Best Colleges in Georgia

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Got Georgia on your mind?

Whether it’s the subject of something as classic as the Ray Charles song, or something as contemporary as The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the Peach State has a lot to offer.

Do you like sports? Atlanta is home to professional football, baseball, and basketball teams. Music? Well, not only was Ray Charles from Georgia, but Outkast, Usher, Ludacris, and Ciara are all from the state as well. What about literature? Alice Walker, who dealt powerfully with Georgia’s history in the landmark novel The Color Purple, is from the state. And let’s not forget Gone With the Wind, which was also set in Georgia.

Are you now at least interested in the state? Here’s the most important news: George is also a great state to earn an education!

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Undergraduate Programs

Top 10 Best Colleges in Georgia

Rank School Location
1 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
2 Emory University Atlanta, GA
3 University of Georgia Athens, GA
4 Georgia State University Atlanta, GA
5 Albany State University Albany, GA
6 Fort Valley State University Fort Valley, GA
7 University of West Georgia Carrollton, GA
8 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
9 Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA
10 Spelman College Atlanta, GA

What kind of College in Georgia should you attend?

First of all, you have a lot of options to choose from. The state has everything from large, prestigious research universities, to small liberal arts schools, as well as a handful of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), both public and private. If you’re interested in online options, you can hop over to the top Online Universities in Georgia.

How much money can you make with a degree from a College in Georgia?

To give you a sense for what that might look like, the median household income for Georgia residents is around $51,000. But that takes into account both college-educated and non-college-educated individuals. That means you can expect to earn upwards of $51k when you graduate.

It’s important to plan ahead financially for your education. Because school costs money . . . any way you slice it. You need to think about your college education as an investment. And as with any investment, you want to get as much value out as possible compared to what you put in.

What can you do with a degree from a College in Georgia?

And as most people who have landed post-college jobs know, your networks matter. Well, since Georgia has been ranked the #1 State for Business not one, not two, not even three, but four times in a row over the past four years, it’s looking like a good place to build networks, get a job, or even better, start your own business.

If business isn’t your strong suit, don’t sweat it! Our friends over at Zippia.com compiled a list that illuminates some of the best career choices for recent college graduates in Georgia. They factored in job availability, pay, location, potential for growth and more:

  • Database Administration
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist
  • K-12 Teacher
  • Web Developer

What Are the Best Colleges in Georgia?

So the schools are good, business is good, and so is the living. In Georgia, cost of living is low, you get four seasons each year without too harsh of a winter, and you have a state that is growing increasingly diverse.

Ready to start applying yet? We’ve mapped out the Best Colleges in Georgia.

Here’s how we got the list. Our ranking is composed of two basic factors: academic quality and return on investment. The academic quality ranking takes a range of data points into consideration, including admission rates, test scores, and endowment per student. The return on investment ranking accounts for net cost of tuition and fees, and then compares that to the expected early career earnings of graduates. That way, you’ll know not only if the school offers what you’re interested in, but if you and your family will be able to afford it. Happy searching!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech as it is known to students, is a public, space-grant research university that is located in Athens, Georgia. It is a member institution of the University System of Georgia and has satellite campuses across the state and around the world. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    Georgia Tech offers over 75 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. It is spread across six colleges and schools with 31 departments. The school has a vested interest in STEM programs, particularly that of science and technology. Students, however, will find a great variety of programs at this school, especially those who are interested in STEM programs. Here s a peak at the top degrees:

      Bachelor of Science in Mechanical EngineeringMaster of Science in Paper Science and EngineeringDoctor of Philosophy in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering

      Notables

      Student life at Georgia Tech is an incredible opportunity; students benefit from school-sponsored events, traditions, and over 350 organizations, as well as having access to Atlanta and its cultural hallmarks of sports, entertainment, and art. Students also have the ability to take on roles at student-run media or participate in Greek Life.

