U.S. News & World Report names Kennesaw State among “2017 Best Colleges”

 Marietta Globe

University upgraded to a national institution; first-year program recognized for 13th year

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 14, 2016) — U.S. News & World Report has elevated Kennesaw State from a regional to a national university in its “2017 Best Colleges” issue. The University also was recognized in the annual rankings as one of the top 28 universities nationwide for its first-year program.

“This is a major accomplishment for Kennesaw State and demonstrates the progress this University continues to make toward achieving its goal of becoming a world-class institution,” said Interim President Houston Davis. “Recognition, such as this, comes from having a curious student body interested in learning, a dedicated staff willing to go the extra mile, and teaching and research faculty members who are committed to helping students achieve success.”

Kennesaw State, one of the 50 largest public universities in the U.S., was named among 298 national universities, which as defined by U.S. News, offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. U.S. News assessed more than 1,600 four-year American colleges and universities, using criteria such as retention and graduation rates, assessment by peers and counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate. 

The University’s inclusion among national universities comes on the heels of Kennesaw State’s rise in status to a doctoral research institution with moderate research activity — designated an “R3” — in The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning.

U.S. News’ 2017 report also ranked Kennesaw State’s first-year programs among the nation’s top 28 for First Year Experience in its “Academic Programs to Look For,” a distinction the University has earned for 13 years.

Housed in Kennesaw State’s University College, the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies helps students transition from high school to college life, aiding retention rates and building a sense of community on campus. As part of the First-Year Experience, students participate in innovative orientation activities and enroll in a first-year seminar course or learning community, where they are encouraged to study together, establish friendships and sharpen their critical thinking skills as they become globally engaged citizens.

Earlier this year, Kennesaw State was selected as one of 44 universities – and the only one in Georgia –by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to help set the course for first-year academic success among college students nationally. This initiative is geared especially to low-income, first-generation and minority students.

“Helping students make a successful transition from high school to college plays a vital role in how successful they will be throughout their college career,” said Davis. “We are proud and honored that our efforts in this area are consistently recognized as an example of providing our students with the best possible experience.”


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 kennesaw.edu