Tennessee Colleges Summary

Students seeking colleges in Tennessee can find a variety of public and private schools to consider. The University of Tennessee (UT) is the state's public four-year university system. UT Knoxville is the largest campus in the system and is recognized as a leader in research. UT's other three campuses are also known for academic excellence.

There are also nearly 50 private four-year universities in Tennessee. One of the most notable is Vanderbilt University, a major research institution and medical center. Its nursing and engineering programs are especially well-known, and the university consistently receives high rankings and accolades.

For those interested in certificate or associate degree programs, there are 13 community colleges in Tennessee. And the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) system comprises 27 two-year public colleges that provide technical education and occupational training. Local industry demand may influence the program offerings at each campus.

Students interested in trade and technical training can find dozens of private Tennessee colleges where they can pursue certificates or associate degrees in technology, medical assisting, cosmetology, culinary arts, and more.

Online Education in Tennessee

Through TN eCampus students may access online programs offered by Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. Students can access more than 400 courses and more than 500 online degree options to pursue a certificate, degree, or graduate-level work. Tennessee also participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which makes it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in other states.

For more information about postsecondary education, visit the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Student Assistance Corporation.


  • National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator, Accessed April 2018, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  • State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), Accessed April 2018, http://nc-sara.org/states/TN
  • Tennessee Board of Regents, Accessed April 2018, https://www.tbr.edu/
  • TN eCampus, Accessed April 2018, https://www.tnecampus.org/
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Accessed April 2018, https://www.utk.edu/
  • Vanderbilt University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.vanderbilt.edu/
Education Institutes in Tennessee
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in Tennessee
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/