Colleges and Universities of Georgia

Mary Hall at Berry College

The University System of Georgia is the presiding body over public education in the state. The System includes 29 institutions of higher learning. The System is governed by the Georgia Board of Regents. Georgia’s workforce of more than 6.3 million is constantly refreshed by the growing number of people who move here along with the 90,000 graduates from the universities, colleges and technical colleges across the state, including the nationally-ranked University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University

Agnes Scott College • Agnes Scott College was established in 1889 with a distinctive mission: to educate women for the betterment of their families and the elevation of their region. Today, that mission has evolved into a commitment to educate women from around the world to “think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.” The college was named in honor of Agnes Irvine Scott, a Scots-Irish immigrant who upheld a strong sense of integrity and intellectual curiosity.


Augusta State University • Founded in 1828. Augusta University is a public research university and medical center dedicated to training the next generation of innovators, leaders and health care providers. Based in Augusta with locations across Georgia, Augusta University is at the forefront of groundbreaking research focused on improving and enriching the human experience.
Berry College • Berry College is situated near Rome in northwestern Georgia. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees about 16,000 acres of the campus, conducts managed hunts, and provides recreational opportunities within the department of regulations. The land encompassing the academic buildings and other public spaces is a wildlife refuge in which no hunting is allowed
Brenau University • Brenau was founded in 1878 as a private institution for the education of women. W.C. Wilkes, the institution’s first administrator, is credited with building many of the historic buildings that still stand today. Although founders initially called the institution Georgia Baptist Female Seminary, it has never been affiliated with or governed by any religious organization. Through the years Brenau evolved from a proprietary college to a not-for-profit institution governed by an independent Board of Trustees. Although the residential undergraduate Brenau Women's College remains as the cornerstone of the institution, other undergraduate programs on campuses, and all graduate and online programs, admit both men and women.
Brewton-Parker College • In 1904, Reverend John Carter Brewton, pastor of the McRae Baptist Church, and Charles Benton Parker, a prominent businessman in McRae, resolved to establish a private boarding school to serve elementary and high school students from Montgomery County and the surrounding area. As there were no public high schools at that time, the school played an important role in furthering the education of the area’s youth. The Telfair and Daniell Baptist associations were enthusiastic supporters. The school was placed between Mount Vernon and Ailey, as working together the town bid more support than any either community.
Clark Atlanta University • Clark Atlanta University was formed by the consolidation of Atlanta University, which offered only graduate degrees, and Clark College, a four-year undergraduate institution oriented towards the liberal arts. The campus was moved to its present site, and the modern organization of the Atlanta University Center emerged, with Clark College, Morris Brown College, and the Interdenominational Theological Center joining the affiliation later.
Clayton College & State University • The institution was founded in 1969 and was originally known as Clayton Junior College. When the school became a four-year institution in 1986, the institute took on the name Clayton State College. In 1996, the Georgia Board of Regents renamed many higher-education institutions, with Clayton State becoming Clayton College and State University. In 2005, the name was changed to Clayton State University to acknowledge its fast-growing undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs
Columbus State University • The history of Columbus State University is closely intertwined with that of Columbus. The idea for a junior college was first proposed by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in 1949. Efforts by local citizens kept the idea alive by raising money to purchase the college's current site and developing plans for its administration. In 1958 when the law provided for the establishment of junior colleges in Georgia, Columbus State University opened at the renovated Shannon Hosiery Mill on Talbotton Road with 15 faculty members and nearly 300 students. A move to our present location in 1963 ushered in a period of rapid expansion. In 1965 the Regents approved the college's application to become a four-year institution, and the first four-year class graduated in 1970.
Covenant College • Founded in 1955 in Pasadena, California, Covenant College needed to expand into new facilities after just one year. Several professors helped Covenant move to St. Louis, Missouri, into a building donated by Catholic sisters. Over the next eight years, the institution increased in size and outgrew its facilities. The Lookout Mountain Hotel, built in 1928 with the South’s largest ballroom and 200 guest rooms, came up for sale when Covenant once again needed more space. The once-posh “Castle in the Clouds” seemed an ideal location for the College, and Covenant purchased and moved into the hotel in 1964. Since then, the College has significantly developed the campus and cultivated important ties with the Chattanooga community.
