Best places to study in Atlanta

By: Rachel Leavitt, 2nd Global Health

Congratulations on your decision to go to graduate school. Your days will be spent learning from some of the best and brightest in the field, attending lectures, networking events, and studying. Lots of studying. After a few months, you may find yourself dreading the thought of spending another day in the Gracement or wanting to expand your horizons past the health sciences library. There are some awesome places to study on and off campus where you can experience Atlanta and still cross off some of those items on your massive to do list.

On Campus

Robert W. Woodruff Library

On campus there are seven libraries. I’ve studied in a few and the Robert W. Woodruff library (a.k.a. the undergraduate library) is by far my favorite. This place is huge and you can find countless places to curl up and get your SAS on. It’s open 24 hours most of the time and there’s a coffee place on the bottom floor for some mood boosters if you need. The reading room is great to study solo. Convene yourself in the private cubbies in the book stacks where you can take a break from your computer screen and watch people walking around campus below. There are also great rooms you can rent for group work. Don’t let the walk to undergrad campus deter you it’s totally worth it.

 Matheson Reading Room

This place is beautiful. It is attached to the Robert W. Woodruff Library and the Candler Library on the Undergraduate Campus. This place feels totally different to other spaces on campus with the high ceilings and large wooden tables. The grandeur of this room makes a day spent studying here feel special. The room is open until 2:00 am on weekdays and 7:00 pm on the weekends.

 Goizueta Business School Quad

Rollins is filled with some of the best and brightest public health minds and a majority of them are women. Being a women myself I find this to be one of the most empowering environments to be in. However, if you find yourself wondering what happened to all the men in the world, take a walk to Goizueta Business School and set up on the grass in the quad. Enjoy the great weather in Atlanta and learn what the business school has to offer.

Off-Campus Spots

Coffee shops

The more traditional place to set up shop for a long day of studying. These are places you can drink delicious coffee beverages and nibble on fresh made pastries, while you take a break from researching peer-reviewed articles on implementing pit latrines in East Africa to ease drop on the first date that’s happening next to you. I love these places because of the great people watching and trust me, Atlanta has some great people.

Dancing Goats Coffee Bar

This place has two locations and some of the best lattes around. The Decatur location is always packed on the weekend and they only have plugs at the tables in the back. So get there early if you need to use your lap top. The location in Old Forth Ward is a bit of a drive from Emory but totally worth. It’s right next to Ponce City Market and has a great open feel that makes spending all day indoors in front of your laptop not so bad.


This place is located super close to Emory. They have a fantastic chocolate Chi tea latte that I would suggest everyone try and a rotating selection of cakes and desserts. They have tons of outlets, tables and couches and have never had a problem finding a space. They even have a meeting room you can rent out for group work if you need.

Java Monkey

One thing I discovered that Atlanta has that they did not have in my home town are coffee shops that also serve beer and wine. Java Monkey is one of those places. The vibe in this place is very artsy (not quit hipster) and dark with local artists work covering the walls. They serve great food (although a little pricey) and have two outdoor areas. I always see fellow Rollins student when I come here, so you can be sure to have someone to talk too should you need a study break. After you finish all your homework you can reward yourself for a job well done with large glass of Pinot Noir.

Other places

Oakland Cemetery

I know what you’re thinking, studying in a cemetery? But this place is awesome. It’s beautiful and some of Atlanta’s greatest historical figures are buried here. The best part is it’s very quiet with minimal distractions. There are many shady trees and benches to sit down at and get some study time in. Make sure your laptop has a full battery and you downloaded all the files you need before you get here because there are no outlets and no WiFi. This place is on every tourist attraction list, so you can experience some historic Atlanta and not get behind on your homework. Gold star for being extra productive with your time.

Those are just a few of my favorite places in Atlanta to study. I encourage you to explore more of the awesome parks, coffee shops, restaurants, and the beautiful Emory campus and be productive with your time. It will make you feel much better about spending your weekends buried in your work.  Good luck!!!

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