|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|28 public colleges and universities, with a combined endowment of approx. $2.5 billion|
The University System of Georgia (USG) is the government agency that includes 26 public institutions of higher learning in the U.S. state of Georgia. The system is governed by the Georgia Board of Regents. It sets goals and dictates general policy to educational institutions as well as administering Public Library Service of the state which includes 58 public library systems. The USG also dispenses public funds (allocated by the state's legislature) to the institutions but not the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship. The USG is the sixth largest university system in the United States by total student enrollment, with 318,027 students in 28 public institutions. USG institutions are divided into four categories: research universities, regional comprehensive universities, state universities, and state colleges.
The system is home to four research universities: Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia, Augusta University and Georgia State University. The University of Georgia is the state and system's flagship university, the state's oldest institution of higher learning, and one of the state's two land-grant universities. After its 2016 merger with Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia State University became the largest institution of higher learning in the USG, with over fifty thousand students. University of North Georgia is the state's designated military school. There are three historically black schools housed within the USG: Savannah State University, Albany State University, and the state's second land-grant university, Fort Valley State University.
In 2012, all USG institutions combined had a $14.1 billion economic impact on the state of Georgia. Georgia Tech in Atlanta and University of Georgia in nearby Athens had the largest impacts on their regional economies: $2.6 billion and 20,869 jobs at Georgia Tech and $2.2 billion and 22,196 jobs at the University of Georgia. Georgia State University's central campus in Atlanta had a $1.6 billion economic impact with 13,736 jobs; given its merger with Perimeter College, with an economic impact of $600 million, Georgia State's overall economic impact on the Atlanta metro area is $2.2 billion.
The University System of Georgia was created with the passage of the Reorganization Act of 1931 by the Georgia General Assembly in 1931. The Reorganization Act created a Board of Regents to oversee the state's colleges and universities and the 26 boards of trustees that had provided oversight over the various institutions before passage of the act. The Board of Regents officially took office on January 1, 1932, and consisted of eleven members to be appointed by the Governor of Georgia pending approval from the Georgia Senate. The Governor held an ex officio position on the Board. The regents were to elect a chairman and select a secretary One regent was appointed from each of Georgia's ten congressional districts and the eleventh member was chosen at large.
Governor initial appointees included Cason Jewell Callaway, Sr., Richard Russell Jr. (1897–1971), Martha Berry, Richard Russell Sr. (the governor's father), George C. Woodruff, William Dickson Anderson, Sr. (1873–1957), Egbert Erle Cocke, Sr. (1895–1977) and Philip Robert Weltner, Sr. (1887–1981). Anderson was elected chairman, Weltner vice-chairman and Cocke was appointed as the secretary/treasurer. Prior to the Reorganization Act, Georgia university chief executives held the title of chancellor; however, after the Act, University heads were given the title of president and a new chancellor position was created. The USG chancellor was selected and overseen by the board. At the request of the regents, Charles Snelling, the presiding head of the University of Georgia (UGA), stepped down from his position at UGA to become the initial chancellor of the entire system.
The 1932 Annual Report for the Board stated outstanding debts of $1,074,415. Over the next few years the USG endeavored to transform the state's institutions of higher learning, reorganizing schools, merging and closing others and transforming course offerings and curriculum.
In 2011, Chancellor Hank Huckaby recommended four consolidations among eight institutions, which would be implemented in 2013. The same year, the Board of Regents adopted six "Principles for Consolidation", which has led to multiple consolidations in the subsequent years. As of 2018, these consolidations have decreased the number of USG colleges and universities from 35 to 26.
|Former Institutions||Successor Institution||Date Effective||Ref.|
|Gainesville State College||University of North Georgia||January 8, 2013|||
|North Georgia College and State University|
|Augusta State University||Georgia Regents University
(now Augusta University)
|January 8, 2013|||
|Georgia Health Sciences University|
|Waycross College||South Georgia State College||January 8, 2013|||
|South Georgia College|
|Macon State College||Middle Georgia State College||January 8, 2013|||
|Middle Georgia College|
|Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw State University||January 1, 2015|||
|Southern Polytechnic State University|
|Georgia State University||Georgia State University||January 6, 2016|||
|Georgia Perimeter College|
|Albany State University||Albany State University||January 1, 2017|||
|Darton State College|
|Armstrong State University||Georgia Southern University||January 1, 2018|||
|Georgia Southern University|
|Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College||Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College||January 1, 2018|||
|Bainbridge State College|
In Fall 2018, the university system saw enrollment reach an all-time high of 328,712 students enrolled across the system's 26 colleges and universities. On March 6, 2019, an Atlanta court upheld a USG policy barring unauthorized immigrants from attending Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and the University of Georgia.
