Whether you’re looking for great music, delicious food, or stunning scenery, Tennessee is the place to be. Which is why you should consider the state in your college search. Of course, that’s not the only reason.
What kind of College in Tennessee should you attend?
The state has a number of top-flight colleges that would have no problem making it onto a list of the best schools—not only in the state, but in the country.
Whether they’re private universities or part of one of the two public college systems in Tennessee, you have a lot of options to choose from. And don’t immediately write off private colleges as too expensive. Take a look at our Top Online Colleges in Tennessee—one of those programs might just fit your schedule. Depending on the program, online schools might be able to give out more financial aid than public schools. You never know!
How much money can you earn with a degree from a College in Tennessee?
According to the 2016 census, the average person in Tennessee makes around $48,500 per year. But you’re not the average person, are you? By earning an advanced degree, you are separating yourself from the pack. Your bank account will be grateful for this!
The statistics at Payscale.com show that individuals from Tennessee who earn a Bachelor of Science degree make around $59k per year. That’s over $10,000 more than the Tennessee average! The numbers just keep increasing for folks who go on to earn a master’s degree. In that case, you’re looking at an annual salary of around $65k.
What can you do with a degree from a College in Tennessee?
If you’re from Tennessee, you already know that community matters. Networking and building connections with people is almost as important as the college degree that you earn, because job opportunities often come through personal relationships.
In that vein, Tennessee is home to numerous corporate headquarters, including FedEx, Regal Entertainment, and Hospital Corporation of America. Agriculture is also a big industry in the state, especially for beef. There are over 82,000 farms in the state, and over half of them raise cattle. You’ll find lots of business and science degrees on this list that would plug in perfectly in this sector. If that doesn’t strike a chord for you, health care is also a huge industry in Tennessee.
What are the Best Colleges in Tennessee?
Whether you’re a native Volunteer or looking to become one, the charming and idiosyncratic state of Tennessee awaits. If you’re overwhelmed at the task of choosing a school, not to worry—that’s where we come in!
Below, you’ll find the Best Colleges in Tennessee, hands down. Our methodology takes into account academic quality, so you know that you’re getting the best education possible, as well as return on investment, so you know that all of that tuition money will pay off in the job market. In addition, we factor in graduation rates, retention rates, and more.
Good luck in your search!
College Choice Score: 100.00
Average Net Price: $22,173
Vanderbilt University is a private, not-for-profit research university. It was named after the shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt and is located in Nashville, Tennessee. This school is a member of the Association of American Universities and the 568 Group. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This university confers more than 125 degrees at all levels of education, including 70 alone at the undergraduate level, through 10 colleges and schools. Vanderbilt also operates its own law, medical, and nursing school, making it possible for students to move from undergraduate to graduate studies within the same university. Here are some highlight programs:
- Master’s in Law and Legal Studies
- B.S. in Child Studies
- B.A. in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Vanderbilt is a world-renown research institution and is currently ranked among the top 20 research universities in the country. It houses the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics and includes the largest research facility in the world that is devoted to radiation effects.
College Choice Score: 68.87
Average Net Price: $28,615
Rhodes College is one of the best colleges in the country for undergraduates. The school is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts institution that has a historical affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. It was founded in 1848 and is located in Memphis, Tennessee. This school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
This college confers undergraduate degrees in more than 50 majors; pre-professional degrees are also available. The school also offers the Master of Science in Accounting, the only graduate degree available at this school. It is interesting to note that students from Rhodes have an extremely high rate of success in applying to and entering graduate and professional programs. Some program highlights include:
- B.A. in International Studies
- B.S. in Psychology
- M.A. in Urban Education
Rhodes is one of the best colleges in Tennessee for students who are interested in research. The school places an enormous amount of emphasis on research, writing, and service learning, believing that this is the single best way for students to get comfortable in their new profession. Most students contribute some research to a project prior to graduating.
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
College Choice Score: 65.18
Average Net Price: $17,863
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, known simply as Knoxville, is a public, land-grant, sun-grant university that serves as the flagship institution of the University of Tennessee system. It was established in 1794 and is a member of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. This school is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC.
