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    Scholars Programs

    John Howard Scholars+

    John Howard, born Sept. 2, 1726, led an unremarkable life as a country squire in Bedfordshire, England, until he was elected as the county sheriff. He was outraged to learn that acquitted prisoners were held captive only because they couldn’t afford the jailer’s fee.

    Howard then made it his life’s work to survey the jails of Europe in an attempt to bring public attention to the shameful treatment of prisoners. He died in 1790 in the Ukraine during an inspection of the prisons in Eastern Europe. Howard is now widely recognized as a model of Christian compassion for society’s outcasts. Half a century after his death, a group of Alabama Baptists decided to name their new college in honor of this great humanitarian, whose marble likeness was the first memorial in England’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.

    Adding further honor to the name, Samford University's Howard College of Arts and Sciences created the John Howard Scholars, seventeen junior undergraduates chosen from among the finest in the college. The scholars meet regularly with the dean in order to promote scholarship, service, and learning in the Howard tradition.


    The John Howard Scholars Program is designed to recognize a select group of outstanding Howard College juniors by awarding them the status of John Howard Scholars upon successful completion of the Program. The program give students an opportunity to serve on the Dean’s Student Leadership Team and participate in dialogue at monthly meetings and provides an opportunity for students to participate in fundraising campaigns that will enhance the mission of Howard College.

    The John Howard Scholars Program provides service during major Howard College events, such as the Davis Lecture and the Old Howard Bike Ride. This program also develops leadership and collaboration skills through group projects.


    Students are eligible to apply to be a part of the John Howard Scholars Program by meeting either of the following criteria:

    • All Arts and Science majors in the University Fellows Program who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 after three semesters are eligible to apply to become a part of the John Howard Scholars Program.
    • All Arts and Science majors in the General University who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 after three semesters are eligible to apply to become a part of the John Howard Scholars Program.


    Students who meet the above criteria will be sent an invitation to apply for the John Howard Scholars Program. Completed applications must be submitted by May 15 of their sophomore year. All application materials will be submitted to the program coordinator.


    The Coordinator of the John Howard Scholars Program will review the applicants and make a recommendation to the dean. A maximum of twenty students will be selected to participate in the program. The formal announcement of those selected will be made to the university on John Howard Day (September 2) each year.


    Students who are selected to participate in the John Howard Scholars program will be recognized at a dinner to be held in September in the Howard Room in the University Center. The students will also be recognized on the Howard College website.

    John Howard Scholars Student Leadership Team

    Howard Scholars program participants will meet monthly with the Dean of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences to discuss ways to strengthen liberal arts education within Howard College and enhance the intellectual climate of the university. Students who attend these meetings regularly and complete required assignments will be named John Howard Scholars and be given honor cords to wear at graduation.

    Service to the University

    Howard Scholars will be required to participate in at least 8 hours of service to the university with an emphasis on those activities that benefit Howard College and the community at large. Service will take place during the student’s junior year. Opportunities for service will be provided by the program coordinator.

    Clark Scholars+

    The Clark Scholars Program at Samford University prepares students for a career in an exciting new area of research at the nexus of biology and computational science. Computational biology unites the fields of biology, computer science, mathematics, and information technology. The ultimate goal of this emerging discipline is the discovery of new biological insights and the creation of a global perspective from which to discover unifying principles in biology, pharmacology, and medicine.

    The Program combines interdisciplinary classes with research experiences and personal mentoring, enhances employment opportunities, and provides significant advantages for those considering graduate school or professional training such as medical school.

    Required Courses

    Scholars may choose any major but must take the Clark Scholars Core through the Howard College of Arts and Sciences. The core includes two courses in each of the following areas: biology, computer science, and bioinformatics. Clark Scholars who successfully complete the academic requirements are also on track to receive a bioinformatics minor, with the completion of a few additional courses.

    • Foundations of Biology I (BIOL 203)
    • Intro to Programming (COSC 110)
    • Genetics (BIOL 333)
    • Principles of Bioinformatics (BIOL 306/COSC 306)
    • Data Structures and Algorithms (COSC 210)
    • Advanced Bioinformatics (BIOL 407/COSC 407)


    Latin American Scholars+

    Talented incoming freshmen will participate in courses and extra-curricular activities designed to develop expertise in the interdisciplinary field of Latin American Studies. The program will culminate in the summer after the LAS Scholar's sophomore year, when they will participate in a subsidized travel-study journey in Latin America.

    Participation will enhance employment opportunities, help prepare students interested in mission service in Latin America, and provide significant advantages for those considering graduate studies or professional training. For more information, visit the LAS webpage.

    As the increasing interconnection of global business, politics, and culture makes the world a smaller place, understanding our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere becomes ever more vital.


    • Develop linguistic and cultural fluency, geographical and political expertise, and historical understanding of Latin America
    • Prepare graduates to address the international challenges shared by the diverse countries of the Western Hemisphere
    • Prepare students interested in mission service in Latin America
    • Enhance student interest in this increasingly important interdisciplinary field.

    These valuable skills will serve students well in a variety of career choices at home or abroad.

    The LAS Scholars Program combines innovative classes with cross-cultural experiences led by experienced faculty. Participation in LAS enhances employment opportunities and provides significant advantages for those considering graduate schools or professional training.


    Students must maintain the following standards to continue in the program:

    • Participate in the LAS Learning Community during the freshman year
    • Earn a C or better in all required courses by the end of the sophomore year
    • Maintain a 3.0 GPA


    The Latin American Studies Scholarship is available on a competitive basis to students interested in interdisciplinary work in Latin American Studies. The scholarship is $2,000 per year, and may be renewed pending eligibility. In the summer following the sophomore year, students who meet the program requirements will be eligible for an $800 study abroad scholarship, enabling them to participate in an innovative travel-study experience in Ecuador.

    Learning Communities

    LAS Scholars will join a learning community combining academic rigor and cultural enrichment. As a part of the community, LAS Scholars enroll in special sections of the University Core (UCCA & UCCP), and participate in social and academic events designed to foster camaraderie and scholarly success.

    Required Courses

    LAS Scholars may choose any major but must take the LAS Scholars courses listed below. Students who successfully complete these academic requirements will earn a Latin American Studies minor, and will also fulfill the Howard College of Arts and Sciences language requirements.

    LAS Learning Community (UCCP 101 & UCCA 102)
    LAS Learning Community (UCCP 102)
    Introduction to Latin American Studies (LAST 201)
    Language Sequence
    Conversation, Composition, Grammar, & Reading (SPAN 301-302 or PORT 351-352)
    LAS Electives (Choose two)
    Lat. Amer. Land and People (GEOG 397)
    Modern Latin America (HIST 461)
    Latin American Politics (POLS 322)
    Capstone Experience
    Latin American Studies Seminar Abroad (LAST 380)


    Preministerial Scholars+

    Samford University’s Preministerial Scholars is an unprecedented preprofessional and scholarship program. Combining the academic study of religion with the practical experience of internships and cadres, the program seeks to equip students for church-related and Christian ministries. Each year, a limited number of merit scholarships are offered to entering freshmen. The program is highly competitive. Priority will be given to applicants who score a minimum of 26 on the ACT; however, qualified individuals with lower test scores are encouraged to apply. Students who are invited to join may receive a scholarship for up to $15,000 annually.

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