The Georgia Research Alliance is an Atlanta, Georgia-based nonprofit organization that coordinates research efforts between Georgia's public and private sectors. While GRA receives a state appropriation for investment in university-based research opportunities, its operations are funded through foundation and industry contributions. In its first 19 years, GRA leveraged $525 million in state funding into $2.6 billion of additional federal and private investment.
The Alliance has played a key role in building a reputation for Georgia as a center of discovery and invention, as evidenced by several major advances in science, medicine and technology. In 2007, GRA coalesced the strengths of several universities into a focused research effort built around new types of vaccines and therapeutics. As a result, Georgia is now leveraging these strengths and embarking on a major initiative to explore new ways to marshal the human immune system to fight disease.
GRA Eminent Scholars
GRA Eminent Scholars are top scientists from around the world recruited by the Georgia Research Alliance. For each scholar, GRA invests $750,000 for an endowment, an amount that the research university matches in private funds on a minimum 1-1 basis. GRA also makes investments in developing the world-class research laboratories the scientists need. Eminent Scholars often bring a research team, significant federal funding and private support for their research. Georgia’s investment in GRA Eminent Scholars has yielded more than $1 billion in outside grants and contracts for the state and helped to launch some 35 companies.
GRA's Cancer Initiative
After 10 years as an independent nonprofit organization, the Georgia Cancer Coalition became an initiative of the Georgia Research Alliance on January 18, 2012. The move was part of a larger effort to align Georgia’s economic development assets in a more effective way.
Over the past decade, the Coalition has sparked discovery through its Distinguished Cancer Clinicians and Scientists; promoted cancer prevention and education through six regional coalitions; expanded access to cancer clinical trials through its partner enterprise, Georgia CORE; and coordinated development of a statewide tissue and tumor bank.
As a GRA initiative, the program will continue as its collaborative efforts to address some of the most pressing issues pertaining to cancer prevention, treatment and research.
The Georgia Research Alliance set out to help launch companies around Georgian university research results, GRA launched its lead commercialization program, VentureLab, in 2002.
GRA also works with established Georgia companies through the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Centers of Innovation in aerospace, logistics, life sciences, energy, agriculture and advanced manufacturing. The COIs help find technology solutions to industry challenges, in part by connecting companies to leading-edge research at Georgia's universities.
From 2002 to 2010, GRA directed $19 million of state funding into VentureLab. During that time, more than 700 university inventions or discoveries have been evaluated for commercial potential. More than 107 active companies have been formed, which employ more than 650 Georgians. These companies have also attracted $460 million in equity investment and generated $77 million in revenue.
GRA Centers of Research Excellence
To support each GRA program, the Alliance invests in advanced technology needed to make the breakthrough discoveries that lead to the launch of new companies and the creation of jobs. This combination of tools and scientific talent has made Georgia home to dozens of Centers of Research Excellence. Centers of Research Excellence are collaborative and individual efforts that focus on one area of scientific research.
