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.
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 Africana 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.
The Bachelor of Arts in Africana 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. Africana Studies offers a master’s degree with competitive funding, which includes a tuition waiver and moderate stipend.
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 Certificate in Ethnography is ideal for M.A. and Ph.D. students in a range of fields, including anthropology, sociology, community psychology, education, nursing, linguistics, communication, business and area studies. For students who plan to pursue careers in academia, private business or the public sector, the certificate offers applied and marketable skills in culture- and people-focused knowledge production and communication. Ethnography is a field-based research method for the study of social and cultural patterns and practices. Ethnographers use participant-observation, direct observation and interaction, focus group interviews, and other qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques to uncover detailed patterns of human behavior in their cultural context. Ethnographic data analysis is especially productive in clarifying complex issues, informing policy and designing innovative, effective, data-driven solutions to organizational problems. This signature methodology of cultural anthropology has broad application in a variety of academic disciplines, creative industries, professional fields and employment settings. Ethnography encompasses basic and applied research and informs project planning and implementation. Ethnographic data are also relevant and useful in assessing community needs, addressing concerns of personnel and enhancing cross-cultural communication.
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.
The Concentration in Museum Anthropology is an option for students enrolled in the M.A. in Anthropology program. In adopting an anthropological approach to museums, this concentration is distinct from generalized museum studies in examining curation, exhibition and museum practice from a comparative and global perspective that sees museums as dynamic institutions embedded in particular social and cultural contexts. In this concentration, students interrogate the ways in which museums not only represent but also construct notions of cultural patrimony, identity, nationalism and cultural meaning. Emphasis is on the role of museums in disseminating and producing anthropological knowledge, using anthropological theory to contextualize and critique museums' practices in diverse settings and working with a collection or exhibits to gain new knowledge. The Concentration in Museum Anthropology offers theoretical tools and professional skills related to: Obtaining critical perspectives on anthropology and museums in the past and present. Gaining practical experience in museum collections/exhibition space/curation. Developing skillsets for curation and museum exhibition creation based on the interests of the student. A highlight of the concentration is the course Museum Experience, which is tailored to the student’s interests. In Museum Experience, students critically engage in a hands-on opportunity at a museum, library, archive, lab or other institution or repository. Projects can also include principles of curation, display or analyses of visual/virtual/material/aural culture, data collection at a museum or a museum internship. Students will develop an appreciation of how museum space is constructed, proficiency in data collection or other responsibilities as appropriate and working knowledge of museum materials, including curated and/or exhibited artifacts.
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, language analysis on a large or small scale, improving intercultural communication and understanding the relationship between language and social organization or behaviors. Students majoring in Applied Linguistics have the opportunity to earn the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate at the same time because the certificate requirements overlap with the required courses for the major. Applied Linguistics students also have many opportunities for study abroad. The department has offered programs in Mexico and Argentina, as well as an exchange program in Turkey.
Students can save time and tuition dollars by earning bachelor's and master's degrees in Applied Linguistics in as little as five years. This dual degree opportunity enables 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. Applied Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field of research and instruction that integrates aspects of fields such as linguistics, English, teacher education, speech communication, psychology, sociology and anthropology into a distinct field focused on issues related to the learning and teaching of a second/foreign language, such as the teaching and learning of English as a second language (ESL). 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.
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.