University of Georgia Graduate School

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University of Georgia Graduate School
Type Public
Established 1910
Dean Maureen Grasso
Location Athens, Georgia, USA

Established in 1910, the University of Georgia Graduate School coordinates the graduate programs of all schools and colleges at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Georgia, United States and its extended campuses. The UGA Graduate School administers and confers all professional and research master's degrees and doctoral degrees. The departments under which instruction and research take place are housed in the other schools and colleges at the University.[1]

The UGA Graduate School is responsible for administering and conferring all professional and research Master’s and Doctoral degrees and has conferred 72,664 degrees to date. The school offers advanced degrees in over 130 areas of discipline and has 6,766 students[2] and approximately 1,600 graduate faculty.[3] Many of its academic programs rank among the highest in the nation.

In addition to its administrative functions, the Graduate School provides professional development opportunities for students, including the Dean’s Awards, the Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grants for doctoral students, Summer Doctoral Research Fellowships, the Emerging Leaders Program, the Three-Minute Thesis Competition, and the Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching.

In recent years, the school has received both regional and national awards for excellence in graduate admissions, and has won competitive grants for research initiatives on doctoral completion and minority attrition at the University. Dr. Maureen Grasso currently serves as Dean of the Graduate School.


Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia awarded its first graduate degree, a Master of Arts, nearly a century later in 1870. The first Master of Arts curriculum was put in place in 1868 during the administration of Chancellor Andrew A. Lipscomb, and the first graduate degrees were awarded in 1870 to Washington Dessau, (future UGA Chancellor) Walter Barnard Hill, and Burgess Smith.[4] By 1877, the University catalog referenced a requirement to take every course offered by the University in order to qualify for the Master of Arts.

In 1872, graduate degree programs in Civil and Mining Engineering were added. The Master of Agriculture was authorized in 1875 with the first student, M.L. Morris earning the first such degree in 1876. The Master of Science followed in 1890. Marion M. Hull earned the first M.S. degree in 1892.[5] Fellowships for graduate studies first appeared in the university catalog in 1891. This description mentioned assistance for providing "certain duties such as tutoring slower students".[4]

Prior to 1910, all post-graduate courses were under the direction of a faculty committee. In 1910, the Board of Regents and Chancellor David Barrow formally established the Graduate School and appointed Dr. Willis Henry Bocock as its Dean. Seven male students enrolled that fall. It would be nearly a decade later before women gained formal admittance; fifty years for African Americans. The newly formed Graduate School oversaw 12 fields of study. The Master of Arts alone included philosophy, math, education, history, political science, rhetoric, English literature, German, Latin, Greek, and Romance languages. By 1913, the four degree programs offered included the Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Science in Agriculture, and Civil Engineering, and the first formal master's degrees were awarded.[5]

The Master of Science in Forestry was authorized in 1917) followed by the Master of Science in Economics (later renamed the Master of Science in Commerce and eventually the Master of Business Administration) (1923), the Master of Science in Home Economics (1925), the Master of Arts in Education (1930), the Master of Science in Chemistry (1932), and the Master of Science in Social Work (1934). In 1935, the first Doctor of Philosophy degrees in History, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry were offered. The first Ph.D. degrees were conferred in 1940 to Joseph Simeon Jacob (Educational Psychology) and Horace Montgomery (History).[4] Montgomery went on to author a resolution supporting the University's first minority students and was recognized for his efforts in integrating the University.

Additional masters programs (Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering) were established in 1937, and the Master of Fine Arts (with a major in Music or Visual Arts) was created in 1939. Between 1940 and 1975, more than 10 master's degrees, 1 specialist degree, and 5 doctoral degrees were formalized for graduate study.

In 2010, the Graduate School celebrated its centennial anniversary.[6] One hundred years after its formal recognition, the Graduate School offered more than 230 graduate programs to over 7,000 enrolled students and conferred 2,271 degrees. Seventy years after conferring the first two PhD degrees, the Graduate School awarded 420 doctoral degrees, nearly half going to women.

A comprehensive timeline of the UGA Graduate School’s history can be found on the school’s website.[5]

List of deans[edit]

  • Willis Henry Bocock (1910-1927)
  • Roswell Powell Stephens (1927-1943)
  • George Hugh Boyd (1943-1959)
  • Gerald Boone Huff (1959-1968)
  • Thomas Hillyer Whitehead (1968-1972)
  • Hardy Malcolm Edwards, Jr. (1972-1979)
  • John Clarkson Dowling (1979-1989)
  • Gordhan L. Patel (1989-2002)
  • Maureen Grasso (2002–2014)
  • Suzanne Barbour (2015-present)


Maureen Grasso was appointed as Dean of the Graduate School in 2002, becoming the first female to hold the position. She is also the first dean hired from outside the institution. Under her leadership, the Graduate School experienced a record enrollment of more than 7,000 students in the fall of 2008. Both enrollment and degree completion rates of African American and Hispanic graduate students have increased during her tenure as well.[7][8]

