The southern Peach State is not only home to beautiful landscapes and historic cities, but some of the nation’s top universities. Georgia has the 8th largest population. It’s largest city, Atlanta, has long been referred to as the capital of the south. Bordering states include Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina. The state also contains shores along the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River.

For the sake of this list , a “college” is considered any accredited public or private not-for-profit institution that offers four-year degree programs. Campus crime stats, graduation rates, and student retention rates were taken from U.S. Department of Education annual reports. Campus crime rates are based on the number of crimes per 1,000 residents.

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#1 Toccoa Falls College

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Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Toccoa Falls College’s campus span 1,100 acres. It’s a private christian liberal arts college and belongs to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. There are three separate schools: School of Christian Ministries, School of Arts and Sciences, and School of Professional Studies. It is considered the safest school in the state of Georgia.

#2 Emmanuel College – Georgia


Emmanuel College is a private liberal arts school located in Franklin Springs, Georgia. The student body admits upwards of 900 students on average each year. The acceptance rate is 55%. Common majors include Christian ministry, education, and business. Emmanuel College is among the top safest schools of higher education in the state.

#3 Shorter University

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In association with the Georgia Baptist Convention, Shorter University is a private liberal arts school in Rome, Georgia. Satellite campus are set in North Atlanta, Duluth, and Riverdale. Enrollment includes approximately 1,000 students in traditional programs as well as 1,500 in professional studies. Shorter University is a member of NCAA Division II Athletics.

#4 Covenant College 


Lookout Mountain, Georgia is home to Covenant College, a Christian liberal arts school established in 1955. The school offers academics within the framework of a biblical setting. Degrees include Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, and Master of Education.

#5 University of North Georgia – Gainesville


The University of North Georgia is the result of a recent merger between North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College. UNG as a whole enrolls over 16,000 students across five campus locations. The school offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s and doctoral. Student life includes Greek Life and over 200 other student organizations.

#6 Brenau University


Also located in Gainesville, Georgia is Brenau University. The school established in 1878 is an undergraduate and graduation institution for approximately 3,500 students. Degrees include a Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Nursing Practice. The university’s four colleges includes Fine Arts &  Humanities, Health $ Science, Business $ Mass Communication, and Education. Student hail from about 20 states and 23 countries.

#7 Life University


Life University is a private school located in the suburbs of Atlanta, in Marietta. Programs of study are focused in the health and wellness fields. Life University has the largest campus in the world for a chiropractic college. Programs are focused on in-classroom academics as well as clinical training.

#8 Thomas University


Associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. Common lines of study include criminal justice, business, education, health & human services, and the arts and sciences. The student body is comprised of non-traditional students, including adults seeking education later in life as well as high-school aged students getting an early start.

#9 Agnes Scott College


Agnes Scott College was originally founded in 1889 as a Decatur Female Seminary. Today, the college remains a women’s college of the liberal arts. The student body is small, with around 900 students. There are 30 majors and 25 minors offered at the school.

#10 Piedmont College


Set in Demorest and Athens, Georgia, Piedmont College was founded in 1897 and today is home to approximately 2,000 students. The school boasts high-end academic and athletic facilities. Over 50 academic undergraduate programs are available, including those in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Nursing & Health Sciences.

#11 Savannah College of Art & Design


Savannah College of Art & Design is a non-profit, private arts school with US locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Hong Kong and Lacoste, France. More than 11,000 students attend the school. SCAD operates 16 galleries worldwide. The school offers degrees in the fine arts and also operates a study abroad program in France and Hong Kong.

#12 Clayton State University


The main campus of Clayton State University is located in Morrow, Georgia and stretches 192 miles. The university serves the Metro Atlanta area, in is also in close proximity to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. There are 7,000 students enrolled at the school. Clayton State at Spivey Hall is the sites of live music entertainment. The school is also home to NCAA Division II championship teams.

#13 Armstrong Atlantic State University


Armstrong Atlantic State University is a public university and part of the University System of Georgia. The Savannah, Georgia campus is home to 7,000 students, undergraduate and postgrad. In 1964, the university became a four-year institution. The school offers over 100 academic programs as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Honors programs and study abroad programs are also available to students at Armstrong Atlantic State University.

#14 Georgia Gwinnett College


Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year public institution and a member of the University System of Georgia. In only ten years, the school has grown from a student body of 118 to one of 12,000 students in 2016. Georgia Gwinnett College offers various disciplines of study across 15 majors. The university is home to 80 student organizations.

#15 Spelman College


Spelman College is a historically black college for women located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is one of the oldest such colleges in the country since its establishment in 1881. The school has a long-running relationship with Morehouse College’s all-male school. Spelman has been ranked top in the country for its academics and innovation as a Historically Black College. Currently, just over 2,000 students are enrolled at the school.

#16 Kennesaw State University


Just outside of Atlanta, Kennesaw State University is a public and coeducational school. Student enrollment has risen exponentially, and has reached a total of 33,000 in 2015. Core academic programs include business, nursing, education, criminal justice, and sports management. In 2008, the university conducted dramatic renovations to its  academics, and facilities.

#17 Point University


Point University is a private liberal arts university with Christian churches and churches of Christ affiliations. Previously called Atlanta Christian College, the university took on its new name in 2011. The school of 1,500 students excels in biblical studies, biology, exercise science, business, child and youth development, early childhood education, accounting, marketing, English, history, and psychology among others.

#18 Wesleyan College


Located in Macon, Georgia, Wesleyan College is a private liberal arts college for women. It’s considered the oldest member of the Seven Sisters of the South colleges. The college hosts a small student body of approximately 500 full time students. The campus span 200 acres and includes an equestrian center, gymnasium, and athletic complex, in addition to residence halls, academic buildings, and natural landmarks. Wesleyan gives its students a choice of 35 majors and 29 minors.

