An Overview of the University of North Georgia


The University of North Georgia (UNG) is a public senior military college with multiple campuses in Georgia. It is part of the University System of Georgia. The university was established on 08 January 2013 by a merger of North Georgia College & State University (founded 1873) and Gainesville State College (founded 1964). Campus locations include Dahlonega, Oakwood (Gainesville Campus), Watkinsville (Oconee Campus), Blue Ridge, and Cumming.

With nearly 20,000 enrolled students, the University of North Georgia is the sixth-largest public university in the state of Georgia. Within UNG, there are five colleges which collectively offer over one hundred bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as thirteen master’s degrees and one doctoral degree. Over 600 students are involved in the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programme in any given year, which has given it the designation as The Military College of Georgia. The university is one of six senior military colleges in the United States.

Brief History

North Georgia College and State University began in 1873 as North Georgia Agricultural College. It was originally an offsite branch of the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture and Mechanical, and was created with funds from the Morrill Act (refer to American Civil War). William Pierce Price, a local congressman, persuaded officials at UGA to use part of the funds to establish a branch of the newly created college in Dahlonega, Price’s birthplace and home. The college opened classes in 1873 with 177 students, 98 males and 79 females, making it the first coeducational college in the state. Classes were originally held in the old US mint building that was shut down during the Civil War. After the college was awarded the power to grant degrees in 1876, the first graduating class received degrees in 1879. The first graduating class of four consisted of three men and one woman, making North Georgia the first public institution in the state to award a degree to a female.

The college had always had a military presence, since land-grant schools were required to teach military tactics, but it was not until World War I when the military programmes began to grow. The National Defense Act of 1916 that created the ROTC also helped establish the military presence that is felt on the campus today. In 1929 the designation of Agricultural was dropped from the name and the school became North Georgia College. By 1932 the college was reduced to a two-year junior college. World War II saw a decline in enrolment because of the number of male students joining the war effort. This changed when an Army Specialised Training Programme was placed at the college to train junior officers. After the war the college grew because of young servicemen and veterans using their GI bill benefits to attend school. By 1946 the college was reinstated as a four-year college. In the 1950s, Dahlonega provided gold for the leafing of the capitol building. It was also at this time that similar efforts to gold leaf Price Memorial Hall were begun, a project that did not see fruition until 1973. It was granted university status in 1996.

Meanwhile, Gainesville Junior College was founded in Oakwood, Georgia in 1964 and began holding classes in 1966. The school originally was a two-year college and for many years had an open-access mission, meaning that it accepted all applicants who held a high school diploma. Over time, the school expanded, opening branch campuses in Watkinsville, Georgia and Cumming, Georgia (which was a joint venture with North Georgia College and State University called University Centre 400 that opened August 2012 then renamed to Cumming Campus in January 2013 at consolidation), and changing its name to Gainesville College and then Gainesville State College. Before consolidation with the North Georgia College and State University, the school had already begun to shift towards allowing four-year baccalaureate programmes.

On January 10, 2012, the University System of Georgia approved the consolidation of North Georgia College and State University and Gainesville State College to form a new institution, the University of North Georgia in January 2013.


The University of North Georgia has campuses located in Dahlonega, Oakwood (Gainesville), Watkinsville (Oconee), Cumming and Blue Ridge. Collectively, there is 794 acres (321 ha) of land among the Dahlonega, Oakwood, and Watkinsville campuses.

Dahlonega Campus

UNG’s Dahlonega campus is the former site of North Georgia College & State University. It was not until 1879 that the oldest surviving structure, Price Memorial Hall, was constructed upon the former site of the Dahlonega Mint. Today the gold-leafed steeple of the Price Memorial Hall building remains one of the most striking features of the UNG skyline. Much of the campus has been developed around the William J. Livsey Drill Field, more commonly known as simply “the Drill Field”. Dahlonega is located approximately an hour’s drive from downtown Atlanta (66 miles (106 km) away), an hour and half drive from downtown Athens (60 miles (97 km) away), a two-hour and fifteen minute drive from Chattanooga, Tennessee (109 miles (175 km) away), and an approximately two hour and twenty minute drive from Greenville, South Carolina (127 miles (204 km) away).

