The University System of Georgia includes all state-operated institutions of higher education in Georgia-4 research universities, 2 regional universities, 13 state universities, 15 associate degree colleges. These 34 public institutions are located throughout the state.

A 15-member constitutional Board of Regents governs the University System, which has been in operation since 1932. Appointments of Board members are made by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the State Senate. Regular terms of Board members are seven years.

The Chair, Vice Chair, and other officers of the Board of Regents are elected by the members of the Board. The Chancellor, who is not a Board member, is the chief executive officer of the Board and the chief administrative officer of the University System.

The overall programs and services of the University System are offered through three major components: Instruction; Public Service/ Continuing Education; Research.

INSTRUCTION consists of programs of study leading toward degrees, ranging from the associate (two-year) level to the doctoral level, and certificates.

Standards for admission of students to instructional programs at each institution are determined, pursuant to policies of the Board of Regents, by the institution. The Board establishes minimum standards and leaves to each institution the prerogative to establish higher standards. Applications for admission should be addressed to the institutions.

PUBLIC SERVICE/CONTINUING EDUCATION consists of non-degree activities, primarily, and special types of college degree-credit courses. The non-degree activities include short courses, seminars, conferences, and consultative and advisory services in many areas of interest. Typical college degree-credit courses are those offered through extension center programs and teacher education consortiums.

RESEARCH encompasses scholarly investigations conducted for discovery and application of knowledge. Most of the research is conducted through the research universities; however, some of it is conducted through several of the regional and state universities. The research investigations cover matters related to the educational objectives of the institutions and to general social needs.

The policies of the Board of Regents provide a high degree of autonomy for each institution. The executive head of each institution is the President, whose election is recommended by the Chancellor and approved by the Board.