2012-2013 Samford University Catalog 
    Apr 23, 2024  
2012-2013 Samford University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Regulations

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Total Credits

A minimum of 128 credits must be successfully completed for the typical bachelor’s degree. (Note: Some programs require more than 128 credits to complete the degree.) Not more than eight (8) credits in music ensembles, drama participation, and physical education activity courses may apply toward the minimum of 128 credits required for graduation. No more than two (2) credits in physical education activity courses beyond those required for graduation may be part of the combined eight credits. In order to receive a first bachelor’s degree, students must earn at least 50 percent of their total credits from Samford. At least 40 credits must be earned in junior-level and senior-level courses.

A second bachelor’s degree requires at least 32 additional credits and completion of all curricular requirements for the second degree.


Students are required to earn at least 50 percent of the credit for a first undergraduate degree in each degree program from Samford. Also, a minimum of 15 credits in the major field (with nine at the 300-400 level) must be earned at Samford. Each bachelor degree student must declare a major by the junior year. This information must be on file in the Office of Student Records. Students desiring to change a declared major must do so at the beginning of the registration periods for each semester or term. An undeclared major is acceptable for the freshman and sophomore years. In addition to a major, a specialized curriculum in pre-law or pre-medicine may be followed. See Pre-Law Advising  or Health Professions Program  in the University-Wide Academic Opportunities  section of this catalog.

Double Majors/Dual Degrees

Students may add a second major to their current academic program. However, the second major must be within their chosen school/college to qualify as a double major. If a student chooses a second major outside their college/school, this is considered a dual degree, not a double major. In either case, students must meet general education requirements for the second major or second degree if they are different from that for the initial academic program.


For a minor, at least 18 credits as prescribed must be taken. A minimum of nine credits in the minor field (with six at the 300-400 level) must be earned at Samford. A minor is not required in all majors; however, a student is encouraged to consult with his/her academic advisor to determine whether a minor or some selection or concentration of courses might enhance the academic experience.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A grade point average of 2.00 in the Samford University (SU) average (calculated on all work taken at Samford) is required. Consult departmental listings for specific major course requirements, number of required credits, and grade point averages to achieve. A student must have at least a 2.00 GPA in both the major and minor fields.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

Samford University considers the development of students’ writing proficiency an important objective. All students must complete UCCA 102 - Communication Arts II  at Samford (or transfer an equivalent course) with a grade of C- or better.

Convocation Requirement

Campuswide Convocation Programs for faculty, staff, and students are held regularly during the fall and spring semesters. Beginning with the 2007-2008 entering class, students must acquire 60 Convocation credits to graduate, with no more than 15 credits in any one category. Credits may be earned in the following categories: Academic Lecture, Christian Faith Development, Culture and Arts, Personal and Professional Growth, and Faith-based Service. For transfer students, the number of credits required is prorated, and students transferring more than 15 academic credits are exempt from category limitations. Students acquire Convocation credits by attending approved events and having their ID cards scanned at the conclusion of each event. For more details, see the Convocation Web site at www.samford.edu/um.

Areas of Study - Brief Definitions

Concentration-A study in one area, not large enough to be considered a major, but preferably in a subject that enhances the major and academic experience.

Curriculum-A set of courses constituting an area of specialization.

Earned Credits-Those credits that accumulate based on successful completion of coursework (excluding repeated courses). Most undergraduate degrees require a minimum of 128 earned credits. Earned credits may be different than quality credits, which are used to compute the grade point average.

General Education Courses-Required courses that provide the foundation for more specialized courses in a major.

Grade Point Average (GPA)-The number of quality points earned divided by the number of quality credits. Sometimes known as Quality-Point Average (QPA).

Interdisciplinary-Curriculum (major, concentration, or minor) requiring credits in two or more subject areas.

Major-The subject in which a student concentrates most of his/her studies, following a set course curriculum, usually 30 to 60 credits for a bachelor’s degree. Each student should declare a major by the junior year and file it with Office of Student Records.

