About Southern New Hampshire University

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Oct 17, 2016

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is an accredited nonprofit university that allows you to take online courses that meet your needs as an adult learner, as well as in a traditional classroom setting.

SNHU tells us their 200+ career-focused online bachelor’s and graduate programs are developed by subject matter experts who are leaders in their field.

On top of this, we’re told their “relevant, applicable” coursework can help you “gain real-world knowledge and skills” to help you succeed in the workplace.

During your time as a student, SNHU claims you’ll also be supported by a network of tutoring and career services, academic advising, technical support, an online library, and bookstore, and more—not to mention “one of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.”

Whether you’re looking to advance your career or pursue your passion, getting a degree is often an excellent, highly fulfilling use of your time. However, it also takes a ton of hard work and a lot of money.

From these perspectives, is a Southern New Hampshire University degree right for you? We’ll cover all the major points here so you can make a more informed decision.

How Does Southern New Hampshire University Work?

Southern New Hampshire University was founded in 1932 and today boasts more than 3,000 on-campus students, as well as more than 60,000 online students.

SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, along with programmatic accreditations like the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

SNHU’s main 300-acre campus is located in Manchester, NH, while they also have regional centers located in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Salem, NH, as well as in Brunswick, ME.

Compared to a lot of other online colleges we’ve reviewed (more about this soon), SNHU is a nonprofit institution. In a nutshell (it’s a large topic), this means that SNHU is a publically owned institution headed by a board of trustees.

As a result, they receive federal and state funding, but any money earned by the school must be used to further the organization’s goals. Based on accreditation, transferring credits between nonprofit universities is often easier.

On the other hand, for-profit universities are often owned and operated by companies who must answer to shareholders. Their primary goal is to turn a profit, so tuition is generally higher than nonprofit universities.

Like other online colleges (nonprofit or otherwise), SNHU features a central area, called the Blackboard, where online learners can see what’s planned for the week and budget their time accordingly at any time, day or night.

This video can provide more details:

Online learners can also take advantage of SNHUconnect, a “virtual lounge” that allows you to collaborate with other students and faculty, share ideas, get advice, and more.

What Is the SHNU Advantage Program?

If you’re looking to earn an associate’s degree in as little time (and money) as possible, SNHU’s Advantage Program allows you to finish two years of school at their Regional Center in Salem, NH for $20K.

Despite these savings, SNHU tells us you’ll be getting the same quality of education you would be as a campus resident, just for less money and with smaller class sizes.

According to SNHU, this program can act as a stepping stone to further education success for students.

What about SNHU’s degrees, specifically? We’ll cover that next.

Which Degree Programs Are Offered by Southern New Hampshire University?

Southern New Hampshire University offers more than 200 online associates, bachelors, and masters degrees and certificates:


Accounting, Accounting Finance, Business Studies in Accounting, Business Studies in Business Finance, Finance, Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination (Graduate Certificate), International MBA, Masters of Business Administration

Art & Design

Digital Photography, Game Art & Development (3D Modeling & Animation, Web Design), Information Technologies, Game Design & Development, Web Design & Development


Accounting, Accounting Finance, Business Administration, Business Studies in Accounting, Business Studies in Business Administration, Business Studies in Business Finance, Business Studies in Computer Information Technology, Business Studies in Human Resource Management, Business Studies in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Business Studies in International Management, Business Studies in Marketing, Business Studies in Operations & Project Management, Business Studies in Organizational Leadership, Business Studies in Small Business Management, Business Studies in Sport Management, Communication, Community Health Education, Data Analytics, Environmental Science, Fashion Merchandising & Management , Finance, Health Information Management, Health Sciences, Healthcare Administration, Information Technologies, International Business, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Operations Management, Public Administration, Sport Management, Technical Management

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice (Corrections, Criminology, Homeland Security & Counterterrorism, Human Services, Legal Studies & Advocacy, Police Administration & Operations), International MBA, Master of Business Administration


Curriculum & Instruction (Dyslexia & Language Based Learning Disabilities, Educational Leadership, Reading, Special Education, Technology Integration), Early Childhood Education, Education Technology Integration Specialist, Elementary Education, Higher Education Administration, Nurse Educator, Reading & Writing Specialist, Special Education, Code Sharing - Empowering Teachers to Teach Code (CEU), Dyslexia & Language Based Learning Disabilities (Graduate Certificate)


