Life at Samford

photo of a group of international students

Post-Secondary Education

The United States possesses a unique educational system. One of the major differences lies in post-secondary education. In most countries of the world, post-secondary education is operated or controlled by the Ministry of Education or some other centralized government agency. Though private sectors in education may exist, generally in these other countries the government agencies hold the distinction of being the primary education caretaker.

In the United States, each individual state regulates those academic institutions within its borders. These institutions are accredited by private, non-government agencies. A school which is accredited has undergone an investigation by a team of experts and has met the minimum requirements of the accrediting agencies. Samford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Many academic programs within the University have additional accreditation from organizations appropriate to the particular academic discipline.


In many countries of the world, a college is a secondary school and is very different than a university. Words like “school,” “college” and “university” are often used in other countries with distinct meanings. These words might even signify different levels of education. On the other hand, in the United States these words are used interchangeably. Examples would be questions like, “Where do you go to school?” In this case the objective is to know what university you are attending. In addition, universities are often divided into sections called “colleges” or “schools.” Samford University is divided this way. On our campus we have the following:

  • Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education
  • Brock School of Business
  • McWhorter School of Pharmacy
  • Howard College of Arts and Sciences
  • Beeson Divinity School
  • Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing
  • School of the Arts
  • Cumberland School of Law
  • School of Health Professions
  • School of Public Health