Business Schools in Georgia

If you’re looking for a business school, it’s unlikely that you start out having “Georgia on your mind.” It is certainly not the state you’d think of first when it comes to business education. But nearly every state in the country has a few hidden gems, and lots of opportunities at schools that might not be famous but are still exceptional, and Georgia is no exception.

Georgia has a large number of public and non-profit schools that grant undergraduate and graduate business degrees, according to National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) statistics: 128. However, only 29 of these offer accredited undergraduate business programs, and just 21 have accredited programs at the graduate level. This discrepancy underlines the importance of differentiating between schools that have been accredited and those that have not. Accreditation provides assurance to you that the program you are enrolling in has clear goals, and that the school has proven that it produces quality outcomes and adheres to national and international standards. These schools also typically provide more options to gain real-world experience through interaction with actual businesses.

All of the schools in our list have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and/or International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). They are all public or non-profit and also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

In this article, you will find key information to help you choose the best school to suit your needs based on a variety of important criteria: tuition, financial aid, entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, and more. The three sections that follow cover undergraduate programs, graduate schools, and the job prospects for business school graduates in Georgia.

Undergraduate Business Schools in Georgia

Georgia is definitely on the “budget” side of the ledger when it comes to options for obtaining a business degree. The average tuition of the undergraduate schools on our list is just $13,600, a fraction of the average of many other regions, and 17 of the 29 schools are under $10,000. Average financial aid is generous at roughly $9,600, or over 70% of average tuition. Many schools offer aid figures close to their tuition costs, with some, like the University of North Georgia, offering maximum aid ($5,089) higher than the cost of tuition ($4,397). The most expensive school in the state is, unsurprisingly, also the most famous: Goizueta Business School at Emory University, which often ranks in the top 20 nationwide (though towards the bottom end of that range). Emory’s tuition is about $48,000, but even here financial aid can offset much of the cost, going up to $34,400.

We were able to obtain acceptance rates for 25 undergraduate programs for business degrees in Georgia, and they are mostly in the moderate range. The average acceptance rate is 56%, and 19 of the 25 have rates of at least 50%. There is nearly a three-way tie for lowest acceptance rate, at around 25-26% for all of Paine College, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The highest acceptance rate, at near 85%, can be found at Georgia College & State University.

Graduation rates for the 26 schools for which we have figures fall in a broad range but tend to be on the low side overall. The lowest figures are found at Dalton State College and Paine College, both of which are just over 20%. The figure for Paine College is interesting given its low acceptance rate, as mentioned above; this is not common, and stands out given that the other two schools with very low acceptance rates have the highest graduation rates: 90.6% at Emory University and 86.3% at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia College & State University offers the best combination of acceptance rate (85%) and graduation rate (59%) in the state.

The table below contains all the important data you need about undergraduate business schools, including annual in-state tuition costs, average aid per student, acceptance rates, median SAT and ACT scores of accepted students, and graduation rates. Click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.

