Graduate Schools and Programs in Tennessee
Graduate Schools in Tennessee may offer laidback Southern charm combined with the rigor of cutting-edge education. Tennessee is home to two public university systems, as well as a number of private colleges and universities. The state is also home to vibrant and history-rich cities, including the musical capitals of Nashville and Memphis. Let’s dive into more reasons why TN might be the perfect state for grad students!
Top Reasons For Grad Students To Love Tennessee
written by Shannon Fandler
From preparing for a new career goal to cutting loose and enjoying southern specialties like country music and barbeque, Tennessee may be a grad student’s dream. Here’s why this state is so great:
Diverse Graduate Education Paths. Tennessee has its share of highly-regarded private colleges, like Vanderbilt University and Fisk University, one of the nation’s most well-known historically black universities. However, TN is also a leader in public education. The University of Tennessee features campuses throughout the state, in Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Martin. Regional public universities include East Tennessee State University, University of Memphis, and Tennessee State.
Exciting Places to Live and Learn. Tennessee’s top college towns are cities with character. You could potentially study in Nashville, headquarters to the country music industry, or Memphis, home of Graceland. Chattanooga blends nature and historical heritage on the banks of the Tennessee River. And TN is also home to myriad small towns ideal for living, learning, and exploring.
Opportunities to Be a Tourist. Who said grad students can’t take a break sometimes? Tennessee offers plenty of options for weekend jaunts. Popular tourist attractions include the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, the American Museum of Atomic Energy, the Hermitage (the home of Andrew Jackson, near
Nashville), Rock City Gardens, and three National Military Parks.
Nature at its Finest. Love the outdoors? Tennessee may be the perfect place for you to blend studying with adventure. The Great Smoky Mountains offer numerous hiking and camping opportunities. (Consider climbing Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak.) The state’s 8,500 caves may tempt spelunkers. And the Ocoee River has ten miles of Class III and IV rapids, for expert whitewater rafters only. Whether you prefer a scenic stroll or an adrenaline rush, Tennessee has an experience for you.
The Answer to Food Cravings. Hungry students be warned: Tennessee has so much diverse cuisine, it can be hard to choose what to eat next. Each region has its own delicacies, but some top Tennessee specialties include fried catfish, fluffy biscuits, MoonPies (invented in Chattanooga), and fall-off-the-bone barbecue. Want to spice up your life? Cayenne pepper-coated “hot chicken” is a must have, if you can take the heat.
Fun Fact: Dolly Parton keeps Appalachian traditions alive at her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Brush Up on Tennessee’s History
Whether you plan to be a graduate student of history or you’re just interested in connecting the past with the present, there’s lots to learn about Tennessee. Many Native Americans, including Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes, occupied the region before white settlers appeared in the 1770s. In 1796, TN became the became the 16th state of the Union.
One of Tennessee’s darkest historical periods was the forcible removal of indigenous people, particularly the Cherokee. This event, which took place in 1838-9, is known as the Trail of Tears. A few decades later, Tennessee became a key battleground in the Civil War.
On a lighter note, Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of many forms of American popular music, including rock and roll, blues, country, and rockabilly. Tennessee has also been an important center for civil right activism, including the Nashville sit-ins in 1959–61.
Did You Know? The 1925 Scopes Trial took place in the Tennessee town of Dayton in East Tennessee, when a local biology teacher was convicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Tennessee Today [i]
Tennessee has a population of 6,715,984 via a 2017 estimate, which is a 5.8% increase from 2010. 25.4% of the state’s residents have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and the annual median household income is $46,574.
The majority of Tennessee’s population lives in urban areas, and most work in predominantly industrial fields. Some of the largest cities in Tennessee include Memphis, Nashville-Davidson, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Clarksville.
Top 7 Occupations in Tennessee
Requiring a Post-Secondary Degree
Whether you need help deciding what degree to pursue, or just want to get a feel for
professions with the highest employment in Tennessee , the table below should be helpful.
- Registered Nurses59,350
- General and Operations Managers41,160
- Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education29,030
- Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education18,850
- Accountants and Auditors18,300
- Business Operations Specialists, All Other14,950
- Financial Managers14,500
These results were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information see the OES May 2017 State Data Report.
Tennessee’s Climate and Landscape
Adjusting to a new climate can be tough, but Tennessee makes it easy. The state boasts a moderate climate, which means winters are cool but not freezing. And while parts of the state can get hot in the summer, milder weather is more common.
In terms of geographic setting, Tennessee is gifted with diverse terrain. Depending on where you are in this (very green) state, you could enjoy mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and caves. Since approximately one half of Tennessee is forested, many species of trees, plants, and animals are found here.
Tennessee Towns That May Be Perfect for Grad Students
Searching for the best graduate schools in Tennessee is only step one. You’ll also need to consider where you’ll live while you pursue your degree. Here are some of the major colleges towns and cities throughout TN:
Nashville – This capital city is also Tennessee’s most populous. Nicknamed “the Athens of the South” because of its commitment to learning, Nashville is also a major higher education hub. Tennessee colleges and universities offering graduate programs in Nashville include Vanderbilt University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Lipscomb University, and many others. This city is also a popular spot for tourism, home to many important sites of country music history. Check out the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Memphis – Located alongside the Mississippi River in Southwestern Tennessee, Memphis has long been an important economic center for this state. The city is also no slouch in the higher education department. Graduate schools in Memphis include Memphis College Of Art, Memphis Theological Seminary, Rhodes College, University of Memphis, and many others. This city offers diverse neighborhoods that may be perfect for graduate students looking for places to live or hang out. And, those interested in art, music, and literature should be able to satisfying their cravings in this creative city.
Chattanooga – This city in Southeastern Tennessee city is on the Georgia border and transitions from the Appalachian Mountains to the Cumberland Plateau. Surrounded by scenic beauty, it may be ideal for outdoors enthusiasts. But Chattanooga is also an important site for higher learning. The city is home to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the second-largest campus of the University of Tennessee System. And, it houses a branch of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.
Knoxville – Though it’s Tennessee’s third-largest city, Knoxville manages to retain a small-town feel. It’s full of historic homes, surrounded by nature, and packed with cultural activities that draw the community in. (Don’t miss the International Biscuit Festival!) The city is also home to The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the main campus of this public university. Other institutions of higher education in Knoxville include Johnson University, South College, Tennessee Wesleyan University, and others.
Clarksville – The fifth-largest metropolis in Tennessee, Clarksville is a city with a rich history. It was named after the Revolutionary War hero General George Rogers Clark and is home to The Leaf-Chronicle, the oldest newspaper in Tennessee. Clarksville is also known for its institutions of higher education, such as Austin Peay State University and the North Tennessee Bible Institute.
Cookeville – This small city in Putnam County is known as a micropolitan area, due to its role as a key economic center. Cookeville is known for its natural beauty, such as the stunning Cummins Falls State Park. However, one of its most important identities is as a college town. Tennessee Technological University, a well-regarded public university, is based here.
Other cities and towns worth considering may include Bristol (home to King University), Murfreesboro (home to Middle Tennessee State University), Collegedale (home to Southern Adventist University), Franklin (home to Belmont and Lipscomb Universities) and elsewhere. Each college town has its own unique history and personality.
Tennessee Colleges and Universities Offering Graduate Programs
Tennessee takes higher education seriously! The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is split into the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. These boards govern Tennessee colleges and universities, which include the public university system, University of Tennessee, and other regional public universities. There are also a number of private colleges and universities throughout the state.
Whether you’re interested in professional, doctoral, or masters programs in Tennessee, you may have a variety of paths to choose from – including online graduate programs based out of TN. Here are five grad schools in Tennessee that should be on your radar:
Some of Tennessee’s most laidback cities are actually key centers of commerce, potentially making this state the ideal place to study business. FedEx, AutoZone and International Paper are all headquartered in Memphis. Pilot Corporation and Regal Entertainment Group call Knoxville home. And Nashville has Hospital Corporation of America and Caterpillar Financial.
Textiles, cotton, cattle, and electrical power are some of the state’s most important outputs. Automobile manufacturing is also key to the economy. And many jobs are in the service sector, which includes shipping, tourism, and health care.
If you’re hoping to earn a graduate degree in business, such as an MBA, look more closely at Tennessee graduate schools. Potential programs include:
- Southern Adventist University Master of Business Administration
- Middle Tennessee State University Master of Science in Accounting
- Trevecca Nazarene University Master of Organizational Leadership
- Lipscomb University Masters of Arts in Conflict Management
Because it’s a state that prioritizes learning, Tennessee may be a great place to pursue a graduate education in…education! In the 1980s, the state led education reform through its Better Schools program, which rewarded teachers for their excellence in public school classrooms. The state has worked hard to emphasize art, music, and physical education in elementary school, and to meet math and science requirements at the secondary level. However, Tennessee’s schools do struggle for funding.
Colleges for teaching in Tennessee may offer graduate programs in education that could help you make a difference. Here are just a few of the programs you might find:
- Cumberland University MA in Teaching
- Vanderbilt University Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.)
- Temple Baptist Seminary Graduate Program in Christian Education
- East Tennessee State University Master of Education in Elementary Education
Whether you’re interested in graduate nursing, healthcare administration, or something else entirely, Tennessee grad schools may have the program you’re looking for. Healthcare is a key area of the state’s service industry. And, all of the state’s major cities are home to top healthcare centers.
Pursue health and medicine graduate programs like:
- Tennessee Technological University Masters of Professional Studies: Healthcare Administration
- Cumberland University MS in Nursing
- Belmont University Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy
- Tennessee Board of Regents Master of Science in Nursing Regents Online Degree Program
Population growth, urban and rural poverty, and community planning are just a few of the factors that make Tennessee such an interesting state to examine from a sociological perspective. Why not study social sciences and public affairs in TN? Check out graduate programs such as:
- Milligan College MS in Counseling
- Oxford Graduate School Doctor of Philosophy in Social Research
- Tennessee State University Graduate Program in Public Administration
- Austin Peay State University Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
Tennessee Graduate Programs
|Population||Median Household Income||Median Gross Rent||% of person having a bachelor's degree or higher|
Search Graduate Schools in Tennessee
Have your heart set on Tennessee as the home of your future graduate studies? Check out our sponsored listings for prospective graduate programs that may interest you. Or, simply fill out our form to get matched!
- OnlineOnlineUpcoming Start Date: October 21, 2019Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally-relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university. As a regionally accred...
Memphis Theological SeminaryMemphis, TNMemphis, TNMemphis Theological Seminary strives to prepare men and women for the Christian ministry. The seminary provides Christian leaders and the churches they serve with the training they need to be stewards of the lord. Memphis Theological Seminary prides ...
Rhodes CollegeMemphis, TNMemphis, TNRhodes College is one of the premier liberal-arts colleges in the United States. Not only does Rhodes have outstanding faculty but you will have the opportunity to apply the skills you learn at Rhodes through practical experience. At Rhodes College y...
Pentecostal Theological SeminaryCleveland, TNCleveland, TNLocated in Cleveland, Tennessee, the Pentecostal Theological Seminary prepares men and women for the ministry. With Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Divinity, Church Ministries and more the Pentecostal Theological Seminary helps those called to se...
Belmont UniversityNashville, TNNashville, TNBelmont University is a student-centered Christian community providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and f...
Additional Tennessee Campus: Online
Christian Brothers UniversityMemphis, TNMemphis, TNChristian Brothers University is one of the most diverse campuses in the United States and was named one of the best colleges in the Southeast by the Princeton Review. Although CBU is a Catholic university, it has students from over 25 different re...
Additional Tennessee Campus: Online
Ready to make a change in your career prospects? Continue your education with a quality college that’s invested in your success. Bryan College in Tennessee, ranked among U.S. News and World Report’s best colleges in the South.