Minor-A focus of study in a subject, on average 18 to 24 credits. A minor is not required in all majors.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)-A teaching method in which problems serve as the context and stimulus for learning.

Quality Credits-Each course is assigned a number of credits that a student can earn toward a degree if the course is completed successfully. Quality credits are divided into the number of quality points earned to obtain a student’s grade point average (GPA). For a few courses, students only earn credits instead of quality credits, i.e. pass/fail courses, and these are not included in the GPA calculation.

Repeats-A course may be repeated in an attempt to earn a higher grade; however, credits for the course do not accumulate. See Course Repeats in the Grading System Guidelines and Policies section.

Undeclared Major-Students working toward a bachelor’s degree are not required to declare a major during their freshman and sophomore years.

University Core Curriculum-Six required courses for all undergraduate students. (See University Core Curriculum in this section.)

University Fellows Program-Advanced academic track for undergraduate students who meet specific academic requirements. (See the University Fellows Program section of this catalog.)

Upper-Level-Coursework at the 300/400 level. Forty (40) credits in upper-level courses are required for a bachelor’s degree.

Synopsis of Undergraduate Degree Requirements and Normal Completion Times
Degree Minimum Requirements (Credit Hours) Normal Completion Times
Baccalaureate degrees 128 4 years full-time
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies 128 6 years part-time

Physical Activity Course Requirements

Most programs require one or two different physical activity course(s)* in addition to UCFH 120 - Concepts of Fitness and Health , which is required under the core curriculum. Students with physical disabilities may consult the chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Science to determine how to fulfill this requirement. If PHED 138  is passed, the successful completion of UCFH 120  will fulfill the student’s physical education requirement. One semester of ROTC, marching band (MUSC 1739  or MUSC 3739 ), or dance (DANC 100 , DANC 101 , DANC 102 , DANC 201 , DANC 202 , DANC 211 , DANC 212 , DANC 301 , or DANC 302 ) may substitute for one physical activity credit.

In order to meet the general education physical activity requirement, a student may register and receive credit only once for the same activity course, with the exception of student-athletes participating in NCAA varsity sports. Student-athletes may count a single varsity sport up to two times–once for the general education requirement and once for general electives that count toward the overall 128 credits in the standard degree–but only if their degree allows for general electives. For majors that require no general education physical education activity courses, students may apply a maximum of two (2) different activity credits as general electives towards the total credits required to earn a degree.

*In those programs where two courses are required to meet the general education physical activity requirement, one MUST be a non-varsity physical activity. 

Additional Bachelor’s Degrees

In order to receive an additional bachelor’s degree, a student who has already received a bachelor’s degree must complete a minimum of 32 credits at Samford, including satisfaction of the University core curriculum, general education, GPA requirements, and four credits of religion (if a transfer student) beyond the first degree.

All additional curricular and minimum GPA requirements of the second degree must be met. 

University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

The University Core and General Education curricula are designed to provide an academic foundation for work toward the major field of study and should be completed as early as possible. All undergraduates are required to take the University Core Curriculum at Samford (22 credits)*. It is recommended that students be registered for UCCP 101 - Cultural Perspectives I  in their first semester at Samford. They should also register for UCCA 101 - Communication Arts I  or UCCA 102 - Communication Arts II , depending on their placement.** Students should consult their academic advisors for recommended scheduling.

Additional courses in general education are also required to provide the foundation for the more specialized courses in the major. In some cases the particular course required to satisfy a general education requirement is specified by the major. Students should consult the section of the catalog that describes the major under consideration to learn about these special requirements.

Double-Dipping Note: Students may not “double-dip” by counting a course for credit in both their major and as a general education requirement, unless otherwise noted in the department section. They may, however, count a general education course towards a minor. 

* Core curriculum requirements cannot be met through transient enrollment.

** Placement into  UCCA 102 , bypassing the requirement to complete UCCA 101 , does not exempt students from the minimum number of hours required for their chosen degree program (usually 128). These students may need to complete an additional four hours of a General Elective. 

