Georgia College & State University (Georgia College or GCSU) is a public liberal arts university in Milledgeville, Georgia, United States, with approximately 7,000 students. It was designated as Georgia's "Public Liberal Arts University" in 1996 by the Board of Regents, and is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. It is a member of the University System of Georgia.
Its "private university" approach includes a student to faculty ratio that averages 17 to 1.
While the legal name is Georgia College & State University, Georgia College is preferred by the university, to distinguish itself from Georgia State University. This "shorthand" or "brand name" is widely used by faculty, staff, students, administrators and alumni.
Georgia College was chartered in 1889 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College. Its emphasis at the time was largely vocational, and its major task was to prepare young women for teaching or industrial careers. In 1917, in keeping with economic and cultural changes in the state, Georgia Normal and Industrial College was authorized to grant degrees, the first of which was awarded in 1921. In 1922, the institution's name was changed to Georgia State College for Women. The University has been a unit of the University System of Georgia since it was formed in 1932. The name was changed to Women's College of Georgia in 1961, and, when the institution became coeducational in 1967, it became Georgia College at Milledgeville. The name was later shortened to Georgia College. In August 1996, the Board of Regents approved a change of name to Georgia College & State University, and a new mission as Georgia's Public Liberal Arts University. 
The central campus comprises about 43.2 acres (174,000 m²) in the center of Milledgeville, near the grounds of the former state capitol. The campus contains buildings of red brick and white Corinthian columns, representative of those constructed during the pre-Civil War Antebellum period, when Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia.
Most of the university's residence halls are located a block from central campus along with the sports complex, called the Centennial Center. The Old Governor's Mansion is also within walking distance of the residence halls and front campus. West Campus, a 500 acre (2 km²) extension two miles (3 km) from the central campus, contains The Village student apartments and athletic fields. In addition, GC operates a large recreational area on Lake Laurel (approximately 15 minutes from the central campus) which is used by students in the university's Environmental Science and Outdoor Education programs.
GC also offers advanced degree programs at its Center for Graduate and Professional Learning in the Thomas Jefferson Building in downtown Macon. The MBA, MPA, and MSA in logistics are offered in Warner Robins ('Robins Center'), on the Air Force base located there.
Bell Hall and Russell Auditorium are credited architect J. Reginald MacEachron.
Over $150 million has been invested in the Milledgeville campus over the past few years, including new classrooms, enhanced academic facilities, and the addition of a new Library and Instructional Technology Center which can accommodate over 1,000 students. The university has also invested heavily in technology and was recognized by Intel as one of "the 50 most wired campuses in the country."
In 2006, the university partnered with the Georgia College Foundation to open its new multi-million dollar graduate center in Macon.
With its shift from being a commuter school to a residential university, there was also a complete renovation of student housing, including the construction of a new student apartment complex called The Village.
Known as the Georgia College Bobcats, the college is currently a member of NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference. Georgia College currently sponsors varsity teams in baseball, men's and women's basketball, cheerleading, men's and women's cross country, golf, dance team, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis and volleyball.
Georgia College provides housing for its students. Students have the option to reside either in a suite-style residence hall on Central Campus or in an apartment at The Village on West Campus. The residential halls on Central Campus are Bell, Sanford, Parkhurst, Wells, Napier, Foundation and Adams. Students have the option of dining at The Max (main dining hall), which includes Chick-fil-A, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Subway, Books & Brew Starbucks Café, as well as the recently added World of Wings and Sandella's.
Georgia College has a very active Greek Life with over 15 sororities and fraternities under various councils.
Georgia College provides students with a wide range of practical opportunities for working in the media. The GC Student media includes the Colonnade (newspaper), Bobcat Media Productions/ GC 360 (tv station/news show), 95.3 The Noise (radio), Peacock’s Feet (creative journal) and The Corinthian (journal of student research).
Georgia College's Student Government Association (SGA) serves the campus community by addressing student concerns, promoting understanding within the college community, and administering all matters which are delegated to the student government by the university President. The responsibility for the governing of the student body is vested in the students themselves. All students are members of the SGA upon their enrollment and officers and Senators are elected on a yearly basis.
Students and rankings
According to SAT results listed on CollegeBoard.com, GC students have the third highest average of all public schools in Georgia. As of 2009, GC has been Georgia's top-ranked public Master's University in U.S. News and World Report for the past four years. Kiplinger.com ranks Georgia College in the top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. The university boasts a student retention rate of 84%, making it a leader in that category. In 2007, 18 states and 43 nations were represented by its student body. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked GCSU as 30th among regional colleges in the South. The publication also named GCSU as 10th best public school among regional universities.
In 2009, TheDailyBeast.com named GCSU as the 8th safest college in the nation.
The university library also houses the manuscript collection of author Flannery O'Connor, an alumna of the university, and of U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell, whose career included serving as director of the Peace Corps when the Berlin Wall fell.
The University is home to the prominent literary journal Arts & Letters.