Tennessee State University

2014 Quick Stats
3500 John Merritt Boulevard

Nashville, TN 37209-1561

Phone: (615) 963-5000
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
Jul. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
RNP Ranked Not Published.
U.S. News calculated a numerical rank but does not publish it.
National Universities

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Tennessee State University is a public institution that was founded in 1912. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,780, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 520 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Tennessee State University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, Tier 2. Its in-state tuition and fees are $6,875 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $20,027 (2013-14).

A historically black institution, Tennessee State University is located just outside downtown Nashville. There are more than 100 student clubs and organizations to check out, as well as the Aristocrat of Bands, the school's well-known marching band, and a competitive forensic debate team. The TSU Tigers sports teams compete in the NCAA Division I Ohio Valley Conference. Undergraduate students have more than 40 majors to choose from.

Graduate students have a variety of academic options at Tennessee State University as well, and can complete degrees through the College of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Education. Notable alumni include Oprah Winfrey, Olympic track and field star Wilma Rudolph and Jesse Russell, inventor of the cell phone microchip.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Tennessee State University, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), fosters scholarly inquiry and research, life-long learning, and a commitment to service. Tennessee State University aspires to achieve national and international prominence, building on its heritage and preparing leaders for a global society. Tennessee State University maintains the following core values: Excellence, Learning, Accountability, Integrity, Shared governance, Diversity, and Service. Aligned with the University mission and core values, the academic vision of Tennessee State University (TSU) affirms the importance of teaching, learning, research and service. TSU aspires to build on its historic mission by extending its geographic reach. Because of Tennessee State University's historic past and its present reputation as a top-tier public HBCU, the institution's geographic reach extends to traditional African-American students and other under-represented populations throughout the State of Tennessee and the nation who value a quality education. Because of its location in the state capital, a federal gateway to America's south and a major hub for healthcare, music, banking, publishing, and transportation industries, offers unparalleled research and service opportunities to students and scholars from around the globe. TSU's primary growth area is in the middle Tennessee region from which the University's undergraduate and graduate programs draw both traditional and non-traditional students of all races. The University seeks to extend its reach to contiguous counties in Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, and through distance education and other alternative delivery systems, the University extends a limited number of high quality programs, globally. Tennessee State University is Nashville's only public University. It is an 1890 land-grant University founded in 1912 and has an unusual profile with an urban location (two campuses in Nashville) and a land-grant mission (and a farm and a nursery). TSU offers 42 Bachelor's degrees, 24 Master's degrees, and 7 doctoral programs. Approximately 605 faculty serve a student population of over 8200 drawn from 44 states and 40 countries. It offers these degrees to students who are prepared to succeed. Furthermore, the University is committed to providing access to higher education through alternative modes of delivery to the adult and working population of Middle Tennessee. More than 74% of the student population is African American, while 22% percent is white. Growing numbers of Latino, Asian, and international students are also present at the University. The University continues to be an integral contributor to Nashville's cultural, economic and civic communities. Faculty, staff, and student engagement in the community builds mutually beneficial relationships through service and research activities.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1912
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $36,617,305


When applying to Tennessee State University, it's important to note the application deadline is July 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due July 1. The application fee at Tennessee State University is $25. It is less selective, with an acceptance rate of 58.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity less selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 58.2%
Application deadline July 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by July 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Tennessee State University is 15:1, and the school has 54.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Tennessee State University include: Health Professions and Related Programs; Education; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Psychology; and Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 65 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 15:1
4-year graduation rate 10%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 39%
Education 24%
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 17%
Psychology 11%
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 6%

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Student Life

Tennessee State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,780, with a gender distribution of 37.3 percent male students and 62.7 percent female students. At this school, 40 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 60 percent of students live off campus. Tennessee State University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 8,775
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Tennessee State University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, day care, and health service. Tennessee State University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Tennessee State University, 56 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at Tennessee State University.

Students who have cars on campus 56%
Health insurance offered No

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Paying for School

At Tennessee State University, 90 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $5,564.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $6,875 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $20,027 (2013-14)
Room and board $7,104 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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