From its humble beginnings as an agricultural and mechanical school in 1906 to a leading university, the University of West Georgia has a history rich with knowledge and growth. The Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School in Carrollton opened its doors in response to a call for “more realistic educational programs for rural youth” ages 13-21. With the site of the former Bonner Plantation chosen as a location, 110 pupils enrolled in 1908.
As time changed, so did the educational priorities of Georgia and the nation. By 1933, seven of the A&M schools abandoned their missions, and a decision was made to abolish the remaining A&M schools.
Despite the change, the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School was chosen later that year to become West Georgia College, a two-year institution of higher learning.
The evolution continued when West Georgia became a four-year institution in 1957. At that time, 589 students were enrolled. By 1971, enrollment had increased to over 6,000 students. Just seven years after West Georgia received university status, fall enrollment topped 10,000.
Today, more than 106 programs are offered at the University of West Georgia through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Social Sciences, the College of Science and Mathematics, the Richards College of Business, the College of Education and the School of Nursing.
We’re one of the top producers of both nurses and educators in the state. Our Richard’s College of Business is AACSB accredited – and one of a small percentage of schools with separate accreditation for accounting. Our new School of the Arts breaks down traditional boundaries by celebrating and incorporating creativity in all its forms. We’re the official home of Georgia’s Political Heritage Program, the center for eCore education in the state, and we have the only fully functioning forensic anthropology lab in the area. This is just a small sampling of the hidden gems scattered throughout our 645-acre campus. We’re proud of our many unique features, and of providing facilities that enrich the student experience. We recently opened a gleaming new bookstore, our library has undergone a major renovation, we’ve added an innovative new arts building, and we just opened a gorgeous residential facility for freshmen. Now we’re building a state-of-the-art nursing building and creating additional, modern residence halls.
Our more than 11,700 students come from all over Georgia, all over America, and from 69 nations. They choose undergraduate majors ranging from the liberal arts to the sciences, the social sciences to education, nursing to business. They win national awards in undergraduate research competitions and in academic debate. We have students performing biomedical research, outranking private university debate teams, studying trees to evaluate historical sites, and submitting winning tee shirt designs for the Peachtree Road Race. We have cheerleaders winning national competitions…over and over again. UWG students are studying overseas, developing local outreach programs, and building robots. Their experiences enhance their resumes, preparing them well for future successes and opportunities.
UWG is a land of firsts. We awarded the first Ph.D. in University System of Georgia history outside of the four research universities and we’ve awarded more than 20 doctoral degrees in a year (which is the stated number needed for classification as a Carnegie Doctoral Research University). We’re also home to Georgia's first and only Board-approved Honors College and Georgia's first Advanced Academy for exceptionally gifted high school students. Through our innovative program, such students can complete their last two years of high school and their first two years of college simultaneously. They have gone on to the best universities in the world, such as Yale and Oxford, and have been awarded Goldwater and Marshall Scholarships.
We’ve been a Princeton Review Best Southeastern College for more than a decade and our Richards College of Business is listed as a best business school by the same source. UWG is regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as is our Richards College of Business, and our graduate programs in nursing and education are nationally ranked. Our online programs also score high in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Our online bachelor programs ranked in the top 30 nationally for Faculty Credentials and Training as well as Student Services and Technology, while our online nursing and business programs ranked #14 and #18 in Student Engagement and Accreditation.
While our primary function is to provide a solid, respected education that balances theory with practice, we’re committed to helping students grow in all areas of life. Our library and laboratories stimulate the mind. Our residence halls and support programs nurture the body. Our athletic programs enliven the spirit. We offer more than 150 student clubs and organizations; academic and personal support; and a robust system of cultural, intellectual, and recreational activities.
We are also a NCAA Division II school and a member of the Gulf South Conference. We currently compete in five men’s and seven women’s sports in addition to our championship cheerleading squads. Over the past several years, we’ve expanded our athletics significantly. The Coliseum, an academic facility for our sports management majors, also hosts concerts and special events for up to 6,500 and is home to Wolves basketball and Volleyball. The recently completed Athletics Complex includes the athletics administration building, football and soccer practice fields, and the Women's Complex, which features competition soccer and softball fields as well as a fieldhouse. The new 9,500-seat University Stadium, home to UWG Wolves football, anchors the complex. Game day at UWG is a community event, drawing local residents, students, faculty and staff, and alumni alike.
We’re quite proud of our more than 60,000 alumni worldwide: newscasters, authors, international business leaders, teachers of the year, Hollywood makeup artists, entrepreneurs, critical care nurses, and everything in between. Our alumni have gone on to achieve remarkable successes, and they recognize and talk about the importance of a UWG education through their continued support.
Our faculty and staff are doing some pretty amazing things too. They’re visiting far-flung reaches of the world to give lectures, provide medical services, and educate the less fortunate. They’re publishing books, advising small businesses, and excavating archaeological sites. Our faculty are well qualified and highly experienced in their fields. They research, publish, and present and always work to stay on top of the latest trends and issues affecting both higher education and their individual subject areas.
They recognize the importance of professional standards and ethics. They show a high level of respect for colleagues in all functions and recognize the important role that each individual plays; we work as a team toward common goals. We understand the importance of higher education to individuals, businesses, organizations and communities. Our collegial attitude leads us to support all areas of UWG including academics, the arts, athletics and student initiatives.
At UWG, we believe that when you “Work West,” it’s not just a job. It’s a calling. To Work West is to inspire, challenge, support and explore – and to apply these actions to your own life as well as the lives of those around you. We are not content to trod the same, familiar paths. Instead, we seek out new options, try new solutions and find new ways over, around or through any obstacle that dares get in the way of a better and brighter tomorrow.
Working West means choosing a career that impacts lives – the lives of students, parents, colleagues and community members. It means constantly learning about your chosen profession, about your own capabilities and about what our university can do. It means helping to create an environment in which scholarly achievement, creative expression and service to humanity are not just theoretical ideals, but practicable realities. Above all, to Work West is to use your life’s passion to help students find theirs.
UWG’s commitment to building a better future extends beyond our classrooms. We pride ourselves on serving our communities through volunteer efforts and programs that enhance our region and its people. That’s what makes us the most forward-looking, future-oriented institution in Georgia.
UWG is in the early stages of unprecedented growth that applies not only to our enrollment numbers, but also to our retention and graduation rates, our facilities, our positive-light visibility within the general public, and our impact on the local, regional, and state communities. This is due in part to the award-winning Go West brand. The brand and associated comprehensive campaign are a first for UWG, but they are also a rarity in the public higher education space as a whole. The demonstrated impact and success of our initiatives have earned us recognition at the highest system levels and UWG is quickly becoming the gold standard for marketing and communications among Georgia public colleges.
But the brand is successful only because it is genuine – and because it represents a genuinely outstanding school. The claims we make are borne out by the UWG experience. Our faculty and staff are truly invested in student success. Our campus life is truly vibrant, engaging, and diverse. Our academic programs truly offer unusual opportunities for undergraduate research, individual exploration, and real-life experiences. Amazing things truly happen when you Go West.
Everywhere you look, UWG is blazing trails to new possibilities for scholarly achievement, creative expression, and service to humanity. We invite leaders, life-changers, seekers, creators, visionaries, investigators, and game-changers to join us in creating a world of unfettered opportunity where the best and the brightest can make their marks, impact their local communities and contribute to a more competitive Georgia.