SchoolCityTuitionAidMedian SATMedian ACTAccept. RateGrad. Rate
Albany State UniversityAlbany$5,490$5,424840-97617-2049.7%30.7%
Athens Technical CollegeAthens$2,794$3,450
Atlanta Metropolitan State CollegeAtlanta$3,250$4,192
Augusta UniversityAugusta$8,282$5,699940-114019-2677.2%26.4%
Berry CollegeMount Berry$33,556$21,0141060-124024-2962.1%65.5%
Brenau UniversityGainesville$27,152$12,066860-103019-2435.6%44.8%
Clark Atlanta UniversityAtlanta$22,396$9,812820-97018-2171.8%38.4%
Clayton State UniversityMorrow$5,340$4,93240.9%33.3%
Columbus State UniversityColumbus$6,031$5,172860-109017-2353.2%30.3%
Dalton State CollegeDalton$3,503$3,22620.3%
Emory UniversityAtlanta$47,954$34,4241290-150030-3325.3%90.6%
Georgia College & State UniversityMilledgeville$9,202$6,8671030-122022-2684.5%59.4%
Georgia Institute of TechAtlanta$12,212$9,5831320-150030-3425.8%86.3%
Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro$6,273$5,7301030-119022-2664.6%51.4%
Georgia Southwestern State UniversityAmericus$5,262$5,456870-106019-2368.2%32.2%
Georgia State UniversityAtlanta$8,974$7,392960-118020-2658.8%53.0%
Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw$6,060$5,0311000-118021-2658.5%42.5%
LaGrange CollegeLaGrange$28,490$19,086930-109020-2457.7%47.4%
Mercer UniversityMacon$35,130$20,1041100-129025-2969.4%66.3%
Morehouse CollegeAtlanta$26,742$19,995860-109519-2466.1%50.3%
Paine CollegeAugusta$14,224$8,141620-83014-1724.6%20.5%
Piedmont CollegeDemorest$23,112$13,155860-109019-2457.2%49.7%
Savannah State UniversitySavannah$5,644$5,798750-88016-1850.8%27.5%
The University of GeorgiaAthens$11,634$9,3441140-134026-3153.9%83.9%
Thomas UniversityThomasville$16,940$12,59247.4%36.6%
University of North GeorgiaDahlonega$4,397$5,089820-102019-2575.0%54.2%
University of West GeorgiaCarrollton$6,143$5,830870-101018-2259.1%41.2%
Valdosta State UniversityValdosta$6,297$5,736890-106019-2365.1%36.2%
West Georgia Technical CollegeWaco$2,764$4,458

Graduate Business Schools in Georgia

Considering graduate-level business study in The Peach State? (Gosh, there’s nothing better than a fresh, in-season peach!) We have 21 accredited graduate-level business programs on our list, and like their undergraduate counterparts, most are quite affordable. The average cost of tuition for graduate study is just around $27,500, which is very low compared to most states, and lower still if you exclude a handful of more expensive schools. In fact, 2/3 of our 21 schools cost under $20,000, definitely a good deal for an MBA. The most expensive school by far is Emory University, tipping the scales at just a hair over $100,000; Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology take distant second and third place at $72,000 and $61,000 respectively.

Many of our business schools offer opportunities for self-paced study at the graduate level. One well-known program is the Modular Executive MBA (EMBA) program at Emory University, which combines in-person and online learning to create a hybrid program that attempts to capture the best of both worlds. There are also many straight online MBA programs in Georgia that can be done purely over the Internet, with offerings from Columbus State University, Georgia College & State University, and Kennesaw State University, whose WebMBA program is highly regarded. Most online programs offer the same basic curriculum and courses as their offline equivalents.

We weren’t able to find as much data for graduate schools in Georgia as we did for most other states, but you will still find the list below useful for seeing the names of accredited schools, their locations and costs in tuition and fees. As always, you can click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.

SchoolCityTuition
Albany State UniversityAlbany$13,200
Augusta UniversityAugusta$13,343
Berry CollegeMount Berry$19,050
Brenau UniversityGainesville$24,660
Clark Atlanta UniversityAtlanta$53,220
Clayton State UniversityMorrow$16,422
Columbus State UniversityColumbus$10,245
Emory UniversityAtlanta$100,480
Georgia College & State UniversityMilledgeville$16,716
Georgia Institute of TechAtlanta$60,966
Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro$17,530
Georgia Southwestern State UniversityAmericus$8,484
Georgia State UniversityAtlanta$72,000
University of GeorgiaAthens$30,900
Kennesaw State UniversityKennesaw$18,822
Mercer UniversityMacon$31,770
Piedmont CollegeDemorest$19,476
Savannah State UniversitySavannah$7,500
University of North GeorgiaDahlonega$18,638
Valdosta State UniversityValdosta$10,450
University of West GeorgiaCarrollton$13,027
University of Illinois Institute of TechnologyChicago$86,645
University of St. FrancisJoliet$28,728
Western Illinois UniversityMacomb$13,654

Job Outlook for Business Graduates in Georgia

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 2016 to 2026 total growth of at least 5% in 32 out of 37 business and management occupations across the United States. The most growth will be seen for market analysts and marketing specialists, at 22.8% over ten years, with financial managers coming in second at 18.7%.

