Georgia’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Georgia offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Georgia’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Georgia

Georgia has 70 colleges and universities, 38 of which are public institutions. The University of Georgia, located in the city of Athens, is the largest, with over 35,000 students. Those attending Georgia State University and Georgia Southern University will enter into a friendly athletics rivalry. Tuition at Georgia State costs $9,000, and at Georgia Southern, $6,000. Of the 20 religiously affiliated schools, Emory University has both the highest tuition, just over $50,000, and student population, with over 13,000 in attendance. Whether you’re looking to earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, Georgia schools offer plenty of options.

Students can earn degrees in religious studies, business, social work, law, and computer science. Those looking to attend technical colleges can also choose from a handful of schools that offer two-year degrees in medicine, nursing, and education. Part of the University System of Georgia, Atlanta Metropolitan State college is the state’s most affordable college at $3,000, and its students can major in fields like mathematics, criminal justice, and philosophy.

The Blue Ridge Mountains, oak and hickory forests, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain all make their home in Georgia, but the state’s most notable landform is the Okefenokee Swamp, the largest such water-mass in North America. This diverse landscape in The Peach State provides Georgia’s college and graduate students with a beautiful backdrop for an education.

Georgia also offers a loan repayment program for qualifying graduates in the medical field through the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce. Check out the best degree programs and top career paths this southern state has to offer.

Moresee more


Georgia's Best Grad Schools 2021 badge
Download Badge

There are 11 doctorate-granting universities in Georgia, 5 of which meet our criteria. The top 5 graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 50%.

How do we determine Georgia's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

Moresee more

5 Best Colleges & Universities in Georgia

  1. Emory University
    #1

    Emory University

    #113 institution's overall influence
    #41 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    19%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Atlanta, GA

    View profile

    What is Emory University known for?

    Emory University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology
    • Education
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Georgia Institute of Technology
    #2

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    #145 institution's overall influence
    #39 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/32

    Atlanta, GA

    View profile

    What is Georgia Institute of Technology known for?

    Georgia Institute of Technology's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. University of Georgia
    #3

    University of Georgia

    #138 institution's overall influence
    #58 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    37K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1325/29

    Athens, GA

    View profile

    What is University of Georgia known for?

    University of Georgia's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Law
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Georgia State University
    #4

    Georgia State University

    #519 institution's overall influence
    #975 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    32K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    Atlanta, GA

    View profile

    What is Georgia State University known for?

    Georgia State University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Mercer University
    #5

    Mercer University

    #616 institution's overall influence
    #1052 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1260/27

    Macon, GA

    View profile

    What is Mercer University known for?

    Mercer University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University

#1684 institution's overall influence
#187 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$6K

Acceptance

68%

Graduation

47%

Student body

25K

Median SAT/ACT

1130/23

Statesboro, GA

View profile

What is Georgia Southern University known for?

Georgia Southern University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Chemistry
  • Political Science
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Education

Most Influential Alumni

University of West Georgia

University of West Georgia

#1906 institution's overall influence
#204 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$6K

Acceptance

58%

Graduation

41%

Student body

12K

Median SAT/ACT

1000/20

Carrollton, GA

View profile

What is University of West Georgia known for?

University of West Georgia's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  • Psychology
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Nursing
  • History
  • Education
  • Political Science
  • Medical
  • Business

Most Influential Alumni

Piedmont College

Piedmont College

#3113 institution's overall influence
#1284 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$26K

Acceptance

60%

Graduation

49%

Student body

2K

Median SAT/ACT

1075/22

Demorest, GA

View profile

What is Piedmont College known for?

Piedmont College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  • Literature
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Communications
  • Medical
  • Education
  • Engineering

Most Influential Alumni

Georgia’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Anthropology

Biology

Business

Chemistry

Communications

Computer Science

Criminal Justice

Earth Sciences

Economics

Education

Engineering

History

Law

Literature

Mathematics

Medical

Nursing

Philosophy

Physics

Political Science

Psychology

Religious Studies

Social Work

Sociology

Resources for College Students