  2. Emory University
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Emory University is a private research university that is located in Atlanta, Georgia, in the Druid Hills neighborhood. It is one of the oldest private universities in the country. This school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

    Features

    The university offers over 100 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Dual degrees and online programs are also available through the Emory s various colleges and schools, including the professional programs, such as Medicine, Nursing, Theology, and Law. Others include:

      Bachelor of Science in NursingMaster of Business AdministrationJuris Doctor

      Notables

      Emory is well known for its student life; students often rank its extracurricular groups and organizations as one of the top three factors for satisfaction. This school offers everything from community service programs here at home and study abroad programs all over the world to opportunities to serve on student-run media, take part in sporting activities, and enjoy the arts and entertainment aspects of the school. Whatever a student s interests, they will find an activity that suits them.

  3. University of Georgia
    Location

    Athens, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Georgia is the flagship institution of the University System of Georgia. It is a public, land-grant, sun-grant, national sea-grant, national-space grant, research university. The school is considered one of the Public Ivies a school that has an academic reputation akin to those of the Ivy League schools. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    UGA was chartered in 1785 and is located in Athens, Georgia. It is the oldest state-chartered university in the country and is considered to be the birthplace of the American public university education system. It is also distinctive for being recognized as a historic districted that is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Some of the top degree programs here are:

      Bachelor of Science in PsychologyMaster of Education in Early Childhood EducationDoctor of Philosophy in Business Administration, Marketing

      Notables

      The school confers over 140 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. There are 17 schools and colleges and 13 libraries associated with the school; the university itself has four campuses and residential education centers in England, Italy, and Costa Rica.

  4. Georgia State University
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Georgia State University is a public research university that is one of the four founding institutions of the University System of Georgia. It is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and is home to over 53,000 students. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    As the largest school in the University System of Georgia, it will come as no surprise that GSU is comprised of ten schools and colleges, including the Honors College, the College of Law, and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Students will find that the majority of the over 1,100 faculty members that teach in these schools have terminal degrees in their field and are exceptionally qualified to teach these subjects. You ll find top programs such as:

      Bachelor of Business Administration in AccountingMaster of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood EducationDoctor of Philosophy in Finance

      Notables

      Student life at GSU is an incredible experience for any student. From the libraries and the arts centers to the sports facilities and the multimedia organizations that are run by students, there is no shortage of professional organizations and groups to round out a student s time at the school.

  5. Albany State University
    Location

    Albany, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Albany State University is a public, state-supported, historically black university that is a member-institution of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. It is located in Albany, Georgia and is regionally accredited by the SACSCOC. It is unique within the University System of Georgia and among HBCUs nationwide for having a Forensic Science program accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

    Features

    The university offers undergraduate, graduate, associate, and certificate programs. It recently underwent a merger with the two-year Darton State College; the two merged institutions assumed Albany State s name and branding. Darton State s old location is now known as West Campus, while the main ASU campus is now called East Campus. Albany State is the largest HBCU in Georgia and one of the largest in the country. It boasts five different colleges, along with offering a variety of innovative programs such as a dual degree in engineering with Georgia Tech. Albany State s nursing program is also very highly regarded. Other top programs include:

      Bachelor of Science in Forensic ScienceBachelor of Science in Nursing (as well as an accelerated BSN program and a RN-to-BSN program)Joint, 5-year Bachelor of Science in Business and Master of Business Administration in Accounting

      Notables

      Students who enroll at Albany State can get involved in a variety of activities at the university beyond academics. A number of Greek chapters are incorporated at ASU, the campus has a 4-lane bowling alley, a 45-foot indoor rock climbing wall, and competitive club sports as well as intramural sports.

  6. Fort Valley State University
    Location

    Fort Valley, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Fort Valley State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university that is a member of both the University System of Georgia and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. It is located in Fort Valley, Georgia and as an HBCU, currently boasts a student body that is 91 percent African-American. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    This university is known for conferring over 50 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate degrees through three colleges and one graduate school. FVSU is best known for its engineering and teaching programs, both of which can be used to prepare students for certification in their particular field of interest. Additionally, the school is undergoing a massive review of its own programs, ensuring that students are always offered the most current information while studying for their degrees. Here s a glance at a few top programs:

      Bachelor of Arts in Business AdministrationBachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering TechnologyMaster of Science in Education in Middle Grades Education

      Notables

      FVSU has a burgeoning student life, one that is highlighted by the school s commitment to offering as many extracurricular activities as possible. This university offers over 70 clubs and organizations, student-run media, a marching band, choirs, and even a forensics club that competes at the national level.

