PhD Programs in Georgia: University and Program Information

There are over 40 public and private non-profit schools offering graduate programs within Georgia. See how four of these institutions stack up against each other to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

In Georgia, there are several school options for graduate students pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or other doctoral degree. Among the state's grad schools are roughly 24 public and non-profit institutions that award doctorates. This article compares four of Georgia's largest schools to help students find a university or college that fits their academic and professional goals. The top three institutions are ranked in the following categories:

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

Program Variety

By the time students are ready to enter a doctoral program, they generally already have a background in a particular subject or discipline. However, going to a college or university with a large number of programs increases the odds that students will be able to build their expertise in a concentration or specialization area within their chosen fields. Of the four compared, the following institutions offer the most academic programs.

1. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens offers 191 undergraduate and graduate programs. A four-year public institution, UGA has PhD programs in toxicology, art, special education, business administration, horticulture, sociology, kinesiology, theatre and film studies, microbiology and economics, among other fields. In addition to doctorates, students at the university can pursue bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and graduate certificates.

2. Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU), based out of the capital city of Atlanta, is also a four-year public school. It comes in second for its 122 program options. Students at GSU earn bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, graduate certificates and doctorates. Some of the PhD-level fields of study on offer include managerial science, accounting, psychology, physics, real estate, marketing, English, educational policy, biology and applied linguistics.

3. Kennesaw State University

Ranking third is Kennesaw State University, a public institution offering 72 programs. Based out of Kennesaw, the university offers a variety of fields through its bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, as well as its certificate programs. Kennesaw State only offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in international conflict management; however, students can earn other doctoral degrees in business administration, education, nursing science and English education.


Becoming a doctoral candidate is a significant time commitment; it's also a major financial investment. Students may be able to secure some forms of support, such as through loans, scholarships and fellowships, but it's still important to many individuals to find a reasonably-priced school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the three universities that follow had the lowest in-state graduate tuition during the 2013-2014 academic year.

1. Georgia State University

GSU takes the number one spot for its cost among the profiled schools. In-state grad students were charged an average of $6,264 and those from out-of-state paid around $21,816 in tuition.

2. Kennesaw State University

With an in-state graduate tuition of $6,386, Kennesaw State comes in the middle of the top three. Those with residency outside of the state of Georgia had an average tuition bill of $23,062.

3. University of Georgia

Rounding out this category is UGA. The university charged in-state students enrolled in graduate programs an average of $7,700 in tuition, while out-of-state students paid $23,000.

Graduation Rate

The schools below have the highest graduation rates among those profiled, per NCES data. These figures were calculated from data on full-time undergrads who enrolled in fall 2007 and finished their academic programs within 150% of normal time. Although these stats are based solely on undergraduate students, they can still give aspiring grad students an idea of the academic quality available at colleges and universities.

1. University of Georgia

UGA ranks first for its 83% graduation rate. The NCES reports that nearly all -- 94% -- of full-time students pursuing bachelor's degrees in fall 2012 continued to attend the university the following school year. These stats suggest that most students are satisfied with their educational experience at UGA.

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta's Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) offers degree programs from the bachelor's to doctoral levels. The school's overall graduation rate stands at 82%, and its fall 2012 to fall 2013 retention rate for full-time bachelor's-level students was a high 96%.

3. Georgia State University

In third place is GSU; it has a graduation rate of 53%. The university had a much higher retention rate, however. Of the full-time students in bachelor's degree programs during fall 2012, 82% chose to continue their studies at GSU the next fall.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Doctoral students typically engage in intensive research and advanced study within their fields, so regular one-on-one attention and feedback from professors is vital. Schools that have low student-to-faculty ratios are more likely to provide a learning environment in which personalized interaction is emphasized. Of those profiled, the following three institutions have the lowest student-to-faculty ratios, according to the NCES.

1. University of Georgia

With a ratio of 17 students for every one faculty member, the ratio at UGA -- a university with more than 35,000 students -- is the lowest of the four schools. In the fall of 2013, there were 2,942 faculty members working at UGA, per NCES data. Of that total, 2,559 worked full-time and 2,214 held instructional positions; 728 faculty members had research positions.

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Like UGA, Georgia Tech has a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It falls to the second spot in the rankings, however, because its population is smaller compared to UGA's student body. Georgia Tech's faculty in 2013 included 1,067 full-time and 178 part-time instructional professionals.

3. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State ranks third for its student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1. The school employed 731 full-time and 684 adjunct faculty members in 2013. Only 25 of them had research positions, leaving the majority of the faculty to take on primarily instructional responsibilities.

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 and 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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