Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Georgia Southern University

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Jaimie L. Hebert

+1 912-478-4636

Acceptance rate
63.1% (2014)

$46.2 million (2013)

Diana Cone (Interim)

Total enrollment
20,517 (2014)

White, Blue

Georgia Southern University

Former names
First District Agricultural and Mechanical School, Georgia Normal School, South Georgia Teacher's College, Georgia Southern College

December 1, 1906 (1906-12-01)

1332 Southern Dr, Statesboro, GA 30458, USA

Freedom the Bald Eagle, GUS the Eagle

Undergraduate tuition and fees
Local tuition: 5,098 USD (2015)

Notable alumni
Lee Rogers Berger, Luke Bryan, Casey Cagle, Patrika Darbo, Hala Moddelmog

Georgia State University, Armstrong State University, University of Georgia, Savannah State University, Georgia College & State Uni


Georgia Southern University is a public university located on a 900-acre (3.6 km2) campus in Statesboro, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1906 as a land grant college, it is part of the University System of Georgia and is the largest center of higher education in the southern half of Georgia. It offers 117 academic majors in a comprehensive array of baccalaureate degrees and master's and doctoral programs. The university is the sixth largest in the University System of Georgia, with a fall 2015 enrollment of 20,459 students from 49 states and 86 nations. Georgia Southern is classified as a Doctoral and Research University (2006) by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and as a comprehensive university by the University System of Georgia.


On January 11, 2017, President Jaimie Hebert announced that the university will consolidate with Armstrong State University in Savannah, as part of the ongoing campus consolidations recommended by University System of Georgia chancellor Steve Wrigley.

Georgia Southern University's intercollegiate sports teams, known as the "Georgia Southern Eagles," compete in the Sun Belt Conference in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I.


Georgia Southern University began as First District Agricultural & Mechanical School, a land grant college under federal legislation and support. It opened in 1908 with four faculty members and 15 students.

Founded as a school for teaching modern agricultural production techniques and homemaking skills to white rural school children, First District A&M within two decades shifted its emphasis to meet the growing need for teachers within the state. Its name and mission were changed in 1924 to Georgia Normal School, as a training ground for teachers. Five years later in 1929, after development of a four-year curriculum, it was granted full-fledged senior college status by the state, and the school was renamed as South Georgia Teachers College.

Ensuing decades found more name and mission changes: to Georgia Teachers College in 1939 and Georgia Southern College in 1959.

The university finally integrated its student body in 1965, eleven years after the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). It has continued program and physical expansion. With the development of graduate programs in numerous fields and associated research, the institution was granted university status in 1990 as Georgia Southern University.

Since then, the University has embarked on a massive upgrade of facilities, adding more than $300 million in new construction. Georgia Southern was named a Doctoral/Research University by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2006. The University is recognized in publications including U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" and "Best Graduate Schools", Forbes' "America’s Best Colleges" and, most recently, by Kiplinger for being one of the "Top 100 Best Values among Public Colleges and Universities." Additionally, Georgia Southern’s MBA program was named one of the "Best 301" in the country by The Princeton Review.

Since 1999, two new colleges have been established: the College of Information Technology in 2001, and the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health in 2004. Additional undergraduate and graduate programs were formed, including doctorate degrees in psychology, public health and nursing. In 2011, the University established the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology, which combines the previous College of IT with its engineering programs. In addition, at the same time it created the College of Science and Mathematics, previously known as the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology.

Online bachelor's degrees are available in nursing, general studies, and information technology. Master’s programs are offered in kinesiology, instructional technology, accomplished teaching, instructional improvement, higher education administration, reading education, middle grades education, secondary education, special education, and educational leadership. Additionally, the University offers master's degrees in business administration, applied economics, accounting, computer science and sport management. Georgia Southern also offers online endorsements in online teaching and learning, K-5 math, and reading.

