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Bryan Gill, Director, Office of Professional Studies; Lecturer
Nicole Otero, Associate Director, Office of Professional Studies
Undergraduate Programs and Requirements
Liberal Studies Major (B.A.)
Organizational Leadership Major (B.A.)
Public Health (B.S.) (Online version)
Youth Studies Major (B.S.)
Samford University’s Professional Studies 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 following degrees are awarded: the bachelor of arts, with majors in liberal studies and organizational leadership and, in cooperation with the School of Public Health’s Department of Public Health, the bachelor of science, with a major in public health.
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 non-traditional 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 offered 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.
*The B.S. in Youth Studies is being phased out and is closed to new admits.
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.
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.
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 or 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.
- Admission application, completed in full, including reference forms and essay.
- 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.
- One reference. See guidelines below.
- Admission essay. See guidelines below.
- 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.
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.
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. Professional Studies 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 Professional Studies 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.)
Class Registration and Policies
A normal class load for undergraduate Professional Studies students during fall and spring semesters (A and B terms combined) is 15 undergraduate credits. Permission from the Professional Studies director must be secured to register for more than 18 credits. Under no circumstances may an undergraduate Professional Studies 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.
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: 36 credits fall under General Education, 12 credits under the Professional Studies Common Courses group, 48-51 credits fall within the chosen major, and 29-32 credits of General Electives, based on major, round out the overall 128 credits required. ECWC 101 and ECWC 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
||Total Required Credits
|General Education - Distribution Areas
Transfer Credit with AA or AS degree*
|Natural & Computational Sciences
|Speaking and Writing
|Professional Studies Common Courses
| Common Courses - See major table for course list
| Liberal Studies
| Organizational Leadership
| Public Health (online version)
|General Electives*** (directed by advisor)
If Transfer Credit with AA or AS degree awarded***
|Total Required Credits
* 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.
ProgramsMajorRequirements - Undergraduate
CoursesProfessional 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 - HumanitiesProfessional Studies - KinesiologyProfessional Studies - Mathematics & ComputingProfessional Studies - MusicProfessional Studies - Organizational LeadershipProfessional Studies - PhilosophyProfessional Studies - Political ScienceProfessional Studies - PsychologyProfessional Studies - ReligionProfessional Studies - SociologyPage: 1
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