Education for Tomorrow

At Southwestern University, you are not simply the passive consumer of current knowledge; you are an active participant in the creation of new ideas. The Southwestern Experience is designed to develop the intellectual practices necessary to enhance your ability to explore regions of original thought and creative expression.

The world is changing—and at an accelerating pace. In a 21st-century career, you will be required to advance the frontiers of knowledge, adapt quickly to change, problem-solve new & complex challenges, and anticipate what’s next.

We’ve created an experience that prepares you for these new realities. Combining our flexible curriculum, the development of modern ways of thinking, and real-world experience, SU will equip you with the skills required to adapt, create, collaborate, and view challenges from multiple perspectives. These customized skills represent a valuable piece of a much broader, more relevant education for the tomorrow that awaits you.



Paideia—Southwestern’s interdisciplinary approach to education—is designed to develop the intellectual practice of identifying connections between the fundamental questions and ideas that shape our world.

Paideia is the perfect embodiment of the liberal arts, empowering students to think in broader, more collaborative, more original ways.

Paideia is about connections, bringing together multiple perspectives from different disciplines. Over time, it develops a student’s ability to think critically, to make connections across different ways of knowing, and to create innovative solutions to complex problems. Click here for more information about our unique approach to higher education.


Residential Life

Southwestern University is a residential campus, which means our on-campus living program is an integral part of the total student experience. We believe, and research has shown, that students who live on campus enjoy greater academic success and are more likely to achieve in other areas such as teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership.

We offer a variety of residential facilities and living options including residence halls and spacious apartments. Within each of these options you also have the choice of either single-gender and co-ed residence configurations. Click here for more information about housing and residential life at Southwestern.


Co-Curricular Life

There’s a feeling of unity that encircles the Southwestern campus, with countless activities, organizations, and ways to get involved. Whether it’s Greek life, intramural sports, a religious organization or academic club, there’s a place for everyone.


Admission Website

Southwestern University’s admission team serves as a guide and partner in your admission experience. Through visits and conversations, we believe that we can help you discover if Southwestern is the right fit for your collegiate goals. We look forward to working with you as you prepare for this next step in your academic journey. Click here to visit the SU Admission Website.

Deadline Information

  • Early Decision (binding) - November 1
  • Early Action - December 1
  • Regular Decision - February 1

Early Decision is meant only for those students who know Southwestern is their first-choice school. Early Decision applicants, if offered admission, are required to commit to Southwestern by January 1, by submitting a non-refundable $500 deposit and withdrawing applications at all other institutions.  Please note students applying Early Decision must submit the Early Decision Agreement along with their other required application materials.

Early Action is meant for students with a high level of interest in Southwestern who still wish to consider other institutions.  It offers the benefit of receiving an expedited decision, (no later than March 1), while still allowing the student to reach his/her final decision by May 1.

Regular Decision applicants are notified of their decisions no later than April 1. Students admitted under the Regular Decision Plan have until May 1 to make their final college choice.


Required Application Materials

In addition to the application form and essay, students must submit:

  • Official High School Transcript
  • High School Counselor Recommendation/Secondary School Report
  • SAT/ACT scores (unless applicant selects the test-optional admission path)

Students who select the test-optional path will be required to have a special evaluative interview with a member of the Southwestern admission staff, in lieu of submitting test scores. Note that international students and homeschool applicants are required to submit test scores.

International students are also required to submit a Certification of Finances.


Financial Aid

At Southwestern, we’re committed to ensuring that students from all income levels who wish to pursue their education with us have access to a variety of financial opportunities.

  • Cost of attendance information can be found here.
  • Students planning to major in Studio Art, Music, or Theatre should set up an audition/portfolio review for additional scholarship consideration. Additional information can be found here.

Students can find additional information about merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid on the Financial Aid Office website.


Additional Information

A college visit is your chance to take us for a test-drive. We offer a wide variety of opportunities to visit campus and engage with our community—from our scheduled visit events to customizable individual daily visits. Whether you are just getting started, or you already know you want to make Southwestern your new home, we are eager to meet you! Click here for our visit page to learn about how to experience Southwestern for yourself!