Colleges and UniversitiesEducation

Master’s Programs in Atlanta
Atlanta's Universities Gather High Accolades for Graduate Programs

On top of being consistently ranked at the top for U.S. cities that are ideal for graduate students and young professionals, some of Atlanta’s best colleges and universities are being nationally recognized for their master’s and graduate programs. KNOWAtlanta reached out for the highlights on these universities’ top programs, most of them in the top ranks by education’s major players, to find out where Atlanta’s higher education is truly excelling into the professional sphere.

Georgia Institute of Technology 

Top master’s programs available: Georgia Tech’s Master of Business Administration programs offered through the Scheller College of Business include evening part-time, full-time and executive. The part-time MBA program offers students access to the same curriculum and counterparts as the full-time programs, but with a more flexible, evening format. Thinking on a global level and networking with classmates from diverse professional backgrounds from more than 300 companies tips the iceberg; the part-time format combines the customizable and comprehensive curriculum of the full-time MBA and flexibility ideal for working professionals.

The full-time MBA is nationally ranked and collaborative, with a high-caliber learning community undistracted by career commitments, while the executive MBA operates under two truths of today’s business world and expresses these realities: that commerce is increasingly conducted on a global scale and that technology is pervasive in every discipline. Within the executive MBA program are focuses on management of technology or global business.

National rankings: In May 2015, Georgia Tech’s Scheller College was ranked No. 1 for Best MBA Value by Business Insider. Business Insider also ranked Scheller seventh for networking, eighth for financial aid and 12th for Best Quality of Education. In March 2015, U.S. News and World Report ranked Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering No. 6 in their national rankings; all 11 of the programs within the college were ranked in the top 10, including industrial engineering (No. 1), biomedical and bioengineering (No. 2), environmental (No. 4), civil (No. 5), aerospace (No. 5), mechanical (No. 5), electrical (No. 6), computer (No. 7), nuclear (No. 5), materials (No. 6) and chemical (No. 9). Tech’s industrial engineering program has been ranked No. 1 for more than two decades.

Enrolling: For more information, visit

Life University 

Top master’s programs available: Life University has master’s programs in positive psychology, clinical nutrition, athletic training and sport health science. “As a health-and-wellness-oriented university, all of our programs are centered around the philosophy of vitalism, which recognizes that the body is a conscious, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing organism,” says Dr. Cynthia Boyd, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “Our vitalistic philosophy puts an emphasis on unlocking the potential of the human body, connecting students across campus regardless of their field of study.”

Life’s graduate programs incorporate small class sizes, hands-on training for real-life situations and specializations that allow each student to narrow their field of focus. The master’s fields of athletic training and sport health science are experiencing rapid growth; these programs focus on the application of scientific paradigms related to optimal health, prevention of injuries, improved recovery and overall performance. Students learn directly from professors who have worked in the field with world-class athletes and as clinical exercise physiologists in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs. Students studying positive psychology can select either the coaching psychology or the secular ethics and contemplative science tracks. Positive psychology includes key areas such as happiness, life satisfaction, meaning in life, gratitude, compassion and forgiveness, which for the most part remained unexplored in general psychology. Students in the master’s in clinical nutrition program have significant opportunities to participate in clinical research activities and to explore the growing field of nutrigenomics.

National rankings: The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Life University the sixth fastest-growing private, nonprofit master’s level institution in the nation,” Boyd says. “Public Health Online just named Life University’s Nutrition program in the Top 50 nutrition programs in the nation. It is also the only university in the Southeast to offer a master’s program in positive psychology, and one of only a handful in the nation.”

Enrolling: If you’re interested in signing up for a graduate program at Life, visit or call 800-543-3203 or 770-426-2600.

Clayton State University

Top master’s programs available: Clayton State University’s list of master’s programs span concentrations from nursing and teaching to criminal justice, business administration and education. The Master of Science in Psychology program is unique in that it is designed as a terminal or professional master’s degree that combines a heavily applied community-oriented training model with extensive research preparation. There are two highly distinctive tracks of study: applied development psychology and clinical psychology.

The Master of Archival Studies program is entirely online, allowing students to attend from anywhere in the world. Students attend weekly live, interactive web lectures and participate in ongoing, online discussions with the instructor and other students. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program that encourages innovative thought, promotes connections to others, cultivates analytical reasoning skills and is designed for many individuals “” recent college graduates; professionals in the public and private sectors; current and prospective teachers; lawyers; state workers; non-profit arts administrators; and private business owners. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is a relatively new concept in graduate education, but it rests squarely in the venerable tradition of liberal education and is becoming increasingly popular.

National rankings: The Master of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, making Clayton State one of only 727 member institutions in 48 countries and territories to hold that accreditation. AACSB Accreditation is known worldwide as the longest-standing, most-recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.

Enrolling: Information on all nine of Clayton State master’s programs, including application information, is available on the School of Graduate Studies website,

Kennesaw State University

Top master’s programs available: “Some of our more popular graduate programs include our MBA program, and programs in nursing, education, statistics, social work, conflict management and computer science,” says David Baugher, assistant dean for the Graduate College at Kennesaw State University. Their internationally ranked and AACSB-accredited degree programs have all of your personal and professional goals covered.

KSU’s Executive MBA from the Coles College of Business provides strategic planning, management expertise and leadership to help graduate students take their careers to the next level. A cutting-edge curriculum with ambitious electives lends to their proven ROI, with more than 94 percent of students reporting that their Coles EMBA increased their value to their organization. The School of Accountancy, home to KSU’s Master of Accounting degree program, has the largest accounting program in the state of Georgia.

National rankings: The MBA at Coles College of Business is consistently ranked among the top programs in the country by several publications, including: part-time program ranked No. 1 among public universities in Georgia and No. 22 in the nation Bloomberg Businessweek; ranked 14th for Best Value Online MBA Programs by; ranked 86th in the U.S. News and World Report‘s Best Part-Time MBA in 2016; and ranked 25th in the U.S. News and World Report‘s Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.

Enrolling: You can apply online through