University of the Southwest

The University of the Southwest appears in our ranking of the Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Sports Medicine Online.


On Blackboard, the University of the Southwest offers a 100 percent online, Christ-centered path to 15 graduate programs with continuous, eight-week terms for faster completion rates of 12-18 months at an engaging 17:1 student-professor ratio. For example, the M.S.E. in Exercise Science follows a 33-credit, one-year curriculum coordinated by Dr. Scarlet Clouse with online courses like Advanced Human Nutrition for the ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist prep. The 60-credit M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling led by Dr. Carol Brennan has 24/7 online access to classes like Introduction to Play Therapy plus 700 clock hours of internships, such as Lea Regional Medical Center and Valle del Sol. Chaired by Dr. Ryan Tipton, the M.B.A. in Law Enforcement & Corrections is a 36-credit, 12-month free laptop program costing under $22,000 for accelerated 6000-level courses, including Crime Mapping, and capstone projects. Other USW Online degrees are the M.B.A. in Accounting, M.S.E. in Educational Administration, M.S.E. in Special Education, M.B.A. in Marketing, M.S.E. in School Counseling, M.B.A. in Public Administration, M.S.E. in Educational Diagnostics, M.B.A. in Finance, and M.B.A. in Human Resource Management.

About the University of the Southwest

The University of the Southwest originated in 1956 when B. Clarence Evans arrived in the Land of Enchantment on horseback to deliver Christian education in the 37th state, New Mexico. Until 1958, his Hobbs Baptist College operated as a junior-level institution with associate degrees. Then, it expanded to Bachelor of Arts degrees at New Mexico Baptist College. In 1961, its Board of Trustees purchased the current 700-acre Lea County campus near Hobbs Army Air Base. In 1962, it was renamed College of the Southwest to signal a non-denominational shift from the Baptist Church. By 1980, it was fully accredited for four-year liberal arts education. Two decades later, its three schools started offering more adult-friendly degrees online. In 2008, the University of the Southwest title was adopted to recognize its growing master’s options. Its School of Business even launched New Mexico’s first Doctor of Business Administration. Recently renovated for $45.8 million, the University of the Southwest now serves 1,009 Mustangs online or on-site with 12 clubs, 19 varsity teams, and events like the Jack Maddox Lecture Series. The U.S. News & World Report included Southwest among the West’s top 127 universities. Best Value Schools also ranked USW 19th overall for cheap online degrees.

University of the Southwest Accreditation Details

On August 19, 2014, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) Institutional Actions Council formally notified the University of the Southwest that the Level V accreditation was successfully renewed through 2024 under President Quint C. Thurman, Ph.D. Located 1,251 miles northeast via Interstate 44 in Chicago, this mega 19-state Midwest Region accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to evaluate USW’s 28 baccalaureates, 14 master’s, and one doctoral offering plus the Prison Seminary Program. Southwest is an approved member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU). Its College of Education is recognized by the New Mexico Public Education Department for PK-12 certification too.

University of the Southwest Application Requirements

Logging into the University of the Southwest is labeled “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since 173 of the 263 Fall 2017 applicants were victorious for selective 66 percent acceptance. Post-grad Mustangs starting Blackboard courses must have finished 120+ semester credits at regionally accredited baccalaureate institutions first. Unconditional admission requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Lower grades are considered conditionally for minimum “B” grades the first term. The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prefers bachelor’s prerequisites in psychology, sociology, and statistics. Most M.S.Ed. in Educational Administration entrants hold some valid PK-12 certification to qualify for a Principal Endorsement. Taking the GRE, GMAT, or MAT entrance exam is wholly optional. Only the Doctor of Business Administration has a work experience requirement of three years. International learners must prove second language skills with a minimum 550 TOEFL PBT, 6.0 IELTS, 19 ACT Reading, or 450 SAT English mark.

The University of the Southwest has rolling online graduate admissions year-round. The final registration deadlines are currently August 15th, October 10th, January 15th, March 19th, May 14th, and June 18th. However, non-U.S. residents must apply before July 15th or October 15th. Prospective online students complete their Graduate Studies Application digitally for free. Official transcripts can be sent via eScrip-Safe or to 6610 North Lovington Highway in Hobbs, NM 88240. Personal copies, PDFs, and photographs aren’t considered acceptable. Optional testing reports require institutional code 4116. Other steps might include the 500-word personal goals essay, professional résumé or CV, two reference letters, teaching license, financial statement, passport, and proof of insurance. Enrollment counselors can answer further questions at (575) 392-6561 or [email protected].

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, the University of the Southwest has billed online master’s tuition of $599 per credit. Auditing online courses cost $299 per credit. Some might incur the $200 directed study fee. The Doctor of Business Administration raises the rate to $799 per credit. Luckily, online learners skip the traditional $100 student service fee charged per semester. Paying $3,270 for Hobbs campus housing like East Hall and $1,960 for Mustang Corral meal plans isn’t needed either. USW Online estimated an annual cost of online attendance at $21,564 with only $1,200 extra for textbooks. For instance, the M.S.E. in Educational Specialist would total $17,970. Online M.B.A. concentrations have a $21,564 price overall. The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is the steepest at $35,950 over 2.5 years.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office in J.L. Burke Administration Hall gets 98 percent of USW Mustangs lassoing median assistance of $4,786 for $2.48 million combined. Institutional funds include the Presidential Grant, Provost Grant, Dean’s Grant, Lea County Grant, Plus One Grant, Christian Ministry Grant, Achievement Grant, Mustang Grant, Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship, and I Can Scholarship. The Debt Buyback Program pays up to $5,000 for Southwest alumni who’ve graduated with GPAs above 3.5. Employer assistance is available with partner companies, such as Boeing, Fannie Mae, Hewlett-Packard, Karmazin, Rockwell Automation, Tellabs, and Bancorp. Submitting FAFSA applications coded 013935 determines Federal Unsubsidized and Graduate Plus loan amounts. The New Mexico Higher Education Department also awards a $7,200 Graduate Scholarship for underrepresented minorities with high financial need.

Website: University of the Southwest