|Institution||Location||Founded||USG Designation||President||Current Enrollment
|Campus size as of 2012
(main campus only)
|University of Georgia (UGA)||Athens||1785||Research University, Flagship University||Jere W. Morehead||38,652||$1,480,381,228||759 acres (3.07 km2)|
|Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)||Atlanta||1885||Research University||Ángel Cabrera||32,723||$1,471,660,749||400 acres (1.6 km2)|
|Augusta University (formerly Medical College of Georgia)||Augusta||1828||Research University||Brooks A. Keel||9,072||$972,029,192||485 acres (1.96 km2)|
|Georgia State University (GA State)||Atlanta||1913||Research University||Mark P. Becker||52,814||$1,103,035,907||518 acres (2.10 km2)|
|Georgia Southern University (GSU)||Statesboro||1906||Regional Comprehensive University||Kyle L. Marrero||26,408||$473,815,730||700 acres (2.8 km2)|
|Kennesaw State University (KSU)||Kennesaw||1963||Regional Comprehensive University||Pamela S. Whitten||35,420||$566,696,464||384 acres (1.55 km2)|
|University of West Georgia||Carrollton||1906||Regional Comprehensive University||Micheal Crafton (interim)||13,733||$238,913,583||645 acres (2.61 km2)|
|Valdosta State University||Valdosta||1906||Regional Comprehensive University||Richard Carvajal||11,211||$187,040,771||168 acres (0.68 km2)|
|Albany State University||Albany||1903||State University, HBCU||Everette J. Freeman||6,371||$120,474,182||232 acres (0.94 km2)|
|Clayton State University||Morrow||1969||State University||Thomas J. "Tim" Hynes||7,038||$99,572,273||163 acres (0.66 km2)|
|Columbus State University||Columbus||1958||State University||Chris Markwood||8,076||$131,120,397||132 acres (0.53 km2)|
|Fort Valley State University||Fort Valley||1895||State University, HBCU||Paul Jones||2,776||$77,941,688||630 acres (2.5 km2)|
|Georgia College & State University (GCSU or Georgia College)||Milledgeville||1889||State University||Steve Dorman||6,989||$145,022,143||602 acres (2.44 km2)|
|Georgia Southwestern State University||Americus||1906||State University||Neal Weaver||2,907||$50,493,511||325 acres (1.32 km2)|
|Middle Georgia State Universityd (formerly Macon State College and Middle Georgia College)||Macon||1884||State University||Christopher Blake||7,802||$102,294,845||167 acres (0.68 km2)|
|Savannah State University||Savannah||1890||State University, HBCU||Cheryl D. Dozier (interim)||4,077||$107,093,413||165 acres (0.67 km2)|
|University of North Georgia (formerly North Georgia College and State University and Gainesville State College)||Dahlonega||1873||State University||Bonita Jacobs||19,722||$248,841,332||630 acres (2.5 km2)|
|Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College||Tifton||1908||State College||David C. Bridges||4,291a||$63,055,473||516 acres (2.09 km2)|
|Atlanta Metropolitan State College||Atlanta||1974||State College||Gary McGaha||2,187||$30,782,754||79 acres (0.32 km2)|
|College of Coastal Georgia||Brunswick||1961||State College||Gregory F. Aloia||3,546||$44,341,063||193 acres (0.78 km2)|
|Dalton State College||Dalton||1963||State College||John O. Schwenn||5,118||$51,173,951||146 acres (0.59 km2)|
|East Georgia State College||Swainsboro||1973||State College||Robert G. Boehmer||2,942||$35,176,363||227 acres (0.92 km2)|
|Georgia Gwinnett College||Lawrenceville||2005||State College||Stanley 'Stas' C. Preczewski||12,508||$167,320,694||250 acres (1.0 km2)|
|Georgia Highlands College||Rome||1970||State College||Donald Green||6,184||$52,256,610||200 acres (0.81 km2)|
|Gordon State College||Barnesville||1852||State College||Max Burns||3,663||$47,553,449||125 acres (0.51 km2)|
|South Georgia State College (formerly South Georgia College and Waycross College)||Douglas||1906||State College||Virginia M. Carson||2,482||$30,317,037||190 acres (0.77 km2)|
USG institutions are classified into various designations, which include:
HBCU- Additionally, three USG institutions, all designated as State Universities, are designated as historically black colleges and universities. Of these, Fort Valley State University is the state's designated 1890 land-grant university.
The institutions below are ranked by average SAT score of first-time freshman for the 2012-2013 academic year. A first-time freshman describes a student entering a 4-year college or university for the first time. These figures do not include transfer, dual enrolled, post-baccalaureate or non-traditional students. First-time freshman account for the majority of the student population at a 4-year college or university. Two public institutions, the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, are ranked in the top 100 in the annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings.
