Degrees & Majors
Choose from dozens of nationally ranked and recognized programs and more than 250 majors, minors and pathways at the university offering the widest variety of fields of study in Georgia.
The Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for the interdisciplinary study of people of African descent, connecting with the community and promoting social justice, while offering a curriculum that reflects the highest aspirations of education in an evolving society. Our department's research focus engages the experiences of Africans and African descendants in the U.S. and globally through the lenses of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality and social structure. Our instruction and curriculum promotes critical thinking, research skills and proficiency in oral and written communication.
Graduate students who want to engage in the interdisciplinary study of Black people in the United States, Africa and in the African diaspora will work closely with our faculty in this program. Our faculty have expertise in the domestic and global study of race and Blackness in the traditional disciplines of African-American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Work and Public Health. There are few departments or programs that match our strengths in: Scholar-activism Diasporic studies in Black popular and mass culture Culturally relevant pedagogy Community empowerment Gender, sexuality and social relationships While we have particular emphasis on Social Justice and Community Responsibility in the United States, we support and encourage the study and liberation of Black people everywhere in the world. African-American Studies offers a master’s degree with competitive funding, which includes a tuition waiver and moderate stipend.
Africana Studies is a growing discipline. An increasing number of employers are seeking to fill positions with people who possess a cultural and historical analysis of Black people in the U.S., the African diaspora, and around the globe. As a discipline that is interdisciplinary and diasporic, African American Studies specifically educates students in: Black political, cultural, philosophical and artistic thought and practice Black popular and mass culture Race in relation to the study of gender and sexuality Social justice through community engagement This certificate program allows master’s and doctoral students in other disciplines to amplify the Africentric analysis in their own course of study. Some may simply want to explore a specific area reflected in their course of study. Others may wish to pursue employment for which a certificate in African American Studies is deemed an advantage.
Anthropology, the study of human beings and their primate relatives, provides students with a perspective on the nature of humanity over time and in different environments. Anthropology is concerned with biological aspects of humans and other primates in the past and present (biological anthropology), with material culture and an investigation into past lifeways (archaeology), with contemporary cultures (cultural anthropology) and with the complexities of language and communication (linguistic anthropology). The Department of Anthropology has a strong and growing program with faculty representing all four of these subfields. Our faculty have research activities on four continents (North and South America, Europe and Africa). Several faculty members have expertise and research projects in Latin America. Undergraduate and graduate students benefit from the experience and ongoing research of faculty working there. Faculty members have taught field methods courses and supervised student research in socio-cultural anthropology, medical anthropology and archaeology.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in anthropology provides rigorous training in anthropological theories, methods and skills. The program is dedicated to the investigation of a broad range of social, cultural, political-economic and biological issues, processes and problems pertaining to the human experience in its past and present dimensions. The Department of Anthropology program uses resources in metropolitan Atlanta to promote student learning, offering a concentration in Museum Anthropology and a graduate Certificate in Ethnography.
Program Information Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field that integrates many perspectives on the study of human language. Studying linguistics is not a matter of learning many different languages, but rather it is the study of the nature of language in general. Applied Linguistics is the study of language and communication in relation to real-world problems such as language acquisition and teaching, language assessment, improving intercultural communication, and understanding the relationship between language and social organization. The Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language offers (1) a B.A. degree in Applied Linguistics; (2) a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), (3) ESL credit-bearing courses for non-native speakers of English, and (4) Intensive English Program (IEP) courses for non-native speakers of English. The B.A. in Applied Linguistics provides the opportunity for students to explore the field of linguistics from an interdisciplinary perspective. The TEFL certificate program provides students with appropriate skills and a credential that will enable them to teach English as a foreign language abroad. Students majoring in any undergraduate program can earn the TEFL certificate. In addition, the certificate can be earned by any post-baccalaureate student. TEFL certificate requirements consist of the following five courses: AL 3021, AL 3041, AL 3051, AL 3101, and AL 4161. AL 3021 is a prerequisite for AL 3041, AL 3051, and AL 4161. AL 3051 is a prerequisite for AL 4161. AL 2021 Intro to English Linguistics is a prerequisite to these courses, except for post-baccalaureate students, but students may be exempted from this requirement by taking a departmental exam. AL 3021 is the fist course in the series, but may be taken in conjunction with AL 3051 and AL 3101. AL 4161 should be the last course taken, andAL 3051 is a prerequisite to this practicum course. For the latest information about required courses, view the Undergraduate Catalog. For more information about the Minor in Applied Linguistics, view the Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL website.