This school confers over 300 degrees at all levels of education, including doctoral and specialist programs. This school also has an incredible program for dual-degree students and those who would like to dual major at the undergraduate level. Students can also elect for study abroad or international internship opportunities through the school’s division of Global Engagement. You’ll find engaging degree programs such as:
- B.S. in Aerospace Engineering
- B.S./M.S. in Animal Science
- B.S. in Forestry
UT-Knoxville is known for its research efforts, and it is a very important part of this campus. The school houses the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is one of the federal government’s largest research centers in the world. Also available here is the Anthropological Research Facility that focuses on the forensic knowledge of human remains and its decomposition stages.
College Choice Score: 63.94
Average Net Price: $23,176
Lipscomb University is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts university that is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It was established in 1891 and is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The school is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities as well as the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
Lipscomb University confers more than 75 degrees in 140 areas of study at the undergraduate degree; there are also over 30 degrees at the graduate level as well. In addition, there are over two dozen certifications, licensures, and endorsements available at the graduate level alone. Online programs are also available for interested students. Here’s a quick glance into some of the degree options:
- M.A. in Conflict Management
- B.S. in Data Science
- M.Div. in Divinity
The university believes in global learning, specifically when it comes to long-term study abroad programs. Lipscomb current offers programs for all students that range from 10 days to an entire academic year, with destinations that include Austria, Italy, England, and Chile.
University of Memphis
College Choice Score: 62.63
Average Net Price: $12,369
The University of Memphis is a public research university that was established in 1912. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and is the home for the Center for Earthquake Research and Information. Students area also treated to a school that hosts five Centers of Excellence and 25 Chairs of Excellence, all within the flagship institution of the Tennessee Board of Regents System. This school is a member of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
The University of Memphis confers over 150 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels of education, including certifications and endorsements at the graduate level. Students are also available to take on an interdisciplinary major or earn a dual-degree pending approval from a faculty member. The vast array of programs at this school makes it one of the best universities in the country for both undergraduate and graduate students. Here’s a sampling of a few:
- B.S. in Biology
- B.S. in Civil Engineering
- B.A. in History
The school has a vested interest in environmentalism. The Edward J. Meeman Biological Station, which is housed on campus, conducts research in environmental studies, allowing students to work on research subjects while continuing their education. The school is also hosting the Green Campus Initiative, which works to develop and implement green practices on school grounds. This is a growing highlight of this school, and students interested in an environmental major will find the campus useful in terms of research.
Christian Brothers University
College Choice Score: 61.83
Average Net Price: $15,053
Christian Brothers University is a private, Roman Catholic institution that is run by and affiliated with the Christian Brothers, an order that was founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle. It was established in 1871 and is a member of the Association of Christian Colleges and Universities as well as the Council of Independent Colleges. This school is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This is one of the best universities in Tennessee for students interested in learning in a Lasallian Tradition. The school currently confers over 30 undergraduate degrees and six graduate degrees, including the rare but popular Master of Catholic Studies. Dual degrees and some online courses are also available for students who are interested in expanding their horizons. You’ll find options such as:
- B.A. in Cultural Studies
- B.S. in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
- B.A. in Early Childhood Development
CBU is a member of the Lasallian International Programs Consortium; students at this school will have a special list of study abroad programs that they can participate in that are as short as one week or as long as one semester. The school offers the chance to travel to over a dozen countries, including Japan, South Africa, England, and China, all while earning college credit towards a degree.
College Choice Score: 60.72
Average Net Price: $16,504
Maryville College is a private, not-for-profit, Presbyterian liberal arts college that is located in Maryville, Tennessee. It was founded in 1819 by a minister named Isaac Anderson for the sole purpose of educating those in the West. The school is one of the oldest in the United States and holds an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. This school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
This school offers over 30 degrees at the undergraduate level; other programs are also available for students that are interested in receiving their teacher licensure. All students must complete a senior comprehensive exam and a senior thesis prior to graduating from the school. The school has been ranked in the top five for “Best Comprehensive-Bachelor’s” for the Southern region by U.S. News and World Report. Here’s a sampling of a few degree programs:
- American Sign Language and Deaf Studies
- Biopharmaceutical Sciences
- Human Resources Management
All students are Maryville do a Senior Study, a program that is meant to stretch a student’s imagination on their chosen field and utilize research to demonstrate their knowledge on their degree. The students design and complete their own research paper, which focuses on a topic that has been approved by their faculty advisor, and defended by the student as their senior thesis.