Since 1999, the University has had its most significant growth in its more than 100-year history. It has grown in enrollment and physical facilities. Under a Campus Master Plan, the University added the new 1,001-bed residence hall Centennial Place. it has completely renovated and significantly expanded the Zach S. Henderson Library. Recently completed was the new Eugene M. Bishop Alumni Center, a gathering place for alumni and friends of the University. The Center for Wildlife Education and the Botanical Garden have also been expanded. Today Georgia Southern has more than 20,000 students, more than 2,000 faculty and staff, and 117 programs of study at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.


Georgia Southern is located in the city of Statesboro, Georgia and is accessible by Interstate 16 from the cities of Macon and Savannah. By car Statesboro is approximately one hour from Savannah, two hours from Macon, and three hours from Atlanta.

Center for Wildlife Education and Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center

The Center for Wildlife Education and The Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center is an educational and research facility located on 18 acres (73,000 m2). In addition to undergraduate and graduate research, the center hosts over 165,500 annual visitors through general admission and off-site outreach programs. The center is home to “Freedom”, Georgia Southern's American bald eagle mascot, as well as 85 other birds, 67 reptiles, 70 amphibians, and eight mammals. Species of birds of prey include hawks, owls, falcons, kestrels, vultures. The center also contains an amphitheater and an indoor classroom. Inside the center, exhibitions of reptiles and amphibians such as alligators, painted turtles, box turtles, and gopher tortoises, rattlesnakes, corn snakes, king snakes, boa constrictors, pythons, are held. The staff perform demonstrations of raptors in flight. In 2009, the center added an 12-acre (49,000 m2) expansion known as the Wetland Preserve, featuring various species of water fowl in their native habitats. The center is the only one of its kind to be located within the campus of a major university campus.

Recreation Activity Center (RAC)

The Recreation Activity Center (the RAC) is a 220,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) complex that includes areas for weight lifting, cardio, and basketball. It includes an indoor track, two dance studios, a studio for yoga and pilates, five racquetball courts, and a 45-foot (14 m) indoor climbing wall.

In 2006, the RAC was expanded, adding additional basketball and multi-purpose courts, weight and fitness rooms, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a rehabilitation pool, and more space for CRI (Campus Recreation and Intramural) personnel. The expansion also brought a bandshell area that has hosted several national touring artists.

Botanical Garden

The Georgia Southern Botanical Garden is centered on an early 20th-century farmstead and offers visitors a view of the cultural and natural heritage of the southeastern coastal plain, an area rich in endangered plants. The garden's nearly 11-acre (45,000 m2) site includes woodland trails, the Bland Cottage Visitor Center and Gift Shop, Heritage Garden, Rose Arbor, Children's Vegetable Garden, Camellia Garden, Native Plant Landscape Garden, Native Azalea Collection and Bog Garden. The Botanical Garden's mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the native plants and animals of the southeastern coastal plain, connect people to the natural and cultural heritage of the region and inspire environmentally responsible behavior.

Student housing

Georgia Southern currently has eight housing facilities, Centennial Place, Watson Hall, Eagle Village, University Villas, Freedoms Landing, Southern Courtyard, Southern Pines, and Kennedy Hall, offering mostly suite and apartment configurations. In fall 2008, Centennial Place, a residential complex with four buildings, was constructed. It contains 1,001 beds and retail space. Eagle Village is a housing facility reserved for freshmen only and houses roughly 775 freshman residents each year. All first-year Georgia Southern students, with some exceptions, are required to live on campus.

Georgia Southern University purchased Campus Club during May 2012 and is offering campus housing under the name of Freedom's Landing for Fall of 2012. Located near the Stadium, Freedom's Landing contains 978 beds and is dedicated housing for upperclassmen

Eagle Dining Services

Eagle Dining Services (part of Auxiliary Services at Georgia Southern University) manages all dining locations on campus. Eagle Dining recently completed two brand new Dining Commons (named Landrum and Lakeside after the former facilities) that opened in the fall of 2013.

