According to Aristotle, all knowledge begins in wonder, and all wonder begins with a question. University Fellows courses are designed to raise the kinds of questions that will lead you to greater curiosity about the world around you. Whether you are exploring justice with Plato, grace with Augustine, motion with Galileo, or economics with Marx, University Fellows will challenge you to think deeply about what you believe and why.

University Fellows courses are conducted in learning communities, course pairings that emphasize the coherence of ideas. When you take Western Intellectual Tradition I: The Heritage of Greece and Rome, you will be with the same University Fellows in Core Seminar. Western Intellectual Tradition II: Christianity from Antiquity to the Renaissance is paired with Biblical Foundations so that discussions of biblical scholarship are reinforced by early Christian intellectual developments. Western Intellectual Tradition III: Reformation, Revolution, and Enlightenment pairs well with Scientific Inquiry’s discussions of the history and philosophy of science. In Western Intellectual Tradition IV, the only course without a learning community, students look at all of their learning in Fellows courses as a context for understanding modernity.

University Fellows Core

Western Intellectual Tradition (Great Books)

Western Intellectual Tradition is a four-semester seminar in the Great Books tradition. Students read some of the seminal texts in Western history, philosophy, and literature, following a coherent historical narrative that takes them from the early Greeks and Romans all the way to modernity.

Scientific Inquiry

Unique to Samford’s University Fellows, this course explores the history and philosophy of science, which provides the fundamental methodological and philosophical assumptions of scientific inquiry.

Biblical Foundations

In Biblical Perspectives, students examine the historical context and religious teachings of Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

The Virtues

The Virtues is a two-semester freshman seminar that explores the historical ideas of virtue, focusing primarily on classical and Christian virtue, but going through modern-day conceptions of the term.


Calculus, the great idea of mathematics, begins with a review of pre-calculus functions with an emphasis on graphical, numerical, and modeling applications.

University Fellows Electives

Oxbridge Tutorials

In conjunction with a faculty member, a small group of students design a course focused on a specialized topic of mutual interest. At weekly meetings, students discuss assigned readings and defend their ideas with their instructor and their peers. Past Oxbridge Tutorials have covered the Founding Fathers, Irish poetry, and Christian biographies.

Preceptorship Program

Once University Fellows have completed the core curriculum, they may apply to work as a course preceptor in a University Fellows class. Preceptors work closely with professors to implement teaching strategies, facilitate class discussion, and provide feedback on assignments.

Special Topics

Samford professors may offer individualized seminar courses of their own choosing, exclusively for University Fellows. This gives juniors and seniors the opportunity to revisit the intensity of the small seminar classes they enjoyed in the University Fellows core courses.