Samford University is a premier nationally-ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Located in suburban Birmingham, Alabama, Samford was founded in 1841 and is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It enrolls 5,471 students from 47 states and 29 countries in 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health.
In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked Samford 4th among regional universities in the South and 3rd for a strong commitment to teaching. Samford also has been nationally ranked for academic programs, value and affordability by such prestigious publications and rankings as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Forbes, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, The Princeton Review and Colleges of Distinction, among others.
Samford offers 30 undergraduate and graduate/professional degrees. There are 166 undergraduate and 71 graduate majors, minors and concentrations. Graduate/professional degrees are offered in business, divinity, design studies, education, health professions, environmental management, law, music, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. The university’s College of Health Sciences is adding many new undergraduate and graduate/professional programs in the next few years.
The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:12, and no classes are taught by teaching assistants.
Students can choose from among 114 student organizations, 15 Greek-letter organizations, 12 intramural sports and 200 annual arts events. Birmingham is a major metropolitan area with a thriving arts scene and nationally-recognized restaurants and food options. Multiple outdoor recreation areas are within an easy drive of the campus. The 247-acre campus is nationally-recognized for its architectural and landscape beauty, and students take advantage of the green spaces on campus for outdoor activities.
Students annually contributed more than 700,000 hours of service around the world in a variety of missions, ministry and community service initiatives.
The university’s cherished traditions include Step Sing, an annual student-produced and directed talent show that involves more than 1,000 undergraduate students; Homecoming; Family Weekend; Welcome Back Week; Hanging of the Green and Lighting of the Way; Rascal Day; and Samford Gives Back Day.
Among Samford’s 50,000-plus alumni are more than 60 U.S. congressmen, eight state governors, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, four Rhodes Scholars, multiple Emmy and Grammy award-winning artists, two national championship football coaches, and recipients of the Pulitzer and Nobel Peace prizes.
The university fields 17 varsity sports — eight men’s and nine women’s — that participate at the NCAA Division I level in the tradition-rich Southern Conference. Samford’s athletics teams are ranked #1 in Alabama and the Southern Conference for Graduation Success Rate (GSR) by the NCAA with an average score of 99 percent. Eleven teams posted perfect scores. The football team’s score of 98 percent is tied with Princeton and Columbia universities for the highest score among NCAA Division I-FCS programs. Teams have been known as the Bulldogs for more than 100 years.