ATLANTA--Georgia State University's Athletics Department is adding a varsity women's swimming and diving program and has reclassified the men's cross country and track and field programs to club status.

Georgia State is adding the women's swimming and diving program after several months of planning and research into the athletic interests of current undergraduate students and prospective students.

The university recently administered a women's swimming and diving survey to undergraduates to gauge student interest. The survey results showed there is interest among undergraduate students in adding the sport.  According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than 3,000 female high school students competed in swimming in Georgia in each of the last five years, with 3,810 female high school students competing in swimming in 2011-12.

"We spent a significant amount of time studying the athletics interests of our students," said Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick.  "The research results clearly demonstrate that there is interest among our current student body as well as our future students in the addition of a women's swimming and diving program. We are listening to our students, we are responding to them, and we are very excited about this addition."

Women's swimming and diving is sponsored as a championship sport by the Sun Belt Conference, of which Georgia State becomes a member on July 1, 2013.

The reclassification of the men's cross country and track and field programs to club status will take effect in 2013-14.  Georgia State does not offer scholarships for men's track and field, and in recent years Georgia State has been unable to meet sports sponsorship rules for men's indoor track, which require a minimum of 14 participants to maintain NCAA sponsorship.  Georgia State offers a minimal number of scholarships (3.5) for men's cross country. The scholarships will continue to be honored for current student-athletes through graduation.