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About South University

A Century of Academic Excellence: The History of South University

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South University enjoys a long-standing tradition of excellence in education and personalized student attention. South University traces its heritage to 1899, when Dr. John Draughon established Draughon's Practical Business College in Savannah, Georgia. Since then, South University has achieved the following milestones:

1899

John Draughon established Draughon's Practical Business College, launching a more than century of excellence in education in Savannah, Georgia.

1974

The family of John T. South, III acquired the institution and changed its name to Draughon's Junior College.

1976

Institution established a second campus in West Palm Beach, Florida.

1985

Received accreditation from The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to confer associate degrees.

1986

Draughon's Junior College becomes South College.

1996

SACS accredits South at bachelor’s level.

1997

South College merges its third campus in Montgomery, Alabama, and introduced a bachelor's degree in Physician Assistant Studies in Savannah.

2001

SACS accredits South at the master’s level and becomes South University.

2002

South University merges its fourth campus in Columbia, South Carolina.

2002

SACS accredits University at doctoral level – the only institution of higher education in Savannah accredited at that level.

2003

First Doctor of Pharmacy class begins at the Savannah campus. Acquired by Education Management Corporation, one of the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America.

2004

Master of Medical Science, Anesthesiologist program launches; online bachelor's degree programs in information technology and business administration begin.

2005

Launched online bachelor's degree programs in healthcare management, nursing and criminal justice.

2006

Launched online master's degrees in business administration, criminal justice and healthcare administration. First students graduate with the Doctor of Pharmacy from South University's School of Pharmacy. South University opens its Tampa, Florida campus. The new campus launches Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree program.

2007

University introduces MBA and MBA in Healthcare Administration degree programs at four campus locations. South University graduates its first online graduates. South University awards largest number of graduate degrees in the University's history. The Savannah campus officially opens a new University library more than tripling the size of its previous library. South University Launches RN to BSN Degree Completion Program at Columbia, Tampa and West Palm Beach campus locations.

2009

South University opens its Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia campus.

2010

South University opens its Novi, Michigan and Austin, Texas campuses. Merged with The Art Institute of Dallas and The Art Institute of Fort Worth.

2012

South University opens its Cleveland, Ohio and High Point, North Carolina campuses. Merged with The Art Institute of Charlotte and the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham.

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