Gainesville Campus

Until it was consolidated with North Georgia College & State University in 2013, UNG’s Gainesville campus was the location of Gainesville State College. Now known as the “Gainesville campus”, it is located within the city limits of Oakwood. It has retained its named association with “Gainesville,” since the school was founded in and located near that major city. Because of its close proximity to Interstate 985 and Georgia State Route 53, it is conveniently accessible for much of Hall County.

Cumming Campus

In 2012, an academic facility in Cumming, GA was opened on GA 400. The goal of the Cumming campus is to eventually offer a range of programs. The intention of the non-residential campus is to address capacity concerns for the University of North Georgia. The Cumming campus also provides higher education to an area of the state that was previously “underserved”.

Oconee Campus

The campus was established in 2003, originally as a part of Gainesville State College. Oconee is a non-residential campus primarily serving students in the Athens and Watkinsville area. The campus is easily accessible from US-441 and the University of North Georgia has recently announced plans to expand the campus to accommodate the growing class sizes.

Blue Ridge Campus

On August 13, 2015, UNG opened a new campus in Blue Ridge, GA. The purpose of the Blue Ridge Campus is to offer dual-enrolment options for high school students, classes for first-time freshmen, classes for adult learners, and continuing and professional education programmes. The students on this campus can also take classes via eCore, an online platform through which they can complete the first two years of their degree.


The University of North Georgia is a public co-educational institution that operates on a semester term schedule.

University of North Georgia Honours Programme

Distinctive to UNG’s program, 40% of the students in the program study abroad before graduation, 80% graduate in four years, and 95% graduate within five years. The Honours Programme at UNG emphasizes leadership and require students to serve in leadership positions within the Honours Programme and/or other campus organisations. UNG is a member of the Georgia Collegiate Honours Council, the Southern Regional Honours Council, and the National Collegiate Honours Council.

Honours classes emphasize discussion, analysis, teamwork, independent learning, and an appreciation for the interrelates of knowledge. UNG’s Honours Programme classes are discussion-based, emphasizing critical thinking, with smaller class sizes that average between 16-18 students. These classes provide individual faculty attention, promote individual growth, and encourage creativity and innovation among students.

Undergraduate students accepted into UNG’s selective honours programme receive priority registration, smaller classes, access to faculty, and peer research mentors. Students also receive professional networking, leadership, and scholarship opportunities. Students are also given the opportunity to present at state or regional Honours conferences.


The University of North Georgia’s Distance Education & Technology Integration (DETI) programme is designed to make earning a degree easier for students. It does this by making classes available online. By putting classes on the internet, this programme gives more flexibility for students, especially for non-traditional students (students who do not proceed directly from high school to college, who attend college part-time or work full-time, and more). Being able to access the University of North Georgia’s accredited classes from afar gives more students the opportunity to earn a degree.

DETI is operated by sixteen staff members in the Administration, Student Success, Instructional Design, and Technology Integration departments. These are joined by the numerous professors who teach the classes. These members of the faculty and staff are located in the Library & Technology Centre on the Dahlonega campus, as well as the Blue Ridge, Gainesville, and Oconee campuses.


For undergraduates the University of North Georgia offers 129 associate and baccalaureate degrees, as well as pre-professional and certificate programmes. For graduates the university offers thirteen degree programmes as well as one doctoral programme. As a state-designated leadership institution, UNG is the only university in Georgia to offer a minor in leadership. The school is also a flagship ROTC Centre in Chinese. This designation is aimed at helping cadets become proficient in Chinese language and culture. However, due mostly to size, each campus varies significantly in terms of which degree curricula they can accommodate. The Dahlonega campus focuses on Baccalaureate and graduate programmes, and is the only one of the four campuses that offers Pre-Professional Programmes. A smaller number of baccalaureate programmes, most of which are education or business related, are available at the Gainesville Campus, while associate degrees are offered at both the Gainesville and Oconee campuses. As of Fall 2014, Gainesville campus is now offering a bachelor’s degree in Communication and offering three concentrations in Film and Digital Media, Multimedia Journalism, and Organisational Leadership.