  7. University of West Georgia
    Location

    Carrollton, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Students with an eye on postgraduate education often flock to the University of West Georgia. This is a public, comprehensive doctoral-granting university that is located in Carrollton, Georgia with classes available across the state and overseas. It is currently named as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges by The Princeton Review. This school is a member institution of the University System of Georgia and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

    Features

    UWG confers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, with terminal degrees available in several fields of studies. Degrees are spread across seven schools and colleges. The university also houses the Advanced Academy of Georgia, an early acceptance program for advanced high school students. The three top degree programs here are:

      Bachelor of Business Administration in AccountingBachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood EducationBachelor of Science in Nursing

      Notables

      The school is nationally recognized as being one of just two institutions of higher learning that offers a humanistic and transpersonal psychology program. There are also over 160 student organizations on the UWG campus, including professional and honor organizations, political and activist groups, fraternities, sororities, and sports teams. Students also have access to a library, gym, tennis courts, a nature trail, a climbing wall, and a student-run radio station.

  8. Clayton State University
    Location

    Morrow, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Clayton State University is a public university that is a selective senior member of the University System of Georgia. It is located in Morrow, Georgia and serves the great Atlanta Metro area. It was established in 1969 and it is accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    Clayton State is known for being one of the only institutions in the country to have joint state and federal archives that are located in close proximity to the university and for its NCAA Division II sports teams in soccer, cross country, track, golf, and tennis. It is currently one of the top-rated schools in the state for both economic and academic growth. Some of the top degree programs are:

      Bachelor of Science in Community PsychologyBachelor of Arts in Hospital and Health Care Facilities Administration and ManagementBachelor of Arts in Office Management and Supervision

      Notables

      Students at Clayton State have a variety of options when it comes to their education. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are conferred at this school, with most students going onto finish their postgraduate studies at another regionally accredited school in the state. Like many other schools in the state, Clayton State offers students a wide array of activities on campus.

  9. Valdosta State University
    Location

    Valdosta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Valdosta State University is a public state university that is one of the four comprehensive member institutions of the University System of Georgia. It is located in Valdosta, Georgia and currently confers degrees to over 11,000 students annually. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    This school confers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and specialist levels across five undergraduate colleges and a graduate school. Valdosta also hosts a four-week residential program, known as the Governor s Honors Program, during the summer for artistically gifted high school students from all around the state. You ll find that some of the most popular degree programs are:

      Bachelor of Science in NursingBachelor of Business Administration in FinanceMaster of Art in Education

      Notables

      Valdosta has one of the most comprehensive campuses on this list for student activities outside of class. The university hosts over 200 student organizations, including political groups, sports teams, activist organizations, and a fully-funded student government. Students also have the option to help run the school s radio station, the weekly newspaper, or the annual literary publication.

  10. Spelman College
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Spelman College is one of the most interesting schools on this list. Established in 1881, this is a private, liberal arts women s college that is known as an HBCU. It is located in Atlanta, Georgia and is one of the oldest HBCU institutions for women. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    Spelman is consistently ranked among America s top liberal arts colleges for producing a high number of Fulbright and Truman Scholars, producing a large number of African-American graduates attending medical school, engineering school, and for its STEM program successes with African-American women. The school is also known for financial aid; 97 percent of all students receive some financial aid during their freshmen year. Three of the top programs are:

      Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Women s StudiesBachelor of Arts in International StudiesBachelor of Science Environmental Science

      Notables

      This is an undergraduate college, one that expects high academic standards, stewardship in the form of volunteering, and an open mind from all of its students. Most programs encourage internships, volunteer positions, and study abroad to expand a student s perspective of the world they live in.

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