2019-2020 Samford University Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Samford University Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Professional Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Other Academic Programs/General University

Go to Professional Studies Tuition and Fees Table  | Go to Programs and Course Listings


Marci Johns, Associate Provost for Accreditation and Online and Professional Studies; Administrative Faculty
Bryan Gill, Director; Lecturer

Undergraduate Programs and Requirements

Liberal Studies Major (B.A.) 
Organizational Leadership Major (B.A.)  
Youth Studies Major (B.S.)  

Samford University’s Professional Studies program provides opportunities for personal and professional growth through rigorous academic programs and relationships in a Christian community. The program acts as a bridge between the community and Samford University, identifying and addressing the educational needs of the local workforce and introducing the values and meaning of the University to those with whom we connect.

Through Professional Studies, the bachelor of arts degree, with majors in liberal studies and organizational leadership, and the bachelor of science degree, with a major in youth studies, are awarded.

A minimum of 64 credits must be taken at Samford University in order to meet residency requirements for the 128-credit bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree.

All programs offered through the Professional Studies have two options for completion: 1) as a four-year program, with most, if not all, of the degree requirements (general education, major, and general electives) being taken at Samford, or 2) as a degree completer program, where a student who has previously earned an associate of arts or associate of science degree can bypass the general education requirements and need only take the 68 hours within the major.

These programs are the most flexible of all awarded by the University and are designed specifically for adult students. The responsibility for determining the suitability of these majors and their applicability to particular conditions rests with the individual student. Students planning to pursue post-baccalaureate studies should review the requirements of the targeted graduate program to determine whether undergraduate-level prerequisites exist.

Courses for all programs are conveniently scheduled in the evenings and online. Students may be admitted to begin courses in fall, spring, or summer. The program faculty is composed of members chosen from the full-time Samford faculty and practitioners who are experts in their fields.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

College-level credit is awarded for scores of 50 or higher in most subject areas; however, students should consult with their advisors or the Office of the Registrar before scheduling any CLEP examinations. See the CLEP  table for more information.

Credit Limitations

The aggregate of credit earned through portfolio and CLEP may not exceed 30 credits. At least 50 percent of the credit in each degree program must be earned from Samford, with none of the credit mentioned in the previous sentence counting toward this residency requirement. Also, a minimum of 15 credits in the major field (with nine at the 300-400 level) must be taken at Samford.

Academic Regulations

Unless stated otherwise, Professional Studies students are bound by the same academic regulations as other undergraduates; these regulations are found in the Academic Policies and Regulations  section of this catalog.

Admission Procedures for Professional Studies

It is expected that students who enter this program have been out of high school for at least three years and are unable to enroll in the day program due to work schedules, family concerns or other reasons. Professional Studies is the administrative office that serves these programs and students. Applications for admission are accepted each term.

Please complete the following steps to apply for admission to the Professional Studies.

Please visit https://undergradadmission.samford.edu/apply to apply online. All application materials should be addressed to Professional Studies, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, 35229.

  1. Admission application, completed in full, including reference forms and essay.
  2. One official transcript from each college that you attended. Transcripts must be mailed directly from your former institution’s records office to the Professional Studies office.
  3. One reference. See guidelines below.
  4. Admission essay. See guidelines below.
  5. Résumé.
  6. If you earned fewer than 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of credit at other institutions, you must also provide the Professional Studies Office with an official copy of your high school transcript.* This must be mailed from the high school directly to the Professional Studies Office.

*If you have a GED, please review the High School Equivalency  information in the Admission Procedures and Policies  section of this catalog.

Reference Considerations

The reference form should be completed by a nonfamily member well acquainted with your capabilities, motivation, and initiative. Employers, former employers, or former instructors are recommended.

Essay Considerations

Student essays should answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to attend Samford University?
  • What is your goal once you graduate from Samford?
  • If you could have lunch with one historical figure, who would it be and why?

Each answer should be between 200-250 words and typed in a Word document.

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Because Professional Studies students commute to and from classes, do not receive meal plans, and do not have access to the full range of degrees designed for traditional day students, the tuition fee is substantially below the day rates. Courses taken during the day carry the full-tuition rate.

Although University scholarships are not generally available to Professional Studies students, they should apply for non-University scholarships. Also, residents of the state of Alabama are eligible to receive the Alabama Student Grant if they meet the eligibility requirements. Evening students may also apply for other types of federal financial aid programs such as Pell grants and student loans. Financial Aid Applications may be requested by calling the Office of Financial Aid at (205) 726-2905.

There are few additional fees associated with evening classes aside from the cost of textbooks. Most major credit cards are accepted. (See the General Miscellaneous Fees  chart for a list of additional fees that may apply.)


All Professional Studies students must register their automobiles with Transportation Services. There is a minimal annual charge for parking on campus.

Class Registration and Policies

Professional Studies students are limited to 14 credits per fall or spring semester and 10 credits per summer term without the director’s approval.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

General Education Requirements

All bachelor degree programs require a minimum of 128 total credits. Specific requirements for each major are outlined in the following tables. Credits within the degree are divided as follows: 37 credits fall under General Education, 12 credits under the Professional Studies Common Courses group, 48 credits fall within the chosen major, and 31 credits of General Electives round out the overall 128 credits required. ECEN 101  and ECEN 102  should be taken as part of a student’s first 18 credits at Samford. Unless otherwise specified, credits that have been used to satisfy general education requirements may not be counted as part of any major.

Professional Studies - Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

Required Courses Course Credits Total Required Credits
General Education - Distribution Areas
Transfer Credit with AA or AS degree*
Natural & Computational Sciences 7  
Social Science 6  
Mathematics 3  
Fine Arts 3  
Humanities 6  
Speaking and Writing 9  
Health 3  
Professional Studies Common Courses   12
   Common Courses - See major table for course list 12  
Major:**   48
   Liberal Studies 48  
   Organizational Leadership 48  
   Youth Studies 48  
General Electives*** (directed by advisor)
If Transfer Credit with AA or AS degree awarded***
Total Required Credits 128

* Students who have earned a transferable two-year degree from a state institution may apply 60 hours of credit toward the 128-hour requirement for the award of a bachelor’s degree. This transferable degree will satisfy all General Education requirements. See the General Education Requirements  table for required/applicable courses.
** See individual major tables for required/applicable courses.
***General Elective credits (if required) may be chosen from courses listed in the Professional Studies General Education table or from select upper-level courses outside the student’s declared major.


    MajorRequirements - Undergraduate


      Professional Studies - Administration/BusinessProfessional Studies - ArtProfessional Studies - BiologyProfessional Studies - Common CoursesProfessional Studies - Communication StudiesProfessional Studies - Counseling & Human ServicesProfessional Studies - Criminal JusticeProfessional Studies - EducationProfessional Studies - EnglishProfessional Studies - HistoryProfessional Studies - KinesiologyProfessional Studies - Mathematics & ComputingProfessional Studies - MusicProfessional Studies - Organizational LeadershipProfessional Studies - PhilosophyProfessional Studies - Political ScienceProfessional Studies - PsychologyProfessional Studies - ReligionProfessional Studies - SociologyProfessional Studies - SpanishProfessional Studies - TheatreProfessional Studies - Youth StudiesPage: 1 | 2

      Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Other Academic Programs/General University