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Buena Vista University - IowaSchools.net

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Buena Vista University

Buena Vista UniversityBuena Vista University (BVU) is a private 4-year Presbyterian college located in Storm Lake, Iowa. The school was founded in 1891 as Buena Vista College but was renamed Buena Vista University in 1995. BVU was housed in the Storm Lake Opera House for a year before it moved to its own building. Major renovations over the years added three dormitories, additional classroom buildings, and a library to the campus. At any one time, Buena Vista University has about 2,500 students on campus. The school was ranked in the top 20 Midwestern Comprehensive Colleges by U.S. News and World Report.

Educational Programs

Buena Vista University is a liberal arts college that offers approximately 42 undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional programs grouped within 5 schools. Here is a selection of programs you can study at BVU.

Harold Walter Siebens School of Business

  • Accounting
  • Finance and Banking
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Management

School of Communication and Arts

  • Graphic Design and Visual Communication
  • Art
  • Arts Management
  • Digital Media
  • Theatre

School of Education and Exercise Science

  • Athletic Training
  • Education
  • Exercise Science
  • Coaching and Physical Education Programs
  • Sport Management

School of Science

  • Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

School of Social Science, Philosophy, and Religion

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

Pre-Professional Programs

  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Theology
  • Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Science in Education – School Guidance and Counseling

In addition to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, students can earn a minor degree in several disciplines including art history, business economics, chemistry, computer science, economics, environmental science, history, music, psychology, theatre, and many others.

Buena Vista University has an interim program where each January students can sign up for an intensive education in one subject. Students may travel to other areas such as Los Angeles or Paris to complete the course or stay in town. The school also offers ROTC training.


The school takes a holistic view of the applicant’s educational credentials. They take into account the type of curriculum completed, grade point average, SAT or ACT scores, emotional intelligence, and demonstration of motivation. Students with 3.0 grade point averages and ACT scores of 20 (or a correlating SAT score) will be given preference. Applicants must attend a campus visit where they will be informally interviewed.

In addition to other paperwork, international students must submit TOEFL scores, and official bank statements, letters of financial support, and a copy of their passports with picture.

Buena Vista University Tuition Costs

Tuition for the 2012-2013 school year is $14,157 per semester for full-time attendance. Associated fees, books, transportation, and other expenses are estimated at $2,635.

For graduate studies, the cost is $430 to $488 per credit hour depending on which master’s degree program you choose to pursue. Students taking classes online are required to pay an $80 technology fee.

Campus Life

Students are encouraged to live on campus for all four years they are in school. Campus housing consists of all-female and coed dorms. There are specialty living arrangements for upperclassmen that feature apartment-style quarters for up to six people that feature three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room area. One residence hall is specifically for people that wish to live in a substance-free (alcohol, smoking) environment. The average cost of room and board is $8,180 per year.

Athletically-inclined students will find a number of sports programs at Buena Vista University they can participate in. Men’s sports programs consist of baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and wrestling. Women can enjoy participating in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The school has over 60 student organizations, intramurals, and student activities that coeds can participate in. The list of available organizations includes:

  • Alpha Psi Omega (theatre)
  • AMSA
  • Buena Vista Business Club
  • Graphic Design Club
  • African-American Student Union
  • International Club
  • Moving in Stereo
  • University Cable Network
  • Voices of Praise
  • Cheerleading

Buena Vista University has a school chaplain on site for followers of religion. They also hold a non-denominational church service on a weekly basis.


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