The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest, largest and most academically diverse college at the University of Georgia. In many ways, it is at the heart of UGA, the nation’s first state-chartered institution of higher education.
The first classes were taught in 1801 in a forest clearing on what is now the University’s historic North Campus. In 1806, the first permanent brick building was constructed on campus and named Franklin College in honor of Benjamin Franklin. The building, which was later renamed Old College, is the oldest structure in Athens and houses the administrative offices of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences as well as classroom space.
Franklin College and University of Georgia were often used interchangeably to describe the fledgling institution until 1859, when the College of Law became the second college on a campus that now boasts 16 schools and colleges.
Today’s Franklin College comprises 30 departments in five divisions: Fine Arts, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and the Humanities. The top five most popular undergraduate majors at UGA—Biology, Psychology, English, Art, History—all are housed within Franklin College. In addition to educating more undergraduates than any college on campus, the Franklin College offers 76 graduate degrees and certificates in 42 fields of study
Our faculty members are at the forefront of their disciplines, exploring research opportunities and creative endeavors that illuminate the human condition and create a foundation for improved well-being and quality of life. The knowledge they create informs their teaching as well as their outreach to the state, nation and world. Like the man for whom the college is named, the faculty, staff and students of the Franklin College are bound by a shared dedication to advancing the frontiers of knowledge through creative inquiry and expression.
Franklin Facts: An overview of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
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