College Choice Score: 60.29
Average Net Price: $26,286
Union University is a private, not-for-profit, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university that is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. It was established in 1823 and is headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee, with satellite campuses around the state. This university is currently ranked as a top-tier institution by U.S. News and World Report. The school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
Union confers over 125 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Pre-professional programs, as well as certificates and endorsements, are also available at this school. The school also has a strong track record in terms of online degrees, most of which focus on business, education, or nursing. These can be completed fully online or in a blended format in order to fit a student’s needs. Some of the most popular degrees include:
- B.S. in Biology (majors in Zoology, Botany, and more)
- Master of Accountancy
- B.A. in Christian Ministry and Missions
The university has a strong athletic history: the Bulldogs play at the NCAA Division II – Gulf South Conference as provisional members. The women’s basketball team won national championships in the NAIA conference five times, the most recent being in 2010, right before the school transitioned to the NCAA. The men’s teams have claimed national titles in the NCAA for soccer, softball, and volleyball.
Trevecca Nazarene University
College Choice Score: 60.11
Average Net Price: $17,487
Trevecca Nazarene University is a private, not-for-profit, Christian liberal arts institution that was founded in 1901 by a Presbyterian minister. The school is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. It is a member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The school has a stated mission to provide students with an education taught from a Christian worldview. This school is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC.
This school confers undergraduate degrees in 86 areas of study, 20 graduate degrees, and two doctoral degrees. The school also offers associate’s degrees as well as certification programs for nurses and teachers. Online courses and degrees are available through the school’s online portal. The most popular degrees at Trevecca include:
- Biomedical Services
Student life on this campus is filled with events, clubs, and programs that are both on campus and affiliated with other schools. Trevecca hosts a variety of events, including Friday Night Live, the Trojan Idol, and the Songwriter’s Challenge. The school also has a strong relationship with Vanderbilt, which has led to students being accepted into the ROTC program at Vanderbilt while completing their degree at the school.
Le Moyne-Owen College
College Choice Score: 59.67
Average Net Price: $12,914
LeMoyne-Owen College is a private, not-for-profit, historically black college that is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It was established in 1968 after LeMoyne College and Owen College merged; it is located in Memphis, Tennessee. The school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
This is one of the best colleges in Tennessee for students interested in a world-class undergraduate education. Students will find over 20 areas of study available at the undergraduate level here, most of which focus on education, business, and science. Because the school has a narrow focus on the degrees that it confers, students are assured that they are receiving individualized attention by faculty and an education that will help them complete their goals. Some of the most popular programs include:
- B.A. in Teacher Education English/Language Arts
- B.S. in Information Technology
- B.A. in Criminal Justice
LeMoyne-Owen is also known for housing a Center for Cyber Defense, which is growing in popularity as more and more students understand how much of life is dealt with online. This center has a state-of-the-art simulation lab where students can study the changing viewpoints on cyber security by using the most recently available digital forensics tools.
College Choice Score: 59.37
Average Net Price: $16,845
King University is a private, not-for-profit, university that was established in 1867. It was founded by the Holston Presbyterian Church and holds affiliations with the Presbyterian Church and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The school is a member of the Appalachian College Association, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. The school is located in Bristol, Tennessee, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
This university confers more than 80 undergraduate degrees, including pre-professional programs in medicine and law. The school also offers three graduate degrees and one doctoral degree. King offers these degrees from seven schools; the current student-t0-faculty ratio at this university is 16:1. The most popular programs are:
- Health Care Administration
As a Presbyterian institution, King believes that students benefit from having a spiritual life on campus. The school requires that all students obtain 14 chapel or convocation credit hours per a semester, and missionary trips are a normal experience for most students. The King Institute for Faith and Culture has missionary and study abroad trips for all students, including trips to underdeveloped countries, as a way to expand a student’s worldview while they complete their education.
College Choice Score: 58.31
Average Net Price: $18,137
Cumberland University is a private, for-profit, liberal arts university that was founded in 1842. It was established by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and retains a historical affiliation with the church. It is best known for producing more than 80 members of Congress, three ambassadors, and one US Secretary of State, the father of the United Nations himself, Cordell Hull. This school is located in Lebanon, Tennessee, and is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This university confers more than 30 undergraduate degrees and eight graduate degrees. The school also provides one dual major option in Secondary Education. The school has accelerated nursing programs as well. Cumberland does offer online courses and degrees; however, the options of what is available changes every term, so students are advised to speak with an admissions counselor prior to applying for any online program. Here’s a look into a few of the programs:
- B.A. in Criminal Justice and Public Administration
- B.S. in Sport Management
- B.B.A in Health Care Administration
Student life at Cumberland is best represented by the school’s commitment to community outreach. The school’s student body volunteers hundreds of hours every year to the community at large, including hosting conference basketball games and donating half of its proceeds to a local charity. Similarly, the school’s cycling team also formed its own chapter of a local charity called Ride for Reading.
