Choosing a quality university for your education is an important decision to make. Not only do you need to think about the field or subject you would like to study, but you must also consider the entire collegiate environment. Do you want to be in a city, or do you prefer a more suburban or rural setting? What size school are you looking for? Are you hoping to get involved with faculty research, community service, student government, a dance club or religious practice? It is important to imagine not just your classes, but also the extra-curricular lifestyle you hope to lead while attending college. Tennessee is home to a number of universities set in both thriving cities like Nashville and Memphis as well as rural Appalachia. A wide diversity of course offerings are available across the state, and several universities, both public and private, are highly ranked on national and regional levels.
Vanderbilt University: Nashville
Vanderbilt is a private university of about 7,000 undergraduate students, located in Nashville. It offers a wide-range of out-of-classroom immersion programs, including cross-disciplinary research, internships, study abroad opportunities and service learning. Academic programs vary widely across the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. Additionally, Vanderbilt’s admissions are need-blind and commit to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need. Many notable graduates have come from this school, including novelist, James Patterson, NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, and the former CEO of Time, Inc., Ann Moore.
University of Tennessee: Knoxville
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is the state’s leading public research institution. UT Knoxville has many academic and co-curricular programs to offer its students. These include specialized honors programs including civic engagement, community service, and experiential learning, as well as research opportunities at the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratories. There are over 470 student clubs ranging from ballroom dancing to bass fishing, as well as business startup competitions. The UT Volunteers also compete in the Southeastern Division I NCAA Conference.
Union University: Jackson
Union University is a private Baptist college located in Jackson, Tennessee. Operating on a 4-1-4 academic calendar, Union offers degrees in fields ranging from anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and area studies, to engineering, environmental policy, neuroscience and economics. The university aims to enable students to pursue their studies while practicing Christian values.
Lipscomb University: Nashville
Lipscomb University, located in Nashville, is a private college affiliated with the Church of Christ. Its curriculum is built around the five pillars of faith, community, knowledge, innovation and service. While offering more than 70 different majors and pre-professional programs, the university curriculum includes a service learning component for all undergraduate students and offers several domestic and international mission trips each year.
Tennessee Technological University: Cookeville
Tennessee Technological University is a public university of about 10,000 students, with national rankings for public schools. It offers degree programs across a wide range of departments, including agriculture, human ecology, natural sciences, humanities, business, fine arts, education, exercise science, music performance, engineering and nursing. With all of these, the school promotes a technology-focused curriculum with strong entrepreneurial initiatives.
Belmont University: Nashville, Tennessee
Belmont University is a private Christian school that has been ranked 6th for Regional Universities in the South. Belmont’s sports teams, the Bruins, compete in the Ohio Valley Division I NCAA Conference. With the university’s setting in downtown Nashville, many students study to earn degrees in the music performance industry through Belmont’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and College of Entertainment and Music Business. This mid-sized school offers enrollment to about 6,000 undergraduate students.
Milligan College: Milligan College, TN
Milligan College is a small private university in northeast Tennessee that aims to develop its students as Christian servant-leaders. With less than 900 undergraduates and almost three-fourths of classes having less than 20 students, Milligan focuses on a humanities discipline with individualized attention. Students can choose between more than 25 majors ranging from psychology and social work, to music theater and graphic design.
Freed-Hardeman University: Henderson
Freed-Hardeman is a private university affiliated with the Church of Christ. With less than two thousand enrolled undergraduate students, over half the courses taught at Freed-Hardeman have 20 students or less, making for a more individualized education. The academic emphasis is a liberal arts core underlying career-focused majors, such as business, education, marketing and religious vocations.
University of Tennessee: Martin
The University of Tennessee at Martin is public, mid-sized school with around 7,000 undergraduate students. UT Martin offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 100 different areas of study, ranging from natural sciences, to business administration, to performing arts. The University is a competitive Division I school in the Ohio Valley NCAA Conference, and Health and Human Performance is one of the most popular majors.
University of Tennessee: Chattanooga
Founded in 1886, this Tennessee college has a long tradition of providing top-notch education for its students. This is a rather large campus, with approximately 10,000 undergraduates enrolling. The campus sits on 134 acres. More than half of the students who study on this campus receive some form of financial aid, and most live in off-campus housing. UT Chattanooga participates in the NCAA Division I athletic conference.