Tennessee Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2016-2017

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A Guide to Online Colleges in Tennessee

Whether your ideal educational provider is a public university, religious institution or an online school, the diverse assortment of establishments in Tennessee give students a variety of options. In 2013, Tennessee ranked 23rd for student volume and 13th for number of colleges, providing prospective students with 185 postsecondary institutions to consider attending. With a bounty of two-year colleges and four-year programs, it is no surprise that one in every 63 college students in the nation choose to study in the Volunteer State. The bustling city of Nashville provides a perfect glimpse of the higher educational landscape. The following two sections highlight online learning opportunities in Music City USA.

Nashville Colleges and Universities

While prospective students may think of country music and tourism when considering Nashville, the city’s largest employer is Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. Over 300 healthcare companies help make Nashville a hub of biotechnology and medical research. The city boasts 21 four-year and postgraduate colleges and universities, six community colleges, and 11 career schools. The Nashville Chamber of Commerce reports that 70,000 residents hold advanced degrees and more than 50 percent of residents age 25 or older hold a bachelor’s degree.

Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University is internationally recognized for its programs in medicine, business and divinity. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt first in the nation for its graduate programs in education, 15th in law schools, and 17th among all universities nationwide. Vandy offers 136 programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees. Distinguished alumni include two Vice Presidents, seven Nobel Prize laureates and 25 Rhodes Scholars.

Nashville’s Fisk University has the distinction of evolving from a school for freed slaves in 1866 to a historically significant institution offering students 25 majors and certificate programs today. Noted alumni include W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. U.S. News & World Report ranked Fisk fourth in the nation among historically black colleges and universities.

Nashville Online Schools and Courses

Students seeking accredited online degree and certificate programs can find a wealth of digital options in Nashville. Students aiming to complete an unfinished degree can attend Nashville State Community College, which provides a completion program through the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus. Tennessee State University offers fully accredited online programs for undergraduates in areas of health administration, information technology, and leadership. Online graduate degrees include holistic nursing, education, traditional nursing, human resources, and strategic leadership. Belmont University offers an extensive range of online degrees, with a special focus on health science programs offered though its Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing.

Tuition & Cost of Living in Tennessee

When searching for online programs, students need to consider the cost of the degree they plan to pursue. Tuition is generally the primary financial obligation for students, and this figure varies among different schools and programs. In 2012, students in Tennessee paid an average of $13,306, placing it 34th in the nation for in-state tuition rates.

Cost of living (COL) is another factor prospective students should consider before making a final decision. The COL index considers numerous factors, including room and board, utilities, transportation, and food. The state’s COL index is almost 10 percent below the national average, which can spell out savings for Tennessee students. For the COL index of major cities in Tennessee compared to the national average, take a look at the following table:

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Cookeville -14.3% -28.6% -13.3% -17.1% -12.5% -12.9% –1.8%
Johnson City -13.3% -25.6% -7.7% -10.9% -8.3% -8.5% -7.4%
Murfreesboro-Smyrna -11.8% -23.8% -5.7% -19.0% -7.3% -4.2% -3.8%
Memphis -11.8% -23.8% -7.3% -13.1% -8.5% -1.4% -4.8%
Dyersburg -11.4% -26.2% -6.6% -4.8% -7.1% -13.7% -3.3%
Nashville-Franklin -11.1% -28.7% -8.3% -17.4% -7.5% -12.7% 4.5%
Knoxville -10.6% -18.0% -8.6% -4.9% -15.8% -11.6% -4.9%
Jackson-Madison County -9.8% -25.8% -8.9% -1.1% 0.0% -8.5% -1.9%
Morristown -9.1% -18.5% -8.4% -19.5% -6.1% -9.9% 1.4%
Chattanooga -8.9% -16.0% -2.6% -17.5% -3.6% -6.7% -4.3%
Clarksville -7.0% -14.0% -12.1% -13.5% -6.1% -1.3% 2.3%
Cleveland -6.6% -12.3% 1.6% 3.4% -8.1% -8.7% -7.1%

Accreditation Standards in Tennessee

As potential students in Tennessee research educational institutions, ensuring a school is properly accredited is a key step in the process. Accrediting organizations evaluate schools on criteria such as the quality of instructors, degree programs, and school facilities. Proper accreditation is a determining factor for institutions to qualify for federal aid. In Tennessee, the main regional accrediting agency is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In additional to regional accreditation, individual colleges, programs, or departments can also hold programmatic or specialized accreditation. The University of Tennessee’s College of Business Administration has maintained accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business since 1941.

Best Online Colleges In Tennessee For 2016-2017

Tennessee is a leader when it comes to online learning opportunities, providing an expansive range of subjects offered at every degree level and from a variety of institutions. Online programs in Tennessee offer higher levels of flexibility than traditional programs but also maintain many of the benefits of campus-based instruction, such as comparable tuition and identical coursework. Making a decision about education can be a daunting task and prospective students have many factors to evaluate. This guide contains a wealth of topics to consider, but a good place to start is our list of the Best Online Colleges in Tennessee for 2016-2017:

Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % #ONLINE PROGRAMS Student-teacher RatioGrad Rate
Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % #ONLINE PROGRAMS Student-teacher RatioGrad Rate
1 Cleveland State Community College
93.12 21% 16 21:1 13%

