Georgia’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in Georgia? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Georgia’s Best Research Universities 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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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.


What are Georgia’s Colleges & Universities?

Georgia’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 9 research universities in Georgia, 5 of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 50%.

Georgia's Best Colleges and Universities 2021 badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Georgia's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

5 Best Research Universities in Georgia

  1. #1

    Emory University

    #108 institution's historical influence
    #41 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    19%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Atlanta, GA

    View profile

    What is Emory University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
  2. #2

    Georgia Tech

    #163 institution's historical influence
    #39 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    31K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/31

    Atlanta, GA

    View profile

    What is Georgia Tech known for?

    Georgia Tech’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Mercer University

    #625 institution's historical influence
    #1052 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/27

    Macon, GA

    View profile

    What is Mercer University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • History
    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    University of Georgia

    #123 institution's historical influence
    #58 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1330/29

    Athens, GA

    View profile

    What is University of Georgia known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Law
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Georgia State University

    #478 institution's historical influence
    #975 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    35K

    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:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • History
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

Clark Atlanta University

#671 institution's historical influence
#443 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$22K

Acceptance

59%

Graduation

42%

Student body

4K

Median SAT/ACT

1010/18

Atlanta, GA

View profile

What is Clark Atlanta University known for?

Clark Atlanta University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  • Political Science
  • Education
  • Literature
  • History
  • Business
  • Mathematics
  • Social Work
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy

Valdosta State University

#1993 institution's historical influence
#1216 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

78%

Graduation

40%

Student body

10K

Median SAT/ACT

1065/21

Valdosta, GA

View profile

What is Valdosta State University known for?

Valdosta State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

  • Education
  • Business
  • Biology
  • Political Science
  • History
  • Computer Science
  • Sociology
  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Psychology

Georgia Southern University

#1351 institution's historical influence
#187 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$6K

Acceptance

91%

Graduation

54%

Student body

24K

Median SAT/ACT

1125/22

Statesboro, GA

View profile

What is Georgia Southern University known for?

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

  • Education
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Medical
  • History
  • Biology
  • Political Science
  • Computer Science
  • Communications
  • Literature

University of West Georgia

#1837 institution's historical influence
#204 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$7K

Acceptance

78%

Graduation

44%

Student body

11K

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
  • Education
  • Business
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Medical
  • Mathematics
  • Literature
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy

Find the Best Research Universities in Georgia for your Major

Resources for College-Bound Students