Graduate Degree Requirements

Refer to the academic departments/schools sections of this catalog and/or publications from the individual departments or schools offering graduate degrees. More information may be found at Samford University’s Web site: www.samford.edu

Academic Regulations

Students are expected to know regulations and policies found in this catalog and the Student Handbook. Keeping abreast of the school calendar, critical deadlines, and all University mail received in one’s University mailbox and/or electronic mail is also the student’s responsibility

Undergraduate Academic Achievement Recognition

University Fellows Program

For more information about the University Fellows Program , see the University-Wide Academic Opportunities  section of this catalog.

Dean’s List

At the end of each semester, a Dean’s List is compiled consisting of undergraduate students who have earned a grade point average of at least 3.50 while completing at least 12 quality credits in that semester at Samford.

Graduation with Honors

Honors are awarded on the basis of all academic work taken at Samford University. Students who earn at least 70 credits at Samford and a grade point average (calculated on all work done at Samford University) of 3.500 through 3.749 are graduated cum laude; of 3.750 through 3.899 are graduated magna cum laude; and of 3.900 through 4.000 are graduated summa cum laude.

Honor Organizations

Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Health)
Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshmen)
Dobro Slovo (Slavic Studies)
Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership and Service)
Order of Omega (Greek Leadership and Service)
Phi Kappa Phi (Academic Achievement)

Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Biology - Beta Beta Beta
Classics - Eta Sigma Phi
Communication Studies - Lambda Pi Eta
English - Sigma Tau Delta
Geography - Gamma Theta Upsilon
History - Phi Alpha Theta
Journalism/Mass Communication - Kappa Tau Alpha
Mathematics - Pi Mu Epsilon
Philosophy - Phi Sigma Tau
Political Science - Pi Sigma Alpha
Psychology - Psi Chi
Religion - Theta Alpha Kappa
Sociology - Alpha Kappa Delta
World Languages and Cultures -

Pi Delta Phi (French)
Delta Phi Alpha (German)
Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)

School of the Arts
Music -

Delta Omicron
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia

Theatre - Alpha Psi Omega

Brock School of Business
Business (General)

Alpha Kappa Psi
Beta Gamma Sigma

Accounting, Finance - Beta Alpha Psi
Economics - Omicron Delta Epsilon

Orlean Bullard Beeson
School of Education and Professional Studies
Teacher Education - Kappa Delta Pi
Evening College - Alpha Sigma Lambda

Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing
Sigma Theta Tau

McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Rho Chi

Class Honors (Certificates and Medals)

Class Honors certificates and medals are awarded in the spring term to undergraduate students who have successfully completed at least 12 quality (GPA) credits at Samford in the previous fall term with a Samford cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 (for a certificate) or 3.75 (for a medal). The four Class Honors medals are:

Freshman Year (1st medal):   Ruric E. Wheeler
Sophomore Year (2nd medal):   Seal
Junior Year (3rd medal):   Tower
Senior Year (4th medal):   John Howard

A student may earn one Class Honors certificate or medal each academic year for a combined maximum of four Class Honors awards. The award year count is determined by the number of years the student qualifies for a Class Honor, not by the student’s classification. For example, if a student qualifies for a certificate the first two years and a medal the third year, he/she will receive the 3rd (Tower) medal. The student will not have another opportunity to earn the 1st and 2nd medals. If a student’s first time to qualify for a Class Honor is during the senior year, he/she will receive a certificate or the 1st year (Wheeler) medal.


Ruric Wheeler has been a faculty member and administrator at Samford University since 1953. He established a national reputation in mathematics through his textbook, Modern Mathematics, which has been used by generations of college students. In honoring this outstanding scholar, devoted teacher, and university leader, the Wheeler medal celebrates the pursuit of academic excellence in a Christian tradition.


The University seal is inscribed with an oil lamp resting on an open book. The University motto, “Deo doctrinae aeternitati,” appears above the lamp. The seal reminds us that God is the eternal source of light and truth, and that his wisdom is “a light unto our path.”


