Samford University

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Updated August 7, 2020

Originally chartered as Howard College in 1841, Samford University was established by the Alabama Baptist State Convention as a college for men. The school was named for John Howard, a social reformer in the 18th century. In 1854, the college was destroyed by fire, the second in ten years. Two people died in the fire and a memorial to Harry, who was a slave to the president, was erected in honor of his bravery in helping warn sleeping students of the fire.

In 1887, the school moved to East Lake, a controversial decision that was prompted due to racial, economic as well as tensions between rural and urban areas surrounding the college. The first female graduated from the school in 1896, but co-education was suspended soon after due to lack of proper facilities at the school to house women.

One unique tradition held each year is Rascal Day. Early in the 20th Century, a mongrel dog named Rascal faithfully attended classes at the Cumberland School of Law when it was housed in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1937, the school awarded Rascal with a Doctor of Canine Jurisprudence in recognition of the many classes and mock trials Rascal attended. When he died in 1940, Rascal was buried beneath the window of the classroom where he spent much of his time. When the school joined Samford in 1961, his tombstone and some spades of dirt were brought to the Samford campus where they were placed on the west side of Robinson Hall. Each year, a parade of two- and four-legged visitors pass Rascal's grave to commemorate his "accomplishments."

Due to an aging campus, the school moved to Homewood in 1957 and the name was changed to Samford University in 1965 in honor of long time trustee, Frank Park Samford, Sr., an insurance executive. The Howard College of Arts and Sciences remained in order to continue paying homage to John Howard.

The first African-American to live on campus was Elizabeth Sloan in 1969. Ms. Sloan graduated in 1973 and is currently the director for Alabama A&M's Telecommunications and Distance Learning Center. She is also manager of WJAB FM 90.9.

Samford University was ranked in the top ten colleges by U.S. News & World Report for the first time in 1990 and still holds that distinction today. The publication recently named Samford the top-ranked school in Alabama.

Samford University Accreditation Details

Samford University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Regional accreditation indicates that the college provides students with a high-quality education, giving them more opportunities upon graduation. In addition, programs at the college are accredited by the following organizations:

  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Theological Schools
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Samford University Application Requirements

Students may complete either the Samford online application or the Common Application. There is an application fee required. Students should complete an essay of at least 250 words unless they apply via the Common Application. A letter of recommendation is required from a guidance counselor or teacher. Students who have not earned college credit beyond high school graduation must submit ACT or SAT scores as well as official high school transcripts.

Students may transfer into Samford University as long as they have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on all college-level coursework. Students who have attempted at least 24 semester credits or 36 quarter credits are considered transfer students. Students must provide transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students who have not completed more than 24 college credits after high school graduation must submit official high school transcripts as well as ACT and SAT scores.

Each graduate program has specific requirements for admission. Students are encouraged to speak to an admissions counselor before applying.

Samford University Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition at Samford University is $30,490 per year. Graduate student tuition varies depending on the program the student wishes to enter.

Financial aid is available and Samford University is dedicated to making education affordable for students. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. In order to qualify for any financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Graduate student financial aid is dependent on the program the student chooses to enter. Graduate students must also complete the FAFSA but may be eligible for special financial assistance only available to graduate students. There are also hours-of-attendance requirements for graduate students in order to qualify for financial aid. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office for specific information on graduate school financial assistance.

Samford University Degree Program(s) Available

Master of Science in Nutrition

The Master of Science in Nutrition program at Samford University prepares students and dietitians for leadership positions in a wide range of industries that need specialists in nutrition. Students choose either a Clinical Nutrition or General Nutrition consultation. Students must complete a capstone research project in nutrition science, clinical nutrition, community nutrition or public health. The program is offered completely online allowing students to study either full- or part-time. Students are prepared for careers in academics, hospitals, long-term care, schools, wellness programs and other industries where nutrition is a critical part of their business.

Students gain an understanding of nutrition sciences while strengthening their analytical and research skills. Students are prepared to take a leadership role in the profession with a goal to influence and contribute to education as well as policies related to nutrition.

In order to apply for the program, students must hold a bachelor's degree or higher and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must obtain a "C" or better in all prerequisite courses and submit a valid GRE, MCAT or DAT score. Students must provide three letters of recommendation and submit to a video interview. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities must be provided.

Related Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online Master's in Dietetics

Tuition for the program is $789 per credit hour. Financial aid is available and students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Samford University has been offering outstanding education for over 100 years. Their programs provide students with a strong background in the subjects they choose. Many programs at Samford University are offered online so that working adults who need flexible schedules can achieve their higher education goals.

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