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.

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.

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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%.

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

The best colleges pound for pound!

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.

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5 Best Research 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

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    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

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    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. Mercer University
    #3

    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

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    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

  4. University of Georgia
    #4

    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

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    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

  5. Georgia State University
    #5

    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

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    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

Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University

#780 institution's overall influence
#443 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$22K

Acceptance

52%

Graduation

38%

Student body

4K

Median SAT/ACT

1030/19

Atlanta, GA

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What is Clark Atlanta University known for?

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

  • Social Work
  • Education
  • Sociology
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Literature
  • Business
  • History

Most Influential Alumni

Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University

#1890 institution's overall influence
#1216 overall school desirability

Tuition + fees

$6K

Acceptance

63%

Graduation

36%

Student body

10K

Median SAT/ACT

1070/21

Valdosta, GA

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What is Valdosta State University known for?

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

  • Criminal Justice
  • Social Work
  • Chemistry
  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • 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

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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

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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

Find the Best Research Universities in Georgia for your Major

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Business

Chemistry

Communications

Computer Science

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Earth Sciences

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Engineering

History

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Mathematics

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Philosophy

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Psychology

Religious Studies

Social Work

Sociology

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