Higher Education in Tennessee

Tennessee has two public systems of higher education that create a diverse network of college options for new students. The state believes higher education is important and wants Tennessee students and their families to have choices that best fit their needs. Altogether, Tennessee has about 100  different public colleges and universities.

The Tennessee Board of Regents  (TBR) oversees the largest system, which includes four-year universities plus community colleges and technology centers. In total, the Board of Regents system includes 46 campuses and enrolls around 195,000 students – nearly four times more than the University of Tennessee system.

The University of Tennessee (UT) system includes the flagship campus in Knoxville plus UT campuses in Chattanooga, Memphis, Tullahoma, and Martin. About 49,000 students are enrolled at the five campuses.

When it comes to college, one type of campus isn’t right for every new student. Some students want the challenge of a big, busy place. Others are more comfortable at a smaller school. Some new students do better when they start at a two-year community college and learn how to navigate this new experience. Others know exactly what they want to do and seek out training at the state’s technology centers so they can start their careers.

The options also include more than 65 private colleges and universities throughout Tennessee.
Click here to see the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) campuses and get links to the admissions departments of each one.

Click here to see the University of Tennessee (UT) campuses.

Click here to get links to members of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), including Vanderbilt,  Cumberland, Fisk, Lipscomb, and Aquinas and Maryville colleges.

Whichever colleges/universities look attractive, the steps you need to take to get ready, take tests, apply, and seek financial help are similar.