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Health & Medicine Profile

Nurturing persons for God, for learning, forever

Samford University is Alabama’s top-ranked university and provides nationally recognized academic programs rooted in its historic Christian mission. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford fourth among regional universities in the South, and the University is widely acknowledged as a leader in liberal arts and professional education.

Founded in 1841 and located in suburban Birmingham, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and enrolls more than 5,400 students from 47 states and 29 countries in its 10 academic units: Arts, Arts and Sciences, Business, Divinity, Education, Health Professions, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health.

In response to today’s rapidly changing health care environment, Samford University’s College of Health Sciences is revolutionizing health care education. Students can choose from more than 30 majors and programs in four schools—Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, School of Health Professions, and School of Public Health—that prepare them for some of the fastest growing and most satisfying jobs in the country.

In fall 2016 the College of Health Sciences welcomed students to its new 223,000-sq. ft. facility dedicated to preparing students for today’s increasingly interprofessional health care environment. Students and faculty learn and serve across disciplines, building relationships and sharing knowledge that will make them uniquely suited to immediately contribute to health care teams upon graduation. In addition, state-of-the-art labs, kitchens, and an experiential learning and simulation center provide students with revolutionary opportunities to hone their skills in a safe and controlled environment. This helps build confidence in our graduates and allows them to experience things that they may not otherwise encounter during traditional clinical rotations. Graduates leave prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver exceptional patient care in a wide variety of settings.   

Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing
It’s long been said that people are drawn to nursing—not in search of a career but in response to a calling. For more than 90 years, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has educated nurses who have the wisdom, skills, and courage to go out into the world and make people’s lives better. The school offers a number of degree programs, from a traditional BSN to a second-degree BSN for people who are making a career change. It also offers master’s and doctoral degrees in specialties such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Systems and Administration, Nurse Anesthesia, and Nurse Educator. All graduate programs, with the exception of Nurse Anesthesia, are offered online. In 2016 its online master’s programs were ranked #13 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Every year School of Nursing graduates pass their licensure and certification exams at rates far surpassing national averages.

For students in the school, learning extends far outside of the classroom. From disaster management simulations to inpatient acute care, students participate in extensive clinical experiences in more than 90 sites across the country. In addition, many students and faculty participate in medical missions at home and abroad in places like Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti, and Peru.  

McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Pharmacy today is more than dispensing medication from behind a counter. Now more than ever, pharmacists play an integral role in the health care team, helping influence the quality of patient outcomes.

For 89 years, McWhorter School of Pharmacy has combined scholarship, practice, and service to produce pharmacists who are committed to transforming the health of the nation and world through pharmacy. Students experience remarkable interprofessional education opportunities that uniquely prepare them for today’s health care environment, and there are numerous opportunities for students to travel abroad as part of electives and pharmacy practice experiences.

In addition to the Doctor of Pharmacy program, the school offers the PharmD/MPH, PharmD/MBA, PharmD/MHIA, and PharmD/MS Law joint-degree programs. On average, more than 90% of Pharmacy graduates have employment offers prior to graduation, and first-time NAPLEX pass rates and residency match rates consistently exceed the national averages. McWhorter offers two highly regarded Post-Graduate Year One (PGY1) residency programs and is a recipient of NIH funding. Home to Samford’s Center for Healthcare Innovation and Patient Outcomes Research and the Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Institute, McWhorter School of Pharmacy provides essential resources to the profession and community.

School of Health Professions
No industry today is more dynamic or growing faster than health care. For those called to a life spent caring for others, the School of Health Professions offers a vast array of specialties and fields of study. The school is made up of four departments: Cardiopulmonary Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Kinesiology, and Physical Therapy. Undergraduate majors include Communication Sciences and Disorders, Exercise Science (Pre-physical Therapy), Health Sciences, Respiratory Care, Sport Administration, and Sports Medicine (Pre-medicine). Graduate programs include Athletic Training, Speech Language Pathology, Respiratory Care, and Physical Therapy.

A number of majors in the School of Health Professions prepare students for graduate and professional programs, including Medicine, Physician Assistant, Dentistry, Optometry, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology. More than 94% of health professions students who apply to graduate or professional school are accepted. Regardless of your chosen major, every department and every major displays a steadfast commitment to preparing skilled, compassionate practitioners who are prepared to serve in today’s health care environment.

School of Public Health
In the School of Public Health, students pursue a variety of disciplines focused on preventing disease and promoting improved health among entire communities and populations. Students work together to address some of the most difficult challenges to human health, from access to health care to violence and the return of infectious diseases. The School includes five departments: Nutrition and Dietetics, Health Informatics and Information Management, Healthcare Administration, Public Health, and Social Work. Undergraduate majors include Healthcare Administration, Foods and Nutrition, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Public Health. Graduate programs are offered in Healthcare Administration, Health Informatics and Analytics, Nutrition, Public Health, and Social Work in addition to a dietetic internship. There are also many joint-degree options for students in the School of Public Health.

The problems that affect health and well-being are complex in nature, and their resolution requires professionals to collaborate in an interdisciplinary manner. Consequently, School of Public Health students in every degree program work in collaboration with students in other departments and even other schools, learning to address the increasingly complex needs of the individuals and communities they serve.