Georgia Tech launched the Focus Program in 1991 with the goal of increasing the number of master's and doctoral degrees awarded to underrepresented minorities not only at Georgia Tech but nationwide. The program brings students from across the United States to the Georgia Tech campus to learn about graduate school and meet faculty, peers, alumni, and speakers from the corporate and government arenas. The program reimburses travel for accepted students (see rates below).
During Focus weekend, you will meet the faculty participating in the M.S. in Global Media and Culture and M.S. in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, visit classrooms and research studios, and join us for the Georgia Tech experience we live every day. Participants can also get information about the process of applying to graduate school. We hope this visit will inspire you to pursue an advanced degree at Georgia Tech or any other graduate school of your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the schedule of events?
A. The Focus graduate weekend program is an immersive four days (Thursday evening through Sunday morning). Accepted participants should plan to dedicate the entire time to taking advantage of the many elements provided, including department and lab tours; academic, research, business, and government workshops; admissions and financial info sessions; networking opportunities; one-to-one faculty meetings; engaging dinners and socials with graduate faculty, alumni, students, and staff; and much more. A detailed schedule will be provided to accepted participants closer to the program date.
Q. When will I be notified of my application status?
A. Applicants will receive application status notifications no later than November 21, 2018. After careful review of your application by the respective department, you will receive a notice of accepted, denied, or waitlisted. Your application may be reviewed at an earlier date and notifications may be received any time between October 1, 2018 and November 21, 2018 based on the application submission date.
Q. What cost does the Focus Program cover?
A. The Focus Program covers hotel accommodations, workshop fees, meals, materials, and transportation (based on the travel guidelines provided below).
Q. Who is responsible for making the travel arrangements?
A. Each student is responsible for making his/her own travel arrangements. Focus does not make travel arrangements.
Q. How much will I be reimbursed for my travel expenses?
A. If you are currently a Georgia Tech student living on campus, your meals will be provided. However, you will not be reimbursed for transportation, and hotel will not be provided.
If you are a participant living within the state of Georgia, your meals and hotel will be provided. In addition, you will be reimbursed up to $150 depending on your mode of transportation.
If you are a participant living outside of the state of Georgia, your meals and hotel will be provided. In addition, you will be reimbursed airline travel according to the following list of states based on the state of your current institution:
$400 for AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MN, ME, MT, ND, NH, NM, NV, OR, WI, UT, VT, WA, WY, and Puerto Rico
$250 for AR, CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, OK, OH, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, NE, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SD, TX, WV, VA, Washington, DC
$175 for AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN
You must provide the following:
- Airline receipt (original only), or
- Bus ticket (original only), or
- Gas receipts and car registration, or
- Rental car receipt.
Note: All receipts must show "paid" or completed credit card transaction when credit card is used.
Q. When do I complete the forms needed for my travel reimbursement?
A. You will have at least two opportunities to submit your travel reimbursement statement: (1) during Focus Program registration on Thursday or (2) before 2 p.m. on Friday in the Student Center Ballroom. Reimbursement checks are mailed to students roughly 45 days after the Focus Program.
Q. How do I get from the Atlanta airport to campus?
A. You may take a taxi, van shuttle, or our subway system called MARTA. We can reimburse those expenses up to your maximum amount of total trip expenses mentioned above. MARTA costs $2.50 per trip. The MARTA rail station is located inside the Atlanta airport past baggage claim. Pay $2.50 (cash or credit card) at the kiosk machines. Take the train north to the Midtown train station, which is about a 20-minute ride and does not require any transfers or exits until you get to the Midtown station. Exit the Midtown station facing south at the Peachtree Place exit. The Tech Trolley is a free shuttle that picks up passengers at the Midtown station outside the Peachtree Place exit and travels down 5th Street to the Georgia Tech Hotel. Be sure to tell the driver to let you know when you are at the Georgia Tech Hotel.
Q. When should I plan to be in Atlanta?
A. Plan to arrive between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Please be sure to forward us your travel itinerary.
Q. When should I plan to leave?
A. Plan to depart Atlanta on Sunday, January 20, 2019. Hotel check-out is 11 a.m. If you plan a return flight on Sunday morning before 9 a.m., you will have to establish and pay for your own transportation to the MARTA train station or the airport because the Georgia Tech shuttle does not operate that early on Sundays.
Q. If I want to come earlier and/or stay later. Is that allowed?
A. Your lodging is paid for three nights in the designated hotel—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You are responsible for any lodging prior to and beyond these days. You are also responsible for any incidentals charged to your room upon checkout.
Q. How will I receive updated information regarding the Focus Program?
A. Direct correspondence to applicants will be distributed through email. It is important that you provide an email account, which you access regularly, on your application. Once accepted, applicants should check their emails (including spam) frequently between November 21, 2018 and January 16, 2019 for Focus correspondence. For general information and updates about the Focus Program, please check the Focus website at www.focus.gatech.edu.