Published on September 9, 2019 by Sarah Cain  

Samford University is the top-ranked higher education institution in Alabama for value and undergraduate teaching according to national rankings released by U.S. News & World Report.

The university ranked 40th in the nation for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Samford is the only Alabama university included in that list. The rankings for undergraduate teaching focus on universities that place an emphasis on teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner.  

Samford also ranked No. 1 in Alabama and 100th in the nation in the annual listing of “Best Value Schools.” According to U.S. News & World Report, value is determined through a thorough assessment of academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of need-based financial aid.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list ranks Samford 147th overall among 399 “National Universities,” which include the country’s top private and public institutions that offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master's and doctoral degrees. The ranking criteria include academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, class size, and faculty/student ratios. Peer assessments from presidents, provosts and chief admission officers of institutions also are used to determine the rankings. Considering there are 4,300 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the U.S. recognized by the Department of Education, this ranking places Samford among the top four percent of colleges and universities in the country.

“We are pleased that Samford continues to be recognized for the quality and value of our academic programs,” said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. “While national rankings are just one measure of our progress, they provide a source of pride for Samford students, employees and alumni who celebrate the growing national reputation of their university.”

The latest ranking affirms Samford’s growing national reputation. Samford is regularly recognized as one of the top Christian universities in the United States, and receives high marks for value. Most recently, Samford was named 3rd nationally for student engagement by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The university was recently ranked 34th nationally among private universities on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s “Best College Values” list.

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 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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.