Retail dining locations by Eagle Dining Services include an on campus Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A that are managed by EDS staff. They also have their own concepts of Zach's Brews (located in the Zach Henderson Library), Market Street Deli (located in the IT Building), Wrapsody Grill (located in the Nursing/Chemistry Building), and Oasis Smoothie & Juice Bar (located in the Recreation and Activities Center). Eagle Dining Services also manages concessions for many Georgia Southern Athletics events, vending all across campus, Catering Services and a convenience store, Gus Mart (located in the Russell Union) replacing the Pickel Barrel, and the Market at Centennial.

Georgia Southern University is one of the first to implement a biometric, iris recognition system to gain entry to the dining halls in lieu of a swipe card. This system was added to the RAC in Fall 2015.

Georgia Southern Museum

For more than two decades, the University Museum has showcased artifacts of the natural and cultural history of the region, as well as offered visiting exhibits from U.S. and international museums. The only accredited museum of its kind in the coastal region, it holds both permanent and traveling educational programs which include interactive and hands-on programs for children, adults, families, and teachers. Permanent collections and exhibits focus on preserving the natural and cultural history of the Coastal Plain.

Center for Art & Theatre

The Center for Art & Theatre opened on February 29, 2008. One of its three galleries is the permanent home for The Georgia Artists Collection, a continuously expanding gift of pieces established and curated by Betty Foy Sanders, Bulloch County native and wife of former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders. Other galleries feature scheduled exhibitions of private, student, and faculty works. The Center also hosts a 150-seat Black Box Theatre for student performances.

Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center is home to touring shows, lecturers, and programs for cultural outreach. The 825-seat theatre features an orchestra pit and shell, a full-sized stage and technology for lighting, sound, and production.

Southern Express

Southern Express is Georgia Southern's bus transportation system. In Fall 2010, adjustments were made and two new routes with a combined 8 buses were introduced. The Gold Route runs from the University Store and makes two stops on Forest Drive before proceeding to the RAC and the park-ride lot at Paulson Stadium. The Gold Route Buses then return to the store making the same stops as before. The Blue Route makes one large circle. The Blue route starts at the University Store and makes two stops on Forest Drive and two stops on Lanier Drive before returning to the University Store. The buses change their routes on days of football games to accommodate fans. During the 2009-2010 school year the buses carried almost 1.6 million passengers.


Georgia Southern was reclassified as a doctoral/research institution in April 2005 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and as a comprehensive university by the University System of Georgia. Academic standards at the university have increased dramatically in the last decade. For the 2009 fall semester, the average SAT score for incoming freshman was more than 1106, an increase of 119 points.

As of the Fall 2014 semester, Georgia Southern's student body consists of 20,517 students, including 2,513 graduate students. Students come from 48 U.S. States and 88 different countries.

Georgia Southern University consists of eight colleges: The College of Business Administration, The College of Education, The College of Health and Human Sciences, The Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology, The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, The College of Science and Mathematics, The Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, and the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies.

Degree programs

The university offers more than 120 bachelor's degree, masters degree, and Doctorate programs in eight colleges.

In 2010, Georgia Southern received approval to offer three new engineering degrees: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Classes for the nation's newest engineering school began in Fall 2011.

The College of Business Administration houses the only School of Economic Development in the southeastern United States. The School of Accountancy in the College of Business Administration is the only AACSB certified school in the United States to offer forensic accounting courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Georgia Southern has significantly expanded its online degree offerings after launching the program on January 9, 2008.

Georgia Southern's Department of Writing and Linguistics is the only freestanding writing department in the State of Georgia.

The Ph.D. in Logistics/Supply Chain Management is the first of its kind to be offered in the state of Georgia through the University's College of Business Administration. Classes began in Fall 2010.


In the 2012 edition of America’s Best Colleges, published by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Southern was once again recognized as a National University. Georgia Southern was also recognized as one of America's Best Graduate Schools in the 2012 edition published by U.S. News & World Report. Georgia Southern University has recently been ranked 7th most popular University in the nation (tied with Yale University) which is based on the number of students who apply and actually enroll.

