Anderson University is a selective comprehensive Christian university offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees on campus and online. Anderson has received numerous national recognitions, including:
- The Top Tier (#21) of U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges
- One of "49 Up & Coming Universities to Watch in America" (U.S. News & World Report)
- The Princeton Review's 136 Best Southeastern Colleges
- The #2 Regional College in the South for "Excellence in Teaching" (U.S. News & World Report)
- One of "Americas 100 Best College Buys"
Anderson University traces its origin to one of the first institutions of higher learning for women in the United States. The Johnson Female Seminary opened in the city of Anderson in 1848. The founder was the Reverend William B. Johnson.
The school the Reverend Mr. Johnson founded was forced to close during the Civil War and did not reopen, but in time a new generation carried on what had been begun at that institution. A group of public-spirited citizens, desirous of having an institution of higher learning in Anderson, offered 32 acres of land and $100,000 to the South Carolina Baptist Convention at their meeting in 1910. The convention nominated a group of trustees, and Anderson College was granted a charter in 1911 by the South Carolina General Assembly. In 1912, the College opened its doors and operated as a four-year college for women until 1930. In 1929, the Anderson transitioned to a junior college, the first in the state. The College became a coeducational two-year institution in 1930.
In December 1989, the Board of Trustees voted to return the College to its status as a four-year institution, beginning with the fall semester of 1991. This decision was subsequently affirmed by a unanimous vote of the General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The first four-year class since 1930 graduated in May 1993.
In the spring of 2005, Anderson's Board of Trustees voted for a change to university status for the institution to reflect the new addition of graduate programs and a reorganization of the academic divisions into colleges. On January 1, 2006, Anderson College became Anderson University.
The community of Anderson, having given birth to the University, has nurtured and supported the institution throughout the University's history. In turn, the University has provided intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities for the citizens of the Anderson area, and has made a significant contribution to the economy of the community.
Anderson University has experienced rapid growth under the leadership of President, Dr. Evans Whitaker. Anderson University now enrolls approximately 3,000 students from 38 states and 15 foreign countries. Grounded in a Christian perspective, Anderson offers more than 50 bachelor's, masters and doctoral programs of study.
Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters and doctoral degrees. Professional accreditation includes the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Guided by a commitment to teaching excellence, Anderson's faculty invest their lives into your personal and intellectual success. Our faculty distinguishes themselves by creating unique opportunities for student engagement and helpful support, especially for AU Online students. Eighty-two percent of AU faculty hold the highest degree in their field.
Anderson University has been recognized as one of the most affordable universities in the South. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked AU among the top 11 universities in the South (public and private) for students accumulating the least educational debt.
Anderson University is an academic community, providing a challenging education grounded in the liberal arts, enhanced by professional and graduate programs and a co-curricular focus on the development of character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement. This is a diverse community that is Christ-centered, people-focused, student-oriented, quality-driven, and future-directed.
Anderson University exists to be a premier teaching university where liberal arts and professional studies thrive within a distinctively Christian community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to learning and service.