For the eighth consecutive year, the University of Georgia ranks in the top 20 among the nation’s best public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News’ 2024 rankings, released on Sept. 18, position the university at No. 20 among publics and No. 47 among all national universities.
“This year’s ranking demonstrates sustained excellence,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “The University of Georgia is increasingly recognized as one of the best institutions of higher education in the United States in terms of both quality and value. Our consistency in the top 20 is a testament to the dedication of our talented faculty, staff and students, as well as the loyal alumni and friends who support us.”
The University of Georgia shares the No. 20 ranking with Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. UGA is one of only two institutions—along with Georgia Tech—to make the top 20 from the state of Georgia, and Georgia is one of only four states—including California, Virginia and Texas–to have more than one institution in the top 20.
The university also earned high marks in several distinct categories. The Terry College of Business rose to No. 21 for undergraduate business programs. Among its individual degrees, Terry’s risk management and insurance program once again ranked No. 1 in the nation. Its real estate program ranked No. 4, the management information systems program was No. 12, and the accounting program ranked No. 17.
“We are deeply committed to student success at the University of Georgia, and the achievements of our current students, as well as our alumni, reflect that commitment,” said Marisa Pagnattaro, vice president for instruction and senior vice provost for academic planning. “UGA is a national leader in experiential learning, and it is exciting to see the benefits that have accrued to both our students and our university from the many internships, research, travel-study, and other hands-on learning opportunities in which our students engage.”
Demand for a UGA degree has never been higher, with applications more than doubling over the past decade. Graduation and retention rates also continue to rise to record levels. The university’s four-year completion rate has increased to 75.1%, while the six-year completion rate has grown to 88.1%. More than 94% of first-year students return for their second year—well above the average rate at peer institutions. The most recent data from UGA’s Career Outcomes survey shows that 96% of UGA students are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.
In addition, UGA has been strategically investing in its faculty throughout the past decade. In the past two years alone, targeted hiring initiatives have added more than 60 accomplished scholars in data science and artificial intelligence, brain and behavioral health, and integrative precision agriculture, with more hires on the way.
The university’s academic excellence can also be measured by other factors. In the 2022-23 academic year, UGA was one of only three state institutions to have a student selected as a Rhodes Scholar and the only public institution to have multiple recipients of the Marshall Scholarship. In addition, UGA faculty members were awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant and two Guggenheim Fellowships, among other honors, while five professors were named as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“Individual rankings can fluctuate from year to year, but the quality of UGA’s faculty is, without a doubt, growing stronger every year,” said S. Jack Hu, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “From the groundbreaking research they conduct to the world-class instruction and valuable community outreach they provide, our faculty members are contributing extensively to UGA’s achievements.”
The University of Georgia has been recognized by several other notable rankings recently. The rankings platform Niche ranked UGA No. 9 on its annual list of top public universities. The 2024 ranking is based on Niche’s analysis of academic, admissions, financial and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education for more than 500 public colleges and state universities. Niche ranked UGA No. 3 for the best student life in America.
In addition, the University of Georgia held steady at No. 21 in Forbes’ ranking of the top 25 public colleges, and Money magazine awarded UGA a top ranking (4.5 stars), with a specific emphasis on its high graduation rate and scholarship support. The Princeton Review gave UGA top scores across the board on its lists of high-achieving public universities, including the No. 13 best school for financial aid. Just last week, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked UGA’s full-time MBA program at No. 8 among public institutions.
Earlier this spring, U.S. News & World Report’s graduate rankings also gave the university high marks. The School of Public and International Affairs and the College of Veterinary Medicine came in at No. 7, while the School of Law ranked No. 7 among public law schools and 20th overall in the nation. UGA’s online graduate business and education programs ranked in the top 10 among all institutions for the best online programs, and the full-time MBA program in the Terry College of Business ranked No. 11 among public universities. Several programs in the Mary Frances Early College of Education—school counseling, secondary teacher education, and curriculum and instruction—also ranked in the top 10. The higher education administration program in UGA’s Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education ranked No. 6 in the nation.