Professional and Continuing Education

The University of North Georgia provides an array of services for professional and continuing education. Some of the programmes provided include leadership development, photography classes, computer training, English and foreign language classes, travel, and industry certifications. These courses are designed to help people and businesses with job growth as well as recruitment. Courses can be taken at any University of North Georgia campus for an assorted fee. UNG also provides thousands of online professional and continuing education classes if you are unable to take classes on campus. UNG also provides space for events such as corporate events, meetings, conferences or camps. Accommodations for events include conference rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, dining, wireless internet, and parking. By contacting the professional and continuing education department any business can hold an event at UNG as well as outside camps. Camps provided by the university include academic and athletic camps for kids and students. On the Gainesville and Dahlonega campuses, anyone who is not a student at the university is able to pay a fee for a gym membership and use the recreational facilities located on those campuses.

Student Life

The University of North Georgia has 18,219 undergraduate students with a gender distribution of 44% male and 56% female. With 70% of students being full-time, Student life at UNG varies between campuses due to the differences in student housing accommodation of the two primary campuses in Dahlonega and Gainesville. Out of the 7,541 undergraduate students attending the Dahlonega campus, 36% live in college-owned housing. Unlike the Gainesville campus, which offers no student housing, the Dahlonega campus has a permanent residing student body of roughly 2,500 throughout most of the fall and spring semesters.

Approximately 32% of students at the Gainesville and Oconee campuses are from the counties in which the campus are located (Hall and Oconee counties). The Gainesville and Oconee campuses are located on the outskirts of the city of Gainesville and the city of Watkinsville, respectively. 29% of students at the Gainesville campus are part-time, ‘non-traditional’ (23 years of age or greater).

In addition to its official student run multimedia news organisation The Vanguard, the University operates a number of official social-media pages for sharing UNG news and content.

Student Organisations

The University of North Georgia has several clubs and organisations on the Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee campuses that students may join. Overall, there are more than 200 student organisations across the University of North Georgia campuses. Each campus has organisations for various interests, but there is currently no information available about student organisations on the Cumming campus. The University of North Georgia uses the website, OrgSync, to connect students with organisations.

Greek Life

As of 2019, 5% of men undergraduate students and 10% of women undergraduate students are active members of fraternities and sororities. The three councils that govern the Greek community at the school are the Interfraternity Council (males), the Panhellenic Council (females), and the Unified Greek Council (gender inclusive). The school is home to nine national fraternities, seven national sororities, one national honour fraternity, and one local fraternity. Two National Pan-Hellenic Council organisations have chapters at the university and are active on all campuses.

Orientation and Transition Programmes

The University of North Georgia offers four programmes for new students as well as for students switching campuses. UNG Basecamp offers new students ways to improve leadership skills, including team-building exercises and community service. Family Day is an annual event that occurs during the Fall semester where new students share experiences. Transition Welcome Day for students changing campuses occurs on all five campuses. This programme was designed to welcome new students to campus and help adjust. Weeks of Welcome, or WoW, are the first two weeks of the Fall semester. Each campus creates a social and educational itinerary for students to engage with others and transition into the school year.


The Military Leadership Centre was dedicated in 2004 to Brooks Pennington Jr., who was a World War II and Korean War Veteran, as well as a Georgia state Congressman and Senator. The Centre accommodates four high-technology classrooms, a conference room, a rifle range, and the Brigade Headquarters.

Because of UNG’s status as a leadership institution, it is a participant in the L3 Summit. The Summit is a six-day programme during which college and university students from all over Georgia engage in team-building exercises and leadership training sessions for roughly eight hours every day. The programme is usually held at some point between the spring and summer semesters.