|Institution||Average SAT(CR+Math) score of entering freshman(2012)||Average GPA of entering freshman(2012)||Average acceptance rate(2012)||6-year graduation rates(2006-2012)||First-time freshman retention rate (2012)|
|Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)||1365e||3.76c||55%||80.75%||95%|
|University of Georgia (UGA)||1238e||3.76d||56%||83.92%||94%|
|Georgia College and State University (Georgia College or GCSU)||1160||3.42||Not reported||75.46%||86%|
|Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU)||1141||3.28||79%||48.75%||75%|
|University of North Georgia (UNG)||1117||3.51||56%||63.08%||78%|
|Georgia Southern University (GA Southern)||1115||3.18||52%||60.51%||77%|
|4-year institution USG average||1110||3.12||74%|
|Kennesaw State University (KSU)||1089||3.20||57%||51.47%||76%|
|Georgia State University (GSU)||1082||3.33||57%||57.77%||83%|
|Armstrong State University||1016||3.16||70%||40.86%||69%|
|Valdosta State University||1015||3.12||59%||52.32%||67%|
|Columbus State University||987||3.10||53%||41.35%||67%|
|Georgia Southwestern State University||987||3.23||66%||39.85%||63%|
|Augusta State University||985||3.03||54%||33.96%||67%|
|University of West Georgia||965||3.08||56%||46.40%||70%|
|Clayton State University||947||3.0||39%||36.96%||66%|
|Albany State University||890||2.92||29%||46.01%||65%|
|Savannah State University||867||2.74||Not reported||38.02%||72%|
|Fort Valley State University||844||2.76||41%||33.82%||60%|
The four USG research universities participate in fairly distinct academic communities. The volumes of research at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology are consistently competitive with their peers. Both schools are considered to be Public Ivies, a designation reserved for top public universities in the United States.
|Rank of Federal Expenditure||Institution||Endowment Funds (2016)||Research Expenditure (Federal 2015)||Total research expenditure FY 2009||Institution research funds (NSF FY 2009)||Economic impact(2013)||Number of GRA Eminent Scholars(2013)||Number of GRA VentureLab companies(2013)||Number of Centers of Research Excellence(2013)||Graduate student enrollment (2012)|
|11||Georgia Institute of Technology||$1,844 million||$548 million||$561,631,000||$167,766,000||$2,600 million||23||10||9||7,030|
|84||University of Georgia||$1,017 million||$128 million||$349,730,000||$186,998,000||$2,300 million||15||4||7||8,260|
|100||Averagea||$3,343 million||$98 million|
|144||Augusta University||$121 million||$51 million||$65,473,000||$20,581,000||$1,800 million||6||1||3||6,245|
|164||Georgia State University||$186 million||$37 million||$60,557,000||$27,975,000||$1,600 million||5||0||3||7,427|
50 Rhodes Scholars came from a Georgia college or University.
|Rank||Institution||Number of Rhodes Scholars|
|1||University of Georgia||22|
|2||Emory University f||17|
|3||Morehouse College f||4|
|4||Georgia Institute of Technology||3|
|5||Mercer University f||2|
|6||Agnes Scott College f||1|
|7||Berry College f||1|
Since the scholarship was enacted in 1977, 53 Truman Scholars came from a Georgian college or University. 25 scholars came from a USG institution.
|Rank||Institution||Number of Truman Scholars|
|1||University of Georgia||17|
|2||Spelman College f||11|
|3||Georgia Institute of Technology||7|
|4||Emory University f||9|
|5||Agnes Scott College f||5|
|6||Mercer University f||1|
|7||Morehouse College f||2|
|8||University of West Georgia||1|
The University of Georgia and Georgia Tech rank among top 10 public universities receiving Marshall scholars. Since 2001, Georgia Tech students have received 8 Marshall Scholarships and UGA has received 5 ranking 2nd and 6th respectively for most Marshall Scholars.
|Rank||Institution||Number of Marshall Scholars|
|1||Georgia Institute of Technology||8|
|2||University of Georgia||5|
|3||Georgia College & State University||1|
In 2012, University of Georgia and Emory University ranked in the top percentile of doctoral/research institutions producing Fulbright Scholars. 38 Fulbright scholars came from Georgian institutions.
|Rank||Institution||Number of Fulbright scholars(2012-2013)|
|1||University of Georgia||13|
|2||Emory University f||11|
|3||Spelman College f||5|
|4||Agnes Scott College f||4|
|5||Georgia Institute of Technology||2|
|6||Mercer University f||2|
|7||Georgia College & State University||1|