The Samford belltower has long served as the University logo. Inside the tower are the sixty bells of the Rushton Memorial Carillon, one of the largest in America. Just as the belltower makes Davis Library the focal point of the campus, the Tower medal is a reminder that knowledge and learning are at the center of university life.


This medal bears the name of John Howard, an eighteenth century humanitarian who campaigned tirelessly for the improvement of prisons. His statue was the first to be placed in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and it stands to this day in a place of honor near the pulpit. Howard’s life symbolizes Christ’s call of service to others.

Academic Integrity

A degree from Samford University is evidence of achievement in scholarship and citizenship. Activities and attitudes should be consistent with high academic standards and Christian commitment and should be in keeping with the philosophy and mission of the University.

The Faculty Statement on Academic Dishonesty is as follows: students, upon enrollment, enter into voluntary association with Samford University. They must be willing to observe high standards of intellectual integrity; they must respect knowledge and practice academic honesty. Those who cheat on an examination or class assignment are not only academically dishonest, but also completely deficient in the scholarly maturity necessary to college study. Those detected in dishonesty are subject to severe punishment. The more dependence on cheating, the more inevitable becomes ultimate failure, often accompanied by public disgrace. Any act to obtain an unfair academic advantage is considered dishonest. 

Academic Renewal

Undergraduate students who have dropped out, withdrawn, or who have been suspended because of academic deficiencies but have demonstrated sufficient maturation may request to be enrolled as a candidate for academic renewal. (See Academic Renewal Applicant  in the Undergraduate Admission Procedures and Policies  section of this catalog for application procedures.)

Audit Student Guidelines

As an alternative to full participation in a credit course, students may audit the course. Audit students do not receive grades and do not usually participate in examinations; however, instructors have the option of establishing requirements for a satisfactory audit. Undergraduate students are not permitted to audit courses numbered above 400-level.

  1. Audit as Credit Student-Students choosing this option must be admitted to Samford either as a Regular or Special Status Student. Students should enroll in the course to be audited using registration procedures and paying the same tuition as regular enrollees. Provided the instructor’s requirements are met, the course will appear on the credit transcript with the notation AU and zero credits. If these requirements are not met, a W will be entered on the transcript.
  2. From a Grading/Credit Basis to an Audit Basis-A student can change from a grading basis to an audit basis any time prior to the deadline for withdrawing from a class without academic penalty. There will be no financial refunds made as a result of change in grading basis.
  3. From an Audit Basis to a Grading/Credit Basis-An audit student may not receive regular credit for a course begun as an audit, unless the change is made by the last day to add a course for the semester or term.

Class Attendance

One of the most vital aspects of a residential university experience is attendance and punctuality in the classroom. The classroom is the place where each student contributes to the learning experience of his or her classmates; therefore, the value of the classroom academic experience cannot be fully measured by testing procedures alone. Class attendance policies are established by each school at the University, and specific attendance requirements are indicated in the syllabus of each class. Some students participate in institutional activities that require them to represent the University in scheduled events on and off campus. For activities of sufficient importance in the overall life of the University, excused absences are granted. A list of activities qualifying for excused absences is maintained by the Office of the Provost. An excused absence does not relieve a student of responsibility for the academic work in the class missed. However, students may not be penalized for such absences and must be given the opportunity to make up missed work. Students are responsible for informing their professors, in advance, of the class dates that will be missed because of these activities. Practice and/or preparation for these activities would not be a valid reason to miss class. Ultimately, each student bears the responsibility to be aware of and to comply with attendance and punctuality requirements.

Class Registration and Policies

Class Load for Undergraduates

A normal class load for undergraduate day students during fall and spring semesters is 16 undergraduate credits. Permission from the school dean must be secured to register for more than 18 credits. Under no circumstances may an undergraduate day student register for more than 21 credits in any semester, regardless of session length, location, or method of delivery.

