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Doctoral Programs in Georgia: Overview of Popular Programs

There are over 50 schools offering graduate programs within Georgia. See how four of these institutions stack up against each other to find the school for you.

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School Ranking Overview

There are 54 colleges, universities and other institutions in Georgia that offer graduate programs. Many of these schools offer doctoral programs, as well as those that culminate in master's degrees and graduate certificates. About one-third of the graduate schools in the state are public universities; over 75% are private non-profits. Clearly, aspiring doctoral candidates in Georgia have many options to select from. This article seeks to help them navigate their choices and learn about some key factors that might influence their education decisions. Four of the state's largest public schools are compared, and the top three are ranked in these categories:

  • Program Variety
  • Tuition
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

Doctoral candidates and other graduate students want to advance their expertise within their chosen fields. Going to a college or university with a large number of programs may be of benefit, because these schools are more likely to offer specialization areas within broader fields. Of the four Georgia schools compared in this article, the following have the most academic programs on offer.

1. University of Georgia

Located in Athens, the University of Georgia (UGA) offers students a variety of majors and fields of study through its 191 program options. Doctoral programs available at the school include educational leadership, engineering, business administration, agronomy, computer science, veterinary medicine, law, chemistry, social work and music, among others. Along with doctorates, UGA awards bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and graduate certificates.

2. Georgia State University

Atlanta's Georgia State University (GSU) takes the second position among the top three for its 122 academic programs. Students here may earn graduate certificates in addition to degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Some of the subjects available for study at the doctoral level include neuroscience, accounting, marketing, art, political science, economics, physical therapy, law, instructional technology and psychology.

3. Kennesaw State University

Ranking third is Kennesaw State University; through its 72 program offerings, students have the opportunity to earn certificates, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctorates. Doctoral candidates at this Kennesaw-based institution pursue degrees in business administration, international conflict management and nursing science. Kennesaw State also has several Doctor of Education programs in areas such as teacher leadership, special education, instructional technology, secondary education and early childhood education.

Lowest Tuition

Financial aid opportunities can be harder to come by in graduate school, so finding a reasonably priced university or college is essential for many students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the three schools below had the lowest 2013-2014 in-state graduate tuition among those profiled. The figures that follow are based solely on tuition rates; other educational expenses like program fees, textbooks and housing are additional costs to consider when choosing a school.

1. Georgia State University

Leading the top three in this category is GSU. In-state grad students were charged $6,264 on average while those with residency outside of Georgia paid about $21,816.

2. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State ranks second for its cost to grad students. Those with Georgia residency paid an average of $6,386 in tuition for a year of enrollment, and out-of-state grad students paid around $23,062.

3. University of Georgia

The third lowest in-state graduate tuition of $7,700 belonged to UGA. Out-of-state students pursuing graduate studies were charged an average of $23,000 in tuition costs at the university.

Highest Graduation Rate

Comparing graduation rates can be helpful for narrowing down students' school options. These figures offer an indication of the level of educational quality provided by colleges and universities. The institutions below have the highest graduation rates among the four compared (NCES). These stats were determined from data on full-time undergrads who enrolled in fall 2007 and completed programs within 150% of normal time.

1. University of Georgia

With a graduation rate of 83%, UGA comes out on top among the four compared schools. The university's fall 2012 to fall 2013 retention rate for full-time bachelor's-seeking students was also high at 94% (NCES).

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is an Atlanta-based school offering undergraduate and graduate programs in mostly science and technology fields. The institution ranks second for its graduation rate of 82%. Of the full-time students who entered bachelor's degree programs in fall 2012, 96% remained at Georgia Tech the next school year (NCES).

3. Georgia State University

Finishing third is GSU with a 53% overall graduation rate. According to the NCES, 82% of full-time students working towards bachelor's degrees in the fall of 2012 continued their enrollment at GSU the next fall.

Lowest Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Institutions that maintain low student-to-faculty ratios are more likely to limit class sizes and provide a learning environment in which personal feedback from professors is readily available. Of those profiled, the schools below have the lowest student-to-faculty ratios (NCES).

1. University of Georgia

Serving over 34,000 students, UGA has the lowest student-to-faculty ratio at 17:1. According to the NCES, 2,559 full-time and 383 adjunct faculty members were employed at the university in 2013. Of those, 2,214 had primarily teaching duties, and 728 worked in research positions.

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Ranking second once again is Georgia Tech; its student-to-faculty ratio stands at 17:1 as well. Although Georgia Tech and UGA share the same ratio, the former falls to second place because of its smaller student population of 21,471. In 2013, Georgia Tech employed 1,067 full-time and 178 adjunct faculty members in instructional positions (NCES).

3. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State comes in third with a ratio of 21 students for every one faculty member. The university's faculty in 2013 was made up of 731 full-time and 684 part-time professionals (NCES). All but 25 worked in instructional positions.

Georgia Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA Public Bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #2 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Georgia State University Atlanta, GA Public Graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #2 in Program Variety, #1 in Tuition, #3 in Graduation Rate
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #3 in Program Variety, #2 in Tuition, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
University of Georgia Athens, GA Public Graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #3 in Tuition, #1 in Graduation Rate, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
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