Southern Semester

Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, offers a unique opportunity to learn about and experience the people, history, and culture of the U.S. South. Students from American and international universities may apply to spend a semester at Mercer taking classes with scholars of the South, living in the South, and earning college credit.

Southern Semester students take four courses in different disciplines related to the South. The courses build connections among the region’s literature, culture, history, and politics, so students gain an understanding of:

  • How the region developed over time
  • How racism developed as a social problem
  • How the South generated a distinct culture

Southern Semester students also explore parts of the South related to their courses, meet with visiting scholars and learn about their research, and enjoy the experience of a liberal arts college in a historic and vibrant Southern city.

About Mercer University

Mercer University is consistently ranked as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the South. Classes at Mercer are small, usually less than 18 students, so all students receive direct attention from their professors. Students have a strong sense of community, and Mercer is noted for its students’ engagement with community service. The campus, near downtown Macon, features historic buildings, state-of-the-art student amenities, and beautiful green spaces.

About our Southern Studies program

Mercer offers a unique, interdisciplinary program in Southern Studies that focuses exclusively on undergraduate students. Southern Studies students learn about the history, culture, literature, geography, economics, and politics of America’s most complex and most fascinating region. The program offers a bachelor’s degree in Southern Studies. It also hosts the Lamar Lecture series, the most prestigious series of lectures on Southern history and culture, and awards the Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Writing each year to an author who has made significant contributions to Southern literature. The program also holds other lectures and films that are open to Mercer students.

About Macon

Macon, Georgia, is a city of more than 150,000 in Central Georgia, about 90 minutes south of Atlanta. Famous as the home of Southern rock music, the city has the charm of a small town and the amenities of a larger city. Macon’s history is a microcosm of the South. Once the site of a large Native American city, Macon grew as a trading center for cotton plantations in Central Georgia during the 19th century and was a center of textile production in the 20th century. Now, Macon has a diversified economy, exciting nightlife, and a comfortable pace of life.

Apply for Southern Semester

To apply for Southern Semester, international students from Mercer partner institutions should contact Rebekah Anaya, study abroad program coordinator, at (478) 301-4444 or

Partner Institutions

  • Al Akhawayn University, Morocco
  • Hong Kong Baptist University, China
  • Karlsruhe University, Germany
  • Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Seinan Gakuin University, Japan
  • University of Bamberg, Germany
  • University of Chichester, England
  • University of Essex, England
  • University of Seoul, South Korea
  • University of Strasbourg (Ecole de Management), France
  • University of Sussex, England
  • University of Western Scotland, Scotland
  • Yonsei University, South Korea

For all other international applicants that do not currently attend one of Mercer University’s partner institutions, please contact Ashley Herman, assistant director of admissions for international and transfer admissions, at (478) 301-5123 or