Samford University is a premier nationally ranked Christian university. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Located in the Birmingham, Alabama suburb of Homewood, the university’s campus covers approximately 247 acres and is renowned for its beauty and Georgian-Colonial style architecture. The university currently enrolls 5,692 students from 47 states and 28 countries.
Samford is the top-ranked university in Alabama in national rankings published by The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford third in the nation for student engagement. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 40th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 100th for best value. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranks Samford 34th among U.S. private universities for value and affordability. The student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1.
Samford offers undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts and a distinct blend of graduate and professional schools through 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. The university has one of three accredited law schools and one of only two accredited pharmacy schools in Alabama. Samford’s Beeson Divinity School is the only fully accredited graduate divinity school based in Alabama. The university is classified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as a doctoral/professional institution.
Samford’s mission to nurture student development intellectually, ethically and spiritually is fostered through an array of opportunities, including 166 student organizations, global engagement in more than 19 different countries and more than 180 courses that incorporate community service. Additionally, undergraduate students complete Samford’s core curriculum, providing a well-rounded foundation in the liberal arts. The result is a highly-tailored educational experience that results in 97% of undergraduate alumni employed or in further study within six months of graduation.
Samford’s strategic plan expresses four focus areas: emphasize student success, enhance our community, extend our reach and ensure financial strength. To support the continued advancement of this strategic plan, the university launched in the fall of 2016 a capital campaign titled Forever Samford. The six-year, $300 million campaign is intended to provide new financial resources to support student scholarship, academic programs and capital projects. Samford maintains a strong endowment with investments totaling $301 million (June 2019), which helps support scholarships, study abroad opportunities, general operations and other programs. In addition to the main campus in Homewood, the university owns a house in Marion, Alabama used for cultural study and service, and the Daniel House, a study center located in the heart of London, England near Kensington Park.
Samford’s 52,838 alumni have included more than 60 members of the U.S. Congress, eight state governors, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, one U.S. Secretary of State, 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 intercollegiate sports—eight men’s and nine women’s—that participate at the NCAA Division I level. The Samford Bulldogs have won 40 conference championships since joining the Southern Conference in 2008. Samford’s athletic teams in the 2018-2019 academic year enjoyed a 97% Graduation Success Rate (GSR) as calculated and published by the NCAA. For that academic year, Samford was ranked first in Alabama and 18th in the nation for GSR among all colleges and universities in the NCAA Division I level.