We are a multifaceted applied linguistics department that focuses on post-secondary/adult language learning, teaching and use. Our faculty specialize in a number of sub-disciplines, including second language (L2) acquisition, L2 writing, sociolinguistics, language assessment, corpus linguistics, educational technology and L2 teacher education.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Applied Linguistics is a response to societal needs resulting from the status of English as the language of international communication. This worldwide use of English in programs and institutions of higher education has created needs in two areas: Research on an assortment of interrelated topics, including language learning by adults who will use English for academic purposes, effective teaching of adult language learners and the nature of English as an academic language. Doctoral faculty who can teach in educational programs that prepare master’s level teachers of English as a Second/Foreign Language. Ph.D. students may focus on a range of topics. Research, for example, may be related to issues in second language writing, reading, listening or speaking; analysis of academic language; assessment; teacher cognition; classroom dynamics; sociolinguistics; or the role of culture in second language acquisition.
The Middle East Institute offers an interdisciplinary major in Middle East Studies, a minor in Middle East Studies and a minor in Arabic. The major is ideal for students who want a well-rounded understanding of the Middle East along with the opportunity to study languages of the region. Students take courses on the Middle East in a variety of disciplines, including history, political science, religious studies, communication and women’s studies. Each student selects the specific courses included in his or her program of study in consultation with an MEI adviser. The MES major prepares students for graduate school or for careers in government, business, the non-profit sector or the military. For the latest information about required courses, view the enrollment program page.
The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) program in Asian Studies offers students an opportunity to acquire knowledge of this important and unique world region and a career-oriented range of skills. It allows students to follow a course plan with concentration in international business and economy. By taking a set of courses, students may also take a minor in international business. For students interested in teaching English in China, Japan, Korea, or elsewhere in Asia, it allows a concentration in English as a Second Language (ESL) with an option to obtain a TEFL certificate from the Department of Applied Linguistics (TEFL Certificate). Students interested in Asian societies and cultures will have the option to concentrate in Chinese, Japanese, or Indian/South Asian studies. It allows students to choose from a large pool of courses (taught by GSU faculty experts in their regions and disciplines) appropriate to their areas of concentration.
Astronomers at Georgia State are involved in four main areas of research: Black Holes and Active Galaxies: Monster black holes, with masses that are a million to a billion times more than our Sun, live at the centers of most galaxies. We specialize in observational studies of these massive compact monsters to measure their masses, study the accretion process and understand their effects on their host galaxy. Stars and Extrasolar Planets: Stars are the beacons of the universe, and it is around stars that planets are formed and that life may exist. Using ground and space-based facilities, we are creating the most detailed maps to date of the distances, distribution and space motions of stars nearby, and in our galaxy. We use the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) Array to measure the properties of stars in exquisite detail and test the predictions of how stars evolve. We are also leading searches for exoplanets around young and nearby stars. Solar Physics: The solar wind consists of charged particles streaming away from the surface of the Sun at high velocities. Occasionally, energetic events release million-degree plasma into space in a process called a solar flare. The solar wind and solar flares are the key influence on space weather, and ultimately space climate and Earth. We are developing data-mining techniques to predict solar flares and solar eruptions, and developing computational models of coronal loops and magnetic reconnection. We develop simulations of the plasma flows deep inside of stars that ultimately produce their magnetic fields via the dynamo mechanism. We test theoretical models of the Sun's interior by observing oscillation of its surface, an area called helioseismology. High Angular Resolution Imaging: Georgia State owns and operates the CHARA Array, the world's highest resolution optical interferometer. This facility is able to image the surfaces of stars, revealing for the first time temperature variations across their surface caused by star spots and rapid rotation. We develop techniques for image restoration/reconstruction when observed with interferometric techniques, and for ultra high-resolution imaging done through strong turbulence in the atmosphere.
