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Stephen F. Austin State University Review

Stephen F. Austin State is a medium-sized public college in Nacogdoches, Texas, with a more than 90-year history. The institution began as a teachers college, preparing its students for careers in education, but these days it offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and around 60 graduate degree programs. Stephen F. Austin State, known to its students as SFA, holds the distinction of being one of just four public colleges and universities in Texas that does not belong to one of the six university systems distributed throughout the Lone Star State. Regional accreditation for the university is furnished by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its college of education and laboratory of early childhood development have both earned separate recognition from subject-specific national accreditation agencies.

  • Total enrollment, 2012-13: 12,999
  • Full-time enrollment, 2012-13: 10,232
  • Part-time enrollment, 2012-13: 2,767
  • Undergraduate enrollment, 2012-13: 11,298
  • Graduate enrollment, 2012-13: 1,701
  • Steps to undergraduate admission include:
    • Be in good standing from a high school program or successfully complete an approved equivalency program such as the General Educational Development (GED) certificate
    • Complete the ApplyTexas public university undergraduate admissions application
    • Pay an application fee of $45 ($50 for international students)
    • Produce documentation of an acceptable score on the SAT or ACT exam
  • Transfers accepted in both spring and fall? Yes

Individual programs may have particular requirements that go beyond the general admissions guidelines. Mature and non-traditional undergraduate applicants who have been out of high school for more than five years may be asked to submit additional documentation to help school officials assess admissions potential based on workforce and life experience.

Financial aid

  • Is this school eligible for federal financial aid (Title IV approved)? Yes
  • Does this school offer scholarships? Yes
  • What percentage of students receive financial aid? 87 percent
  • What percentage of students receive federal financial aid? 50 percent
Featured Programs

Several degree programs at Stephen F. Austin State have earned an especially good reputation among students and academic observers. Here's some information about just a few of the stand-out programs at the university.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Registered nursing is among the professions projected to post the largest employment increases over the next several years — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job gains of more than half a million new positions between 2012 and 2022 — and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is one tried and true pathway to success as a professional nurse. Pre-RN students can choose an on-campus degree program that trains them in nursing skills, chemistry, anatomy and physiology and more, while already-licensed RNs can earn their BSN largely online through the college's RN/BSN transition program.


Master of Early Childhood Education

This online master's degree program is ideal for aspiring or working educators who wish to focus their energies on learning how to produce the best possible educational experience for the developing minds of young children. The training in research methods, literature analysis and child development concepts come together to give students the delicate balance between practical expertise and theoretical understanding that well-rounded teachers and administrators need to meet the educational needs of children between the ages of birth and eight.

Master of Business Administration 

Business and management positions on the higher end of the salary spectrum tend to be fairly competitive, and employers looking to fill these positions often prefer formally educated candidates with an understanding of business and finance. The master-level education in financial management, executive leadership, managerial economics, marketing principles, international business and organizational information systems given to MBA students at SFA can provide a strong foundation for success in the business world.


Stephen F. Austin State was founded as a teaching college in 1923, and its commitment to training educators for upcoming generations of young minds remains strong. Although the school has grown to include six academic colleges, 83 undergraduate majors and more than a dozen opportunities to study abroad in places like Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, Stephen F. Austin State's mission as a community dedicated to teaching, research, creativity and science has never waned.

The school maintains a small student-to-teacher ratio (19 to 1 in 2012-13), and it has 15 NCAA Division I-AA sports teams, plus 19 intramural sports clubs. Student Engagement Programs — including fraternities and sororities, leadership activities, community service groups and other organizations — are an important part of life at SFA. The college also boasts one of the top spirit programs in the country, with 22 national championships in cheerleading and dance to its name.

SFA's commitment to training educators for upcoming generations of young minds remains strong. Although the school has grown extensively, its mission as a community dedicated to teaching, research, creativity and science has never waned.

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The traditional and online degree programs offered at Stephen F. Austin State have equally caught the attention of national university ranking agencies. Check out the lists on which the college and its degree programs have recently been featured:

  • U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges
    • • Best Regional Universities West (2015): No. 84
    • • Top Regional Public Schools (2015): No. 34
    • • Best Undergraduate Business Programs (2015)
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools
    • • Best Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Programs (2011): No. 45
    • • Best Social Work Graduate Programs (2012): No. 148
    • • Best Education Graduate Programs (2014): No. 181
    • • Best Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Programs (2012): No. 229
    • • Best Graduate Fine Arts Programs (2012)
    • • Best Public Affairs Fine Arts Programs (2012)
    • • Best Graduate Business Schools (2014)
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs
    • • Best Online Bachelor's Programs (2015): No. 164
    • • Best Online Graduate Education Programs (2015)
  • America's Top Colleges 2014 Forbes (nationwide): No. 617
  • America's Top Colleges 2014, Forbes (South region): No. 175
  • 25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S., Greatist (2012)

SFA's Department of Dance has also turned heads among analysts in their discipline, ranking No. 12 in Texas, No. 47 in the South and No. 168 nationwide.

Notable Faculty/Awards
  • Dr. Dan Bruton, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is a past recipient of the American Physical Society Presentation Award and a past president of the American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Dr. John Allen Hendricks, Chair of the Department of Mass Communication, was elected president of the Broadcast Education Association
  • Dr. Kelly Noe, Assistant Professor of Accounting, received an Outstanding Accounting Educator Award from the Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA)
  • Dr. Brian Oswald, Professor of Fire Ecology, Silviculture and Range Management, is a past recipient of the Carl A. Schenck Award for Outstanding Forestry Education from the Society of American Foresters
  • Dr. Mitzi Perritt, Professor of Interior Design, was named a Fellow of the Interior Design Educators Council
  • Daniel Miller, a theatre major at SFA, was one of two recipients of the national theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega Scholarship in 2014
  • Students in SFA's Ad Hoc advertising club placed on first-, second- and third-place teams at the American Advertising Federation-Houston Student Advertising competition in 2014
  • The Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School received a Texas Honors Circle Award from the state's comptroller in 2013 and 2014

1. Stephen F. Austin State University, http://www.sfasu.edu/
2. Stephen F. Austin State University, Basic Info, CollegeStats, http://collegestats.org/college/228431-stephen-f-austin-state-university
3. Stephen F. Austin State University, America's Top Colleges, Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/colleges/stephen-f-austin-state-university/
4. The 25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S., 2012, Greatist, http://greatist.com/health/healthiest-colleges-2012
5. Stephen F. Austin Official Athletic Site, http://www.sfajacks.com/#Registered Nurses, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 8, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
6. Stephen F. Austin State University: All Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/stephen-f-austin-state-university-228431/overall-rankings

Disclaimer: Information on this page was not provided or commissioned by the featured school. Information has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the featured school.

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