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What to Expect as an SNU
Professional and Graduate Studies Student


A college degree remains one of the fastest ways to earn more, obtain a fulfilling role and shape the community around you. Established in 1899, SNU has always been committed to helping everyone who wants a quality education. However, we are different from other schools. SNU is a regionally accredited university by the Higher Learning Commission, so you will get a quality education and any program you enroll in will be reputable. 

SNU’s College of Professional and Graduate Studies offers a range of programs that cater specifically to adult students. We design all coursework around you, provide a cohort model of instruction, and give you the option to take one class at a time. This allows you to complete your education on your timeline, make professional connections and graduate with a degree that helps you achieve your desired career.


Our program roster includes: 

  • Associate programs: General studies, information systems & technology

  • Undergraduate programs: Business administration, criminal justice, cybersecurity, family studies and gerontology, organizational leadership, healthcare administration and accelerated general education

  • Graduate programs: Leadership, management, business, counseling, education, sports management, exercise science, technology, teaching,  healthcare and specialty tracks such as teaching certifications and boot camps 

  • Doctoral programs: Administration and leadership

We offer programs catered to every interest and an array of career tracks. We know that each learner is different and contributes something unique to our community. That’s why we offer flexible, welcoming programs that focus on student needs. So what can you expect as an SNU student? 

Scroll to keep reading "What to Expect as an SNU Professional and Graduate Studies Student" or complete the form to download a PDF version! 

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Chapter 1

Complete Flexibility

Every student has challenges and obligations, and we believe that students know what schedule works best for their needs. Rather than trying to squeeze you into a narrow schedule that sends your life into disarray, we offer complete flexibility. 

Choose between two campuses and various satellite locations. With our in-person model, you can complete most degrees by attending classes just one night a week. Our students also take a single class at a time, allowing them to delve deeply into the material, free from distractions. 

Not able to make it to class in person? There’s still a place here for you. Students can choose between online and in-person learning. Our fully online classes help you connect to your peers virtually by encouraging discussion and deep engagement with the material, even from a distance. So curl up in a cozy spot in your home after the rest of the family goes to bed, and check off your degree requirements one online course at a time. 

It can take months — or sometimes years — to be ready to enroll in school. Don’t lose momentum waiting for enrollment to open up. At SNU, we offer multiple start dates throughout the year, so you can begin your studies as soon as you’re ready.


Chapter 2

Cohort Model

Networking is critical to finding a job, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 70% of jobs are never posted publicly, and 85% are filled through networking. The people you know matter. 

Networking begins as soon as you start school. At SNU, we integrate networking into the curriculum with our innovative cohort model. Students at SNU take small classes with a cohort of adult learners pursuing a similar path of study. While you’re in school, your cohort offers easy friendship, a team of cheerleaders and a ready-made study group. As you build your friendship, you will also build professional trust. When you graduate, your cohort serves as the foundation of your professional network, ensuring you know people in your industry before you even begin your first job. 


Chapter 3


If you’re already juggling a family, a job, volunteer commitments and more, you might think now is not the time to return to school. But if not now, when? At SNU, we believe that school should adapt to your life — not the other way around. 

"Being an adult learner, my typical day looks different from traditional students. Only having one class a week is a huge help. I can learn at my own pace. The beginning of the week, I receive my lessons to complete. I work on the assignments when I have some downtime in the evenings. This model of learning has fit into my busy life easily.

Since I have one class a week, it was easy to fit school into my busy schedule. Having the classes’ assignments at the beginning of the week helps me plan accordingly. The days I am not real busy, I will get two to three assignments done. By doing this, I don't have to stress on the days I am too busy to do my schoolwork. Basically, I make sure that I schedule in my protected schoolwork time.

Advice for others:
Just do it. I am kicking myself that I didn't pursue my dream of getting my degree sooner. It is never too late to get your degree. The online classes are so well organized and fit into my busy schedule. If I can be successful at this program, you can too.

To all the adult learners, it is okay to make your education a priority. I have always put my family first. It was time for me to better myself by pursuing my dream of having a college degree. I am doing this for my family as well as myself. You are worth the investment."

- Angellica Bains, SNU PGS Graduate

That’s why you can complete your classes on an accelerated timeline, committing just a few weeks to each class. Adult students at SNU take just one class at a time, graduate faster and are not distracted by an overwhelming course load. Faster graduation means a shorter path to the life you want. 

For doctoral students, convenience is critical. Only about 49-64% of Ph.D. students across disciplines complete their coursework and their dissertation within ten years of starting their program. Many end up with the dreaded “all-but-dissertation” (ABD) designation. 

SNU works with students to prevent this by embedding the dissertation in your doctoral coursework. You will steadily work toward completion each semester so that you’re not left with an overwhelming avalanche of work when it’s time to start writing.


"For several years, I allowed my decision to play second to other obligations. Then came a moment that required an ‘if not now, then when’ decision. Therefore, I concluded I would thrust in the full measure of all my effort. As the proverb goes, no one said it would be easy, just worth it."

-Robert Bryan, SNU PGS Graduate


Chapter 4

Unmatched Support

Even in a program tailored to the unique needs of adult learners, transitioning back to school can feel overwhelming. As part of our Christian roots, we believe deeply in the value of every student. Our goal is to keep students from falling through the cracks. That’s why we offer unmatched support at every stage of your academic journey. 

Struggling with the next steps in school enrollment? Our enrollment counselors are here to help you navigate the enrollment process, gather all of your paperwork and seek the financial aid you need. Our financial aid counselors are also here to ensure you can pay for school without taking on more debt than you can manage. 

