Piedmont College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Piedmont College
“One of the most dynamic small colleges in the Southeast, Piedmont is a liberal...

Piedmont College

Demorest, Georgia

Piedmont College was founded in 1897 to do one thing: provide a rock-solid academic experience for students who want to enrich their lives with the best foundation in the liberal arts. Today, students who come to Piedmont from across Georgia and from around the world continue to find an educational opportunity that is second to none in the Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences. The campuses have grown, too, with more than $120 million invested in recent years for new academic buildings, residence halls, and athletic facilities.


Piedmont provides small classes and personal attention to maximize success in the classroom, all without breaking the bank. Piedmont is one of the most affordable private colleges in the Southeast, but doesn’t stop there. Each year, the college provides more than $10 million of in-house scholarships and grants on top of what students can receive from other financial aid sources.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,148 undergraduate students
88% of undergrad students are full time
34% male — 66% female
9% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
128 full-time faculty
110 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
76% of first year students live on campus
68% of all students live on campus

School Location

The Demorest, Ga., campus is in Habersham County and located 25 miles north of Gainesville, Ga.; 80 miles north of Atlanta; and 80 miles southwest of Greenville, S.C.
The Athens, Ga., campus is in Clarke County and located 47 miles south of Demorest and 70 miles east of Atlanta.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices 

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses  
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

63% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 year graduation rate 2015

46% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 9%
White 71%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 10%


Piedmont fields teams in men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, cycling, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track & field; men’s baseball; and women’s softball and volleyball. The college is a member of NCAA Division III, USA South Conference. The school mascot is the Lion, and the colors are green and gold. [Piedmont Athletics]

Other Information

Piedmont is an independent, comprehensive, co-educational liberal arts college. The College is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Students will find an inclusive spirit and supportive environment for all.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Programs
Applied Health Science; Art; Art (BFA, with concentrations in: Graphic Design, Two-Dimensional Design, and Three-Dimensional Design); Arts Administration (with concentrations in Art, Music, and Theatre); Art Education; Art Therapy; Athletic Training; Biology (with concentrations in Cell & Molecular Biology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology); Biology Education; Broadfield Science—Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Environmental Geology; Broadfield Science—Middle Grades Add-On Dual Degree; Business Administration (with concentrations in Accounting, Data Science, Finance, General Business, Management, and Marketing); Cardiovascular Technology; Chemistry; Chemistry Education; Criminal Justice; Early Childhood Education; Educational Studies; Education—See individual fields; Engineering Physics Dual Degree with Georgia Institute of Technology; Engineering Science Dual Degree with Kennesaw State University; English (with concentrations in Creative Writing and Literary Studies); English Education; English Education—Dual Degree; Environmental Science; Exercise and Sport Science; Forensic Science; Health Care Administration; History; History Education; History Education—Dual Degree; Interdisciplinary Studies; International Studies; Leadership Studies; Mass Communications; Mathematics; Mathematics—Applied Mathematics; Mathematics Education; Mathematics Education—Dual Degree; Middle Grades Education; Music (with concentrations in Church Music and Performance); Musical Theatre; Nursing (BSN for initial certification); Nursing—LPN-to-BSN; Philosophy and Religion; Physics—Applied Physics; Political Science; Psychology (with Concentrations in Experimental, Developmental, Counseling, and General Psychology); Secondary Education (English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Broadfield Science, and History)—Dual Degree; Sociology; Spanish; Spanish Education; Sport and Fitness Administration (anticipated); Theatre Arts; Theatre—Design & Technical; Theatre—Drama Education; Theatre—Musical Theatre; Theatre for Youth

Graduate Programs
Master of Business Administration; Master of Arts in Education; Master of Arts in Educational Studies; Master of Arts in Instructional Technology; Master of Arts in Teaching; Certification Only (School of Education); Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction; Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction

More Distinctions

  • Piedmont is one of five Georgia colleges and universities selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, N.J., to offer graduate programs for students with backgrounds in the STEM fields to become middle and high school science and math teachers in high-need schools. [https://www.piedmont.edu/Woodrow-Wilson-Georgia-Teaching-Fellowship-Program]

  • Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor, Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont since 1998, was named by Time magazine in 2014 as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

  • Piedmont is a member of the Georgia Independent Colleges Association (GICA) and the national Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Both inside and outside the classroom, Piedmont students get to create their own academic experience. Co-curricular projects, travel study, internships, and independent research help them gain the skills needed for a wide variety of careers.

Experiential Learning

 The Compass program is a distinctive graduation requirement at Piedmont that encourages students to step out of the classroom and engage with the wider community. Students design their own projects that promote six “Compass Points,” including Creativity & Innovation, Social Ethics, Leadership, Vocation, Cultural Awareness, and Service-Learning. The experiences gained through Compass projects are included in each student’s official transcripts, making it easier for future graduate programs or employers to judge the value of their co-curricular efforts.