The normal class load in each summer term is two courses. The maximum credit allowable in any summer term is eight. The maximum credit allowable for two summer terms is 16. The maximum class load allowed in Jan Term is two courses, not to exceed a total of five credits unless the school dean approves an overload. Evening College students are limited to 10 credits in the summer and 14 credits in the fall or spring, without the dean’s approval.

Student Classifications

Undergraduate students are classified as follows:

Freshman - A student who has earned fewer than 32 credits.
Sophomore - A student who has earned at least 32 credits, but fewer than 64.
Junior - A student who has earned at least 64 credits, but fewer than 96.
Senior - A student who has earned at least 96 credits.
Full-time student - One who is enrolled for at least 12 credits in a semester or six credits in a summer term.

University Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

All freshmen are required to take the University Core Curriculum at Samford. All students should be registered for Cultural Perspectives (UCCP 101 ) in their first semester at Samford. They should also register for Communication Arts I (UCCA 101 - Communication Arts I ) or (UCCA 102 - Communication Arts II ), depending on their placement. Students should consult their academic advisors for recommended scheduling.

Cross Registration

Graduate, professional, divinity, and law students may not register for courses in the other academic divisions without permission of the academic deans in both areas. Additional tuition may be incurred; payment is due the day the charges are incurred.


Graduation Requirements

It is the responsibility of the student to see that all graduation requirements are met. A student is required to meet all requirements for graduation as set forth in the Samford University Catalog (or, if more up-to-date, any school/departmental official publications) in effect at the time of entrance into the major, assuming that there is no interruption in enrollment other than for stated vacation periods. Later changes in the requirements for graduation are not applicable to students who proceed through their chosen program in a timely fashion.

Students whose enrollment has been interrupted are to follow the requirements for graduation as set forth in the catalog (or, if more up-to-date, any school/departmental official publications) in effect at the time of readmission to a major program of study.

If the University changes requirements for graduation after the entry of a student into a program, and if those changes better meet the goals of the student, the student may petition the dean of the appropriate school to be allowed to qualify for graduation by meeting the newer requirements. If approved, the student will meet all requirements for graduation set forth in the later catalog. In no case may a student qualify for graduation by meeting various requirements set forth in two different catalogs.

Graduation Attendance

Commencement exercises are held at the end of the fall semester and at the end of the spring semester. All candidates completing degree requirements are required to be present at the commencement events, except that attendance at the fall commencement is optional for those having completed degree requirements the previous August.

Undergraduate students who lack eight course credits or fewer (three course credits or fewer for graduate students) toward degree requirements may petition the dean of academic services to march with their class at commencement. Such students must file an approved request outlining their plans to complete the missing course requirements. A form for this purpose is available in the Office of Student Records.

This policy does not apply to students who have not completed UCCA 102  with a C- or better. Also, this policy does not apply to undergraduate students who lack five or more convocation credits. Students who lack four convocation credits or fewer toward degree requirements may petition to march with their class at commencement. Such students must file an approved request form, which is available in the Office of the University Minister.

Students who have a Values Violation pending or have not completed the sanctions given by the Values Advocate or a Values Council will not be allowed to participate in graduation activities, including commencement exercises. 

Elective Withdrawal

Course Withdrawal and Dropping a Course

A student may drop a course without a grade of W (withdrawn) or academic penalty up through the last day to drop a course(s) without financial penalty. Students can drop a course online through the Samford Portal up through this deadline. (See the Academic Calendar  section of this catalog for date.)

A student may withdraw from a course after the last day to drop a course without financial penalty and up through the date to “withdraw from a course without academic penalty,” but will receive a grade of W. If the course is dropped after the date to “withdraw from a course without academic penalty,” the student will receive a grade of WF.

The date of the course withdrawal will be the date the official Schedule Change Form is returned to the Office of Student Records. Students can obtain the Schedule Change Form from the Student Records Forms page.

