|Draughon's Practical Business College,
|Chancellor||John T. South, III|
Founded in 1899, South University consists of its School of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Professions, College of Business, College of Theology, and College of Arts and Sciences. Fifty-two percent of South University students are enrolled entirely online.
South University was founded in Savannah, Georgia in 1899 as Draughan's Practical Business College. Draughan's taught many of the skills needed by business professionals at the turn of the 20th century including accounting, banking, typewriting, bookkeeping and shorthand.
The South family acquired the institution in 1974, and changed its name to Draughan's Junior College. Over the next 40 years, the institution would grow from a one-location junior college to a system of 12 campuses around the United States with alumni from all 50 states.
The expansion of the institution began with the addition of a campus in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. In 1986, the institution's name was changed to South College as the administration began charting a course of more varied degree programs and campus expansions.
Campus expansions continued and by 2014, the University had campuses in Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.
South University was acquired by Education Management Corporation (EDMC) in 2003. On October 17, 2017, Education Management Corporation reported that it had sold its schools to The Dream Center Foundation, a Los Angeles-based Pentecostal organization. 
South University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and associate degrees. This is a regional accreditation.  The school's nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the pharmacy program is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
South University's Savannah campus celebrated its largest graduating class in the institution's history in June of 2017, when more than 3,500 students received degrees.
Ninety-six percent of 2016 graduates from the MMSC in Anesthesia Science program at South University, Savannah passed the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants Exam.
Ninety-seven percent of 2016 graduates from the MS in Physician Assistant program at South University, Savannah and 96% from South University, Tampa passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.
Eighty-five percent of 2016 graduates from the Doctor of Pharmacy program at South University, Savannah and South University, Columbia passed the North American Pharmacists Licensure Examination on the first attempt.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, South online's graduation rate is 2 percent. However, this rate only measures the performance of "first-time, full-time" studentswhich make up a very small percentage of South University students. Its student loan default rate is approximately 20%.
The institution's name change to South College resulted in a 2002 legal dispute with Sewanee: The University of the South, which had registered the name "The University of the South" with the U.S. Patent Office. The issue was resolved in 2003 with both schools retaining their names.
In 2015, EDMC, South University's former parent company, agreed to forgive more than $100.8 million in student loan debt held by more than 80,000 former students. U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania stated that 'Companies cannot enrich their corporate coffers at the expense of students seeking a quality education, or on the backs of taxpayers who are funding our critical financial aid programs...'Today's global settlement sends an unmistakable message to all forprofit education companies: the United States will aggressively ferret out fraud and protect innocent students and taxpayer dollars from this kind of egregious abuse.'