Georgia Southwestern State University

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For other uses, see GSW (disambiguation).
Georgia Southwestern State University
GASouthwesternU seal.png
Established 1906
Type Public
Endowment $30 Million
President Charles E. Patterson (Interim)
Students 2,666
Undergraduates 2,527
Location Americus, Georgia, U.S.
Campus 325 acres
Colors Navy blue and Gold[1]
Athletics Peach Belt Conference
Nickname Hurricanes
Mascot "Surge"
Affiliations University System of Georgia
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), located in Americus, Georgia, is a state university within the University System of Georgia that offers bachelor's degree programs, along with selected master’s and specialist degree programs.


Georgia Southwestern's academic degrees are offered through five schools, which include the following schools:

The College of Arts and Sciences[edit]

The College of Arts and Sciences at GSW offers undergraduate degrees in art (both the B.A. and the B.F.A), biology, chemistry, dramatic arts, English, geology, history, music, political science, psychology, and sociology. It has the only undergraduate art program in the Georgia State University System with a concentration in glass blowing. Also, the school offers a Master of Art degree in English with Critical Literacy & Communication focus.[2]

School of Business Administration[edit]

The School of Business Administration offers Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees in Accounting, Human Resources Management, Management and Marketing specializations. On the graduate level, the school offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.[3]

The School of Business Administration is accredited by AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

School of Education[edit]

The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). All initial teacher preparation programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commissions (PSC). The school offers bachelor's, master's and specialist degrees. Degree programs are offered in Early Childhood Education, Health & Physical Education, Middle Grades Education, Special Education, Secondary Education, Exercise Science/Wellness, and Recreation.[4]

School of Nursing[edit]

The School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree through three tracks:

  • Generic
  • RN to BSN
  • Accelerated BSN
  • Master of Science in Nursing - online[5]

There is a Georgia Southwestern Association of Nursing Students and a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, Mu Pi.

School of Computing & Mathematics[edit]

The School of Computing and Mathematics offers Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science, information technology (either on-campus or fully online), and mathematics, including mathematics with a teacher certification.

At the graduate level, the school has a Master of Science in computer science, which is offered both on campus and online.[6]

Dual & Cooperative Programs[edit]

Georgia Southwestern and the Georgia Institute of Technology offer a dual-degree program in engineering leading to a bachelor's degree in science or mathematics from Georgia Southwestern and a bachelor's degree in engineering from Georgia Tech. The University also offers cooperative programs with South Georgia Technical College and several two-year institutions within the University System, culminating in a baccalaureate degree from Georgia Southwestern.[7]


Georgia Southwestern teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division II. The Hurricanes are a member of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).[8] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball and tennis. Football was played at the university between 1983 and 1989.[9]

Student/Campus Life[edit]


GSW has four sets of dorm complexes, most of which bear tree-related monikers.

All freshmen are housed in Southwestern Oaks 1 and 2. The Oaks facilities offer both shared and private bedroom suites and semi-private bathrooms. Freshmen are allowed to park cars on campus in the parking lot located next to Oaks 1 and 2. Southwestern Oaks is also home to GSW’s First Year Experience Program, which includes programming to assist in the transition from high school to college such as tutoring and opportunities to become involved in campus life.

Southwestern Pines offers apartment-style housing for upperclassmen.

Southwestern Magnolia offers private bedroom suites for upperclassman students.

Previously a women’s dormitory, Beth King Duncan Hall now serves as a co-educational, overflow residence hall, named in honor of Beth King Duncan, a former GSW professor of 20 years.



Georgia Southwestern is home to the James Earl Carter Library, named in honor of Former President Jimmy Carter’s father. In addition to the library’s own collection, books and other materials may be borrowed from other University System of Georgia libraries through GIL Express or interlibrary loan (ILLiad). The James Earl Carter Library also has a cooperative lending agreement with the local Lake Blackshear Regional Library and the South Georgia Technical College Library.

Other services and materials available to students through the library are audio-visual materials (including DVDs), photo copy machines, microfiche documents and current newspapers through the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) and select government documents. The Library has 30 computer workstations and a computer lab.

Computer Labs[edit]

The campus houses over 20 computer labs in various buildings across campus.

Student Success Center/Storm Dome[edit]

The Student Success Center (SSC) houses several recreational facilities for the campus.

The GSW Fitness Center is located on the first floor of the Student Success Center. The Fitness Center has a full weight room and various other machines including treadmills and stationary bikes. The center also has several flat screen televisions to watch while working out. In addition to the fitness center, the SSC is the location of several racquetball courts, the intramural basketball court, a rock climbing wall and a Chik-fil-A/Boar’s Head restaurant.

Marshall Student Center[edit]

The Marshall Student Center is the location of the university cafeteria; Higher Grounds Café, a small coffee shop; Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.), a convenience store; the university bookstore and the campus post office.


Georgia Southwestern State University, originally the Third District Agricultural and Mechanical School, was founded in 1906. Twenty years later, in 1926, the Georgia General Assembly granted the school a charter that authorized it to become a two-year college and to change its name to the Third District Agricultural and Normal College. The new charter also allowed the school to offer teacher training courses. The State Department of Education granted teacher certification to all students who completed the teacher training program.

The college joined the University System of Georgia (USG) in 1932 along with other state-supported institutions of higher learning in Georgia due to a legislative enactment. The newly formed USG was also placed under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents. Now a member of the USG, the college changed its name to Georgia Southwestern College and continued to offer its two-year curriculum.

The Board of Regents approved Georgia Southwestern College to transition to a four-year institution in 1964. The first bachelor's degrees were conferred in June 1968.

The name of the institution was changed to Georgia Southwestern State University in July 1996.

Since becoming a four-year institution, Georgia Southwestern has developed several master’s programs over the years. A Master of Education degree was approved by the Board of Regents in 1973 followed by a Specialist in Education in 1982. The Master of Science in Administration was made part of the curriculum in 1983. The Master of Science in Computer Science was added in the Spring of 1986, and the Master of Business Administration was added to the curriculum in 2003. Most recently, the Master of Arts in English was added in the fall of 2011, and the Master Science in Nursing (online) was added in the fall of 2012.[10]

A historic portion of the campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 as the "Third District A & M School-Georgia Southwestern College Historic District".

Centers and Institutes[edit]

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving[edit]

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is the Board Chair of the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) at Georgia Southwestern State University. The RCI was established in 1987 and works to address issues related to caregiving in America. The Institute focuses its work on both family and professional caregivers for individuals living with chronic illness and disabilities, limitations related to aging, and other health concerns. The work of the Institute is extensive both locally (in Americus), throughout Georgia and the United States. For example, the Institute provides scholarships and fellowships to students throughout Georgia, offers a Certificate Program in Caregiving at the University, conducts needs assessments and research on caregivers, provides training and education for caregivers through its own curriculum, operates a Caregiver Resource Center for residents of southwest Georgia, offers a number of national caregiver awards including the Rosalynn Carter Caregiver Award, and partners with Johnson & Johnson to support innovative community caregiving programs throughout the United States.

Operation Family Caregiver (OFC) - an RCI program launched in 2012 - is an evidence-based one-on-one support program that builds strong military families and teaches problem-solving to families living with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and/or a physical disability.[11] OFC will pilot a new volunteer program in December 2015 thanks to funding from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and a new partnership with Blue Star Families, the largest chapter-based, volunteer, military family engagement organization in the nation.


Georgia Southwestern State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and specialist degrees.[12]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°03′25″N 84°13′05″W / 32.057°N 84.218°W / 32.057; -84.218