Georgia’s overall unemployment rate has been dropping steadily for the past eight years, currently sitting just over 4% after hitting a peak near double digits in late 2009. Slightly more than 380,000 people were employed in the business and management sector in Georgia in 2016. General and operations managers were the largest subgroup by a wide margin, with just over 90,000 employed, more than double the next largest categories (accountants and auditors at 37,800 and business operations specialists at 36,300).

Data from the BLS shows an average annual wage in 2016 across all occupations in Georgia of $46,007, good for 34th rank out of 51 in the US (including the District of Columbia). Those in the business and management occupations discussed here had a weighted average annual salary of around $97,000, well over double the state average. Chief executives led the way, as is the case in most states, with a figure of $218,000 that is higher than in many states with lower overall business occupation averages: Georgia is a good state to be in charge! Several other categories come next at roughly $140,000, while most others fall into the range of $60,000 to $130,000. Tax preparers were the lowest-paying subcategory at just below $40,000.

Occupation TitleBLS.gov
Code
2016
Total
Employment
Georgia
Mean
Hourly
Wage
Georgia
Mean
Annual
Wage
Georgia
National
Growth
2016-26
Accountants and Auditors13-201137,830$36.04$74,95010.0%
Administrative Services Managers11-30118,950$49.01$101,93010.1%
Advertising and Promotions Managers11-2011710$61.9$128,7505.8%
Agents and Managers of Performers and Athletes13-1011250$39.88$82,9604.9%
Architectural and Engineering Managers11-90414,730$67.12$139,6005.5%
Budget Analysts13-20311,470$35.15$73,1206.5%
Business Operations Specialists13-119936,290$34.8$72,3908.8%
Chief Executives11-10116,480$104.6$217,5608.0%
Compensation and Benefits Managers11-3111540$68.07$141,5905.0%
Compensation and Job Analysis Specialists13-11412720$31.76$66,0608.5%
Compliance Officers13-10418620$29.98623508.2%
Computer and Information Systems Managers11-30211324067.2913997011.9%
Construction Managers11-9021635054.7811393011.4%
Cost Estimators13-1051515030.986444010.6%
Credit Analysts13-2041200032.2669808.4%
Credit Counselors13-207174025.635331013.9%
Financial Analysts13-2051651038.568019010.8%
Financial Examiners13-206171046.29962709.8%
Financial Managers11-30311713068.341421500.187
General and Operations Managers11-10219056054.241128109.1%
Human Resources Managers11-3121483060.531259008.9%
Human Resources Specialists13-10711890029.25608407.1%
Insurance Underwriters13-2053550040.6384500-5.2%
Labor Relations Specialists13-107581029.3861110-7.8%
Loan Officers13-2072705035.157311011.5%
Logisticians13-1081631034.73722306.9%
Management Analysts13-11112227045.079374012.0%
Market Analysts and Marketing Specialists13-11612028031.066460022.8%
Marketing Managers11-2021774067.8314109010.0%
Meeting and Event Planners13-1121269024.465087010.2%
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers11-2031153059.0312278010.4%
Purchasing Managers11-3061190058.541217605.6%
Sales Managers11-20221575063.611323007.4%
Tax Examiners and Revenue Agents13-2081219023.6449170-0.6%
Tax Preparers13-2082277018.913933010.8%
Training and Development Managers11-3131124056.5611764010.3%
Training and Development Specialists13-1151917031.026452011.5%

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References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/
2. AACSB, Best Business Schools: http://bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/
3. ACBSP, Business Schools: https://www.acbsp.org/
4. IACBE, Business Schools: http://iacbe.org/
5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: http://www.sacs.org/
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Georgia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
7. Georgia Department of Education: http://www.gadoe.org/
8. US News & World Report: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools
10. Google Public Data: https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate&hl=en&dl=en