Samford University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Samford University
"For God, for learning, forever. Samford's unique culture, beautiful surroundings, and vibrant student life...

Samford University

Homewood, Alabama

Learning, Life, Faith

Founded in 1841, Samford University is the largest independently supported university in the state of Alabama. The serene suburban campus, with its rolling hills and stately Georgian Colonial architecture, provides the ideal college environment. On top of that, Samford is only minutes away from Birmingham, a diverse metropolitan area of 1 million people that is rich in culture, history, and spirit.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,168 undergraduate students
96% of undergrad students are full time
35% male — 65% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
352 full-time faculty
2 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
96% of first year students live on campus
72% of all students live on campus

School Location

Birmingham, Alabama.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research x
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

89% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

74% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 7%
White 81%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


NCAA Division I, Southern Conference. 17 varsity sports (8 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, track/field, volleyball; 9 women’s: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track/field, volleyball, cheer leading), 5 club sports and 17 intramurals.

Other Information

Samford University is a four-year, coeducational, private, residential, comprehensive liberal arts institution founded in 1841. Samford values its historic relationship with Alabama Baptists.

Academic Programs

Art, Asian Studies, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Classics, Computer Science, Engineering (3-2), English, Environmental Science, Entrepreneurship, Geographic Information Systems, French, Geography, German, Graphic Design, Greek, History, International Relations, Journalism and Mass Communication, Language and World Trade, Language Arts, Latin, Latin American Studies, Marine Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Religion, Sociology, Spanish, Speech Communication Church Music, Instrumental Music, Music, Music Education, Musical Theatre, Organ, Piano, Theatre, Theory/Composition, Voice, Athletic Training, Early Childhood/Elementary/Secondary/Special Education/Collaborative Education, Exercise Science, Fitness and Health Promotion, General Science, Family Studies, Interior Design, Nutrition and Dietetics, Physical Education, Social Science, Sports Medicine Nursing Accounting, Management, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-dental, Pre-engineering, Pre-law, Pre-medicine, Pre-optometry, Pre-veterinary Medicine.

More Distinctions

  • Ranked fourth in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

  • The Princeton Review named Samford as a "Best Southeastern College".

  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance has named Samford #65 of the top 100 best value private universities in the U.S.

  • Psychology professor and department chair Stephen Chew named the 2011 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

  • Four Samford professors have been named Carnegie Professor of the Year for Alabama since 1994.

  • Samford has one of only three ABA-accredited law schools, Cumberland, and one of only two accredited pharmacy schools, McWhorter, in Alabama. Samford also has the only divinity school based in the state.

Few universities offer both a rigorous liberal arts education and support for the spiritual life of their students, faculty, and staff. Samford understands that faith grows with challenge and challenges the faithful to grow. At Samford, faith grows through convocation programs, Christian student interest groups, and foreign and domestic missions…

A Fire You Can’t Put Out

The Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth once described the clamor for justice as “a fire you can’t put out.” Samford believes that faith challenges us to be “on fire” for justice. It provides light in the struggle for a better state, nation, and world.

Some of the ways Samford is combining scholarship and faith to change the world include poverty relief partnerships, required Cultural Perspectives, courses, and more than 100 weekly opportunities for community service.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band X
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Opera X
Pep band X
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra X
Television station  
Yearbook X

Samford’s outstanding faculty is committed to teaching first. With only 25–30 students in most classes, professors will get to know their students personally while serving as effective mentors…

International Study

In any term, including the January and summer terms, Samford students study in England, Morocco, Spain, Brazil, Costa Rica, China, or a host of other countries. Samford’s premiere international program is based out of a renovated Victorian home in the heart of London’s famous West End. This home is within walking distance of some of the city’s most famous cultural attractions.


Samford offers an outstanding education in 204 undergraduate and graduate majors, minors, and concentrations in 8 different schools.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Physical Activity 

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 195 296 198 72 20 11 0 792

The Quad

Surrounded by the University’s main academic, administrative, and cultural facilities, the quad is the geographic and social heart of Samford’s campus. In all seasons, it is a park for play, study, picnics, or even quick naps.

The Magic City

Samford students enjoy the best of both worlds on the school’s serene suburban campus, which is only minutes from one of the largest cities in the region. Birmingham is an international center for biomedical research, health care, technology, banking and communications, but also is alive with history, culture and entertainment.

shopping and entertainment

Birmingham enjoys a thriving creative community. The Museum of Art, the  Alabama Symphony, the Alabama Ballet, Opera Birmingham, the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival and many more opportunities to experience the arts are all available within the city.

With nationally acclaimed restaurants and over 500 shopping centers, 85 antique malls, and over 70 bookstores, the Birmingham area is one of the most popular destinations in the region.

prime geography

Thanks to a temperate climate, nature preserves, state and national parks, rivers, lakes, mountains and exceptional scenic beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities abound in the greater Birmingham area. Samford is a partner with the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center in Oak Mountain State Park.

Geographically speaking, Birmingham is perfectly situated. The white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico are just a few hours’ drive to the south. Atlanta, Nashville, and Memphis also are only a few hours’ drive away.


Coed dorms  
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

A Flourishing Life Beyond College

A survey by Samford’s Office of Institutional Research reported that 66% of graduates were employed and that 32% had continued their education. Famous alumni include retired Florida State Football Coach Bobby Bowden, actor Tony Hale, and opera singer Elizabeth Futral.


Admissions Fall 2015

3,196 Total Applicants 
2,982 Total Admissions 
826 Total Freshman Enrollment

93.30% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? No

Closing Date: June 30 
Priority Date: April 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Application Essay

Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Level of applicant’s interest


Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 500 610
SAT Math 490 610
SAT Writing 500 610
ACT Composite 23 29
ACT Math 21 27
ACT English 23 31
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $27,520
Fees $850
Total $28,370
Room and Board (on campus) $9,400
Room Only $4,860
Board Only $4,540
Estimated Total On Campus $37,770


Average Financial Aid Packages 2014-2015 Final

$18,606 First year students
$18,262 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015 Final

65.4% on average, the percentage of need that was met
21% of financial need students that had need fully met

$14,804 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$3,715 Average need-based loan

Merit-based Scholarships:

Your application form also serves as the competitive merit-based scholarship application for freshmen. Your application file must be completed by December 15th to be considered for merit-based scholarships. These scholarships are renewable for the following three years provided certain guidelines are met.

Showcase Projects Hint At Professional Lives To Come

Approximately 100 Samford University undergraduate students presented their work during Samford’s 2010 Student Showcase this spring. The students’ research topics–presented as scholarly posters or in formal lectures–ranged across disciplines and centuries, presenting new ideas on...