Kennesaw State University designated a comprehensive university by Board of Regents

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Change in status emphasizes University’s increase in research, graduate programs and global…

Georgia (Aug 14, 2013)Change in status emphasizes University’s increase in research, graduate programs and global engagement

KENNESAW, Ga.  (August 14, 2013) — As a reflection of Kennesaw State’s growing stature and expanded mission, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) today elevated the institution to the status of “comprehensive university.”

“Today’s announcement is a defining moment in the University’s 50-year history,” said Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp. “It is the result of the dedication and shared vision of the entire Kennesaw State community. Our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard to increase our master’s and doctoral program offerings, to expand our research and grant activity, and to raise our global profile. This is a proud day for us, and one that is appropriately timed as we begin the University’s next chapter.” 

According to the new college and university classifications policy approved today by the Board of Regents, institutions classified as comprehensive universities offer undergraduate and master’s-level programs with a number of doctoral programs. Although graduate programs at comprehensive universities are characterized as master’s dominant, under the new policy, institutions designated as comprehensive universities must also commit to become “world-class academic institutions.”

Kennesaw State currently offers 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including professional doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in International Conflict Management. KSU granted its first professional doctorate, in education, in 2010 to Clint Stockton. The University conferred its first Ph.D. in May 2013 to Rebecca LeFebvre, who is now an assistant professor at Southern Polytechnic State University.

Over the past five years, Kennesaw State University’s research and grant activity has increased, averaging more than $10 million in external funding awards and nearly 100 awards per year. Much of the funding has come from increased support from national organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. These grants and others have led to new discoveries by Kennesaw State faculty and provide students with opportunities to gain hands-on experience and participate in academic research.

Kennesaw State has also focused on raising its global profile. In September 2010, the University received the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy’s Top Citizen Diplomacy Program award. Four months later, the University received the Institute for International Education’s 2011 Andrew Heiskell Award for innovation in international education. In March 2011, the University received the Sen. Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. Collectively, these honors recognize the University’s broad range of global learning initiatives, as well as its steady progress toward internationalizing the campus.

Along with Kennesaw State, the Board of Regents also reclassified the University of West Georgia.  In addition, Valdosta State University and Georgia Southern University — which were previously categorized as regional universities — were named comprehensive universities.  Prior to today’s reclassification, Kennesaw State was designated as a state university.

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Community. Innovation. Engagement. For the past 50 years, Kennesaw State University has embodied and embraced these values. From a fledgling junior college to Georgia's third-largest university, Kennesaw State has been dedicated to providing students with the tools they need to become capable, visionary and ethical leaders who are engaged global citizens. Today, Kennesaw State offers more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees to a growing population of 24,600 students representing more than 130 countries. Nationally recognized as a leader in first-year programs and international education, Kennesaw State is dedicated to being a leader in developing curriculum that prepares students to move forward in a fast-changing world.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit