Tennessee State University


Tennessee State University is located in Nashville, Tennessee. There is an additional branch campus (the Avon Williams Campus) located in downtown Nashville; the main campus is in a residential area. Tennessee State University was founded in 1912 as an African-American normal school, became a 4-year school in 1922, and received university status in 1958. The final step in establishing its reputation was to receive “university status” approval from the State Board of Education. The institution as it is known today was the result of a 1979 merger between Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville. The University now awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tennessee State University defines its mission in part as one of “provid[ing] quality academic programs which are broadly comprehensive at the baccalaureate and masters levels.” It defines itself as an urban university, and still has a predominantly black student body.


Information Summary

Ranks 44th in Tennessee and 1715th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 69.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $22,998
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 16 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 64% / 59%
Enrollment Total (all students) 7,774


The University offers 40 bachelor’s degrees. Tennessee State proudly proclaims that it “prepares students for the workforce.” The University’s most popular majors include Business Administration, Nursing, Statistics, and Biology. Corporate partnerships give students the experience and contacts that come in useful upon graduation when students are seeking employment.

The University is composed of a number of different schools and colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, Technology & Computer Science, the College of Health Sciences, the School of Agriculture & Consumer Science, and the School of Nursing. There is also a School of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Institute of Government.

Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including Africana studies, art, biology, criminal justice, music education, business administration, hospitality and tourism administration, psychology, aeronautical and industrial technology, engineering, dental hygiene, occupational therapy, agricultural sciences, family and consumer sciences, and nursing.

Master’s degrees are awarded in biology, chemistry, criminal justice, English, mathematical sciences, business administration (MBA), education, computer information systems engineering, physical therapy, agricultural sciences, nursing, and public administration, among others. Some departments offer courses on the graduate level but do not offer a master’s level degree.

The school awards six doctoral degrees, in biological sciences, educational administration and supervision, psychology, curriculum and instruction, computer information systems engineering, and public administration. Some of these programs have various concentrations available within them.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Tennessee State University Tennessee State University 2
TSU :: Tennessee State University

Unique Programs

The division of Aerospace Studies includes the Air Force ROTC program. Together they prepare students for service to the country as aerospace experts and technicians, and as leaders in the greater community.


Applicants must also present proof of measles vaccination to gain admission. Transcripts and supporting documentation are requested immediately following high school graduation. For Advanced Placement Examination credit, students must have the testing agency submit test results directly to the Tennessee State office of admissions. A non-refundable fee of $15 is required for each application.

In-state students must demonstrate a score of 19 or better on the ACT or 900 or better on the SAT, and must pass the Tennessee Proficiency Exam. In-state applicants must have a GPA above 2.25.

Out-of-state students must demonstrate a score of 19 or better on the ACT or 900 or better on the SAT, and must have completed 14 High School State Board of Regents requirements. Out-of-state applicants must also have a GPA above 2.5.

Admission by Exception can be granted to students with no more than two high school units and a minimum ACT score of 21 or an ACT score of 19 and a high school GPA of 2.5.

Prior course requirements include four years of English, one year of visual and or performing arts, two years of algebra and one year of geometry, two years of the natural or physical sciences, one year of social studies, one year of United States history, and two years of a single foreign language. An additional unit of the arts and mathematics or in a foreign language is recommended. Tennessee students must pass the Tennessee proficiency examination. Students must provide proof of immunity to measles prior to registration.

Admissions criteria vary, with different test scores or grade point averages required for out-of-state students. Tennessee students must have a minimum ACT score of 19 or SAT score of 900, or a grade point average of at least 2.25.

Graduate students must provide the following for admissions to the graduate school: application, fee, and transcripts. Most programs also require test scores, and some require supplemental applications. Students should consult individual programs to see what additional materials are required. A graduate application has an application fee of $25.

Financial Aid

Financial need is the most influential factor in determining eligibility for aid, though the University encourages all students to apply. The University uses a simple formula to determine a students’ necessary aid, subtracting anticipated family contributions from total cost of tuition. Among other loan programs, the University participated in the Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation is available for Tennessee residents for up to eight semesters.

In-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students were $2019 per semester in 2004-2005. Students applying from out of state and graduate students will have different costs.

Financial aid is available with a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3679th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Tennessee.


Student life includes eleven different student organizations, including ROTC, Advertising Club, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletics.

In addition to the numerous classroom, dormitory, and administration buildings, Tennessee State University has an amphitheater, an on-campus park, and a performing arts center.

The Tennessee State University Library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site. It also includes a “smart classroom,” an Art Corner, and archives and manuscripts.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Tennessee State Tigers compete in the Ohio Valley Conference of the NCAA’s Division I. Intercollegiate sports include football, softball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball, golf, tennis, and track/cross country. The school colors are royal blue and white.

The University’s athletics department explicitly identifies its own activities within the academic mission of the overall institution, while also recognizing its role in developing young leaders and generating revenue. In support of its athletic teams, the University is also home to the Big Blue Booster Club, a cheerleading squad, and the Aristocrat of Bands.

The Tiger football team earned back-to-back Ohio Valley championships in 1998 and 1999. At the end of the 1999 season the Tigers were ranked number on in NCAA Division I-AA. In 1982 the University also claimed the National Black College Championship.

Each year, the football team designates one of its matches as the John Meritt classic. The purpose of the classic is raise scholarship funds.

Athletic facilities include a stadium, a football practice field, a field house, a track, and an athletic building.

Local Community

Nashville is known as the country music capital of the world. Visitors and students alike can take in some of the oldest and the newest country hits at numerous venues throughout the city, including the historic Grand Ol’ Opry. Nashville is also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, home to a new $37 million facility honoring the greatest starts of country music. Country icon Loretta Lynn offers visitors as stay at her private ranch just 65 miles outside of Nashville. And visitors can see the latest performers—from all genres—at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The city is also home to the world’s only full scale replica of the Parthenon. The latest census lists the Nashville population at just under 570,000.

This website and its associated pages are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by this school.
StateUniversity.com has no official or unofficial affiliation with Tennessee State University.