Sewanee: The University of the South
College Choice Score: 58.28
Average Net Price: $25,414
Sewanee: The University of the South, more commonly known as Sewanee, is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that was established in 1857. It has a religious affiliation with the Episcopal Church and is an official home of the church’s seminary. The school is located in Sewanee, Tennessee. It holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC and is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South.
There are over 50 undergraduate areas of study that lead to a degree at Sewanee, along with dozens of minors. Pre-professional programs in law, engineering, medicine, and more can be found here as well. The school also offers its Education for Ministry program online. It is a worldwide program that focuses on teaching its students how to teach from a Christian worldview. Here’s a look at some stand-out programs:
- B.A. in Classics
- B.S. in Computer Science
- B.A. in Religious Studies
Sewanee has a long history with literature; the Sewanee Review is a literary magazine that was founded in 1892. It is thought to be the longest-running magazine of its kind in the country. The magazine helped launch the Sewanee Writers’ Conference that is held every year and is also the reason why so many published authors vie for a writer-in-residency spot on campus. The Pulitzer Prize playwright Tennessee Williams has even left his literary rights to the university.
College Choice Score: 57.54
Average Net Price: $19,831
Fisk University is a private, not-for-profit, historically black university that has a historical affiliation with the United Church of Christ. It was established in 1866 and is designated a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The school is a member institution of the United Negro College Fund. It was the first HBCU to gain regional accreditation from the SACS COC, a recognition it still holds.
The school confers 20 undergraduate degrees and four graduate degrees, along with the option to enroll in pre-professional programs. The school also offers a bridge program to doctoral studies in select graduate programs. Fisk’s Core Curriculum requires that students complete courses in critical thinking and reasoning, composition, and business. The school also offers students the chance to take these core courses online; however, the school does not yet offer the chance to earn an online degree. Here’s a sampling of some degrees:
- B.A. in Modern Foreign Languages
- B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology
- B.S. in Business Administration
Fisk is known for academic excellence, especially in the field of science. In fact, the school has been recognized as one of the top producers of African-Americans who go on to earn a doctoral degree in natural sciences. It is also home to the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program, a program that allows underrepresented students the chance to gain access to STEM doctoral programs. This program has earned donations from NASA and the National Science Foundation and has been the most successful endeavor for diversity in the natural sciences ever in American history.
Middle Tennessee State University
College Choice Score: 57.26
Average Net Price: $10,910
Middle Tennessee State University is a public institution that was established in 1911 and is a member institution of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The school is best known for its music and aerospace management programs. This university is located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC.
This university offers more than 140 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Subjects range from Aerospace Professional Pilot to Horse Science; pre-professional programs are also available. MTSU also has a robust online college set up, allowing students to take undergraduate and graduate courses through the virtual portal. Here’s a look at a few areas of study:
- Forensic Science
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Plant and Soil Science
MTSU is known for its Department of Recording Industry program; it has been recognized by the Rolling Stone College Guide as being one of the most prestigious music business programs in the country. This department has five recording studios available on campus that are open 24 hours a day for students to use for their assignments.
College Choice Score: 56.80
Average Net Price: $15,680
The Bryan College at Dayton is a private, for-profit, Christian liberal arts college that was established in 1930 to present the state’s students with the chance to learn from a Christian worldview. The school remains affiliated with the Christian Church and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. The school is located in Dayton, Tennessee, and holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC.
Bryan confers the associate degree and bachelor degree in 20 disciplines with the option for over 60 different concentrations. The school also houses the Adult and Graduate Studies program, where working professionals can earn a degree online or in a hybrid option in a part-time format. The school also confers three master’s degrees in the following areas:
- Business Administration
- Christian Studies
The school has a great history with student-run media. It currently includes Bryan Life, an alumni magazine; Illumine, a publication that is conducted by the Bryan Institute for Critical Thought and Practice; E-Lumine, an online newsletter; and The Triangle, a biweekly publication that offers students the chance to write editorials and articles about the campus itself.
