Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) is a public university in Marietta, Georgia. The school was established under the name Technical Institute in 1948, and post-war industrial developments in the south spurred the need for technical education. (In a related note, nearly all the students in the inaugural class were veterans.) Today, the campus spans 230 acres on a former Air Force base, which also hosts a branch campus of Georgia Highlands College.
SPSU became a four-year college in 1970. It was one of the first schools in America to offer a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology. The school is particularly known for its computer science, technology, architecture, and engineering programs. SPSU hosts its own wiki as a demonstration of how students share information and as a practice project for students.
The main academic divisions at SPSU are: School of Architecture, Civil Engineering Technology and Construction; School of Arts and Sciences; School of Computing and Software Engineering; Division of Engineering; and School of Engineering Technology and Management. The Mechatronics Engineering degree is unique in Georgia and one of the most popular majors. Other majors with the largest concentrations of students include Computer Science, Information Technology, Civil Engineering, Civil Engineering technology, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Construction Management.
SPSU offers a five-year Architecture degree, a unique option for students who wish to save money and time in pursuit of a master’s in the field. SPSU also currently offers master’s degrees in the following fields: Engineering Technology, Information Technology, Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, Information and Instructional Design, Business Administration, Accounting, Construction Management, and Quality Assurance.
Common Core Curriculum
All students at SPSU are required to follow the University System of Georgia Common Core, which includes basic math and English, critical thinking, oral communication, global issues, literature, language, and more. Through this curriculum, students are offered a well-rounded liberal arts education as well as intense studies in their area of technical speciality.
SPSU offers several options for online education. The eCore program offers classes based on the University System of Georgia Common Core to allow students to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree entirely from home. Several undergraduate majors and a few master’s programs can also be earned entirely online. Many students enroll in a combination of on-campus classes and distance education classes so that they may commute one or two days a week to the campus and otherwise learn at home.
Research in Academia
This school is a research university and cooperates with the United States Air Force, other government bodies, and private industries such as IBM on a variety of projects. Research projects give students the chance to put their academic learning to use while participating in real-world innovation.
The Continuing Education Center offers courses and certificate programs for professionals already in technical fields. Areas of study include programming, quality management, computer assisted design, construction, engineering, database compilation, and more. Counselors are available to match potential students with the best programs for them.
The cooperative education program allows students to gain real-work experience in their field while continuing to study part-time. Co-op students work in alternative weeks, months, or semesters, building their knowledge base and experience in alternating turns. All students participating in this program must meet all their work commitments to the satisfaction of their employers while maintaining at least at 3.0 grade point average (GPA).
Internships are available for students who want a particularly short-term work experience to complement their studies. To be eligible for an internship, a student must have completed at least one semester of college with at least a 2.5 GPA.
The library contains more than 100,000 print volumes, 50,000 other catalogued items, and over 1,400 periodicals. The library is known for its large collection of 19th and 20th century American artworks as well as its collection of antique books.
Most Popular Fields of Study
This institution welcomes admissions from any interested applicant. Traditional students must submit ACT or SAT scores with their application; International Students must submit their Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) scores.
The regular application is due in early August. SAT and ACT score reports are also due in early August and the SAT subject section score has the same deadline. It is also very important to submit financial aid applications as quickly as possible, make sure to check with the university about the specific date for this year. Will you make it in time? Make sure to know when all the due dates and deadlines take place. For priority students, financial aid applications are due no later than the middle of April.
In addition to the usual assortment of federal and state financial options open to college and university students in Georgia, this school maintains a wide variety of its own need- and merit-based scholarships.
Students can also access emergency loans through the Marietta Rotary Club, the Marietta Lions Club, the Marietta Civitan Club, and the Kiwanis International Club.
Student Financial Aid Details
Clubs and Organizations
The Student Government Association (SGA) governs student organizations, including fraternities and sororities. There are over a dozen fraternities and sororities on campus with active student involvement. Student groups include several honors societies and a variety of faith-based, social action, professional, and interest-based groups.
SPSU is known for their high-performing academic competition teams, particularly their award-winning robotics team. In recent years, teams have won awards for autonomous underwater vehicles and aerial robots. Other competitive engineering achievements have included concrete canoes, steel bridges, and Formula racing cars. Bathtub races are also very popular, although in recent years motors have been prohibited for safety reasons.
The campus radio station, WGHS, is known as “Green Hornet Radio”. It broadcasts online with a variety of student-driven programming. Campus news is published online at The Hornet’s Nest, a faculty-directed news site.
Campus Housing and Dining
All first-year students are required to live in on-campus housing. Housing consists of traditional residence halls and a limited number of apartments and suites. First-year students under the age of 20 must live in one of the two traditional residence halls; older first-year students have the option to live in an apartment or suite, instead. Residents of suites and residence halls are required to purchase meal plans. Residents of apartments have the option to purchase meal plans as well. All on-campus housing includes utilities, cable television, high speed internet service, lounges and study rooms, and laundry facilities.
Dining options on campus include The Hornest Nest, a traditional dining hall in the Student Center; Stinger Restaurant; and The Hive, a convenience food outlet. A new dining hall, constructed in 2010, features two levels, with a conventional cafeteria on the first floor and an upscale events facility on the second floor.
The Information Technology department maintains computer labs with terminals for student use in the Student Center and one of the academic buildings. There is a separate lab for students enrolled in computer-related courses which use a variety of specialized software particular to those courses, and many other departments maintain small student labs with specialized software as well. The Cyber Café in the Student Center features wireless access for all students and 8 Linux terminals for general student use.
Career and Counseling Services
The Career and Counseling Center helps to place students and alumni with employment by providing resume development and critiques, practice interviews, and connections with employers. If desired the Center will distribute resumes to appropriate potential employers and arrange on-campus interviews. The Career and Counseling Center webpage maintains a list of open part-time jobs for current students as well.
The Career and Counseling Center also provides individualized counseling for students with personal problems or academic difficulties. Counselors teach strategies for overcoming test anxiety, assertiveness, enhancing memorization techniques, and maximizing learning style. All counseling services are provided free of charge and are available on an appointment or walk-in basis.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletic department is known as the Runnin’ Hornets. The university competes in the NCIA and the Southern States Athletic Conference in four intercollegiate varsity sports: men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, and baseball.
For athletic students not involved in varsity athletics, there are many intramural sports as well, including softball, volleyball, dodge ball, women’s soccer, racquetball, and flag football. Club sports and recreational athletics include the Arch Angel Paintball Team, Fishing Club, an ultimate Frisbee team called Pure Bliss, cheerleading, and a Dance Team. SPSU also has tennis courts, a running trail, exercise machines, a pool, a weight room, and other athletic facilities available for general student use.