If a student discontinues attending a course after the “last day to add or drop a course” without notifying the Office of Student Records in writing or exceeds the maximum absences allowed in a course, a grade of FA will be entered on the student’s record with the same penalty as a grade of F.

School Withdrawal

A student desiring to withdraw from the University at any time must secure an official Withdrawal Request Form from the Office of Student Records. The official date of withdrawal will be the date this form is returned to the Office of Student Records. If a student leaves the University without completing this process, the permanent record will show a grade of FA in all courses for that semester/term. Students can obtain the Withdrawal Request Form from the Student Records Forms page.

  • The permanent record of a student who withdraws before the last day to drop a course(s) without financial penalty will not show courses attempted for that semester/term.
  • The permanent record of a student who withdraws from all courses for a semester/term before the deadline, as stated in the Academic Calendar, will show courses attempted and will show a grade of W (withdrawn). A “W” is not calculated in the student’s GPA.
  • No student who withdraws from the University for any reason is entitled to a transcript of credits until his/her financial account has been settled in the Office of the Bursar.
  • A student who withdraws in the last two weeks of a semester automatically receives a WF in each course attempted.

Semester Withdrawal

A student who withdraws from all courses in a semester or term and is not registered for courses the following semester or term is considered to be withdrawing from the University. (See the School Withdrawal section above for more information.) If the student does not return to Samford within one calendar year, he/she will have to be readmitted. (See Readmission Student Applicant  for more information.)

A student who withdraws from all courses in a semester or term but is registered for courses in the following semester or term is still considered currently enrolled. The student may request permission to take courses as a transient student at another institution by submitting the Transient Enrollment/Letter of Good Standing Request Form. (See Transfer Policies for more information.)

Forms for dropping/withdrawing from a course, University or semester withdrawal, and transient enrollment can be found on the Student Records Forms page.

Academic Warning and Required Withdrawal

Placement on Academic Warning

Any student who has attempted 12 or more credits at Samford University must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in work done at Samford. Failure to maintain a 2.00 GPA will result in being placed on academic warning.

Continuation of Academic Warning

Any student who has been placed on academic warning and whose Samford cumulative GPA continues to be below 2.00 will continue on academic warning unless required to withdraw.

Making Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students on academic warning who maintain the GPAs listed below will be considered as making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation and may remain in school. Student athletes are held to NCAA standards for continuing eligibility that may be higher than those below. Contact the Athletic Compliance Officer for details.

Requirements to Classify as Making Satisfactory Academic Progress
Total Quality Credits Required Cumulative Samford GPA
13-31 1.70
32-63 1.80
64-95 1.90
96 or more 2.00

Required Withdrawal

If a student placed on academic warning does not achieve the cumulative GPA required at Samford University at the end of the semester or term, he or she is required to withdraw from the University for at least one full semester. Readmission is not automatic. Applications for readmission must be made through the Office of Admission at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester/term the student wants to return. Students may not attend other institutions during their period of withdrawal. Samford University will not accept any transfer credits completed during this required absence.

(See Readmission Student Applicant  in the Undergraduate Admission Procedures and Policies  section of this catalog for application procedures.)

Grading System Guidelines and Policies

Pass/Fail Basis Grading System

Any student who is enrolled in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, the Brock School of Business, or the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, who is classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior, may elect to receive a pass/fail grade rather than a letter grade in no more than 12 credits of regular coursework. In a course elected for grading on the pass/fail basis, the student’s grade shall be designated “pass” or “fail.” A grade designation of “pass” shall not be included in the student’s grade point average; a grade of “fail” shall be included at 0.00 quality points per quality credit.

No course elected for grading on the pass/fail basis shall satisfy any part of a core, general education, major, or minor requirement for graduation. Successfully completed pass/fail courses will count toward the 300/400-level requirement and toward the minimum total credits. The student can change from a grading basis to the pass/fail basis or from the pass/fail basis to the grading basis any time prior to the deadline for withdrawing from a class without academic penalty.

