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Southern Conference

Learn About the 11 Colleges in SoCon, the Southern Conference

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The Southern Conference is an NCAA Division I athletic conference with members coming from the southeastern United States -- Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. The conference is part of the Football Championship Subdivision and has had some impressive national successes in both football and basketball in recent years. SoCon sponsors 19 sports. The conference headquarters are located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Compare the Southern Conference Schools: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

1. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University
allygirl520 / Flickr

Appalachian State University frequently ranks well among best value colleges because of its strong academic programs and relatively low tuition. The university offers 140 major programs through its six colleges and schools. Appalachian State has a 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 25. The university has higher retention and graduation rates than the majority of schools in the North Carolina system. Appalachian State made my list of top North Carolina colleges.

  • Location: Boone, North Carolina
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 17,344 (15,460 undergraduates)
  • Team: Mountaineers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Appalachian State University admissions profile.

2. The Citadel

The Citadel
citedelmatt / Flickr

The Citadel is well known for its Corps of Cadets. Citadel students are educated in a military system that emphasizes leadership and character training. About a third of Citadel graduates accept military commissions. The college has a 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and students come from 40 states and 12 countries. The Citadel does well in regional and national rankings because of its high four-year graduation rate and strong academic programs. 

  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 3,390 (2,477 undergraduates)
  • Team: Bulldogs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Citadel admissions profile.

3. Davidson College

Davidson College
functoruser / Flickr

Established by the Presbyterians of North Carolina in 1837, Davidson College is now one of the country's top liberal arts colleges. For a school of well under 2,000 students, Davidson is unusual for its strong Division I athletic program. Nearly a quarter of Davidson students participate in varsity athletics. On the academic front, Davidson was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences. 

  • Location: Davidson, North Carolina
  • School type: Private liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 1,755 (all undergraduate)
  • Team: Wildcats
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Davidson College admissions profile.

4. Elon University

Elon University
photo courtesy of Elon University / Office of University Relations

Elon University's attractive red-brick campus is located between Greensboro and Raleigh in North Carolina. In recent years the university has been on the upswing as they've gained recognition for their efforts engaging students. In 2006, Newsweek-Kaplan named Elon the best school in the country for student engagement. A majority of Elon students participate in study abroad, internships, and volunteer work. By far the most popular majors are Business Administration and Communication Studies

5. Furman University

Furman University
JeffersonDavis / Flickr

Furman University is one of the country's top liberal arts colleges. The university can boast of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and the school is particularly noted for its high level of student engagement. Over 50% of students take part in internships, cooperative education, independent study, or research programs. With an 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio, students receive lots of personal attention. 

  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
  • School type: Liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 3,028 (2,825 undergraduates)
  • Team: Paladins
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Furman University admissions profile.

6. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University
Rory Finneren / Flickr

Georgia Southern University is located about an hour from the coast. Students come from all 50 states and 86 countries, and they can choose from over 110 degree programs across Georgia Southern's eight colleges. Among undergraduates, business fields are the most popular. The university has a 21 to 1 student / faculty ratio. The school has more than 200 campus organizations including an active fraternity and sorority system. 

  • Location: Statesboro, Georgia
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 20,212 (17,525 undergraduates)
  • Team: Eagles
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Georgia Southern University admissions profile.

7. Samford University

Samford University
Sweetmoose6 / Wikimedia Commons

Samford is the largest private university in Alabama. The school has students from 47 states and 16 countries. The university was founded by Baptists and 1841 and maintains its identity as a Christian university. Undergraduates can choose from 138 majors; nursing and business administration are the most popular. The university has a 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and no classes are taught by graduate assistants. Samford's tuition and fees are less than many comparable private institutions, and the school often ranks highly among "best value" colleges. 

  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama
  • School type: Private Christian university
  • Enrollment: 4,758 (2,950 undergraduates)
  • Team: Bulldogs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Samford University admissions profile.

8. UNC Greensboro

UNCG, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
sittered / Flickr

UNCG's picturesque 210-acre campus sits midway between Atlanta and Washington D.C. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has a student / faculty ratio of 16 to 1 and an average class size of 27. For its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, UNCG was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society. On the student life front, UNCG has roughly 180 student organizations. 

  • Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 18,627 (14,898 undergraduates)
  • Team: Spartans
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the UNC Greensboro admissions profile.

9. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M-State Moc / Wikimedia Commons

UT Chattanooga undergraduates can choose from over 150 degree and concentration programs. Business administration is by far the most popular major. The university is located in the city, adjacent to the Fort Wood Historic District. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a 20 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 25. The university has over 120 student organizations as well as an active Greek system with 17 fraternities and sororities. 

10. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University
Funky Tee / Flickr

Western Carolina University's 600-acre campus is located about an hour west of Asheville and near the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. Undergraduates can choose from about 220 majors and concentrations, and the university takes pride in its small class sizes -- WCU has a 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 19. Professional programs in business, education and criminal justice are both popular and well-regarded. One of the university's most notable student groups is the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band with its nearly 350 members. 

  • Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 9,352 (7,627 undergraduates)
  • Team: Catamounts
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Western Carolina University admissions profile.

11. Wofford College

Wofford College Gibbs Stadium
Greenstrat / Wikimedia Commons

Wofford's 170-acre campus is a designated National Historic District, and it was recently designated as the Roger Milliken Arboretum. The college has an 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and students can choose from 26 majors. Wofford's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. 

  • Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • School type: Private Methodist liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 1,568 (all undergraduate)
  • Team: Terriers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Wofford College admissions profile.

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