Travel the World

Travel Study is a valuable way for Piedmont students to learn about life in different parts of the world. Travel Study classes are conducted during the summer semester, usually preceded by classroom courses. Recent trips have included studies in Italy, England, France, Japan, Germany, and Chile.

For a longer study experience, students can enroll for a full semester overseas, paying the same tuition, room, and board as if they were attending the Demorest campus. Currently, full-semester studies are available at the University of Nottingham in England and at the University of Paderborn in Germany.

Networking for the Future

Internships play an important role in higher education, and Piedmont works with students to secure internships with businesses and organizations at the state, national, and international level. Piedmont students have recently completed internships in Europe with international companies including Marriott, Avon, and Pfizer.

Student research is an important part of the liberal arts program at Piedmont College, and each year, students join faculty members in collaborative research that is eventually presented at state and national conferences. With the benefit of small classes, professors are able to mentor students in research and take active roles in assisting them with presentations. These independent research projects provide opportunities for undergraduates that are often found only in master-level programs.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band  
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization  
Jazz band  
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band X
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  
Yearbook X

Piedmont’s liberal arts curriculum provides students with a broad knowledge of the natural and social sciences, history, art, and literature alongside their chosen majors. At each step in their education, students are guided by professors—not teaching assistants—to ensure that students get benefitted not only by each professor’s knowledge, but also their experience.

Engaged Faculty

Students love to learn at Piedmont because professors love to teach at Piedmont. Small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 14-to-1 allow professors to devote valuable one-on-one time with every student. The Piedmont faculty develops innovative academic programs that give their students an edge in the competition for employment. In recent years, the college has added new programs to meet the needs of growing fields such as Forensic Science; Athletic Training; Exercise and Sport Science; Health Care Administration; and Applied Health Science. A new program in Cardiovascular Technology is the first of its kind in Georgia.

Innovative Programs

Piedmont is one of five Georgia colleges and universities to be selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, NJ. It was recognized for its graduate programs that place students with STEM-field backgrounds as effective and inspiring grade school science and math teachers in high-need districts. Piedmont has a dual-degree program in engineering physics with Georgia Tech that allows graduates to earn degrees from both institutions. The college has also developed off-campus programs to make master’s and specialist degrees in education accessible to teachers across the state.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 199 155 98 19 2 0 0 473

Piedmont College is a primary source of art, music, theatre, and athletic events for much of the northeast Georgia community. Students have the opportunity to show what they have learned through the production of high-quality fine arts programs, such as the annual Service of Lessons and Carols, Great Composers concert series, and plays ranging from children’s theatre to Shakespeare.

New Facilities

The Student Commons, which opened in 2015, provides a new focus for the Demorest campus that brings students, faculty, staff, and the community together. This 58,000-square-foot student center includes the college’s dining hall, bookstore, fitness center, climbing wall, and intramural gymnasium, all under one roof.

Recently, the college built the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art and the three-story Smith-Williams Art Studios. These remarkable facilities provide space for visiting artists of all media not only to display their work, but also to demonstrate their methods for large groups. The Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications is another facility on campus that brings students and the community together for theatre events all year round. This building is also home to the Mass Communications Department, which includes a newsroom and editing suites at which students media students can be found at all hours.

Student Organizations

More than 40 clubs and organizations help bring students from different academic areas together to investigate common interests. Groups such as the Outdoor Club explore northeast Georgia’s many hiking and camping areas, while many academic honor societies involve students from every school and department in a variety of projects with area community service organizations.

Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates

Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  


Students are at the heart of everything at Piedmont College. Piedmont’s focus on the liberal arts began with its founding in 1897. Since that time, the college has expanded its mission so that it may now include schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences. Within the more than 50 undergraduate majors offered, the college continues to provide students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts tradition. Teaching students to think for themselves, with special emphasis on developing critical thinking skills, is key to each student’s success.


Recognizing that success is defined in many ways, Piedmont opened a new Student Success Center that brings career and personal counseling to one central location on campus. The Success Center also provides tutoring services for academic support in all areas. Tutors are selected by department chairs, trained in the art of tutoring, and monitored to provide the individualized attention students need in order to achieve their personal best.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,135 Total Applicants
647 Total Admissions
281 Total Freshmen Enrollment

57% of applicants admitted

Rolling Admission? No

Closing date: Jul 1

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA

Class rank
Standardized test scores

Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 430 550
SAT Math 440 550
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $23,112
Room and Board (on campus) $9,400
Estimated Total On Campus $32,512


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 estimated

$20,124 First year students
$14,708 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016 estimated

69% on average, the percentage of need that was met
15% of financial need students that had need fully met

$14,708 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$3,017 Average need-based loan