Traditions on the Older Dahlonega Campus

  • Arch: The North Georgia Arch is located at the campus entrance near Dahlonega’s town square. It was built by the Class of 1951 to commemorate their classmates who died in the Korean War. Tradition holds that freshmen are not to walk through the larger archway. Instead, they are supposed to walk through the smaller adjacent archway.
  • Bugle Calls:
    • Reveille is played every morning at 07:00 am, at which time cadets and civilians alike stop and face the flag.
    • Retreat/To the Colours is played every afternoon at 05:00 pm, at which time all outdoor activity on campus ceases, in order to pay respect to the American flag. Cadets stand at attention and salute the flag while civilians stop, remove their hats, face the flag, and place their right hand over their heart. A cannon is also fired at this time.
    • Taps is played every evening at midnight (02:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays of open weekends) to indicate the end of the day. Cadets are required to be in their dorms at this time.
  • Drill Field: The Drill Field is located in the heart of the main campus. This field is the parade ground for the UNG Corps of Cadets, and is used for drill and ceremonies. It is also used for recreational activities, such as intramural sports, though the activities of the Corps take precedence. Although the Drill Field is roughly 800 feet (240 m) long and located in at the centre of the campus, students are not supposed to walk across it as a shortcut. Instead, they are asked to walk around the encircling sidewalk when traveling from one building to another. On 18 April 2009, the drill field was dedicated to retired General William J. Livsey. There is a popular campus legend regarding a decommissioned World War II submarine buried at the centre of the drill field, possibly inspired by the nearby Chestatee River Diving Bell.
  • Memorial Wall: The Memorial Wall, located in front of the Memorial Hall Gymnasium, was built in 1983 in honour of UNG students and alumni that died while in military service to their country. Students do not enter the area around the wall unless they are stopping to show honour to those listed on the wall. As of 2013 the Memorial lists 174 names that died during WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or were lost in combat.
  • Retreat Triangle: The triangle is located near the Drill Field, Student Centre South, and Dunlap Hall. It holds the original retreat cannon, a 1902 three-inch (75 mm) pack howitzer, which has been fired daily at 05:00 pm for more than 50 years. The cannon was recently restored by the North Georgia Parents Association. Students do not walk on the triangle or tamper with the cannon under any circumstances.

Centre for Global Engagement

The Centre for Global Engagement (CGE) is home to International Student and Scholar Services, Study Abroad Services, the Federal Service Language Academy, Military International Programs, International Internships, and International Partnerships.

  • Study Abroad
  • International Student and Scholar Services: The CGE assists international students, scholars, and faculty with transitioning from their home country to the United States. With help from the CGE, UNG hosts over 100 international students from more than 30 countries.
  • Military International Programmes: The University of North Georgia (UNG) has partnered with US Army Cadet Command to send Cadets from schools throughout the United States to a foreign country. This led to the creation of the Cadet English Language Training Team (CELTT). Its purpose is to arrange the travel of cadets overseas to assist in teaching English to foreign military counterparts. The long-term goal of this programme is to establish a service learning programme that can be replicated in other regions and nations in each Unified Combatant Command Area of Responsibility.
  • Federal Service Language Academy: The FSLA is a summer programme for high school students who are interested in federal service careers and strategic foreign languages. Students may choose to take Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Korean, German, or Portuguese. Once on campus, students hear from speakers from agencies such as the DEA, FBI, State Department, and Peace Corps. After the three-week programme, students may earn high school credit if approved by their high school.
  • International Partnerships: The Centre for Global Engagement has established relationships with a growing number of outstanding universities worldwide. Some of the programmes are only in the development phase, but others are mature and constantly growing and evolving. These relationships usually involve student and faculty exchanges, research opportunities, international internships, and other collaborative possibilities.
  • International Internships: International internships can offer the thrill of an international experience combined with the real-world practice sought after by employers.

Career Services

Career Services offers assistance to University of North Georgia students with their career goals. It is located on the Dahlonega campus in room 333 of the Stewart Centre, on the Gainesville campus in room 346 of the Student Centre, and on the Oconee campus in room 206 of the Administrative Building. Students are free to set up an appointment with career counsellors.

Wellness and Safety

Health Services provides a clinic to all currently enrolled UNG students who pay for the health fee. The clinic is there to provide appointments for sick or ill students, and can provide many over the counter medications, first aid supplies, and prescription medications at no additional cost to the currently enrolled student.

