Location & Contact Information

3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
Main Phone: (615) 963-5000
Main Contact: John Cade

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Student Members

Alumni Members

Tennessee State University

     From our founding in 1912 as a Nashville-based normal school, Tennessee State University has grown into a nationally recognized academic institution. Students from at least 42 states and 45 countries choose TSU to further their education in more than 45 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree options, and seven doctoral areas.
     A comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university, TSU’s 500-acre main campus contains more than 65 buildings, outdoor facilities, and farm and pasture lands along the beautiful Cumberland River in the western residential area of Nashville. Our downtown Avon Williams campus is located near the center of the city’s business and government district.

Quick Facts

Undergrad Population: 6857
Graduate Population: 2073
Student Body: Coed
In State Tuition: $6346
Out of State Tuition: $19498
Room & Board: $5910
Applications Due: August 1st ($25)
Conference: Ohio Valley Conference
Mascot: Tigers
Accreditations: NCATE,
Online Classes: yes
Percent Men: 38%
Percent Women: 62%

Online Admissions Application:

Majors Offered

-Aeronautical Technology
-Aviation Flight
-Aviation Management
-Industrial Electronics Technology
-Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
-Applied Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)
-Environmental Sciences
-Food and Animal Sciences/Pre-Veterinary Medicine/ Pre-Medicine
-Plant and Soil Science
-Art Education
-Studio Art
-Teacher Certification
-Natural Sciences
-Social Sciences
-Child Development and Learning
-Teacher Certification with Licensure for Language Arts and Social Studies
-Teacher Certification with Licensure for Mathematics and Science
-Cell and Molecular Biology
-Supply-Chain Management
-General Business Administration
-Hospitality and Tourism Management
-Human Resource Management
-E Business Technology
-Business Data Analytics
-Professional Chemistry
-Professional Biochemistry
-International Business
-Early Childhood Education
-Computer Engineering
-Physical Sciences
-Public History
-Athletic Training
-Exercise Science
-Health Education
-Physical Education Teacher Education
-Child Development and Family Studies
-Fashion Merchandising
-Food and Nutritional Sciences (Dietetics)
-Vocal or Piano Music
-Instrumental Music
-Commercial Music
-Teacher Certification with Vocal Music Licensure
-International Relations
-Public Administration
-Urban Planning
-Teacher Certification in Government Licensure
-Health Administration
-Information Technology
-International Organizational Leadership
-Organizational Leadership
-Mass Communications
-Speech Communication with Teacher Certification
-Theatre Emphasis with Teacher Certification
-Urban Diversity
-Urban Policy and Planning

