Tennessee Colleges & Universities

Students attending Tennessee schools enjoy some of the best academic programs in the country, along with unique Southern culture and natural beauty.

Schools in Tennessee Offer History, Prestige, and an Exciting College Expereince: Equally as relevant in the development of rock and roll as it was in early American politics, Tennessee is a southern state overflowing with character. Add to its charm heaping amounts of well-preserved natural beauty and a surprisingly long list of highly ranked universities, and one begins to see why Tennessee colleges can be an ideal place for students to focus their search.

Earn Your Degree From One of Many Award-Winning Tennessee Schools: Though spanning just over 42,000 square miles of land--36th-largest state by area--Tennessee plays host to an astounding 55 four-year colleges and universities. A few of the largest and most prestigious of these are profiled below.

  • Middle Tennessee State University (public): Middle Tennessee State University is the largest of Tennessee schools, with an undergraduate class of 22,299 students, and was recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the top public universities. Popular majors include business, visual & performing arts, and journalism; student athletes attending school here compete at the NCAA Division I level. Tuition and fees come to $6,478 for residents, and $19,474 for out-of-state students.
  • University of Tennessee: Knoxville (public): The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is another of the largest colleges in Tennessee in class size, numbering 21,182 undergraduate students. This urban, public school prides itself on its abundant research opportunities, as was ranked by US News & World Report as one of the country's top public institutions of higher learning. Tuition for in-state students at UT is $7,382, and $22,420 for students coming from out of state.
  • Vanderbilt University (private): Vanderbilt continues the trend of educational excellence in Tennessee, boasting state-of-the-art research facilities, an intimidating list of accomplished graduates, and a long list of awards. Admission to this private university is highly selective: Vanderbilt accepts only 20% of its applicants. The undergraduate student body numbers 6,794 individuals. $39,932 is the price of tuition at Vanderbilt, whether you come from in-state or not.
  • Rhodes Colleges (private): Rhodes is a private, selective liberal arts college located in the city of Memphis. Noted for its high-caliber academics, extensive Greek system, and thriving campus life, Rhodes is consistently hailed by college review publications as one of America's best schools. Rhodes' undergraduate class consists of just 1,675 students, and tuition costs $34,580 for both in-state and out-of-state attendees.

Tennessee Colleges Prepare Graduates for a Traditional Yet Diverse Southern Economy: Tennessee's economy is rooted in agriculture: cattle, cotton, tobacco, and soybeans have long formed the backbone of Tennessee wealth. Other major industries include coal mining, electrical power, automobile manufacturing, chemical production, music, and tourism. As of July 2010, Tennessee's unemployment rate was 9.8%.

Engineering majors who take advantage of the great research facilities offered by many of the colleges in Tennessee find themselves well-poised to enter lucrative careers. For example, according to recent data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nuclear engineers employed in the state of Tennessee earn a mean annual wage of $127,250; that's more than any other state for workers in that profession. Communications majors also meet encouraging job prospects; broadcasts news analysts employed in Tennessee make a nationally competitive mean annual wage of $84,860.

The writer Karin Hansen holds a degree in English from San Francisco State University.

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