Accounting (Accelerated Track, Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination), Accounting Finance, Business Studies in Accounting, Business Studies in Business Finance, Finance (Financial Planning), Accounting (MS) (Auditing, Forensic Accounting, Management Accounting, Taxation), Finance (MS) (Corporate Finance, Investment & Securities), International MBA (Accounting, Finance, Forensic Accounting, Quantitative Analysis), Master of Business Administration (Accounting, Finance, Forensic Accounting, Quantitative Analysis)


Business Administration (Healthcare Administration), Community Health Education, Health Information Management, Health Sciences, Healthcare Administration (Health Information Management, Patient Safety & Quality), Nursing (BSN) (Accelerated Track RN to MSN), Public Health, Sociology, Clinical Nurse Leader, Health Information Management, Healthcare Administration, Information Technology (Healthcare Informatics), International MBA (Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare Management), Management (Healthcare), Master of Business Administration (Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare Management), Nurse Educator (MSN), Nursing (MSN), Patient Safety & Quality (MSN), Public Health (MS)

Information Technology

Environmental Science (Geospatial Technologies, Natural Resources & Conservation), Game Art & Development, Game Programming & Development, Graphic Design & Media Arts (Web Design), Health Information Management, Information Technologies (Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Database Administration, Database Management, Game Design & Development, Geographic Information Systems, IT Management, Network & Telecommunication, Robotics & Artificial Intelligence, Software Development, Web Design & Development), Management Information Systems (IT Management, Project Management), Cyber Security (MS) (IT Management), Education Technology Integration Specialist (MEd), Health Information Management (MS), Information Technology (MS) (Data Analytics, Database Design, Game Design & Development, Healthcare Informatics, Information Security, IT Management, Software Application Development, Web Design), International MBA (Healthcare Informatics, Information Technology Management), Master of Business Administration (Engineering Management, Healthcare Informatics, Information Technology Management)

MBA Programs

International MBA (Accounting, Athletic Administration, Corporate Social Responsibility, Criminal Justice, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Forensic Accounting, Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, Information Technology Management, Internet Marketing, Leadership, Marketing, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Quantitative Analysis, Six Sigma Quality, Social Media Marketing, Sport Management, Sustainability & Environmental Compliance, Workplace Conflict Management)

Master of Business Administration (Accounting, Athletic Administration, Business Intelligence, Community Economic Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, Criminal Justice, Economics, Engineering Management, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Forensic Accounting, Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, Information Technology Management, Internet Marketing, Leadership, Marketing, Music Business, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Public Administration, Quantitative Analysis, Six Sigma Quality, Social Media Marketing, Sport Management, Sustainability & Environmental Compliance, Workplace Conflict Management)

Liberal Arts

Anthropology (Environmental Sustainability, Geospatial Technologies), Communication (New Media, Professional Writing, Public Relations), Creative Writing & English (Fiction Writing, Non-Fiction Writing, Poetry, Screenwriting), English Language & Literature, General Studies, History (American History, European History, Middle Eastern Studies, Military History), Sociology

Applied Economics (MS) (Environmental & Natural Resources), Communication (MA) (Health Communication, New Media & Marketing, Public Relations), English & Creative Writing (MA) (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting), English (MA), History (MA) (American History, Military History, Public History), International MBA (Economics), Master of Business Administration (Community Economic Development)

Math & Science

Anthropology (Environmental Sustainability, Geospatial Technologies), Data Analytics, Environmental Science (Natural Resources & Conservation), Geoscience, Information Technologies, Mathematics (Applied Mathematics)


Nursing (BSN), Clinical Nurse Leader MSN), Nurse Educator (MSN), Nursing (MSN), Patient Safety & Quality (MSN)


Psychology (Addictions, Applied Psychology, Child & Adolescent Development, Forensic Psychology, Mental Health, Social Psychology)

Psychology (MS) (Child & Developmental Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Industrial & Organizational Psychology)

Social Sciences

Anthropology (Environmental Sustainability, Geospatial Technologies), Business Studies in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Community Health Education, Environmental Science, Geosciences, History, Human Services (Child & Family Services, Gerontology, Substance Abuse), Political Science (Campaign Leadership), Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology (Community Health)

Applied Economics (MS) (Environmental & Natural Resources), Criminal Justice (MS) (Advanced Counterterrorism, Public Safety Administration), History (MA), International MBA (Economics, Sustainability & Environmental Compliance), Master of Business Administration, Political Science (MS), Psychology (MS), Public Health (MS)

Whew! That’s a whole lot of degrees! How much will you pay to get one?

