Top Universities in Tennessee

By | April 20, 2019

For those interested in studying in Tennessee, we have a very useful list. We selected the best Tennessee institutions for prospective students. Please know that rankings are based on academic research, alumni reviews, graduation rates, as well as assessment from peer colleges. On the page, you will find major admissions stats such as acceptance rate, tuition fees, average SAT scores for each ranked college or university.

  • Visit AllCityCodes for all area codes in the state of Tennessee.
Rankings Schools
1 Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Tuition: $42,118
Total enrollment: 12,836
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 16.4%
Average freshman retention rate: 97%
6-year graduation rate: 92%
Classes with under 20 students: 61.7%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 31-34
2 University of Tennessee: Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 30,194
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 69.7%
Average freshman retention rate: 85%
6-year graduation rate: 63%
Classes with under 20 students: 33.1%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 24-29
3 East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 15,250
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 85.1%
Average freshman retention rate: 70%
6-year graduation rate: 44%
Classes with under 20 students: 40.6%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 19-24
4 Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 26,442
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 70.3%
Average freshman retention rate: 81%
6-year graduation rate: 46%
Classes with under 20 students: 34.0%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 20-24
5 Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 9,165
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 55.3%
Average freshman retention rate: 64%
6-year graduation rate: 34%
Classes with under 20 students: 56.6%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 15-20
6 Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, TN)
Tuition: $21,290
Total enrollment: 2,478
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 76.7%
Average freshman retention rate: 72%
6-year graduation rate: 54%
Classes with under 20 students: 69.7%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 19-26
7 University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Tuition: in-state: $7,276, out-of-state: $15,340
Total enrollment: 22,725
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 66.4%
Average freshman retention rate: 77%
6-year graduation rate: 39%
Classes with under 20 students: 36.3%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 19-25


Top Universities in Tennessee

History of Tennessee

Archaeological studies show that people lived on the territory of the modern state of Tennessee at least twelve thousand years ago. Remains of several Mississippian Indian settlements known as “mound builders” (ca. 1000-1600) have also been found in the state. The ancient residents of Tennessee were characterized by well-developed agriculture (the main crop was corn) and trade, a rather complex hierarchy of society, and, of course, the construction of earthen mounds (mounds) that had ceremonial significance. By the time Europeans arrived, the Muscogee (Creek), Yuchi, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and others lived here.

The first European explorer of Tennessee was the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto, who during his famous expedition in 1539-40 passed through the territory of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. Following him, Tennessee was explored by the Spaniards Tristan de Luna (in 1559) and Juan Pardo (in 1567). After the first meetings with Europeans, the population of Indian settlements decreased sharply due to diseases brought from the Old World, to which the native residents of America had no immunity.

In 1682, the famous Rene de La Salle, who descended from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico along the Mississippi River and declared the land in its basin the property of France, stopped for several days in the area of modern Memphis. He fortified his camp with a stockade and named it Fort Prudhomme, it was the first European settlement in Tennessee.

The first English settlement in the state was founded in 1756, when colonists from South Carolina built Fort Loudon in eastern Tennessee, which at that time became the westernmost outpost of the English colonies. There was a war between Great Britain and France, the fort was supposed to protect the settlers and Cherokee allied with them from the French from Louisiana, but due to the ongoing expansion of Europeans, already in 1758 the Indians rebelled against the British. In 1760, Cherokee warriors captured and destroyed Fort Loudon. After a peace treaty was concluded in 1762, an Indian village grew up on the site of the fort, and it was here that the famous inventor of the Cherokee Sequoyah alphabet was born around 1770. In the 20th century, Fort Loudon was reconstructed and in 1965 received the status of a US National Historic Landmark.