Since her appointment, Grasso has created various leadership and professional development programs for graduate students, and has implemented interdisciplinary certificate programs. In 2005, she established the Graduate Education Advancement Board and instituted an endowment for graduate students—the school’s first-ever formalized fundraising. She was also instrumental in bringing quality and affordable healthcare to UGA’s graduate students.[4]

Grasso is currently serving a three-year term on the Council of Graduate Schools Board of Directors and is a member of its executive committee. She is also a member of the Educational Testing Service GRE MGE Committee. She was a member of the national Commission on Pathways through Graduate Education and into Careers and participated in presenting the final report at the 2012 Legislative Forum in Washington, D.C. She served as president of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in 2004-2005 and, in 2009, received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Graduate Education in the Southern Region from this organization.[8]

Degree programs[edit]

As of October 2012, the UGA Graduate School offered 264 graduate degree programs: 96 doctoral, 151 master’s, and 17 specialist degree programs. The Doctor of Philosophy is offered in 86 disciplines, the Master of Arts in 35 disciplines, and the Master of Science in 50 disciplines. Professional doctoral degrees are offered in education, music, and public health, and professional master's degrees are available in 32 areas.[9]

The University awards the Master of Education in 20 disciplines, the Specialist in Education in 17 disciplines, and the Doctor of Education in 8 disciplines. There are also 29 interdisciplinary degrees available at both the master’s and doctoral levels, and certificates in 15 areas are offered as well.

Degrees granted[edit]

  • DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)
  • DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)
  • EdD (Doctor of Education)
  • EdS (Specialist in Education)
  • LLM (Master of Laws)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MAB (Master of Agribusiness)
  • MAcc (Master of Accountancy)
  • MADS (Master of Animal & Dairy Science)
  • MAEd (Master of Art Education)
  • MAEXT (Master of Agricultural Extension
  • MFCS (Master of Family & Consumer Sciences)
  • MAHM (Master of Avian Health & Medicine)
  • MAL (Master of Agricultural Leadership)
  • MAM (Master of Avian Medicine)
  • MAMS (Master of Applied Mathematical Science)
  • MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)
  • MBB (Master of Biomanufacturing & Bioprocessing)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MEPD (Master of Environmental Planning & Design)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
  • MFAM (Master of Food Animal Medicine)
  • MFR (Master of Forest Resources)
  • MFT (Master of Food Technology)
  • MHP (Master of Historic Preservation)
  • MIP (Master of International Policy)
  • MIT (Master of Internet Technology)
  • MLA (Master of Landscape Architecture)
  • MM (Master of Music)
  • MMEd (Master of Music Education)
  • MMR (Master of Marketing Research)
  • MNR (Master of Natural Resources)
  • MPA (Master of Public Administration)
  • MPH (Master of Public Health)
  • MPPPM (Master of Plant Protection & Pest Management)
  • MSW (Master of Social Work)
  • PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Rankings and awards[edit]

The graduate programs at UGA continue to rank among the top 100 in the nation, with programs in public affairs, veterinary medicine, printmaking, and multiple education specializations falling within the top 10 according to the U.S. News & World Report 2013 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

Other graduate programs to consistently earn high marks from a variety of publications and surveys over the last five years include accounting and both MBA and Executive MBA programs at the Terry College of Business; advertising, public relations, and radio/television in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; and landscape architecture in the College of Environment and Design.[10]

The National Research Council’s 2010 report[11] identified six UGA doctoral programs that are among the best in the country. From the more than 5,000 doctoral programs ranked in 62 academic fields at 212 participating universities, UGA programs in Food Science, Public Administration, Exercise Science, Forest Resources, Plant Biology, and Mass Communication ranked in the top 25 of their respective fields.[12]

In 2011, the UGA Graduate School was awarded both the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools/Educational Testing Service Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Admissions for Recruitment through Graduation,[13] and the Conference of Southern Graduate School/Educational Testing Service Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Admissions.

The Graduate School received two Doctoral Completion grants from the Council of Graduate Schools between 2004 and 2010, and in 2012, received the National Science Foundation-funded grant, Doctoral Initiative on Minority Attrition and Completion, from the Council of Graduate Schools as well.


  1. ^ "About the Graduate School". =UGA Grad Studies. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  2. ^ "UGA Fact Book 2011" (PDF). University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  3. ^ "Recent Rankings". UGA Grad Studies. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d The University of Georgia Graduate School. Centennial: Graduate Education at the University of Georgia 1910-2010. Everbest Printing Company, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c "UGA Grad Studies Timeline". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  6. ^ "Come Celebrate 100 Years!". =UGA Grad Studies. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  7. ^ "UGA rises in rankings for doctoral degrees conferred upon African Americans". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  8. ^ a b "UGA graduate dean receives award". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  9. ^ "UGA Grad Studies Degree Programs". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  10. ^ "Points of Pride: Rankings". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  11. ^ "A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States". National Academies Press. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  12. ^ "University of Georgia doctoral programs place high in National Research Council Report". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  13. ^ "UGA Graduate School receives award for excellence and innovation in graduate admissions practices". University of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 

External links[edit]