Georgia State University, also known as GSU, is located in downtown Atlanta. It is one of four research universities in the University System of Georgia. The school serves over 30,000 students each year, including both undergraduates and graduate students. The majority of students are full-time and the school has a major economic impact on Atlanta’s economy.
GSU was founded in 1913 as a night school for the Georgia School of Technology. By the 1930s, students from other colleges within the state’s university system were also able to attend night classes at the school. After numerous administrative and name changes over the years, the school became Georgia State University in 1969. It has grown and expanded considerably since the 1970s, becoming one of the most respected universities in the state.
The university is comprised of eight colleges. These include:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Law
- College of Business
- Honors College
- School of Policy Studies
- School of Public Health
- School of Nursing and Health Professions
Georgia State’s class sizes are fairly small and allow students to interact directly with faculty, maintaining the university’s emphasis on undergraduate education rather than graduate studies or research. Students can pursue roughly 200 fields of study, including accelerated degree programs, honors program, double majors, and independent study. Some of GSU’s most reputable programs are in business, social science, history, and computer science.
Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including many of the humanities, nursing, early childhood education, recreation, accounting, hospitality administration, economics, and urban policy studies. Undergraduate certificates are also available in a few fields.
Master’s degrees are awarded in the humanities, health sciences, education, business, economics, and public policy, among others. A number of specialist degrees (Ed.S.) are awarded in the School of Education. An MBA, MSW, and MFA (in creative writing) are also available.
The school awards multiple doctoral degrees, in fields such as applied linguistics, creative writing, nursing, education, accounting, managerial sciences, economics, and public policy. The College of Law offers the J.D. degree and also dual degree programs.
Most Popular Fields of Study
School of Policy Studies
The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State is constantly recognized for its outstanding curriculum and national reputation in the fields of economics and public administration. Through the Center, the university offers programs in health and environmental policy, nonprofit studies, fiscal research, and urban studies.
College of Business
Named for a prominent Atlanta entrepreneur who supplied the college with an endowment, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business is over 100 years old. Its MBA programs are consistently ranked as some of the best in the nation, and the Executive MBA program has been recognized as one of the world’s best by both BusinessWeek and Financial Times.
Graduate certificates are offered in gerontology, heritage preservation, hydrology, interpretation, Latin American studies, nursing, public health, and several programs in the College of Business and the College of Public Policy.
Undergraduate applications are accepted through March 1 for the upcoming fall semester. Prospective students must supply ACT or SAT exam scores and official high school transcripts along with their completed application. A non-refundable application fee must accompany all applications. Essays are also recommended. Minimum high school course requirements include four units of English, four of math, three of science, three of social science, and two of one foreign language. Applicants must have a minimum 2.9 high school GPA.
Application requirements may vary for transfer and international students.
Graduate students must apply directly through the College which they wish to attend, and should contact the College directly for specific requirements in addition to any departmental requirements.
Financial aid is awarded to eligible GSU students as combination of federal, state, and institutional grants; scholarships; loans; and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
The majority of institutional scholarships awarded by the school are based on academic performance. The university offers several general scholarships, but many are academic- or merit-specific and offered through the individual schools and colleges. Applicants are encouraged to contact the departments directly, based on their intended field of study, to explore scholarship options.
GSU also supports student loan programs, including the most popular Federal Direct Student Loans such as Stafford and PLUS loans. The Perkins Loan is also supported but restricted to students with outstanding financial needs. The university’s financial aid office can also help students search for alternative loans if the support from federal loans does not completely cover educational costs.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students can participate in a variety of school-recognized clubs and organizations outside of the classroom. Groups are based on academics and fields of study, faiths and cultures, activism and awareness, community service opportunities, the environment, common interests and hobbies, recreational activities, and more. Over 30 Greek fraternities and sororities can also be found on campus. Many students also take advantage of activities such as intramural sports, free fitness classes, and school-sponsored off-campus trips.
GSU believes that students can make his or her college experience more successful by living on campus. Housing opportunities include traditional-style dorms and residence halls as well as apartment-style facilities and Greek housing.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Georgia State Panthers are NCAA Division I teams that compete in the Sun Belt Conference. Sports teams are cheered on by a pep band, a cheerleading squad, and the school Panther mascot.
Men’s sports include:
Women’s sports include:
- Cross Country
- Volleyball and Sand Volleyball
- Track and Field
GSU’s athletics venues include the Sports Arena, Georgia Dome, baseball and softball complexes, soccer fields, and various practice facilities. All students are charged an athletics fee each semester, which grants free access to sporting events, fitness classes, and workout facilities.
With over 175,000 committed alumni, roughly 100,000 of whom still live in the Atlanta area, Georgia State has a strong alumni base. Its alumni association is very active in supporting athletics as well as academics while providing a basis for alumni to keep in touch and involved in the university’s news and activities.
Former GSU students and alumni include:
- William DuVall, member of rock band Alice in Chains
- Matthew Hilger, professional poker player
- Lance Krall, actor and star of The Lance Krall Show
- Julia Robers, actress
- Charles Shapiro, American diplomat
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.