Students talking outside of The J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Goal 2

Significantly strengthen and grow the base of distinctive graduate and professional programs that assure development of the next generation of researchers and societal leaders.

Social, cultural and economic progress depends in part on the work and dedication of well-educated scholars, scientists and societal leaders. As a public research university, one of Georgia State’s primary functions is to provide talented and motivated individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to take on important roles. This is best done through high-quality graduate and professional programs that are well supported and that target the areas of greatest projected need.


Expand support for doctoral programs. A cornerstone to the growth and quality of a research university is the interdependence between the conduct of research and the opportunities for quality graduate study. It is with this appreciation that the university will create a plan for increasing investment in graduate programs, with a goal of maintaining approximately 30 percent of the student body enrolled in graduate programs, with a particular emphasis on increasing the number of Ph.D. and professional doctoral students. Of particular note, while our doctoral programs provide scholars and researchers for research universities, based on the diversity of the students who attend Georgia State, we are particularly well positioned to increase the trend of GSU providing the academy and public and private enterprises with minority students holding graduate degrees. To increase the research profile of the university and graduate an increased number of doctoral students in programs of excellence throughout the university, at least two strategies will be considered. First, the size of the faculty and the number of Ph.D. assistantships in selected programs that contribute to this goal should be increased. Second, the level of scholarship and assistantship funds awarded to students should be increased to nationally competitive rates to ensure that Georgia State is able to compete for the best students from across the nation and around the world.


Leverage our national reputation in professional degree programs for the development of societal leaders. Georgia State has achieved national prominence of its professional programs and will leverage their strengths in ways that support their current trajectory toward becoming elite programs for professional education and dissemination of scholarship that respond to the 21st century need for leaders with cross-professional competencies. Increasingly, societal leaders play multiple roles in complex organizations with responsibilities across sectors. This requires that professional education broaden to include sets of experiences across multiple disciplines. To accomplish this cross-professional competency, interdisciplinary graduate degree programs will be increased, both by leveraging existing successful programs and by creating new programs that address unmet and evolving needs. The university also will create a consortium of courses designed to provide leadership and professional skills drawn from a broad array of disciplines to supplement profession-specific curricula. Further, the university will develop noncredit executive education programs for those who face increasingly complex issues in their operating environments and/or are considering transition to other organizational contexts (e.g., business to nonprofit). In addition, the university will consider the creation of a university-level facility that will serve as a central location for executive education and allow the university to accommodate individuals from outside the Atlanta metropolitan area.