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1100 S. Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060-2896
p. 678-915-4188
w. www.spsu.edu/

Southern Polytechnic State University

Southern Polytechnic State University Rating: 3.8/5 (37 votes)

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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.

Online Education

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.

Continuing Education

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.

Cooperative Education

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.

Financial Aid

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

Ranks 4597th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Georgia.


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.

Student Media

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.

Computer Resources

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.

Local Community

Marietta is a large suburb of Atlanta with several historic districts and an old-fashioned train depot. The climate is hot and humid. Marietta can reasonably be considered a college town. In addition to SPSU, Life University and Chattahoochee Technical College both have their home bases there, with a combined total of over 20,000 students.

Marrietta is known as home to the Big Chicken (essentially, a very large chicken sculpture), a Gone With the Wind Museum, and a patchy Civil War history. Some of the largest employers in Marietta include Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Lockheed-Martin, Marietta Power, and Marietta City Schools (MCS)

Information Summary

Ranks 18th in Georgia and 799th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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The SPSU Hornet :: Southern Polytechnic State University The Globe and Student Center :: Southern Polytechnic State University Southern Polytechnic State University

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Georgia and 430th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 2 0.03
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.02
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 5 0.09
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 4 0.07
Arrest 14 0.24

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 243 0.42
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 5 0.01
Forcible Rape 13 0.02
Robbery 125 0.22
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 584 1.02
Larceny 1,864 3.25
Vehicle theft 176 0.31

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Marietta, GA 30060-2896
Surrounding communitySmall city (inside urban area, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population35,980 (35,980 urban / N/A rural)
Households13,130 (2.64 people per house)
Median Household Income$36,077
Families8,037 (3.24 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate, arts & sciences dominant
Undergraduate PopulationMedium full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringMaster's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District1311

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1335th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $4,310 $4,310 $15,338
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,422 $1,422 $1,442
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $180 $180 $639
FT Graduate Tuition $4,122 $4,122 $14,958
FT Graduate Required Fees $1,422 $1,422 $1,422
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $229 $229 $831
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $18,862 $18,862 $29,890
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $23,202 $23,202 $34,230
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $11,532 $11,532 $22,560

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $5,500 $5,627 $5,500 $5,627 $15,996 $16,385
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,700(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $6,892 $7,280
On-Campus – Other Expenses $2,900(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $10,930 $11,540
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,100(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,100(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$40
Graduate Application Fee$50
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 1,689 (1,391 male / 298 female)
Admitted 1,317 (1,100 male / 217 female)
Admission rate 78%
First-time Enrollment 797 (681 male / 116 female)
FT Enrollment 757 (650 male / 107 female)
PT Enrollment 40 (31 male / 9 female)
Total Enrollment6,549

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NAIA
NAIA Basketball Conference Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference
NAIA Baseball Conference Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference

ACT Test Admission

489th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 46%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 25
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 22 / 26
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 22 / 26

SAT Test Admission

351st for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 80%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 500 / 600
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 530 / 630
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1030 / 1230

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,673
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$4,260
Board Fee$3,390

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 105 222 69 78 2 538 10 1,049
Accounting 17 1 5 20 1 44
Architecture 7 6 10 5 23 54
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1 9 10
Chemistry, General 2 2
City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Civil Engineering Technology/Technician 5 1 3 22 31
Civil Engineering, General 1 3 2 1 15 2 24
Communication and Media Studies, Other 9 4 1 22 1 38
Computer Engineering Technology/Technician 2 2 5 9
Computer Programming, Specific Applications 1 1 6 8
Computer Science 21 11 2 7 31 74
Computer Software Engineering 2 6 3 4 16 34
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance 1 2 2 5
Construction Engineering 2 5 7
Construction Management 4 17 9 2 65 97
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 1 10 2 2 14 30
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 3 17 1 3 12 1 38
Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields, Other 3 1 4
Engineering Technology, General 8 30 7 10 1 40 2 99
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 19 21 7 8 1 45 2 105
Geography 1 1
Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician 1 5 1 7
Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other 1 4 3 1 8 17
Information Technology 16 25 3 12 42 100
International Relations and Affairs 4 5 9
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 2 2
Mathematics, General 1 1 6 9
Mechanical Engineering 5 2 5 3 44 61
Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician 2 13 5 5 47 76
Physics, General 1 6 1 8
Political Science and Government, General 1 1
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing 1 1
Psychology, General 3 1 3 7
Quality Control Technology/Technician 2 3 1 1 7 15
Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians, Other 1 1
Surveying Technology/Surveying 1 2 3
Systems Engineering 1 3 6 11
Telecommunications Technology/Technician 1 1 1 3
Visual and Performing Arts, General 2 1 1 4

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2351st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $59,409 ($61,998 male / $51,865 female)
Number of FT Faculty 226 (154 male / 72 female)
Number of PT Faculty 322
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $4,944,819

Carrie Petersen+

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.

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