The career possibilities are endless with a bachelor’s degree in biology. A strong foundation in life science is a strong foundation for almost any career path. While students can choose to stay on the General Studies track, we offer concentrations in: Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Microbiology Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology Neurobiology Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Undergraduate students can get involved in research and two interdisciplinary areas of focus — The Molecular Basis of Disease program and The Brains and Behavior program — provide competitive fellowships, seminars and symposia to support Biology undergraduate and graduate researchers. The Department also offers students the unique opportunity to participate in community outreach through the Bio-Bus program, which sends a mobile teaching laboratory to primary and secondary schools throughout metro-Atlanta.
Dual-degree opportunities enable qualified students to enroll in graduate courses late in their undergraduate program and apply the coursework toward both the bachelor’s and master’s programs. That can mean saving a year or more in time and tuition dollars. Students must be formally accepted into the dual-degree program by the department and College of Arts and Sciences to be able to take graduate courses as an undergraduate. Acceptance into the dual program does not constitute admission to the master’s program. Students must fulfill regular graduate admissions requirements and apply for the master’s program following college processes. Information about the dual program, including application instructions and program requirements, can be found in the Dual Degree section of the CAS website.
Earning an M.S. degree in biology can be a stepping stone to a career in the biosciences or in preparation for a professional degree. The Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Biology offers a flexible curriculum that can incorporate courses from other departments and colleges at Georgia State. Students must complete at least 40 credit hours of approved coursework. Students may apply under a specific area/concentration, though a concentration is not required. Upon admission, a master's student is assumed to be non-thesis until acceptance into the thesis option. The non-thesis program emphasizes coursework, and a capstone paper or project is required. The capstone can either be literature-based or laboratory-based. The thesis option emphasizes research. Acceptance into the thesis option requires approval of a thesis proposal. Completion of the thesis option requires an approved thesis as well as a successful defense of the thesis. The thesis option is only recommended for students who are planning to pursue a Ph.D. For information about the M.S. in Medical Sciences in Biology program, which is designed for students who plan to apply to medical school, go to https://cas.gsu.edu/program/medical-sciences-in-biology-ms/.
A graduate degree in biology can open doors to many rewarding careers. The Biology Department's Ph.D. program prepares graduates for a range of positions in private industry, public agencies and academia, among others. Potential job titles include principal scientist, research associate, microbiologist, research biologist, field application scientist and analytical staff scientist. There are many benefits to getting a graduate degree. It makes you a more competitive candidate whether you are seeking a job or admission to another professional school. A graduate degree can also increase your earning potential and help you develop a professional network.
Program Information Chemistry deals with the nature of all substances and the changes that occur therein. It ranges from the study of the structure of atoms and molecules to that of the reactions occurring in living organisms. The study of chemistry can provide knowledge that will give students a greater understanding and appreciation of the world in which they live. In addition, a knowledge of chemistry is a great asset in areas such as biology, physics, and health-related fields. It is a logical basis for premedical training. For the latest information about required courses, view the Undergraduate Catalog. For more information about the Minor in Chemistry, visit the Department of Chemistry website.
The Department of Chemistry has research programs in each of the five traditional areas of chemistry, with a bioinformatics option available in each: Analytical Biochemistry Biophysical Chemical Education Organic/Medicinal Our students have the opportunity to conduct research at the interface of chemistry and biology under the guidance of our dynamic research faculty, many of whom are distinguished and noted scholars. The department’s goal is to deliver high quality instructional programs at the graduate level to prepare students for productive careers in academia, industry and government.
The Department of Chemistry has research programs in each of the five traditional areas of chemistry, with a bioinformatics option available in each: Analytical Biochemistry Biophysical Chemical Education Geology Organic/Medicinal Nutritional Sciences Our students have the opportunity to conduct research at the interface of chemistry and biology under the guidance of our dynamic research faculty, many of whom are distinguished and noted scholars. The department’s goal is to deliver high-quality instructional programs at the graduate level to prepare students for productive careers in academia, industry and government. The emphasis of the graduate program is the training of scientists.