Our academic advisors can help you excel in your classes, cultivate study skills and balance competing demands. If you need more specialized support in your field of study, our program directors can guide you through academic life, talk about career plans and offer practical tips for excelling.


Chapter 5

VETS Center

Only 18.6% of veterans attain a bachelor’s degree, despite programs such as the GI Bill®1 that are designed to increase that number. Your military service brings much to the table in any workplace. You’ve already solved problems under pressure and had to lead a team — even when circumstances weren’t ideal. These skills translate well to the working world. And yet, many employers will only offer you high wages and a chance to climb the career ladder if you have a degree. 

Our College of Distinction for the military is a fully staffed Veterans Educational Transition Success (VETS) Center that draws on the wisdom of veterans and military families to help you succeed from the moment you enroll. Our center is one of just 13 schools designated for Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success. We also earned the Military Friendly® School designation in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Our veteran students are an integral part of our community, and we do everything we can to support them. 

We offer a benefits review to help you get the most out of your VA benefits. The VETS Center also offers tutoring to help you adjust to academic life. 

The transition from military to civilian life can be difficult, especially if you recently separated from the military or have a history of trauma. Our supportive counseling at the Renew Counseling Center makes the transition feel less overwhelming. And because we know that the right accommodations help level the playing field, our Disability Services office is here for you. 

SNU truly values the knowledge and wisdom veterans bring to our campus. Our entire community is here to support you. 

1GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at


Chapter 6

College Credit for What You Know

If you’ve already done some coursework at another school, you might wonder if that work will count — especially if it was a long time ago. We work with students to maximize their transfer credits and help them graduate as quickly as possible. Undergraduate students often find that all or most of their prior credits transfer. 

SNU is a regionally accredited school, meaning that if you decide to leave us and change schools, your work here will likely transfer with you. 

Chapter 7

Commitment to Diversity

Diversity is not just a buzzword at SNU. We believe that diverse schools accurately reflect the larger world, preparing students for their professional lives. Diversity, inclusion and equity are key values at our school. 

Critical thinking demands a commitment to diversity. We encourage students to consider their own experiences, how those experiences have shaped their perspectives and how those experiences might fundamentally differ from other students. We welcome students of all backgrounds and experiences. Our Christian roots in the Church of the Nazarene call us to treat all people as God’s beloved children.

"Southern Nazarene University offers real — very real — degree programs. You will be required to study, with a significant amount of personal perspective analysis. There are other institutions that will take your money and offer a piece of paper. However, at SNU, you will earn your degree while maintaining your integrity."

- Robert Bryan, SNU PGS Graduate

Inclusion is integrated into everything we do. Some of the ways we prioritize it include: 

  • Storytelling: Every student has a story to tell. We encourage sharing this story so that each student can consider their perspective and embrace alternative narratives. 
  • Steward leadership: Our leaders practice what they preach. Administrators act as servant leaders, working toward more diverse and inclusive policies and practices. We move beyond mere compliance. Instead, our leaders focus on gaining awareness, sensitivity and competence and ultimately becoming more responsive to the needs of our diverse community. 
  • Intercultural learning opportunities: You can’t thrive if you only relate to people who share your background and experiences. Intercultural communication is the reality of the working world. However, it’s more than just critical for career success — it’s a moral value. We provide plenty of intercultural learning and engagement opportunities, so you can show respect to all people while succeeding in whatever you choose to do with your life.
  • Diverse executive team: Different perspectives are critical to the success of any school. We know that no one person or group has all the answers and that a homogenous leadership team invites unintentionally exclusionary practices. That’s why we seek our and cultivate diverse leaders. 
  • Practicing faith: Faith is the core of what we do. We encourage students of all faiths to practice their beliefs, and we provide on-campus opportunities for spiritual growth. 

Chapter 8

Faith-Based Studies

Dr. Doug SamplesSNU is a Christian college affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. Our dedicated chaplain, Dr. Doug Samples, shares our message that faith isn’t just in our name — Christ guides everything we do. Following the example of Christ, all people are welcomed and valued here. We honor the fundamental human dignity of each student, nurture their minds and souls and encourage them to forge a better world. 

Even if you don’t share our faith, we still welcome you with open arms, encouraging you to grow in your faith and benefit from the loving spirit of Christ, whose mission permeates all we do. We don’t proselytize or force anyone into our beliefs. Instead, we model what we believe, just as Jesus did. 

If you choose us because of your Christian faith, we invite you to walk a journey of closeness with God. Use your time here to deepen your faith and cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus. We will help you to do so, offering opportunities to praise God and live your faith by serving and loving others. 


Chapter 9

Fast Application Process

If you’re ready to start school, you’ve probably spent a lot of time contemplating the path that’s right for you. We are not here to stand in your way. We offer a lightning-fast online application process that takes less than five minutes. Rather than spending months gathering paperwork or studying for standardized tests, you can enroll on your own time due to multiple start dates. 

If you’re overwhelmed by the process or need some help along the way, our support for adult learners begins before you even fill out an application. Our admissions counselors are here to help you.


Chapter 10

The Path to Adult Education

The path to adult education is often long and complex. The experiences that have brought you to this moment made you wiser and more prepared than ever to accelerate the path toward the career — and the life — of your dreams. We would love to show you the difference an SNU education can make. 

Can you see yourself fitting in here? Explore our programs or apply now

Not sure how to afford your education? SNU’s financial aid experts know how to make it work, no matter what you’re dealing with. Check out The Complete Guide to Financial Aid.

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