University History

Clayton State University’s origin can be traced to 1965 when the Board of Regents authorized three new junior colleges for the University System of Georgia, 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 Interstate 75. 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.

The Board of Regents elevated the institution to baccalaureate status in 1986, established the present name in 2004, and approved the University to offer graduate degrees in 2005. The University was granted accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 1971 and approved for Masters degrees in 2008. The current president, appointed in February 2010, is Thomas J. Hynes Jr.

Clayton State University has a selective admissions policy and accepts student applicants from both the United States and abroad; however, the majority of our student population comes from the Atlanta metropolitan area and its adjacent counties.

Learn about Clayton State University’s history