College Choice Score: 56.54
Average Net Price: $16,976
Milligan College is a private, for-profit, Christian liberal arts institution that was established in 1866. It is historically affiliated with the Christian Churches – Churches of Christ and the Disciples of Christ Order. The school is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, and has been ranked one of the best colleges in the country by the Princeton Review. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
Milligan offers students more than 30 undergraduate degrees and four graduate degrees, all of which are taught in the Christian tradition. The school believes that by teaching from a spiritual perspective, students are more able to understand how their field of study not only affects them, but the community they serve and the country in general. This thought has also led to the school offering online courses; more distance education programs are on the way, ensuring that any student who wants to earn a degree from Milligan can do so without any interruption to their very busy schedule. Here’s a look at some programs:
- M.S. in Occupational Therapy
- B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies
- B.A. in Communications
This school is closely related to the Churches of Christ, leading to an expectation that students will purport themselves in a moral manner. Alcohol, narcotics, and tobacco are prohibited on campus; worship services are available almost daily, and students are strongly encourage to attend one service a week. Students also have the ability to join the campus ministry program and partake in church missionary work.
Lincoln Memorial University
College Choice Score: 56.30
Average Net Price: $12,484
Lincoln Memorial University is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. It was established in 1897 and is named after Abraham Lincoln; the school houses the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, which is a curation of personal effects and keepsakes from Lincoln himself before and during the Civil War. This school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
LMU confers 36 undergraduate degrees, including special programs, such as Conservation Biology, that are rarely found anywhere else. It also confers 18 graduate degrees, seven postgraduate and professional degrees, and one specialist degree. Online and distance education programs are also available for students who don’t live close but would still like to have an education from this nationally recognized university. The bulk of the professional degrees revolve around the following areas:
- Health Sciences
- Veterinary Medicine
The school has a literary tradition that dates back to its establishment; however, in 2005, the school decided to turn that tradition into a festival. LMU is the home of The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, an annual event that brings together some of the most well-known writers in the region, including Sheila Kay Adams and Ron Rash. The school is also home to the Grant Lee Literary Society, which comes out every year to the festival to showcase its support for Appalachian literature.
College Choice Score: 55.37
Average Net Price: $30,581
Belmont University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts university that is affiliated with the Christian Church. It is a nondenominational institution that has a reputation for being the largest Christian university in the state. It is also the second-largest private university in Tennessee, second only to Vanderbilt University. This school is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
Belmont confers over 75 degrees at the undergraduate level, 20 graduate degrees, and four doctoral programs. The school also has online offerings that are available through its virtual portal. Students have the option to even intern with some of the largest companies in the city; with the school’s partnership with HCA, health sciences students now have access to a consortium of health care professionals and businesses in the area, giving them internship and research opportunities. Some of the stand-out degrees include:
- B.S. in Engineering Physics
- B.A. in Journalism
- B.S. in Nursing
This school is the home of the only Music Business program in the world to earn AACSB International accreditation. The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business was founded by the CEO of Curb Records and had a former dean that was a legendary label head in the Nashville music scene. The school is most noted for its internship program for this school, which sends its best and brightest to intern for major music labels in Nashville, New York City, and Los Angeles.
College Choice Score: 55.15
Average Net Price: $11,527
Lane College is a private, not-for-profit, historically black college that was established in 1882. It is named after co-founder Methodist Bishop Isaac Lane. It is affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and is an undergraduate institution that focuses on arts and sciences degrees. The school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
This university confers undergraduate degrees in 16 major areas of study; these can be complemented with any one of the school’s 19 minors. The school does not confer graduate degrees; however, this is one of the top colleges for students interested in getting a world-class undergraduate education for a small, prestigious school. Students choose from varied areas of study such as:
- Criminal Justice
- Computer Science
Like many other colleges on this ranking, the school offers the First-Year Experience to all freshmen. This consists of an orientation class and a program called Jump Start, which is a series of seminars, activities, and events that introduce students to Lane College and all it has to offer. This includes a tour around the career center, explanations of the community service the school provides, internship opportunities, and more.
