Buena Vista University


Degree Programs Offered by Buena Vista University

Buena Vista University appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs at Private Colleges.

Buena Vista University offers more than 50 degree programs for undergrads, including options for transfer students who earned credits elsewhere. The history major is just one of the options available on the main campus. It includes tracks for those who want to teach history in K-8 settings or 5-12 settings, including concentrations in world history and American history. History majors take courses such as History of the United States to 1877, World Civilizations I and II and The Emergence of Western Civilization. All of the teaching tracks include practicums and other types of fieldwork.

The agricultural business major is available both online and on-campus. This program features 59 credits of major courses that include Economics of Agricultural Markets, Applied Agricultural Financial Management, Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Marketing. The university’s graphic design program teaches students about typography and other design elements. Majors in this program can do internships with Levi and other major companies. It features classes that include Ancient Through Roman Art History, Motion Graphics, Baroque to Modern Art and Interactive Design. Pre-law, women and gender studies, communication studies, music, digital media and kinesiology are some of the other majors available at Buena Vista University.

Buena Vista University also offers a dual admissions program designed for high school students to help them get the college experience before they graduate. As long as they have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and plan to attend college, they can enroll in the program. Any classes they take will count as credits toward a high school diploma and a college degree. This is a subsidized program that reduces the cost per credit hour for new students. Students also have the chance to take one class for free and to work with counselors to get help applying to community colleges.

The university also offers graduate degree programs in counseling and education. In the mental health counseling program, students can focus on addiction counseling, child and adolescent counseling or couple and family counseling. Students must do a summer residency during which the university offers affordable housing on-campus in a residence hall. They’ll take a total of 60 credits that include Professional and Ethical Orientation to Counseling, Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling, Group Counseling, Diagnostics and Treatment Planning and Theories of Counseling. Counseling majors will also do internships to gain professional experience working with clients. School counseling, curriculum and instruction, special education and organizational leadership are other majors available for grad students.

About Buena Vista University

Buena Vista University is a private university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Known as Buena Vista College when established in 1891, it originally held classes in the Storm Lake Opera House before moving to a separate campus. That campus offers views of Storm Lake and sits in the Iowa city of the same name. The addition of residence halls in the 1960s gave the college space for the new students who enrolled. Enrollment also grew with the addition to new programs such as the graduate options added in the 1990s. Now known as Buena Vista University or BVU, it has four on-site schools that include the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Education. Some of the events that students can attend every year include Homecoming Week celebrations, Ringing of the Victory Bell and Moonlight Breakfast.

Buena Vista University Accreditation Details

BVU has accreditation for some of its degree programs such as social work programs. Those programs have accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which also covers the fieldwork that majors need to do. The main accreditation that BVU has is the regional accreditation it obtained from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This accreditation lets students in need of financial aid use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid when they apply and return to the university every year. It is the same accreditation that allows students to transfer any credits that they have.

Buena Vista University Application Requirements

Incoming BVU undergrads can apply online and then make sure that they send in an official high school transcript and standardized test score. Those who have any college credits they want to transfer should send a college transcript too. BVU gives preference to students with a high school diploma, a grade point average of at least 3.0 and a score of 20 on the ACT or a similar score on the SAT. Students applying to the dual enrollment program need to show that they have permission from a parent or guardian as well as a guidance counselor.

None of the university’s graduate programs require a GRE score or a score from any other entrance exam. Students must have a bachelor’s degree in hand before the program starts. They can show that they have their degrees through the transcripts that they submit. When students apply online, they will need to share information about what they studied in college, their grades and the interests they have outside of school. BVU programs may ask for writing samples and/or resumes from students and request that they interview with faculty members.

Tuition and Financial Aid

At BVU, students taking classes on the main campus pay $36,426 every year for tuition and fees along with an average of $10,218 for a room and board package. Those enrolled part-time pay $1,255 per credit hour, which is the same as the overload fee that the university charges when students take more than 18 credits. Online undergrads and those who take classes on an affiliated site pay $451 per credit hour. Undergrads who need financial aid and use the FAFSA can get loans, grants, scholarships and access to the work-study program.

BVU graduate students pay $552 per credit hour in the school counseling, mental health counseling, and organizational leadership programs. In the special education and curriculum and instruction programs, students pay only $250 per credit hour. Education majors may qualify for a federal grant. They can also apply for a program where the government will forgive their loans if they work in an underserved school district after they graduate. Both alternative and federal student loans are available for graduate students too. Buena Vista University requires that students applying to all degree programs submit the FAFSA if they need financial aid.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris