Tennessee Colleges

Tennessee Colleges

Schools In Tennessee

There are nine four-year state universities in Tennessee, the most notable of which are the University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University) and the University of Tennessee, located in Knoxville. The state universities also include Tennessee State University, a historically black college (HBCU). Enrollment in the state system runs from a low of under 8,000 at the University of Tennessee at Martin to a high of more than 27,000 at UT Knoxville (the flagship institution of the system).

tennessee dam near the school

Tennessee’s public post-secondary institutions also include 13 community colleges and more than 25 colleges of applied technologies. The state universities work very closely with the community colleges to make it relatively easy for community college students to transfer to them while retaining most (sometimes all) of the credit hours they have earned.

Depending on how you count them, there are 60-70 private post-secondary institutions in Tennessee, including for-profit colleges and universities. The most selective and notable among them is Vanderbilt University, a selective, well endowed university in Nashville which enjoys a strong national reputation. Rhodes College and University of the South are also considered selective.

Among other Tennessee private colleges are an HBCU (Fisk), several theological seminaries, a number of institutions with religious affiliations, a college of optometry, colleges specializing in the study of art, and a college (Tusculum) in which students take one course at a time, completing each in just a few weeks.

Traditional Tennessee Colleges

Austin Peay State Univ.

Belmont University

Bethel College

Carson-Newman College

Christian Brothers University

East Tennessee State University

Freed-Hardeman University

Johnson Bible College

  • Site – www.johnsonu.edu
  • Phone – 800-827-2122
  • Admissions – www.johnsonu.edu/admissions
  • Financial Aid – www.johnsonu.edu/financial-aid

King College

Lambuth University

Lee University

Lipscomb University

Maryville College

Middle Tennessee State University

Milligan College

Rhodes College

Tennessee Technological University

Tennessee Temple University

Tusculum College

Union University

University of Memphis

University of the South

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

University of Tennessee at Martin

Vanderbilt University

Watkins College of Art & Design

Colleges In Tennessee – Community

tennessee mountains in the eastern part of the state

Chattanooga State Community College

  • Site – www.chattanoogastate.edu
  • Address – 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406
  • Phone – (423) 697-4400

Cleveland State Community College

  • Site – www.clevelandstatecc.edu
  • Address – 3535 Adkisson Dr, Cleveland, TN 37312
  • Phone – (423) 472-7141

Columbia State Community College

  • Site – www.columbiastate.edu
  • Address – 795 Main Street, Clifton, TN 38425
  • Phone – (931) 676-6966

Dyersburg State Community College

  • Site – www.dscc.edu
  • Address – 1510 Lake Rd, Dyersburg, TN 38024
  • Phone – (731) 286-3200

Jackson State Community College

  • Site – www.jscc.edu
  • Address – 2046 North Pkwy, Jackson, TN 38301
  • Phone – (731) 424-3520

John A. Gupton College

  • Site – guptoncollege.edu
  • Address – 1616 Church St, Nashville, TN 37203
  • Phone – (615) 327-3927

Motlow State Community College

  • Site – www.mscc.edu
  • Address – 225 Cadillac Ln, McMinnville, TN 37110
  • Phone – (931) 668-7010

Nashville State Community College

  • Site – www.nscc.edu
  • Address – 120 White Bridge Road, Nashville, TN 37209
  • Phone – (615) 353-3333

Northeast State Community College

  • Site – www.northeaststate.edu
  • Address – 2425 TN-75, Blountville, TN 37617
  • Phone – (423) 323-3191

Pellissippi State Community College

  • Site – www.pstcc.edu
  • Address – 10915 Hardin Valley Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932
  • Phone – (865) 694-6400

Roane State Community College

  • Site – www.roanestate.edu
  • Address – 276 Patton Ln, Harriman, TN 37748
  • Phone – (866) 462-7722

Southwest Tennessee Community College

  • Site – www.southwest.tn.edu
  • Address – 737 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
  • Phone – (901) 333-5000

Volunteer State Community College

  • Site – www.volstate.edu
  • Address – 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, TN 37066
  • Phone – (615) 452-8600

Walters State Community College

  • Site – www.ws.edu
  • Address – 500 S Davy Crockett Pkwy, Morristown, TN 37813
  • Phone – (423) 585-2600

Trade, Vocational & Career Schools

stream and waterfall in the tennessee mountains


DeVry University

Kaplan College

Keller Graduate School of Management

Milan Institute

San Joaquin Valley College


American Career College

Everest College

Summit Career College

Westwood Career College

Online Colleges In Tennessee

Tennessee is one among many southern states with a large population and an active college atmosphere. However, like many states in the country, the public and private institutions in the state focus primarily on traditional schooling. As such, very few students in Tennessee access, or have access to, high quality online degree programs. However, the state continues to expand in this area. As of 2012, approximately 6% of the students in the state’s Title IV institutions were taking their degree programs fully online (according to a National Center for Education Statistics report). This number is extremely low in comparison to many other states, such as South Dakota, and Florida, which have over 20% of their students taking online degree programs online. Indeed, Tennessee lags behind most other southern states in this category as well.

Despite only recently increasing efforts to expand online degree programs, many of Tennessee’s schools (both public and private) have begun increasing options in this quickly-growing area of interest. The best colleges in the state to obtain such degrees are primarily located at private institutions in the state, with several public institutions offering online degrees for a much cheaper cost. Bryan College-Dayton, Johnson University, University of Memphis, Trevecca Nazarene University and Middle Tennessee State University are among the best in the state for online degree programs.

Prospective students interested in significant variety will find that the University of Memphis has a wide range of programs available at relatively low in-state tuition costs (around $8,500) and relatively high out-of-state tuition costs (over $23,000). The school ranks well on the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings, at #66 for Best Online MBA Programs and #70 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Through their online system, the UofM Online system provides an excellent variety of programs and individual courses. In-state students will pay only $100 per credit hour. Undergraduate students will find 15 degree programs available, including some hard-to-find degree programs for online students, such as Bachelor’s degree programs in Journalism, Finance-Real Estate, and African and African-American Studies.

East Tennessee State University, one of the public institutions in the state, equally has a very wide range of options for prospective students to consider. Individual courses are available through the system, as well as undergraduate and graduate coursework and programs as well. The state school allows for unique programs through the well-known Moodle learning management system. A mixture of fully-online and mostly-online degree programs are available. For those seeking 100% online undergraduate degrees, unique programs are available in Allied Health Leadership, Cardiopulmonary Science, Radiography, Interdisciplinary Studies, Professional Studies (Information Technology and Organizational Leadership), Dental Hygiene, Human Services, Nursing, English as a Second Language, Math Education and Special Education. The blended programs include those in Economics, English, Finance, Management, Marketing, Psychology and Sociology. The school specializes in fully-online graduate degree programs, including many hard-to-find degree programs, such as Epidemiology and Online Digital Marketing.

In all, there are 49 schools within the state that are both accredited (either regionally or nationally) and offering degree programs ranging from Associate’s degrees to Graduate degrees, with many of the universities offering graduate certificates in very unique areas of study.