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About Southern Oregon University

SOU is a contemporary, public liberal arts university with select professional programs at the bachelor's and master's levels. SOU, one of seven public universities in Oregon, provides intellectual and personal growth through quality education. The University emphasizes critical thinking, career preparation, and the capacity to live and lead in a multicultural, global society. In 2016, The New York Times declared SOU a "hidden gem" of higher education.

SOU is a major partner in the economic, cultural, and environmental development of southern Oregon and the northernmost counties of California. SOU is also gaining recognition for its outstanding education and research in the fields of science and technology.

The SOU culture of close faculty-student relationships is ideal for ensuring your success. Classes are taught by qualified faculty—93 percent of whom hold terminal degrees—in a friendly, service-oriented environment. The University's rising national reputation is based on its faculty's notable research and creative talents as well as its practical liberal learning.


Southern Oregon University is a regionally engaged learning community committed to being the educational provider of choice for learners throughout their lives.

  • We inspire curiosity and creativity, compel critical thinking, foster discovery, and cultivate bold ideas and actions
  • We achieve student success, professional preparation, and civic engagement through service excellence, evolving technologies, and innovative curriculum
  • We foster access, equity, inclusion and diversity in thought and practice
  • We prepare our learners to be responsible, engaged citizens in our democracy
  • We promote economic vitality, sustainability, cultural enrichment, and social well-being in our region, the state, the nation, and the world

Accreditation & Accolades


  • Southern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • The SOU School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)


  • SOU is ranked #25 for "Top Public Schools, Regional Universities in the West" by U.S. News & World Report (2018)
  • The New York Times declared SOU a "hidden gem" of higher education (2016)
  • SOU is ranked #74 in Sierra magazine's list of "Cool Schools" (2017)
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