How Much Does SNHU Tuition Cost?

Undergraduate Programs

  • Degrees/Certificates: $960 per course/$320 per credit hour
  • SNHU Maine: $729 per course/$243 per credit hour
  • Degrees/Certificates for Active-duty Military & Their Spouses: $675 per course/$225 per credit hour

According to SNHU’s website, most undergraduate degrees require 120 credit hours. This means you’ll pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $40K in tuition for a bachelor's degree.

On the other hand, an on-campus SNHU education will cost you $41K-$47K per year, including tuition, housing, dining plan, and other fees and insurance.

Graduate Programs

  • Degrees/Certificates: $1,881 per course/$627 per credit hour
  • Degrees/Certificates for Active-duty Military & Their Spouses: $1,410 per course/$470 per credit hour

Keep in mind that there could be other costs associated with your program, especially the Graduate Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (PCMH), or based on your specific campus location (if not fully online).

Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, remember that there will likely be additional fees for books (and some software, depending on the program) not included in the above numbers.

As with most universities, Southern New Hampshire offers a variety of grants, scholarships, and student loans to help cover the costs of a degree. The university also allows up to 45 credits to be transferred toward an associate degree and up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Still have questions? An SNHU staff member can be reached at 800-668-1249.

Given their seemingly flexible degree programs and reasonable tuition, are Southern New Hampshire University students pleased with their experience?

Are There Any Southern New Hampshire University Student Reviews? What’s Their Ranking?

113 SNHU students had provided feedback on GradReports.com at the time of our research, giving them an average rating of 3.7 stars.

There, common compliments referenced the fact that the University provides working adults the ability to pursue higher education, the affordability of their degree programs, and responsive staff.

On the other hand, common complaints referenced easy-to-moderately easy coursework (including some master’s programs), very little instruction or input from professors, and some confusion with online syllabi.

There were also 306 student ratings for SNHU on Cappex.com, 34 reviews on Yelp, and 49 reviews on OnlineDegreeReviews, most of which mirrored the compliments and complaints found on GradReports.

From a ranking perspective, US News puts Southern New Hampshire University at #101 in Regional Universities North, although they also rank them as #1 among Most Innovative Schools.

Their student body consists of about 48 percent males and 52 percent females and boasts a retention rate (those who remain with the college past their freshman year) of 68%.

SNHU’s overall graduation rates currently sit at about 49% (the U.S. average is at about 33%), with an 8.2% loan default rate, and average debt upon graduation just shy of $30K.

How do some of these numbers compare to the competition?

Other Online Universities Like SNHU

We’ve written about many of the top online universities over the years, including University of Phoenix, Western Governors University, Capella, DeVry, and more. From a sheer numbers perspective, how does SNHU stack up?

University Under-graduate Tuition Graduate Tuition Retention Rate Graduation Rate Loan Default Rate
SNHU $960 per course $1,881 per course 68% 49% 8.2%
University of Phoenix $14,550 per year $18K 38% 10% 26%
Western Governors University $2,890 to $4,250 per term Same 71% 40% 6.6%
Capella $336 - $394 per credit $416 - $780 per credit 20% 44.6% 7.3%
DeVry $609 per credit hour $495 per credit hour N/A 41% 24%

Alright, we’ve certainly provided you with a lot to think about here. When it comes down to it, though, is a Southern New Hampshire University degree in your best interests?

See Also: How the Student Loans Started and the Changes That Got Us Into a Modern Crisis

Should You Pursue a SNHU Degree?

As a working adult (arguably SNHU’s largest demographic), you have a lot of choices if you’re looking to get a degree, online or otherwise.

And there are dozens of important factors that can help determine which one is right for you. For example: Are you focused more on class size or the length of time the university has been around?

Do you want a for-profit college or only nonprofit? Is student feedback your most important aspect? Or, do you need both an online and on-campus experience?

Taken together, only you’ll be able to decide whether or not Southern New Hampshire University’s unique mix of factors meets your needs. However, if affordability is your top concern, you’ll definitely want to keep them on your list.

» Read Next: Is It Still Worth It to Go to College? The Experts Say, Yes!

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