Clayton State University is located 15 miles from downtown Atlanta in a beautiful lakeside setting. The university currently offers eight master's degree programs and 40+ baccalaureate degree majors.
The beginning of the University can be traced to 1965 when the Board of Regents authorized three new junior colleges for the University System, one of which was designated for south metropolitan Atlanta. The Board considered several locations in the region, and chose the present site in Clayton County because of the unique combination of natural beauty and easy access to the then recently-completed Interstate 75. The citizens of Clayton County subsidized the initial construction of the state institution by passing a bond issue for nearly $5 million. Construction of the new campus began in fall 1968, and the doors opened to 942 students less than a year later on September 30, 1969.
In 1981, the University added a technical division offering applied associate degrees and certificates in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education. Five years later Clayton State began its baccalaureate mission with programs in business administration and nursing. The institution has continued to add majors at the bachelors level since that time. One notable example was the establishment of the Bachelor of Applied Science degree in 1996, as Clayton State emerged as a national leader in promoting opportunities for graduates from applied associate degree programs to bridge to bachelors degrees with little, if any, loss of credit.
Five years after initiating its baccalaureate programs in 1986, Clayton State opened the doors to the finest small performance facility in the southeastern United States, Spivey Hall. Now, more than 20 years later, Spivey Hall retains its local, national and international reputation by presenting the best in jazz and classical music and an education outreach program that serves thousands of school children from throughout metro Atlanta annually.
On November 16, 2005, Clayton States first graduate level program, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, opening the door to a whole new world of meeting the educational needs of students and citizens in metro Atlanta. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is the only degree of its kind in the state, and is designed to give students with highly focused undergraduate degrees the opportunity to explore a more multidisciplinary approach. A second graduate program, the Master of Science in Nursing, was approved by the Board of Regents in June 2006, a third, the Master of Health Administration, was approved in August 2006, and a fourth, a Master of Business Administration, in January 2007. The Universitys fifth and sixth graduate programs, a Master of Arts in Teaching in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics, were approved by the Board of Regents in October 2008. Graduate programs in Archival Studies (2009) and Psychology (2010) became the Universitys seventh and eight masters programs.