Students from both inside and outside the Peach State appreciate the quality education offered by Georgia Southern University (GSU). As the largest higher education facility in the state south of Atlanta (hence the name), GSU is uniquely positioned to deliver valuable undergraduate and graduate experiences for students. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and with more than $300 million invested just in the last decade, stands poised to garner even more national respect.
The university offers a comprehensive selection of academics, with a few specific programs that stand out from the pack. In particular, the College of Information Technology is a nation-leading program (and the only one of its kind in the Southeast) that specializes in VMWare, one of the fastest growing segments in IT. The College of Education is also well-regarded nationally, having achieved recognition from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. With more and more students looking to fulfill careers in the social work field, holding a degree with this kind of accreditation can be quite helpful during the job hunt.
Research is also an important part of the school’s mission, and includes the Center for Rural Health and Research, the Institute for Arthropodology and Parasitology, and the Karl E. Peace Center for Biostatistics.
Georgia Southern also has a full complement of standard departments, including the College of Business, College of Health and Human Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. In total, more than 110 degree programs are offered, including a growing contingent of online courses designed for students with non-traditional needs.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The admission deadline for freshmen students is typically in the beginning of May, while transfer students’ applications aren’t due until early August. Application requirements are as follows:
- Minimum 1000 SAT, or 21 ACT (composite)
- High School GPA of at least 2.0
GSU also offers the “Eagle Incentive Program” (EIP). This program gives provisionally accepted students (those with academic credentials that leave them on the brink of acceptance) a second chance. The summer before the beginning of freshman year, these students take three academic courses. As long as they earn a GPA higher than 2.0 and do not fail a class, they are admitted for the normal fall semester.
Georgia Southern University offers a few different scholarship packages for students with particularly strong high school academic records. Each spring, 100 students are invited to attend the Southern Scholars Showcase, where they interview for specific scholarships, including the University Honors Program and admission to the 1906 Scholars group. Another scholarship is the leadership scholarship, which requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and 1100 SAT score, as well as significant involvement in the local community.
The financial aid office also assists in the application for federal and states loans and grants, with a part of the university website dedicated to guiding students through this often complicated process.
As a member of the University System of Georgia, the tuition and fees charged are subject to annual review. Students coming from outside of Georgia should also note that, as a public research institution, tuition for students from in-state is significantly lower than for those from out-of-state.
Student Financial Aid Details
This university boasts a strong feeling of community amongst its 17,000 undergraduate students. Nearly all freshman students live on-campus, with the remainder of upperclassmen located in the town of Statesboro, Georgia, which will be familiar to fans of the Allman Brothers from the song “Statesboro Blues”. Statesboro has that classic college town feel, with plenty of bars and restaurants that cater to the student population along Main Street.
While the vast majority of students are “traditional,” coming straight out of high school, there is also a significant population of older students either returning after time off, or even attending college for the first time.
The campus is composed of attractive red brick and white columned buildings, along with newer, more modern structures. Much of the residential dormitories were completed as part of the 300 million dollar building and renovation project of the 1990s and 2000s.
Eagle Entertainment is charged with putting on entertainment and special events, including concerts, movies, and dances. The school also brings nationally recognized speakers onto campus frequently for student entertainment and enrichment. Past examples include President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
The fitness center is a popular student hang-out, with more than five thousand square feet devoted just to free weights. There is also a full aquatics center, which includes a lap pool, outdoor leisure pool, and whirlpool that is maintained at 103 degrees Fahrenheit: perfect for those cooler fall evenings.
Students at GSU enjoy a wide variety of options when it comes to getting involved in campus life, including volunteer opportunities, recreational athletics, and political and service groups. The Greek Scene is also a strong part of campus life, with nearly 30 sororities and fraternities, though most students report that it isn’t overwhelming, in comparison to other large southern schools. Greek organizations include:
- Alpha Delta Pi
- Alpha Omicron Pi
- Alpha Tau Omega
- Delta Tau Delta
- Sigma Phi Epsilon
- Zeta Tau Alpha
The Zach S. Henderson Library is another popular destination, open 143 hours per week, and with more than 300 computers for use by students (along with free WiFi). The library also boasts the first automated retrieval system in the southeastern United States.
While Statesboro certainly has its fair share of bars and nightclubs, students often head to Hilton Head and Savannah when classes let out on Friday. Tybee Island is also popular, and students with cars love the beach during the warm spring months.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
This school is a member of the Southern Conference, which includes Appalachian State (with its up and coming football team, which made waves in 2008 after beating the University of Michigan), along with Elon, Furman, and Western Carolina. Georgia Southern stands out as the only member of this conference to have won a national championship in any major sport.
The mascot is a soaring eagle, and school colors are blue and white. These colors can be seen across campus, as students cheer on a full load of athletic teams, including baseball, football, basketball, and soccer. Aside from football, nearly all sports teams have both a men and women’s contingent.
GSU is a perennial football powerhouse. After more than 40 years of inactivity, the program was reinstated in 1981 and led by coach Erk Russell. This campus hero won 37 straight games, shattering Division 1’s former record for most games won in a row, and one year after his retirement in 1989, the Eagles won the National Championship under coach Tim Stowers. NFL Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson led the Eagles to the National Championship in 1999 and 2000.
Each year, the Office of Student Affairs puts on tons of events to bolster student pride. Particularly strong during the fall football season, these campus-wide affairs include a homecoming parade and cookout, as well as a bunch of rallies.
The Southern Pride Marching Band is also always fun to watch, with great music and even better marching formations.
Don’t forget to visit Sweetheart Circle, which represents the traditional center of campus. Each year, the circle is lit during a special ceremony, attended by thousands of cheering students.
Carrie Petersen earned her Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters of School leadership at Northern Illinois University. Carrie likes to travel with her husband and two sons.