Birmingham, AL
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 502 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: What hooked me about this school is how welcoming and helpful everyone on campus is. From the professors to the admissions staff, as well financial aid and tech services, and especially the students! They're not just kind to you when you're a prospective student and when you've just been accepted, they are willing to work with you and are there for you every step of the way. I am convinced that Samford was set up to accomodate students and help them excel. No wonder so many graduates go on to spend a few years working on campus. You certainly feel proud to be a Bulldog and loyal to the school.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are so many restaurants to choose from in Birmingham. You have everything from chain restaurants like PF Chang's to fast food to local, upscale restaurants and caf├ęs. There's something for every taste: Mexican, Chinese, American, Italian, Japanese, etc. The Brookwood mall and The Summit are near campus and offer a mix of fast foods and nice restaurants. There's also a Starbucks on every corner and an O'Henry's at the Brookwood mall. If you go to one of the local, nicer restaurants, the menu can get a bit pricey but there's usually always a few cheaper options that are just as good. I would recommend Chuy's, a great Mexican restaurant at the Summit, Chipotle, Flip Burger (an amazing upscale burger joint at the Summit) and Brio's, a wonderful Italian restaurant with amazing pasta dishes and desserts.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I have found the best and the worst people in my life here at Samford. What makes me stay and fight against my financial burdens to pay for school would be the friends I have made here and the faculty who only want the best for me. What makes my school unique is that we pretty much know most of the people on campus by the organizations you join, the hall activities you do, the concerts, the convocations, our classes, being in the caf during meals, hanging out in the food court, being in the quad, hanging out in ben brown plaza, and many other ways. I absolutely love my school a lot, but I do not think I would do it again because it is so expensive to afford an education if you come from a middle-class background with a small scholarship.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek organizations are seen as social groups on campus, so of course that would make the selections very biased; so if they do not like you because you wreck their flow then they will not let you join them. Also, I have a feeling that they are conscious of the ethnic backgrounds of each and every rushing individual, and almost all of the brothers in the fraternities under the interfraternity council are Caucasians. Greek life throw some great close events with only about two open events each semester (other than rush), and they work to raise money for their philantrophies. Sigma Nu is seen as the jocks and the bulky guys, Sigma Chi is seen as the guys with the short shorts and good parties, Pi Kappa Phi is seen as the preppy guys on campus, and Lambda Chi Alphas are seen now as the fraternity who would do anything to have more members. This Spring 2014 semester, they have created a colony for a new fraternity on campus since 1935 called the Alpha Tau Omegas, and so far they are seen as the good guys on campus and as a leadership development fraternity.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: If you want to go eat at a fast-food restaurant, I would say go down Lakeshore Drive, three miles away from Samford and choose either Chick-fil-a, Ihop, Chili's, Arby's, McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell, Moe's, Wendy's, etc. The costs of these places on Lakeshore are fair. If you want to go to a really nice restaurant, the you would probably have to drive a longer distance and have to pay at least a minimum of $20 for a meal for one. Samford Stucents receive discounts in only about eight places.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Samford is located in Birmingham, Alabama. There are many churches around the area, there are some good (but sometimes pricey restaurants), there are a few shopping outlets around as well as a few malls. The most popular area to go shopping would be a place called the Summit. The Summit has a lot of restaurants, a lot of places to shop, a movie theatre, a book store, as well as many other things.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: My university is a division one school, so our sports are very competitive. Samford students LOVE football and basketball season as well as watching the rare home track meets. The intramural teams are very diverse because different groups compete such as fraternities, sororities, university ministries, freshmen, sophomores. juniors, seniors, club organizations, and groups of friends.

2 College Sophomore

Transportation: First of all, there are no sidewalks on the street that my university is located on and it is pretty dangerous to walk on the side of the road and trying to avoid being hit. Second of all, I have not ever seen a city bus in this city. Third of all, if you order a taxi, you will most likely pay an unnecessary amount of money because the taxi service comes from the airport. Fourth of all, it is crucial for you to have your own car if you desire to get out of campus for a late-night food run, coffee, groceries, errands, etc. Fifth of all, if you do not have a car, try to at least have a driver's license because you can ask a friend if you can borrow their car to go do something, and if you ask someone for a ride, most likely they are busy.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: The weather is very unpredictable here. In the morning, it can be very cold, and then in the afternoon there is a drastic change and it is warm (and we all regret wearing thermals for that day). The rain can be a pain. Sometimes classes for the day get cancelled because of inclement weather, and the worst time was when school got cancelled for a week because of the weather and we did not want our professors or off-campus students to drive in the dangerous weather.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Well I am from Los Angeles, California, so coming here to Birmingham, Alabama at Samford was a huge cultural shock because back home, the people in my heritage are a majority, and here at Samford University, I am a very small minority. I was surprised to find out that I am a minority and it definitely took some getting used to. We had a convocation this year called "Color Blind vs. Color Conscious" and I will never forget this because there was a question that resonated with me ever since. They asked, "Have you ever felt rejected of a certain position, job, or group because of your ethnic background?" And almost all of the minority groups raised their green slips of papers (which signify a "yes"). It is quite different than back home for sure. As far as religious background, I would not say it is diverse (other than denominational) because very rarely would I find someone with a different religious belief. As far as political beliefs, I would say it is diverse because they have a Samford Democrats organization as well as a Samford Republicans organization. Unfortunately, as far as sexual orientation goes, I know only very few who have trusted to tell me that they are not straight, and I understand because unfortunately if you are anything other than straight, you would most likely end up being shunned.