Additional Tennessee Campus: Dayton
University of Tennessee - MemphisMemphis, TNMemphis, TNThe University of Tennessee enrolls students from over 100 countries and on top of that has the 9th best MBA program in the United States according to Forbes Magazine. The university also offers the number one Physician Executive MBA program ranked b...
Mid America Baptist Theological SeminaryGermantown, TNGermantown, TNMid America Baptist Theological Seminary is home to one of the best centers for training ministers and others to serve the church. The school’s faculty are the best in their profession and have served the Baptist church in some capacity. Not only d...
American Graduate School of ManagementOnlineOnlineAmerican Graduate University provides Master’s degrees and certificates through distance learning education programs. One of its main campuses is the School of Management where you can choose between a wide variety of subjects including finance, ac...
Lincoln Memorial UniversityHarrogate, TNHarrogate, TNLincoln Memorial University provides students with the opportunities they need to learn and grow as well as being prepared for their career after graduation. The university also houses a memorabilia collection of Abraham Lincoln and is a great place ...
Tusculum CollegeGreeneville, TNGreeneville, TNTusculum College offers a unique educational experience. It is one of only four colleges in the United States that offers a focused calendar where students take a single class at a time. Additionally it is the only four year college with a Civics Art...
Southern Adventist UniversityCollegedale, TNCollegedale, TNSouthern Adventist University is a first tier university located at the foot of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The university’s campus is 1,000 acres and is located in the Tennessee River Valley. Southern provides students with an excellent academi...
Temple Baptist SeminaryChattanooga, TNChattanooga, TNTemple Baptist Seminary is a graduate theological school located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The schools goal is to prepare men and women for church leadership and service in Christian ministries. They believe in academic excellence, and they have a...
Additional Tennessee Campus: Online
Southern College Of OptometryMemphis, TNMemphis, TNSouthern College of Optometry is an education institution located in Memphis, Tennessee. It has dedicated all its work to the optometry which is the field of medicine that includes not only the performance of refractive eye examinations and the fitti...
Middle Tennessee School Of AnesthesiaMadison, TNMadison, TNMiddle Tennessee Schools of Anesthesia (MTSA) is a Christian, Seventh-day Adventist school which trains students to be certified registered nurse anesthetists. Founded in 1950 as the Madison Hospital School of Anesthesia by Bernard Bowen, CRNA und...
International Institute Of Chinese MedicineSanta Fe, TNSanta Fe, TN
Tennessee Temple UniversityChattanooga, TNChattanooga, TNTennessee Temple University, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers undergraduate and graduate course work with a Christian focus. There are many opportunities for hands on ministry around the world through the TTU Seminary. While, at the same ti...
Freed-Hardeman UniversityHenderson, TNHenderson, TNFreed-Hardeman University offers a top southern education based on Christian principles. The university is located in Henderson, Tennessee and offers small class sizes giving students the individualized attention they need to succeed. Henderson is t...
Additional Tennessee Campus: Online
University of The South, SewaneeSewanee, TNSewanee, TNUniversity of The South, Sewanee is a private liberal arts college that is located in Sewanee, Tennessee. The university is home to roughly 1,500 students who are earning their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. While at the university students ...
University of Tennessee - ChattanoogaChattanooga, TNChattanooga, TNThe University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a national model for metropolitan universities. In teamwork with their many regional partners, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offer their students a realistic learning environment graced with ...
Additional Tennessee Campus: Online
University of Tennessee Space InstituteTullahoma, TNTullahoma, TNUniversity of Tennessee Space Institute is a satellite campus of the main UT college. The campus itself is located in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The school was founded as a separate campuse to give the school an opportunity to take advantage of the facili...
University of Tennessee - MartinMartin, TNMartin, TNThe University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) is a campus, part of the University of Tennessee system. It is the only public university in this region and it operates a large experimental farm, several satellite campuses in West Tennessee, and one in M...
Fisk UniversityNashville, TNNashville, TNFisk University is a historically black university that has been formed in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee and is only one of four HBCU’s to earn a tier one ranking on the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2011 edition of Best College...