Published on September 12, 2002 by William Nunnelley  

Samford University has been ranked as one of the top institutions in the nation by U. S. News & World Report magazine in its 2003 selection of America's Best Colleges.

Samford ranks fifth in the South in the category, Universities-Master's, which includes schools offering a full range of undergraduate and master's programs and some doctoral programs. Samford offers 26 degree programs including 18 at the master's and doctoral levels.

U. S. News & World Report rankings are based on a school's academic reputation, freshman retention rates, faculty resources, class size, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

The rankings were announced Thursday, Sept. 12. In addition to the Universities-Master's category (the largest group), U. S. News & World Report ranks Universities-Doctoral, Liberal Arts Colleges-Bachelor's and Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's. Schools are divided into groups reflecting their missions--basically, programs they offer--as described by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Samford has been ranked in the top 10 in its category by U. S. News & World Report since 1990.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.