Atlanta -- With approval today by the Board of Regents, Albany State and Columbus State universities this fall will become the first to offer the University System of Georgia (USG)’s newest college education credential called a nexus degree.

Nexus degrees are college credentials that emphasize hands-on experiential learning, skilled knowledge and connections with industry in high-demand career fields.

Columbus State’s new nexus degree will be in film production. Albany State will offer two new nexus degrees, one in blockchain with machine learning and the other in blockchain with data analytics. Other fields under consideration for future USG programs include cybersecurity and financial technology.

“We are committed to meeting the needs of both Georgia’s workforce and industry by giving students the skills they need as they grow into different careers and seek to expand their knowledge base,” Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “I applaud Albany State and Columbus State for being the first institutions to offer our newest college credential.”

Nexus degrees expand on an educational portfolio that already includes associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. They stem from work being done as part of USG’s College 2025 Initiative, which seeks to refine the delivery and accessibility of public higher education to meet 21st-century learning and career needs.

Final recommendations from a committee working on the College 2025 initiative were also released today, and are available online at

 A nexus degree is a 60-credit-hour degree, consisting of 42 credit hours of general education and 18 credit hours of coursework focusing on the skills and knowledge requirements of high-demand industries. The 18 credit hours create an apprenticeship aspect that must include at least six credit hours of experiential learning and at least 12 credit hours of upper division coursework.

Curriculum for the credential is being designed in collaboration with industry experts to ensure it meets specific requirements for high-demand jobs, including those in the market now and those planned for the future.

While a nexus degree can stand on its own, it also allows USG’s 26 institutions to be creative in using the credential to expand on other educational opportunities.

That includes the potential to use a nexus degree toward completion of a new kind of associate degree, one targeted toward a high-need technical field.

It includes new options to create stackable credentials concentrated in highly specialized fields as part of a bachelor’s degree.

The new degree is additionally valuable for people who may have a job but want to acquire a new skill, or who have not yet completed a college degree and want to advance.

While Albany State and Columbus State are the first to offer nexus degrees, other USG institutions have entered the planning stages for how a nexus degree can benefit their students and communities. Each individual program created as a nexus degree must receive additional approval by the Board of Regents to ensure the integrity of the degree and the curriculum.