Certain internship and externship courses may be taken for pass/fail credit only. Credits earned in these courses may count toward the major or minor requirement and will not be included in the 12-credit limit. (Consult with your dean or advisor before registering for pass/fail credit.)

Course Repeats

Upon the recommendation of the advisor and with the approval of the dean of academic services, an undergraduate student may repeat a course for credit in which she or he received a C- or lower to improve her or his grade and cumulative GPA, as well as her or his understanding of course content.

When a course grade of C- or lower is repeated at Samford, only the grade earned in the most recent instance of the course, even if it is lower, will count in the calculation of the cumulative average. The credits count only once. Both courses and both grades remain on the transcript with an indication of which course is counted in the computation of the cumulative GPA. The repeated course must be exactly the same course that was originally taken. Courses repeated at other institutions do not change the Samford cumulative GPA.

Courses with grades of C or higher may be repeated; however, both grades will be averaged into the Samford cumulative GPA.

The deadline for submitting the petition to repeat a course with a C- or lower grade is the last day to add a course in the semester the repeated course is being taken. A form for this purpose is available in the Office of Student Records.

A course can be repeated only once using the repeat policy to exclude the original grade from the student’s GPA calculation. A student may take advantage of this policy for no more than 16 credits. Repeating a course may influence a student’s financial aid or sports eligibility. Courses repeated after graduation will not change the graduation GPA.


Examinations, two hours in length, are given in all undergraduate subjects at the end of each semester. The precise weight assigned to the final examination is determined by the faculty member, the traditional policy being to count as 25 percent to 35 percent in obtaining a final average.

Grade Changes

An initial grade may be challenged before the last day of classes of the next full semester. This challenge should be presented to the dean of academic services after conferring with the instructor, the instructor’s department head, and the academic dean of the school or college in which the course is taught. An E or an INC automatically becomes an F if not removed by the last day of classes in the next full semester after the grade was given. This grade of F may not be challenged.

Letter Grading System

Grades are indicated by letter symbols. The numerical value assigned to a letter grade is determined by each faculty member. 

Grade Symbol Definition Quality  Points Earned
  A The highest proficiency in ability and application 4.0
  A- Slightly less than the highest proficiency in ability and application 3.7
  B+ Outstanding proficiency 3.3
  B Ability and achievement of a high but second order 3.0
  B- Ability and achievement of a high but third order 2.7
  C+ A better than average performance 2.3
  C Average ability or average achievement 2.0
  C- Slightly below average achievement. There is a repeat policy. 1.7
  D+ Below average performance. Many colleges decline to accept transfer credit of lower than a C grade. There is a repeat policy. 1.3
  D Below average performance. There is a repeat policy. 1.0
  D- Just above failing performance. There is a repeat policy. 0.70
  E Grade given to a student who, though failing a final examination, has a general daily average high enough to justify the expectation that he/she could pass the course if permitted to take a make-up examination. An E can be removed only by re-examination and is never raised to a grade higher than D. There is a repeat policy. 0.00
  F Outright failure and can be changed only if it is the result of a clerical error made by the institution. If F is given as a final grade, the student must repeat the entire course and earn a passing grade to receive credit for it. There is a repeat policy. 0.00
  FA Grade given to a student who is dropped from a course because of excessive absences or who withdraws from the University without written permission from the Office of Student Records. It carries the same penalty as F. 0.00
  FX Failure due to a violation of academic integrity. 0.00
  INC Represents Incomplete. Incomplete grades are valid if the student has done work that would earn a passing grade in the course but has failed to complete some portion of the required work because of an emergency, and the work can be completed without further class attendance. 0.00
  IP Indicates that a course remains In Progress and ends after the semester’s/term’s final grade deadline. 0.00
  Z Represents No Grade. It is given when a faculty member does not assign a grade. Instructor must change the Z to a grade. 0.00
  W Indicates that the student withdrew before the academic penalty period, but was in good standing. There is no penalty for W. 0.00
  WF Indicates that the student withdrew during the academic penalty period. WF carries the same penalty as F. 0.00
  P Grade assigned for successful completion of a course designated Pass or Fail. It will not be included in the GPA. 0.00
  AU Symbol assigned for successful completion of a courses taken on an audit basis. An audited course will not meet any graduation requirement or be included in the GPA. 0.00

