Education Insight: Atlanta’s Colleges & Universities
You Don’t Have to Leave the State for a Great Education
By Daniel Beauregard and Kevin Forest Moreau
Situated on a beautiful leafy campus in Atlanta’s historic Druid Hillsneighborhood, Emory University is considered one of the premier private research universities in the country. The university consists of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and schools of law, medicine, public health and theology, in addition to one of the Southeast’s leading health care systems. Emory’s Oxford College, a two-year satellite campus, is located 40 minutes away in Oxford, Ga., where Emory was originally founded in 1836. There are approximately 14,500 students enrolled at the university, which is metro Atlanta’s third-largest private employer. www.emory.edu.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech, as it’s often called, is nationally recognized both for its football team and for being one of the top research schools in the nation. Located in downtown Atlanta, the school offers graduate and undergraduate degrees through its six colleges, which focus on architecture, engineering, computing, science, business and liberal arts. Georgia Tech has been consistently ranked as one of the top 10 public universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report. www.gatech.edu.
Georgia State University
One of four research universities in the University System of Georgia, this downtown Atlanta institution covers 100 fields of study, with 250 degree programs offered through its eight colleges. GSU is well known for its Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and for its law school and college of education. www.gsu.edu.
Kennesaw State University
The third-largest university in Georgia, with more than 24,600 students, Kennesaw State (KSU) sits on a bustling 328-acre campus roughly 30 minutes northwest of Atlanta near historic Kennesaw Mountain. In addition to well-known business, education and criminal justice programs, KSU boasts the largest nursing program in the state. www.kennesaw.edu.
Macon-based Mercer’s 300-acre Atlanta outpost, near the intersection of Interstates 85 and 285 north of the city, is known as the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus. The campus hosts 11 different schools and colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the McAfee School of Theology, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, among other programs. www.mercer.edu.
Morehouse, one of six historically black colleges in Atlanta, is a private, all-male institution, and has been ranked one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report. With a special emphasis on developing the intellect and character of its students, the school has produced such distinguished alumni as Martin Luther King Jr., former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson, director Spike Lee and actor Samuel L. Jackson. www.morehouse.edu.
Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University is a private liberal arts college in the Brookhaven neighborhood. Oglethorpe enrolls more than 1,000 students each year from countries all over the world and has been consistently honored by such publications as the Princeton Review and Forbes. It is home to the Conant Performing Arts Center, which hosts performances by Georgia Shakespeare each year, and the Crypt of Civilization, a time capsule slated to be opened in the year 8113. www.oglethorpe.edu.
Georgia Perimeter College
Originally known as DeKalb College, Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) is spread across five metro Atlanta campuses and offers two-year associate degrees and, since 2011, a number of four-year programs. As of 2012, GPC was the largest two-year college and the fourth-largest public college in the University System of Georgia. www.gpc.edu.
Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), founded in Savannah, Ga., in 1978, is one of the top art schools in the world, with additional campuses in Hong Kong, France and Atlanta. SCAD’s Midtown Atlanta campus offers programs in graphic design, illustration, animation, fashion, interior design and more. www.scad.edu/locations/atlanta.
Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, this all-female liberal arts school is one of the oldest historically black colleges in the country. It has been named one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and as one of America’s top colleges and top 10 women’s colleges by Forbes. Spelman graduates incude Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker and King Center CEO Bernice King. www.spelman.edu.
More Colleges Of Note
Agnes Scott College | www.agnesscott.edu
This women’s college near downtown Decatur offers a robust liberal arts and sciences curriculum with a mission to teach women “to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.”
Brenau University | www.brenau.edu
Based in Gainesville with additional campuses in Augusta, Kings Bay, Norcross and Fairburn, Brenau offers majors and degrees in health sciences, education, fine arts and humanities, and business and mass communication.
Clark Atlanta University | www.cau.edu
This historically black university was formed in 1988 with the merger of Clark College and Atlanta University.
Clayton State University | www.clayton.edu
Located 15 minutes south of Atlanta in Morrow, this public university sits on more than 160 wooded acres. Spivey Hall, located on campus, is known as one of the best concert venues in the nation.
Georgia Gwinnett College | www.ggc.edu
Opened in 2006, this four-year public college in Lawrenceville offers bachelor’s degrees in 12 majors, including biology, criminal justice and special education.