More colleges and universities are concentrated in the metropolitan area of Atlanta than anywhere else in the American South. Institutions include campuses associated with the Technical College System of Georgia, the University System of Georgia, and a range of private colleges, universities and academies, many of them offering distance-learning programs. Georgia’s largest city is home to 16 colleges and universities, including some of the country’s oldest historically black colleges for both men and women.
Colleges in Atlanta
Atlanta’s two largest schools are part of the University System of Georgia. Together, Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology account for more than 60,000 students — more than all the other students in every other university and college in Atlanta combined. The Atlanta Metropolitan State College is also part of the USG network. Although a fourth USG institution, the University of Georgia, is listed by Atlanta’s official city website as an Atlanta school, it is located in the city of Athens, Georgia.
Georgia has an extensive network of public community colleges called the Technical College System of Georgia, encompassing 26 technical colleges operating throughout the state. Atlanta’s primary TCSG campus is Atlanta Technical College. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and offers diplomas, technical certificates of credit and associate of applied science degrees.
Atlanta has a long and rich history of private universities and colleges — often offering higher education to gifted people who couldn’t access it elsewhere. Two of the oldest and most celebrated historically African-American colleges — all-female Spelman and all-male Morehouse — are in Atlanta. The city is also home to two other notable historically black colleges, Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University.
In addition, there are several other nonprofit private universities in Atlanta. Among them is the largest private university in Georgia, Emory University, which boasts one of the highest-rated health care systems in the Southeast.
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ATLANTA’S FIVE LARGEST COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
|Georgia State University||Public||Dozens of nationally ranked and recognized academic programs; more than 200 majors and minors; widest fields of study in Georgia.|
|Georgia Institute of Technology – Main Campus||Public||Bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees range from technology-focused business to liberal arts, science and engineering.|
|Emory University||Private||70 undergrad choices in nine schools, as well as dozens of graduate and professional studies.|
|Clark Atlanta University||Private||Four different schools with five different Centers for Excellence.|
|Morehouse College||Private||Business administration, humanities and social sciences, and science & mathematics.|
Online Colleges in Atlanta
SPOTLIGHT Emory University, Druid Hills region of Atlanta, Georgia
At the bachelor’s level, Emory University allows students to bolster their semester schedules through the school’s partnership with Semester Online, a unique third-party online education service which offers for-credit classes through partner institutions. The classes are administered entirely online, but the credit they receive is no different than that of any on-campus Emory class. Students may only take six Semester Online courses during their time at Emory. An undergraduate-level medical imaging program is also available.
For graduate students, Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health offers a completely-online Master of Public Health program. The 42 credit hour program generally takes just over two years to complete and is has received full programmatic accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Online courses are also offered in the business school’s Modular Executive MBA program.
On campus, there are numerous resources intended to help online students adjust to the differences in online learning. And for those students not interested earning college credit – it’s not all about the degree, after all – Emory has recently partnered with Coursera.org to offer select courses at no cost.
|COLLEGE NAME||Emory University|
|CITY, STATE||Atlanta, Georgia|
|SUB-LOCATION||Druid Hills region|
|# OF ONLINE PROGRAMS||5|
|SUBJECTS||Business, Medicine, Public Health|
|LEVELS||Noncredit, Bachelor’s, Master’s|
Public and nonprofit private institutions in Atlanta provide a litany of distance-learning options. Georgia State University has four distance-learning programs and two non-degree endorsements through its Georgia ONmyLine program. Another major public institution, The Georgia Institute of Technology, offers a range of online courses and programs. The school's “Are You Ready for an Online Class” survey prepares prospective students for what to expect — and what will be expected of them — in a distance-learning course. The largest private university in Atlanta, Emory University, is also a leader in distance learning in Georgia.
Top Industries, Careers and Employers
Atlanta Metro is the 10th-largest metropolitan center in the country — as well as one of the fastest growing — and the unofficial headquarters of the American South. Since 2006, real estate value in both the residential and commercial sectors has increased, bringing with it a parallel boom in retail and shopping centers. The mid-2000s witnessed the opening of the largest aquarium in the world, the arrival of the world headquarters of Coca-Cola and an urban renewal project creating a subterranean historical and shopping district under Atlanta’s streets.
Several global businesses from the Fortune 100 list are headquartered in Atlanta, and three quarters of all Fortune 1,000 list companies have a presence there. Atlanta has the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the world. Among the Fortune 100 companies based in Atlanta are Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, UPS and AT&T Mobility.
Some of the fastest-growing companies in the country thrive in the Atlanta metropolitan area, including six of the top 200 companies on the Inc. 5,000 list:
LIST OF THE TOP BUSINESSES IN ATLANTA
- S2Verify (#193) grew by 2,142 percent over three years
- TracePoint Consulting (#170) grew by 2,355 percent over three years
- Cloud Sherpas (#142) grew by 2,633 percent over three years
- Green Box Foods (#117) grew by 3,020 percent over three years
- GSC Packaging (#64) grew by 4,813 percent over three years
- Innovolt (#31) grew by 7,248 percent over three years
Atlanta is also a hub for the film and television industry. Georgia has more than 30,000 working television and film professionals, many of them located in Atlanta. With financial incentives such as 20 percent tax credits — or 30 percent for embedding a Georgia promotional logo — major projects such as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” wasn't filmed in Los Angeles or New York City, but in Atlanta.
Colleges & Universities in Atlanta
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES IN ATLANTA
|Georgia State University||37,712||$5,826||Public|
|Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus||23,017||$6,676||Public|
|Emory University||14,751||$40,600||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Clark Atlanta University||4,301||$18,106||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Morehouse College||2,721||$21,618||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Spelman College||2,228||$19,684||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Oglethorpe University||1,330||$28,900||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Herzing University-Atlanta||403 (341 are undergraduate)||$13,670||Non-Profit|
|Beulah Heights University||845||$8,640||Not For Profit (Private)|