Emmanuel College • Emmanuel College first opened on January 1, 1919, under the name of Franklin Springs Institute. The founder of the school was the Reverend George Floyd Taylor, a North Carolinian who had long desired to begin such an institution. For over a century the campus had been used as a health resort centered around several mineral springs. At the foundation of the many changes and progress over the years remains the paramount emphasis on Christ-centered values. The lives of EC alumni speak of the quality of the academic opportunities they have received. Through its program of Christian higher education, Emmanuel College has provided students with academic and spiritual values that will enrich their lives and lead them to enrich the lives of others
Emory University • The Methodist Episcopal Church founded Emory College in 1836 in the small Georgia town of Oxford. The founders named the town for the school's prestigious British cousin, and named the school for a bishop who dreamed of an American education that molded character as well as the mind. Emory University Collectables
Georgia College & State University • Georgia College was chartered in 1889 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College. Its emphasis at the time was largely vocational, and its major task was to prepare young women for teaching or industrial careers. In 1917, in keeping with economic and cultural changes in the state, Georgia Normal and Industrial College was authorized to grant degrees, the first of which was awarded in 1921. In 1922, the institution's name was changed to Georgia State College for Women. The name was changed to Women's College of Georgia in 1961. it became Georgia College at Milledgeville in 1967. In August 1996, the Board of Regents approved a change of name to Georgia College & State University
Georgia Institute of Technology • Founded on Oct. 13, 1885, the Georgia School of Technology opened its doors in October 1888 to 84 students. The School’s creation signaled the beginning of the transformation of the agrarian South to an industrial economy. During its first 50 years, Tech grew from a narrowly focused trade school to a regionally recognized technological university. In 1948, the School’s name was changed to the Georgia Institute of Technology to reflect a growing focus on advanced technological and scientific research. Collectables
Georgia Southern University • When First District Agricultural & Mechanical School’s inaugural academic year began in 1908, few could have foreseen a major American university growing out of four faculty members and 15 students in just a little more than one lifetime. Now in its second century of service, Georgia Southern boasts 27,000-plus students, more than 2,000 faculty and staff, and some 141 programs of study at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Founded as a school for teaching modern agricultural production techniques and homemaking skills to rural schoolchildren, then-First District A&M School began within two decades to shift its emphasis to meet the growing need for teachers within the state
Georgia Southwestern State University • Georgia Southwestern State University, a four-year unit of the University System of Georgia, was founded in 1906 as the Third Agricultural and Mechanical School. In 1926, the General Assembly granted a charter authorizing the school to offer two years of college work and to change its name to the Third District Agricultural and Normal College. The new charter resulted in the expansion of the curriculum to include courses in teacher training, and the State Department of Education gave teacher certification to students who completed the program.
Georgia State University • Initially intended as a night school, Georgia State University was established in 1913 as the Georgia School of Technology's Evening School of Commerce. A reorganization of the University System of Georgia in the 1930s led to the school becoming the Atlanta Extension Center of the University System of Georgia and allowed night students to earn degrees from several colleges in the University System. During this time, the school was divided into two divisions: Georgia Evening College and Atlanta Junior College. In September 1947, the school became affiliated with the University of Georgia and was named the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia
Kennesaw State University • A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit
LaGrange College • The college began as a women's academy (high-school level), housed in a large white building down the street from where the current campus was developed. A few years later, in 1851, the institution moved to its present location on "the Hill," the highest geographical point in the city of LaGrange. In 1847, the school was renamed as LaGrange Female Institute, and the charter was amended to allow the school the power to confer degrees. The name was changed to LaGrange Female College in 1851, with the adoption of a four-year curriculum. The Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South took ownership of the college in 1856. Today, it is an institution of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church
Mercer University • Mercer University is one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning, offering rigorous programs that span the undergraduate liberal arts to doctoral-level degrees. Founded by early 19th century Baptists, Mercer — while no longer formally denominationally affiliated — remains committed to an educational environment that embraces the historic Baptist principles of intellectual and religious freedom.