Sports & Extra Curricular Activities
Choral Groups, Concert Band, Dance, Fraternities, Radio Station, Student Newspaper
College History
     Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University (TSU) is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant institution. Our Nashville home offers two locations—the 500-acre main campus nestles in a beautiful residential neighborhood along the Cumberland River, and the downtown Avon Williams campus sits near the center of Nashville’s business and government district.
     In 1909, the Tennessee State General Assembly created three normal schools, including the Agricultural and Industrial Normal School, which would grow to become TSU. The first 247 students began their academic careers on June 19, 1912, and William Jasper Hale served as head of the school. Students, faculty, and staff worked together as a family to keep the institution operating, whether the activity demanded clearing rocks, harvesting crops, or carrying chairs from class to class.
     The school gained the capacity to grant bachelor’s degrees in 1922, reflecting its new status as a four-year teachers’ college. By 1924, the college became known as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College and the first degrees were awarded. In 1927, “Normal” was dropped from the name. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the college grew in scope and stature under the charge “Enter to learn; go forth to serve.”
     When President Hale retired in 1943 after more than 30 years of service, one of the institution’s growing roster of impressive alumni, Walter S. Davis, was selected as his successor. Until his retirement in 1968, Davis led the college through an era of tremendous growth in academics and facilities that led to worldwide recognition.
     The Tennessee General Assembly of 1941 authorized a substantial upgrade to the educational program of the college. Graduate studies leading to the master’s degree, initially offered in several branches of teacher education, were established. The first master’s degrees were awarded in June 1944.
     The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools granted accreditation to TSU in 1946. In August 1951, the Tennessee State Board of Education approved university status. The resulting reorganization of the institution’s educational program created the Graduate School, the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Engineering. Provisions were also made for the later addition of other schools in agriculture, business, and home economics.
     Under the name Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University, the institution achieved full land-grant university status in August 1958. The Land-Grant University Program included the School of Agriculture & Home Economics, the Graduate School, the Division of Extension and Continuing Education, and the Department of Aerospace Studies. The School of Allied Health Professions and the School of Business were created in 1974, and the School of Nursing was established in 1979.
     After Walter Davis retired as president in 1968, another TSU alumnus, Andrew Torrence, was named the University’s third president. During his relatively brief tenure, the state legislature dropped “Agricultural & Industrial” and officially changed the name to Tennessee State University.
     When Frederick Humphries became TSU’s president in 1975, Nashville was also home to a second public four-year university. The Knoxville-based University of Tennessee began offering extension credit in Nashville in 1947 and expanded its programs throughout the 1960s. By 1971, it was accredited as a degree-granting institution that occupied new quarters at the corner of Tenth and Charlotte Avenues. But in 1968, TSU faculty member Rita Sanders filed a lawsuit, which became known as Geier v. Tennessee, alleging a dual system of higher education in Tennessee based on race. On July 1, 1979, the case was settled by a court order merging the former University of Tennessee at Nashville with TSU. As president, Humphries was the first to face the challenge of maintaining the balance between TSU’s role as one of America’s preeminent historically black universities and its emerging status as a comprehensive national university.
     The Geier v. Tennessee case, however, remained alive for 32 years. Rita Sanders Geier was joined by the U.S. Department of Justice and by TSU professors Ray Richardson and H. Coleman McGinnis as co-plaintiffs in the suit. After numerous court-ordered plans failed to produce progress, all parties achieved a mediated consent decree that was ordered by the court on January 4, 2001.
     Following a year as interim president, Otis Floyd became TSU’s fifth chief executive in 1987 and continued moving the university forward, initiating efforts that resulted in the state general assembly providing an unprecedented $112 million for capital improvements in 1988. Under this plan, nearly all campus buildings were renovated and eight new facilities were constructed, including the Floyd-Payne Campus Center, the Ned McWherter Administration Building, the Wilma Rudolph Residence Center, and the Performing Arts Center.
     Then, in 1990, the Tennessee Board of Regents appointed Dr. Floyd its chancellor, opening the way for James Hefner to become TSU’s sixth president in 1991. Hefner supervised additional improvements to campus facilities and fostered enrollment growth to an all-time high of 9,100 students. The Otis Floyd Nursery Crops Research Station in McMinnville was dedicated in 1996, and, in 1999, researchers at the TSU Center for Automated Space Science were the first to discover a planet outside our solar system.
     Melvin N. Johnson became the university’s seventh president in June of 2005, and was instrumental in continuing to bring national attention to the university by recognizing the Freedom Riders 14, engaging the university in the Tennessee Campus Compact, receiving national awards for community service and engagement, awarded $8 million for Race to the Top Funds by President Obama, opening the university’s doors to flood victims and businesses, and obtaining Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
In the University’s 100-year history, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover became president in January 2013 and continues making changes to further emphasize the excellence for which TSU is known worldwide.
     Today, Tennessee State University offers 45 bachelor’s degree programs and 24 master’s programs and awards doctoral degrees in biological sciences, computer information systems engineering, psychology, public administration, curriculum and instruction, educational administration and supervision, and physical therapy. In addition to the Institute of Government, Tennessee State University comprises nine colleges and schools:
      * College of Arts and Sciences
      * College of Business
      * College of Education
      * College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science
      * College of Health Sciences
      * College of Public Service and Urban Affairs

      * School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
      * School of Graduate Studies and Research
      * School of Nursing
More Campus Photos
Unique Programs
News and Upcoming Events at Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University Alum and NASA Engineer Receives Director’s Commendation Award
A Tennessee State University alumnus and NASA engineer has been recognized for outstanding contribution to the agency. Ron Cobbs, a 1989 TSU gradua ...
TSU Medical Researcher Leads Fight Against Brain Tumors
By: Michael McLendon People suffering from brain tumors could receive better medical care as a result of research currently being done by on ...
TSU expert says U.S. Travel Ban May Not Affect Intl. Students with Legal Status, but still causes anxiety
Emmanuel Freeman International students with legal status in the United States should not be worried about the new travel ban, says a public p ...
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Recognizes TSU Student as One of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 Recipients
Since 2009, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has recognized influential members of the local community under the age of 30. In mid-November, the Middle ...
HBCU alumni fail to donate
M. Antonio Silas Business & Technology Editor Historically black colleges and universities have seen lower rates of alumni donating funds to thei ...
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