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3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: My location of my school is in Birmingham, Alabama, so it is not as big as my hometown back in Los Angeles County area. In Birmingham, I have only been to one club called Bacchus (although there are other clubs) and I only went twice. I had fun with my friends dancing at club Bacchus, but I do not go anymore cause the club is not really my scene and my friends tried really hard to help me have fun when I go. I rather just have my friends have fun and not worry about me having as much fun. The parties on campus are definitely fun though. The one "party" I remember the most was when I went to the first ever Homecoming Ball this year because I went with my best friend.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: We have a couple of computer labs on campus, but the downside is that a bunch of computers in the lab send the printing jobs to the same printer and sometimes we would need to wait for our papers to print. Also, when it comes to printing papers, it is really frustrating when a whole bunch of students cram into the computers area to print their last minute papers for the next class using only one printer. Most, if not all, of the students have a laptop but only very few have their own printer in their rooms; so if a student wants to print a paper for class, they send it to themselves over email, go to the computer lab in the library, open the email, press the print button, then a printing tab opens up (charging $0.10 per page), click "print" again, then wait for it to print. The wireless internet is ok, but the worst day to use to internet is when everyone wakes up at 6am to register for classes for the following semester because most of the time, the site we are registering on crashes and we lose the opportunity to sign up for a class because it filled up.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I absolutely love my professors in my Philosophy and Religion major. They have a manner to them in which you can approach them and talk about anything with them. The professors in my department care for us and they want to see us succeed. The name of my department head is Professor Dennis Sansom and he is an amazing professor and I would probably say he is one of the best professors I have had here at Samford University. I took his Christian Ethics class last semester, I am taking his Logic class now, and I will be taking his Philosophy of Religion class next semester. Professor Sansom has a grandpa feel to him, but he is a very smart grandpa. My major is mostly reading so it would involve a lot of time-management so that you can catch up with all the readings in class. The workload is only overwhelming if you do not manage your time and procrastinate with long-term assignments til the day before. With my major you can become a philosophy professor, an ethicist, go into bioethics, teach in the ministry, become involve with international affairs, go into law, become a politician, go into divinity school, study apologetics, among many other things.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Very hot and cold. Upwards of 90 at the hottest point and may have reached 0 at the coldest point of the winter. Prone to change unexpectedly. However, fall and spring are very beautiful times of the year when the weather is between the two extremes. Typical Southeast weather.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Having a car is nice, but not necessary. It's usually pretty easy to find a friend to ride with if you need to get somewhere. However, parking is often an issue. Tickets are issued very easily, and Samford has a very bad tendency to invite large amounts of people to campus for an event on any given day. This normally would not be an issue, but they neglect to tell students about this or provide adequate guest parking. As a result, students who pay to go to school and have paid for a parking spot are often left without one.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: We have a lot of really talented athletes in a lot of different sports, and it shows when we consistently field very competitive teams in our conference. As an athlete myself, I was attracted to the school because of their excellent facilities and competitive Division 1 teams. However, student support is less-than-spectacular. It's disappointing, but understandable since I know a lot of people have a hometown team or big state school to support. What I would like to see more of is other students acknowledging that just because we're not athletes at an SEC school, we're still Division 1 athletes who compete and perform at a very high level.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There is everything from fast food to find dining within 5 miles and just about any kind of restaurant you could possibly want.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: There are plenty of restaurants and shopping very close by.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: I wish there were more scholarship opportunities for adult students.

4 College Junior

Academics: As with any school, some instructors are great and some aren't so much. In the Evening College program, I have been very please with the workload given by the instructors. It seems that they really have an excellent grasp on the lack of time adults students have and they focus on the necessary information.

5 College Junior

Weather: we have great weather and the campus looks beautiful in all seasons

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3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: sometimes they are too strict about certain policies, but i know that it is to maintain the integrity of our school's values.

5 College Junior

Academics: i am in the nursing program. it is extremely difficult and rigorous, but they are preparing us better than any other students in the state in my opinion. our program has many hands-on experiences that other schools don't have.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: i received an academic scholarship and a nursing scholarship, but it is barely enough for me to afford tuition. it would be nice to have gotten some scholarship for my ACT score (30) or high school GPA (4.2), but samford doesn't do that

5 College Junior

Health & Safety: i took a self defense class that campus safety hosted and i thought that was great. i feel that our police do a wonderful job


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Joanna Reynolds
Maryville, TN
View all previous student authors

Samford can be a wonderful experience for students. While the first semester can be extremely difficult, with students being away from their families and friends for the first time, things become easier with perseverance. Students first need to get out of their comfort zones and invest in the hilarious, wonderful people who make up the Samford population.

That being said, the people make the experience worthwhile, and there are always opportunities to meet new people, whether it's free concerts on the quad, chilling next to the fountain in Ben Brown Plaza, renting the Vail movie room for "Glee" nights, Step Sing, or worshiping at RUF (Reformed University Fellowship). These are just some of the many things students can experience at Samford. Plus, the caring professors instill in students not only knowledge, but wisdom, preparing men and women for the future every time they step into the classroom. The liberal arts aspect prompts many to draw endless comparisons and similarities between different classes, teaching students to see the "big picture." In addition, the various convo speakers shed new light on issues that matter, making students take on new points of view about things rarely given a second thought.  

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