Morehouse College • Just two years after the American Civil War, the Augusta Institute was founded by Rev. William Jefferson White, an Atlanta Baptist minister and cabinetmaker (William Jefferson White's half brother James E. Tate, was one of the founders of Atlanta University, now known as Clark Atlanta University), with the support of the Rev. Richard C. Coulter, a former slave from Atlanta, Georgia, and the Rev. Edmund Turney, organizer of the National Theological Institute for educating freedmen in Washington, D.C. The institution was founded to educate African American men in theology and education and was located in Springfield Baptist Church,(Augusta, Georgia), the oldest independent black church in the United States. The institution moved from Augusta, Georgia, to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1879.
Oglethorpe University • Chartered by the state of Georgia in 1835, the university commenced operations in 1838 with four faculty members and about 25 students at Midway, a small community near Milledgeville, then the capital of Georgia. Oglethorpe’s most distinguished alumnus from the antebellum era was poet, critic and musician Sidney Lanier, who graduated in 1860
Paine College • Paine College was founded by the leadership of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now United Methodist Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, now Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Paine was the brainchild of Bishop Lucius Henry Holsey, who first expressed the idea for the College in 1869. Bishop Holsey asked leaders in the ME Church South to help establish a school to train Negro teachers and preachers so that they might in turn appropriately address the educational and spiritual needs of the people newly freed from the evils of slavery. Leaders in the ME Church South agreed, and Paine Institute came into being.
Savannah College of Art and Design • The Savannah College of Art and Design was founded in 1978 by Richard G. Rowan, Paula Wallace, May L. Poetter and Paul E. Poetter to provide college degree programs not previously available in southeast Georgia and to create a specialized professional art college to attract students from throughout the United States and abroad.
Shorter University • Shorter University was founded in 1873 by Luther Rice Gwaltney, pastor of the Rome Baptist Church, as a women's college known as the Cherokee Baptist Female College. The college was renamed in 1877 to Shorter Female College because of the financial contributions of Alfred and Martha Shorter. Shorter was located in Victorian-style buildings on Shelton Hill near downtown Rome and educated young women at primary, preparatory and collegiate levels
Southern Polytechnic State University • Chartered in 1963 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State has become a destination campus, where more than 5,200 students live in eight distinctive residential communities in Kennesaw and Marietta. Students who reside on campus and those who commute have access to a full-range of world-class facilities, resources and activities.
Spelman College • The Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary was established on April 11, 1881 in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, by two teachers from the Oread Institute of Worcester, Massachusetts: Harriet E. Giles and Sophia B. Packard. Giles and Packard had met while Giles was a student, and Packard the preceptress, of the New Salem Academy in New Salem, Massachusetts, and fostered a lifelong friendship there. The two of them traveled to Atlanta specifically to found a school for black freedwomen, and found support from Frank Quarles, the pastor of Friendship Baptist Church.
State University of West Georgia • In 1906 the decision to create the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School occurred in response to a call for "more realistic educational program for rural youth" aged 13 to 21. The Bonner plantation was chosen as the location for the school. John H. Melson served as the school's first principal from 1908 to 1920. John Melson and his wife Penelope worked intimately along beside the students who attended the school and further enhanced the institution
University of Georgia • When the University of Georgia was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly on January 27, 1785, Georgia became the first state to charter a state-supported university. In 1784 the General Assembly had set aside 40,000 acres of land to endow a college or seminary of learning. At the first meeting of the board of trustees, held in Augusta on February 13, 1786, Abraham Baldwin was selected president of the university . University of Georgia Collectables
University of North Georgia • In early 2012, the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents recommended the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University, which was founded in 1873 in Dahlonega, Georgia, and Gainesville State College, which was founded in 1964 in Gainesville, Georgia. The consolidation became official on January 8, 2013, creating the University of North Georgia (UNG), with four campuses across northeast Georgia. In August 2015, UNG opened an additional campus in Blue Ridge, Georgia, to serve students in the northernmost region of the state
Valdosta State University • The school that would become Valdosta State University was founded in 1906. Colonel W.S. West led the legislation through the Georgia Senate, and C.R. Ashley and E.J. McRee pushed it through the House. However, no funds were appropriated for it until 1911 when the state allocated $25,000. The city of Valdosta raised $50,000, and Col. West gave the property that is now the main part of campus to the state for use by the new institution.
Wesleyan College • The school was chartered on December 23, 1836, as the Georgia Female College; it opened its doors to students on January 7, 1839. The school was renamed as Wesleyan Female College in 1843, when its affiliation changed from the Methodist-Episcopal Church to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The college shortened its name in 1917 to the present Wesleyan College. Wesleyan has the world's oldest alumnae association, begun in 1859

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