Top Rank 2017: Samford University

Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission.  Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It enrolls 5, 471 students from 47 states and 29 countries.  In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked Samford #4 among regional universities in the South and #3 for a “strong commitment to teaching.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked Samford #40 in its 2017 ranking of the best value private universities. Samford is ranked #87 nationally and #1 in Alabama by The Economist and is the top-ranked university in Alabama in a national ranking conducted by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education.

Samford offers numerous undergraduate and graduate/professional degrees through 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:12, and no classes are taught by teaching assistants.

Samford’s Brock School of Business offers nine undergraduate areas of study (accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, professional sales, social entrepreneurship and sports marketing). The school offers two master’s degrees (accounting and business administration) and numerous graduate joint degree programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks Brock School of Business in the top tier of “best business schools” and the online M.B.A. program is ranked #72 nationally. Additionally, the evening M.B.A. program is the oldest in the state and is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report (2015).

Among Samford’s 50, 000 alumni are more than 60 members of the U.S. Congress, eight state governors, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, one Secretary of State, four Rhodes Scholars, multiple Emmy and Grammy award-winning artists, two national championship football coaches, and recipients of the Pulitzer and Nobel Peace prizes.

The university fields 17 varsity sports—eight men’s and nine women’s—that participate at the NCAA Division I level in the Southern Conference. Samford’s athletics teams are ranked #1 in Alabama and the Southern Conference for Graduation Success Rate (GSR) by the NCAA with an average score of 99%. Eleven teams posted perfect scores. The football team’s score of 98% is tied with Princeton and Columbia for the highest score among Division I-FCS programs, making Samford one of the highest ranked universities in Division I athletics.

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