#19 Mercer University


Established in 1833, Mercer University is the oldest private university in the state of Georgia. The school is comprised of three campuses: Macon (graduate and professional studies), Atlanta (four-year studies) and Savannah (School of Medicine). Nearly 8,500 students enroll in 12 different colleges, ranging from liberal arts, to business, medicine, music, and theology.

#20 Columbus State University


Columbus State University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the Fall of 2015, enrollment exceeded 8,000 students, composed of undergraduates and postgrads. Main campus is located in suburban Columbus, although there is a second campus, RiverPark Campus, near the Chattahoochee River, as well as a satellite campus on Fort Benning, Georgia. The school is well-known for its MBA program and servant leadership program, as well as drama and music departments.

#21 Emory University


Emory University is a private school in the metropolitan area of Atlanta. The university is broken down into academic programs including the Emory College or Arts & Sciences, Oxford College, Laney Graduate School, School of Medicine and the Goizueta Business School. The total student body consists of roughly 14,500 students. Emory University has been ranked 21st out of all national US universities and 90th worldwide.

#22 Georgia College & State University


About 7,000 students attend public liberal arts university Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. The school was originally founded as a vocational school for women focused on education and industrial careers. GCSU is home to NCAA Division II sports and also offers an active Greek Life as well as other student organizations.

#23 Georgia Institute of Technology


Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly referred to as Georgia Tech or GT, belongs to the University System of Georgia. US campuses are based in Atlanta and Savannah, while international locations include Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; Shenzhen, China, and Singapore. Six schools make up Georgia Tech, each with an emphasis on science and technology. Student athletics are an important part of student life.

#24 University of Georgia


University of Georgia, or UGA, is located in Athens, about an hour away from Atlanta. The U.S News & World Report has ranked UGA 21st overall against other public national universities. The campus is expansive and includes hilly landscapes, gardens, nature walks, and fields. The university is comprised of 17 schools and colleges, ranging from the School of Law, to the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

#25 Albany State University


Albany State University is a historically black college and a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The school began in 1903 at the hands of Joseph Winthrop Holley, the son of former slaves. During the Civil Rights Movement, the university played an active role. The study body consists of approximately 4,000 individuals, both traditional and non-traditional students. Colleges include the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Science and Health Professions.

#26 Georgia Southern University


Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University is a public school, and part of the university System of Georgia. With a total student population surpassing 20,000, students entering in the fall of 2015 hailed from 49 states and 86 different countries. The school offers 117 academic majors across eight colleges.


#27 Georgia State University


Georgia State University, often referred to as GSU, is a public university and member of the University System of Georgia. Nearly 40,000 students attend the school, 32,000 of who are undergraduates. Over 250 undergraduate programs are offered. The school is home to two extensive libraries, the University Library and the Law Library, which carry a combined 4.3 million volumes. Since 2006, major renovations have expanded the university’s facilities, both academic buildings and athletic and student life centers.

#28 Fort Valley State University


Fort Valley is a historically black college and member of the University System of Georgia. A total of 2,000 students attend the school, of which roughly 91% are African-Americans. Bachelor’s degrees span 50 majors. Master’s programs are available in educations and counseling.

#29 Georgia Southwestern State University


Georgia Southwestern State University, or GSU, is set in Americus, Georgia. The school offers bachelor’s programs, as well as master’s and specialist degree paths. Colleges at GSU include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Education, the School of Nursing, and the School of Computing & Mathematic. GSU participates in Division II athletics, and also offers students the chance to join many on-campus organizations, major-related and otherwise.

#30 Oglethorpe University


Since 1834, Oglethorpe University has been a liberal arts college in Brookhaven, near Atlanta. The school is small, with a total population of under 1,000 students. Majors include accounting, art history, behavioral science, biology, chemistry, economics, French, history, international studies, politics, and sociology, among others. The university is home to the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, as well as the Crypt of Civilization, a comprehensive time capsule.

#31 University of West Georgia


The University of West Georgia is located 45 miles from Atlanta in the city of Carrollton, and consists of a 645-acre campus. Each year, approximately 12,000 students attend the institution. The University has been ranked among the top Southeastern Colleges. Academics include undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate studies.

#32 Savannah State University


Considered the oldest historically black college in Georgia, Savannah State University is also a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. This four-year institution is located in Savannah, Georgia and hosts nearly 5,000 students each year. Colleges include the College of Business Administration, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and the College of Sciences and Technology. The university also belongs to the University System of Georgia.

#33 LaGrange College


LaGrange College was founded in 1831 and today is the oldest private college in Georgia. The four-year liberal arts and sciences college is home to about 1,000 students. Over 55 academic programs are offered, including graduated and pre-professional tracks. LaGrange particularly attracts students from the Georgia area, as well as a large number of international students.

#34 Morehouse College


Morehouse College is an all-male, private liberal arts and historically black college set in Atlanta. The institution has maintained its reputation for teaching about the historical and cultural context of black people in America. The college is considered the largest men’s college in the country, with approximately 2,000 students. Morehouse produces Rhodes Scholars every year, many famous leaders, among them: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

#35 Clark Atlanta University


Clark Atlanta University is a private, historically black college operating out of Atlanta. It’s a member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) as well as the Atlanta University Center of Consortium. The university is a result of the 1988 merger between Clark College and Atlanta University. Colleges include the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Social Work. Clark Atlanta University is home to Division II athletics as well as an active Greek Life.

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