Transfer Policies for Current Samford Students

Transfer of Grades/Credits for Courses Taken at Other Institutions by Current Samford Students

Samford students who take courses at another institution during a semester or term they are not enrolled at Samford (typically the summer term) are considered transient students at the other college/university. Below are important facts for current Samford students who are pursuing transient enrollment at another institution:

  • Students who wish to transfer any credit completed while a transient student towards their Samford degree must have written approval signed in advance by their academic advisor, academic department head, and the registrar. The Transient Enrollment/Letter of Good Standing Request Form can be found on the Student Records Forms page.
  • University Core Curriculum requirements cannot be met through transient enrollment.
  • Seniors must have the written approval of their academic dean.
  • Seniors may not transfer more than two courses for a maximum of eight credits.
  • Undergraduates may transfer a maximum of two general education courses from another accredited institution or from Samford’s Evening College for fewer credits than the courses being replaced (i.e., a three-credit course taken at another university could satisfy a four-credit requirement).
  • If a student wishes to take more than two courses for general education credit, the courses must be equal to or greater than the number of credits being replaced. Any credit earned beyond the requirement will be shown as elective credit.
  • The transient institution must be regionally accredited.
  • Transient transfer credit is subject to University transfer policies and will be awarded when the official transcript from the transient institution is received. (See the Transfer Student Applicant  section for more information.)
  • Courses from transient schools must have a letter grade of C- or better in order to be posted as earned credit on your transcript.
  • Courses taken on a pass/fail basis will not be accepted unless the student produces written documentation from the awarding institution that the grade represents at least a C-.
  • Transfer courses are not calculated into the Samford GPA.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to arrange to have a transcript sent from the transient institution directly to Samford upon completion of the course(s).
  • The Transient Enrollment/Letter of Good Standing Request Form must be accompanied by a course description(s) from the transient institution.
  • Transient enrollment policies also apply to overseas/study abroad courses with foreign institutions. A separate form for study abroad transient work is available on the Student Records Forms page.
  • Total combined registered credits-Samford courses plus transient enrollment (not the BACHE program)-may not exceed 18 hours unless approved by the student’s school dean. Combined registered credits for transient and Samford courses may never exceed 21 hours in any term. See here for maximum credit hours allowed.
  • For students taking transient work in the summer, the deadline for completion of the Transient Enrollment/Letter of Good Standing Request Form is April 2. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s education records. The rights of the FERPA heretofore assigned to parents are now transferred to their college students. These rights are:

  1. Eligible students have the right to inspect and review all their educational records maintained by the school. The student must contact the dean of academic services and registrar office to make an appointment to view their academic record.
  2. Eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school refuses to change the records, the eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still refuses the correction, the eligible student has the right to place a statement in the records commenting on the contested information in the records.
  3. Generally, Samford University must have written permission from the eligible student before releasing any information from a student’s record. However, the law allows schools to disclose records, without consent, to the following parties:
    • School employees who have a need to know
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring
    • Parents when a student over 18 is still a dependent
    • Certain government officials in order to carry out lawful functions
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
    • Organizations doing certain studies for the school
    • Accrediting organizations
    • Individuals who have obtained court orders or subpoenas
    • Persons who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies
    • State and local authorities to whom disclosure is required by state laws adopted before November 19,1974

Schools may also disclose, without consent, “directory type” information, such as a student’s name, address, and telephone number. Samford University has designated the following as directory information: student name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, enrollment status, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, honors, degrees and awards received, most recent previous school attended, and photograph. An eligible student who does not wish for this information to be released without prior written consent must notify in writing the Office of the Dean of Academic Services and Registrar by the last day to drop/add without financial penalty in a semester or term.