Some of the services UNG offers include:

  • Health Services
  • Student Counselling Resources
  • Student Disability Services
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Recreational Sports
  • Public Safety (University Police)
  • Sexual Assault Education


On Campus

The Dahlonega campus has six residence halls: Donovan Hall, Lewis Hall, Lewis Annex, North Georgia Suites, The Commons, and Owen Hall. Each residence hall has one of three housing styles. Traditional style housing entails single or double-occupancy bedrooms with community bathrooms on the hall. Suite style housing entails single or double-occupancy bedrooms with a shared bathroom. Apartment style housing entails single-occupancy bedrooms with a shared living room, kitchen, and bathrooms.

Donovan Hall (freshman only), Lewis Hall, and Lewis Annex are co-ed residence halls have traditional style double-occupancy rooms. They are open only during the semesters. North Georgia Suites is a co-ed residence hall for freshmen and upperclassmen that has suite style single and double-occupancy rooms. North Georgia Suites is open continuously from mid-August to May. The Commons is a co-ed residence hall for freshmen and upperclassmen that has suite style single and double-occupancy rooms. The Commons is open continuously from mid-August to May. Owen Hall is a co-ed residence hall for upperclassmen that has apartment style rooms. Owen Hall contains apartments with four single-occupancy bedrooms. Owen Hall is open continuously from mid-August through July.

Off Campus

Students may live off-campus if they commute daily from the legal residence of parents or grandparents but it has to be within fifty-miles of campus. Students can live off campus if they are married or divorced. Students are eligible to live off campus if they are 21 years of age or older, or if they have completed 60 credit hours. Students also have the option to live off campus if they have completed two years of active military service. Dahlonega campus has shuttles that run regularly to take students to places on campus.


UNG Dining Services offers several retail locations in addition to the main dining hall. The Hoag Student Centre contains most of the Dahlonega campus food retail locations. There are two Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) locations on campus; one in the Health and Natural Sciences building and one in the Hoag Student Centre.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

The US Army ROTC programme has been active at the Dahlonega campus since 1916, and began giving its graduates commissions in the army or reserves shortly after the Second World War, thanks to the G.I. Bill, the recent economic recovery in Georgia, and the leadership of college president Jonathan Clark Rogers. Today it is one of only six senior military colleges in the country. UNG is also designated by the Georgia Board of Regents and the Georgia General Assembly as The Military College of Georgia and as a Leadership Institution.

Blue Ridge Rifles

The Blue Ridge Rifles drill platoon unit was formed at North Georgia College in 1950 as the Honour Platoon and took the name Blue Ridge Rifles in 1958 in homage to a Civil War unit that served in Dahlonega. In 1971 the Blue Ridge Rifles won first place in the East Tennessee State University Drill Meet. They were also the 2001 and 2002 national champion precision drill team.

Golden Eagle Band

Formed as a component of the Corps in 1873, the Golden Eagle Band is the university’s sole marching band. Since UNG does not have a football team, the Golden Eagle Band does not perform at athletic events, unlike most other collegiate marching bands. Rather, the Golden Eagle Band’s primary function is to perform at UNG Corps of Cadets functions, as well as to represent the Corps of Cadets in parades around the local community and throughout the nation. Every spring the band tours the Southeastern United States, entertaining audiences that come to see the military reviews and processions. Although the majority of the Golden Eagle Band’s performances are military processions, the band has recently adopted Drum Corps International techniques into its own regimen. Unlike other military units at UNG, the Golden Eagle Band is open to both cadet and civilian students.


The North Georgia (UNG) athletic teams are called the Nighthawks (formerly known as the “Saints” until 2013). The university is a member of the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) since the 2005-2006 academic year; while its rifle team competes in the Southern Conference (SoCon) in the NCAA Division I ranks. The Nighthawks previously competed in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC; formerly known as Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference (GACC) until after the 2003-2004 school year) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1999-2000 to 2004-2005. All 13 intercollegiate programs are hosted on the university’s Dahlonega campus.

UNG competes in 13 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis; while women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and track & field; and mixed sports include rifle.


The University of North Georgia (UNG) inherited the athletic legacy of North Georgia College & State University. Formerly known as the “Saints,” the school’s athletic teams were renamed the “Nighthawks” after the merger.


Margaret Poitevint, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, is the NCAA designated Faculty Athletics Representative.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article < >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.