  • 2014 Newsweek - Top 12 Business Schools
  • 2012 U.S. News & World Report's Most Popular Universities
  • 2012 Diverse: Issues in Higher Education - Fourth in the Nation for Graduating African-Americans Majoring in the Physical Sciences
  • 2012 U.S. News & World Report - Top 20 Family Nurse Practitioner Program
  • 2011 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges
  • 2010 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges
  • 2010 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools
  • 2010 Kiplinger's Personal Finance Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges
  • 2010 Princeton Review 301 Best Business Schools
  • 2010 Forbes' America's Best Colleges
  • 2009 The Daily Beast Top 25 Safest College Campuses
  • Research

    Georgia Southern is involved in energy-related issues in a move toward energy independence and self-sufficiency with a focus on renewable energy and environmental science research. The Renewable Energy and Engines Laboratory provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and Georgia Southern faculty to participate in real-world applied research that can provide local economic benefits to the region. The State of Georgia established and funded an Endowed Chair of Renewable Energy at Georgia Southern, and biofuel facilities in the state are converting Georgia-grown agricultural products into marketable fuel. The research team is identifying renewable sources of energy in south Georgia and design and evaluate products to capture the energy in a usable form for commercial or residential use in the region. The research team is also assisting regional industries in energy consumption analysis, appropriate strategies for conservation of energy, and preservation of our environments. In addition to creating a regional repository of technology that showcases renewable energy application, these activities will help advance the State of Georgia and the region through the benefits of higher education.

    Georgia Southern is home to the Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology. An integral part of this program is the U.S. National Tick Collection, the largest collection of ticks in the world with more than one million specimens representing most of the world's 850 species.

    Herty Advanced Material Development Center

    Georgia Southern University welcomed Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to campus in April 2012 to sign Georgia Senate Bill 396 into law transferring management of the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center to the University. The new legislation, which will align the University and Herty to create the Georgia Southern University Herty Advanced Materials Development Center, is designed to enhance economic and business development in the state of Georgia. The alignment, which became effective July 1, 2012, combines the strengths of both Herty and Georgia Southern University with the goal of expanding its capabilities as a global leader in traditional and advanced materials innovation. Herty’s clients, which include global corporations as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies, are currently focused in the transportation, forest and paper related products, building materials, energy and the environment and bio-products industries.

    The Herty Advanced Material Development Center, which is located near the Port of Savannah, is named for the noted chemist, businessman and academic, Charles Herty (1837-1938) who revolutionized the nation's naval stores industry through innovations in turpentine and paper making in the early 1900s. In addition, Herty devised the first system for manufacturing newsprint from southern pines giving the South a tremendously successful cash crop. Herty’s first experiments on southern pines were conducted in a forest located on the University's campus. The University erected a plaque in 1935 noting the site.


    Georgia Southern's athletic teams are known as the Eagles and compete in NCAA Division I FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles compete in baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, volleyball, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, cross country and track and field. The football team has won six NCAA Division I-AA national championships (1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1999 and 2000). The university's baseball team has participated in the College World Series twice (1973 and 1990). The university has two different cheerleading squads, including an All-Girl Squad and the Coed Squad. There are twenty-two women that were chosen for the All-Girl squad and seven men and women consist of the Coed Squad. In November 2012, Georgia Southern named Tom Kleinlein as its new Athletic Director. On March 27, 2013, Georgia Southern announced that it will move to the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, becoming bowl eligible in 2015. For 2013, Georgia Southern's last year in Division I FCS, the football schedule remained the same, but they were ineligible for the FCS playoffs.

    The university offers intramural teams for all varsity level sports, equestrian events, fencing, and judo.Has won 30 national championship games.

