About the Graduate School

Established in 1910, the University of Georgia Graduate School oversees all graduate programs offered at UGA. Our faculty and administrators coordinate world-class graduate programs so that students receive the highest quality education and a valuable graduate degree. The Graduate School offers the Master of Arts, the Master of Science, and the Doctor of Philosophy in addition to professional master’s degrees. Professional doctoral degrees include education, music, and public health. The University also awards the Master of Education, the Specialist in Education, and the Doctor of Education. The Graduate School offers student assistantship, research, and travel funding, unique professional development opportunities, and a wide variety of programming for all graduate students.

Matters of policy and procedure pertaining to graduate education are determined by the University’s graduate program faculty through the Graduate Council. The policies adopted by the Graduate Council are administered by the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. The Vice Provost and Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the Graduate School and is a member of the University Cabinet. The Graduate School leadership team works with faculty and administrators across the University, as well as with regional, national, and international partners to strengthen graduate education across the disciplines.

Prior to the formal establishment of the Graduate School, courses of postgraduate status were offered under the control of a faculty committee on graduate studies. In 1910, the formal organization of graduate studies into a Graduate School was authorized. Dr. Willis H. Bocock served as the Graduate School’s first dean and was succeeded by R. P. Stephens, George H. Boyd, Gerald B. Huff, Thomas H. Whitehead, Hardy M. Edwards, Jr., John C. Dowling, Gordhan L. Patel, Maureen Grasso, and Suzanne Barbour. In 2020, Dr. Ron Walcott became the inaugural Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.


History of the University of Georgia

When the University of Georgia was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly on January 27, 1785, Georgia became the first state to charter a state-supported university. In 1784 the General Assembly had set aside 40,000 acres of land to endow a college or seminary of learning.

At the first meeting of the board of trustees, held in Augusta on February 13, 1786, Abraham Baldwin was selected president of the University. Baldwin, a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Yale University who had come to Georgia in 1784, drafted the charter adopted by the General Assembly.

The University was actually established in 1801 when a committee of the board of trustees selected a land site. John Milledge, later a governor of the state, purchased and gave to the board of trustees the chosen tract of 633 acres on the banks of the Oconee River in northeast Georgia.

Josiah Meigs was named president of the University and work was begun on the first building, originally called Franklin College in honor of Benjamin Franklin and now known as Old College. The University graduated its first class in 1804.

The curriculum of traditional classical studies was broadened in 1843 to include courses in law, and again in 1872 when the University received federal funds for instruction in agriculture and mechanical arts. Fourteen schools and colleges, with auxiliary divisions, carry on the University’s programs of teaching, research and service. These colleges and schools and the dates of their establishment as separate administrative units are: Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, 1801; College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 1859; School of Law, 1859; College of Pharmacy, 1903; D. B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, 1906; College of Education, 1908; Graduate School, 1910; C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business, 1912; Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, 1915; College of Family and Consumer Sciences, 1933; College of Veterinary Medicine, 1946; School of Social Work, 1964; School of Environment and Design, 2001; School of Public and International Affairs (2001). The Division of General Extension, now the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, was incorporated into the University in 1947.

In 1931 the General Assembly of Georgia placed all state-supported institutions of higher education, including The University of Georgia, under the jurisdiction of a single board. This organization, known as the University System of Georgia, is governed by the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents’ executive officer, the chancellor, exercises a general supervisory control over all institutions of the University System, with each institution having its own executive officers and faculty.


The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation of the University of Georgia may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

There is a three-fold purpose for publishing the address and contact number of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is done to enable interested constituents:

  1. To learn about the accreditation status of the University of Georgia;
  2. To file a third-party comment at the time of the University of Georgia’s decennial review; or
  3. To file a third party complaint against the University of Georgia for alleged non-compliance with a standard of requirement of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

As indicated above, normal inquiries about the University of Georgia (such as admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc.) should be directed to the University of Georgia, not to the Commission’s office.


UGA Mission
Strategic Plan 2025
Staff Recognition Program
Former Deans of the Graduate School
Recent Rankings
Annual Reports

Ready to apply?