Georgia Southern University

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Updated August 7, 2020

Georgia Southern University is one of the largest and most reputable state schools in southern Georgia. Founded in 1906 as the First District Agricultural & Mechanical School, it opened two years later with a total class size of just 15 students. Many of its classes focused on farming topics and homemaking subjects, but it later added teaching classes, which became even more popular. Those classes led to the school becoming the Georgia Normal School. It spent five years awarding teaching certificates before gaining accreditation and becoming a college that could grant degrees. As Georgia Southern University, it is now part of the University of Georgia School System.

GSU is one of the only colleges in the state that offers housing and meal plans for both undergrads and graduate students. Graduate students can also work as research or teaching assistants to campus professors. Those positions will cover most of their tuition and annual costs. The university is home to eight separate colleges, and each of those colleges houses multiple departments. Those departments all offer degree programs for undergrads, graduate students and doctoral students. Newsweek ranked its business school as one of the nation's top 12, U.S. News & World Report called it one of the country's most popular colleges and Kiplinger's Personal Finance included GSU on a list of the nation's best value colleges.

Accreditation Details

If you want to take classes during the summer at another campus and transfer those credits back to your main program, you need to ensure that both campuses have regional accreditation. The regional accreditation that GSU has comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The SACS requires that the university renew its accreditation at least once every 10 years or more often and allows it to grant degrees to students who meet all its program requirements. GSU also has accreditation from 14 other agencies for its specific degree programs. Its teacher training and education program has accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET) accredited its programs in civil engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, information technology, computer science and electrical engineering technology. Other organizations that accredited degree programs available through GSU include:

  • American Council for Construction Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • National Association of Schools of Dance
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
  • National Recreation and Park Association

Application Requirements

Georgia Southern University is one of the few colleges in the country that lets students apply either online or through the mail. To use the mail, you need to go online, download a copy of the application, print it out, complete the application and mail it back with a check or money order to cover the fee. Those who apply online can create an account that lets them spend time going over the application and completing each section. When you apply online, you can pay the fee with a credit card or debit card. All undergrads must supply the university with an official high school transcript and an official score from the testing board of the SAT or ACT.

The graduate school at GSU also offers an online application. In addition to the application and its associated fee, you must also provide an official college transcript and an official score from a standardized test like the GMAT or GRE. The university also up to three letters of recommendation. Select GSU programs require that prospective graduate students submit a resume, professional certificates or a form that authorizes the university to do a background check.

Tuition and Financial Aid

GSU charges fees of more than $700 a year, but those fees cover the university's technology, the cost of using campus resources like the library and using the student activity center. A full-time student taking 15 credits of classes will pay close to $3,700 a semester. The cost for students from outside the state rises to more than $10,000 a semester. If you want to live on-campus in one of its residence halls, you'll pay at least $4,500 extra each semester. Graduate students pay similar fees but face higher tuition fees. Full-time graduate students living in Georgia pay around $4,400 a semester, but this amount rises to more than $14,000 a semester for students from outside the state. The university offers graduate student housing and meal plans for around $4,600 a semester.

Filing the FAFSA a few months before classes start will help you get financial aid to cover your tuition and other costs. GSU offers a number of scholarships for both undergrads and graduate students as well as a work-study program for undergrads. Graduate students can apply for teaching or research assistant jobs on-campus too. Undergrads may qualify for loans and grants too, and grad students may qualify for both government loans and private student loans.

Online Degrees

The Department of Information Technology at Georgia Southern University is responsible for several different IT programs. One of those is a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT). Enrolling in this program lets you study in one of its 10 computer labs and take classes in one of its more than 10 electronic classrooms. Of the 126 credits that you take, at least 42 credits must come from general education requirements like math and humanities classes. Requirements for completing an IT major include classes like data communications, web applications, web software, advanced web interfaces and multimedia presentations. You can also specialize your degree in systems development and support, web and multimedia foundations, information management or networking and data center administration. This program is also available online, and GSU has a minor in IT available.

This department also offers a Master of Science in Applied Engineering for IT students. Though it comes with several concentration options, the information technology is one of the more popular choices. You'll take nine hours of required courses on engineering and technology and five electives from options like enterprise systems analysis, technical writing, project management, data analytics and mobile web development. Georgia Southern University gives information technology graduate students the option of doing an independent study project and taking an extra elective or writing a thesis.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Master's in Information Technology

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