    Student organizations

    There are many types of organizations on campus such as Professional, Greek Letter, Cultural, Service and Religious. ROTC would be considered as a professional student organization while Hispanic Student Association would be considered a cultural student organization. Other professional organizations include AITP.

    In addition there are political organizations as well which include the Young Democrats and Young Americans for Liberty. The Young Democrats of Georgia Southern has established significant efforts in getting students to vote. These efforts include working with city and county officials to get a voting precinct on campus and their Voter Action Program which carries both a voter hotline and an email system to coordinate with students.

    Eagle Battalion ROTC

    Although Georgia Southern is not a military college, it has an Eagle Battalion ROTC. It also produces a large number of military nurses. In 2010 and 2011, it was presented with the prestigious MacArthur Award, recognizing the unit as one of the eight best in the country.

    Student media

    The Department of Student Media houses six divisions: The George-Anne, Business, Marketing, Magazines and two Production divisions, one digital, one print. Each of these divisions is led by one student Executive Officer who reports to the director and the Student Media Advisory Board. The board is composed of students and staff invested in the mission of Student Media, which is to serve the university community by providing them coverage, as well as to train student journalists, designers, videographers, photographers, sales staff and web designers. The organization has around 70 student members.

  • The George-Anne, Student Media's flagship publication, is published every Tuesday and Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer terms, it is published biweekly on Thursdays. It also publishes online daily at The newspaper does not print during the week of finals.
  • The Magazines Division produces The Reflector, The Miscellany, Our House, Lantern Walk and Our Neighborhood. The Reflector is the student interest news magazine of Georgia Southern University. The Miscellany is a literary arts magazine made up of submissions from the student body and university community. Our House is a publication geared toward helping upperclassmen find housing once they leave the on-campus options. Our Neighborhood is a publication that gives students information about the surrounding community, like restaurants and places to shop in town. The Lantern Walk is a publication distributed at Georgia Southern University's graduation ceremony that includes information about graduation as well as the name of every graduate for that ceremony.
  • The Business Division earns 40 percent of Student Media's operating budget through advertising sales.
  • The Marketing Division organizes all of the publication's events, including release parties, fundraisers and Student Media's award-winning First Amendment Free Food Festival. The division is also in charge of distributing all of Student Media's publications.
  • The Digital Division is home to Student Media's videographers and web designers. They maintain, produce video coverage and monitor multiple social media accounts for Student Media.
  • The Creative Division oversees the production of all of Student Media's print publications and assists with Designers and photographers produce visual content for Student Media's publications.
  • Fraternities and sororities

    The first fraternities and sororities were chartered on the campus in 1953 and 1968. There are four governing bodies for Greek-letter organizations at Georgia Southern University, governing all North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), or National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) recognized organizations on campus, and the United Greek Council.

    There are also Greek-letter professional fraternities, along with a number of academic honor societies (such as Alpha Upsilon Alpha, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Phi Alpha Theta). In addition, there are a number of Greek-letter service organizations, such as Gamma Sigma Sigma and Omega Phi Alpha.

    Latina-based social sororities (NALFO)

    National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations

    Social sororities (NPC)

    National Panhellenic Conference

    Social sororities (NPHC)

    National Pan-Hellenic Council

    Latino-based social fraternities (NALFO)

    National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations

    Fraternities (NIC)

    North-American Interfraternity Conference

    Social fraternities (NPHC)

    National Pan-Hellenic Council


    In the last six years, Georgia Southern's student population ranged between 16,100 and 20,517, across all programs. In Fall 2014 the university enrolled 18,004 students in undergraduate programs and 2,513 students in graduate programs. The student population is 52% female and 48% male.

    Georgia Southern received 12,880 applications for admission in fall 2009; 8,341 were admitted (64.8%) and 5,241 (62.8) enrolled. The average SAT score for incoming freshmen in 2009 was 1106.

    Notable alumni

  • List of Georgia Southern University alumni
  • References

    Georgia Southern University Wikipedia

    Similar Topics