Tennessee Technological University
College Choice Score: 54.86
Average Net Price: $13,677
Tennessee Technological University, which is more commonly referred to as Tennessee Tech, is a public, state university that was established in 1915. The school has a stated emphases on undergraduate STEM programs; however, graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines are available here. The school is located in Cookeville, Tennessee, and is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This university confers more than 40 undergraduate degrees and 20 graduate degrees; doctoral programs are also available in environmental sciences, engineering, and education. These programs are highly ranked and are also the most popular degrees at the school. Online courses are also available for students. The school also offers co-operative education options for students who are interested in gaining work experience while studying for their degree. Other highlight programs include:
- B.S. in Geosciences
- B.A. in English, Language and Rhetoric Concentration
- B.S. in Mathematics
This school is home to a variety of research centers that focus on applied science. The Center for Energy Systems Research is perhaps the best known and encompasses research done in a variety of fields, including cyber security, structured health monitoring, wind energy, and solar energy. The centers all accept student researchers who are under the supervision of faculty or a staff researcher; this can be a great way for students to learn about the research aspect of their chosen field.
College Choice Score: 54.45
Average Net Price: $14,257
Carson-Newman University is a private, not-for-profit, Baptist liberal arts college that was established in 1851 and retains an affiliation with the Baptist Church. The school is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the Council for Independent Colleges. This school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
Carson-Newman confers over 100 undergraduate degrees and 15 pre-professional programs. It also offers six graduate degrees. Certifications and endorsements for teachers are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are nine online degrees available, including graduate and postgraduate degrees; these focus mostly on education programs. This is one of the best universities in Tennessee for teachers, as the school provides initial and secondary licensure through it’s on campus and online programs. Some of the highlight majors are:
- Interior Design
- Biblical Languages
- Political Science
As a Baptist school, Carson-Newman believes that religion should inform both a student’s studies and their campus life. The school offers weekly worship and fellowship services for all students as well as mission experiences all over the world. It also hosts the Winter Worship Series, a group of lectures that focus on how to find spiritual guidance in a growing secular world.
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
College Choice Score: 54.37
Average Net Price: $12,267
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a public institution that is a member of the University of Tennessee system. It is home to the SimCenter, which has been listed as one of the 100 most powerful supercomputers by Top500. This school is a member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities. This school was established in 1886 and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
UT Chattanooga confers over 140 degrees at the undergraduate level, including the chance for double majors and minors. It also confers over 100 graduate programs, including degrees that are in partnership with the Kangnung National University in South Korea. The most prestigious of these programs include:
- Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Doctorate in Physical Therapy
This is one of the best universities for students who love sports; the school’s team, the Mocs, are well known for its men’s basketball, golf, and softball teams. The school plays in the NCAA Division I – SoCon conference and has won various titles in this conference in wrestling, football, and basketball. In fact, Jimmy Fallon, the talk show host, chose the Mocs as his team of choice for the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee Wesleyan College
College Choice Score: 53.70
Average Net Price: $11,182
Tennessee Wesleyan College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts institution that has an affiliation with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1857 and is located in Athens, Tennessee. This school is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and University; it is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
Tennessee Wesleyan offers students the chance to get a small-town education that has an excellent reputation. The university confers over 30 degrees at the undergraduate level and one graduate degree, the Master of Business Administration, wholly online. This school’s student to faculty ratio stands at 12:1, and classes rarely exceed 30 students. Other highlight programs include:
- B.S in Sports Management
- B.B.A. in Finance
- B.A. in International Studies
The university has a variety of ways for students to get involved on campus, including spiritual opportunities. As a Wesleyan Methodist school, weekly worship opportunities are a big part of campus life; fellowship and volunteer work for the school are also popular. Tennessee Wesleyan also offers more than 20 registered student organizations as well as Greek life, ensuring that every student finds something to love about attending this university.
East Tennessee State University
College Choice Score: 51.19
Average Net Price: $14,708
East Tennessee State University is a public institution that is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ system of colleges and university. It is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, and is the fourth-largest school in the state. This school is known for its professional schools and for being the only school in the country to offer a graduate degree in storytelling. This school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.
This school provides over 75 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, including nine pre-professional programs and first-professional degrees. Students also have the option to enroll in graduate certificate programs, including certificates in Forensic Document Examination and Urban Planning. The school has teacher licensure for all subjects in K-12 programs. The school’s online portal also offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Other top choices for programs include:
- B.S. in Radio/TV/Film
- B.A. in Justice, Ethics, and Law
- B.S. in Digital Media
The outdoors are just as much a part of life at ETSU as anything else; just 30 minutes away from the campus lies the Appalachian Trail. This is a great place for students to hike, take in the scenery, fish, or take part in water sports. During the winter, it’s not that unusual to see students take day trips to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or find a ski lodge for a weekend.