Samford University is a leading 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 5,729 students from 47 states and 30 countries.
Samford is regularly recognized as one of the best Christian universities in the United States, receiving high marks for academic quality and value. Samford is the top-ranked university in Alabama in national rankings published by The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranks Samford 2nd in the nation for student engagement. Samford is ranked 86th nationally for best value by U.S. News & World Report, and is the only Alabama university included in the list. According to The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, Samford students are more likely to recommend their university than students at any other college or university in the country.
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 and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1.
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 nearly 300 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 fall 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 $297 million (September 2020), 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, near Kensington Park.
Samford’s 53,915 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 48 conference championships since joining the Southern Conference in 2008. Samford’s athletics teams lead the nation in the NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR). Samford was one of nine schools in the country to score 99 on the latest GSR for all Division I student-athletes who began their college careers in 2013.