecoming in the fall, reunions, senior celebrations, presentation of the Young Alumni and Distinguished Alumni Awards, and meetings of alumni in surrounding areas.

An Endowment

The Southern Arkansas University Foundation, Inc., Endowments: The Key to Progress.

Endowments create a financial bridge for students in need, enhance academic and athletic offerings, and ensure that programs and facilities are able to meet increased curriculum and technology demands. Individuals, businesses, and civic organizations have established over 800 endowments to strengthen the University through Southern Arkansas University Foundation, Inc. These endowments provide a steady stream of income that supports students, faculty, and programs regardless of the ebb and flow of state funding and grants.

As a perennial funding resource for the University, endowments are indispensable to excellence. In fact, the size of an endowment is considered a measure of institutional health because it reflects the value that donors place on the institution. Endowment gifts from alumni and friends ensure SAU’s progress.

Created in accordance with the wishes of the donors and the needs of the University, endowments present a special opportunity to commemorate one’s own affection for SAU or to honor or memorialize a family member, special teacher, or other individual with a permanent fund that provides a named gift each year. The Foundation works with donors to create opportunities in areas of the donor’s greatest interest, including a specific school, department, or other campus entity.

State appropriations now provide less than 25 percent of the University’s budget, making endowments critical for the pursuit of excellence. We ask you to consider beginning your endowment today. Call SAU Foundation at 877-235-7409 and ask for the Endowment Worksheet, visit us at www.saufoundation.org, or call 870-235-4991 to visit with the executive director