Located 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Cleveland State Community College serves over 5,000 credit and non-credit students from all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. Combining affordable tuitions, an attractive atmosphere and a superior education, the school serves residents of southeastern Tennessee with their main campus, and two satellite facilities, in Athens and Vonore. Studies focus on areas including humanities, social sciences, and STEM, as well as associate in applied science degree in business, technology, health care, government, and industrial technology. Cleveland State also offers technical and health science certificates.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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2 Volunteer State Community College
92.85 10% 26 21:1 16%

Volunteer State Community College’s five campuses offer residents of twelve counties in northern Middle Tennessee associates degrees, continuing education, and certificates, with a stated goal of improving the community, improving the workforce, and promoting diversity, through cultural, economic, and educational development. Vol State’s three campuses offer more than 90 academic programs in five major divisions, with a world-class faculty, affordable tuition, and a mix of on-campus and online, on-demand classes. They also offer innovative “Blended classes” that combine the convenience of online learning with the personal attention and interaction from real-time contact with instructors.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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3 Chattanooga State Community College
92.12 9% 12 18:1 8%

Supporting the educational needs of southeast Tennessee, Chattanooga State Community College’s four campuses offer two-year degrees, professional certification, and a unique partnership with Volkswagen in an automation mechatronics systems concentration, in fulfillment of an associates in applied science engineering systems technology degree, including paid, first-hand experience at the Volkswagen plant. Other degrees include associates in art, fine art, science, pedagogy, and applied science. Chattanooga State also offers a program that allows high school students to earn an associates degree and a high school diploma simultaneously, or earn college credits while still in high school.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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4 Motlow State Community College
91.79 14% 9 21:1 16%

Motlow State Community College caters to home-schoolers, allowing them to earn college and high school credits at the same time. That’s but one example of the innovative programs available through Motlow State. Based in southern Middle Tennessee, the school offers associates degrees, professional certifications, and flexible ways to reach educational goals. Serving an 11-county area, Motlow partners with in-state, four-year universities to offer students an economical path to earn a four year degree by transferring credits. Other innovative programs are geared towards working adults, allowing them to earn a bachelors at night, over 13 months.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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5 Columbia State Community College
91.36 12% 12 19:1 18%

The first community college founded in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, Columbia State Community College close to 10,000 students each year in both continuing education and credit courses in Columbia, Tennessee. With additional campuses in Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg, and Clifton, the school focuses on the success of students with concentrations and degree plans to jumpstart careers. Columbia State offers two-year associate degree programs, technical certifications, continuing education, and credits transferable to a four-year institution. Covering STEM, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences, Columbia State is dedicated to providing the nine-county area of southern Middle Tennessee with quality educational opportunities.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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6 Northeast State Community College
91.34 14% 9 21:1 13%

A comprehensive, two-year institution of higher learning, Northeast State Community College provides a two-year degrees, parallel programs for those wishing to transfer credits to a four-year college or university, technical degrees for those on a fast-track to employment, and continuing education, as well as programs focused on personal growth. Serving the far northwest corner of Tennessee, Northeast State boasts one of the highest graduation rates within the Volunteer State, with over 90 percent of graduates placed in jobs. With innovative curriculums such as entertainment technology, advanced technologies, and business technology programs, Northeast State is positioned as an educational leader.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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7 Pellissippi State Community College
91.32 3% 17 20:1 22%

Knoxville, Tennessee is home to Pellissippi State Community College, a two-year institution that plays a vital role as a partner in education and vocational opportunities for the greater Knoxville area. Featuring all the amenities students expect from a large university, in a smaller, more economical package, the college leveraged its reputation as a tech education mecca, expanding in 1988 to offer students the option to transfer credits to a four-year school, in pursuit of a baccalaureate. In addition, Pellissippi State offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit and an associates degree while still in high school.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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8 Walters State Community College
91.31 20% 3 18:1 15%

Walters State, billing itself as “The Great Smoky Mountains Community College,” serves the citizens of eastern Tennessee, with over 150 associates degrees. Offering a blend of on-campus and online classes, they support the economic vitality of the area by creating an educated workforce. With campuses in Morristown as well as Sevierville, Greeneville, and Tazewell, Walters State represents a fully accredited, economical alternative to the typical expense of a four-year college. The school’s academic excellence has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program, offering students the opportunity to transfer credits to pursue a bachelors at in-state universities.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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9 Roane State Community College
90.39 7% 3 16:1 17%

With nine locations across eastern Tennessee, Roane State Community College focuses on three initiatives: career preparation programs, providing students with job-ready qualifications and associates degrees in two years: continuing education, where those in the workforce can satisfy certifications for work and personal growth; and credit transfer programs, where students take core classes at Roane State, then transfer to a four-year university to finish their baccalaureates. Offering both on-site and online study, Roane State has designed programs to accommodate the needs of everyone, from high school graduates to those already in the workforce.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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10 Nashville State Community College
90.00 1% 6 19:1 12%

Known as “Nashville’s community college,” Nashville State Community College offers over 80 programs that prepare students for career-ready associate degrees or credit transfers to four-year institutions in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. With a wide variety of disciplines offered, including accounting, business, nursing, occupational therapy, and photography, the school is ready to meet the needs of Nashville citizens looking for an affordable, quality education. Offering distance learning programs online, as well as at the main campus in Nashville and four satellite campuses, this fully accredited, two-year school has earned a reputation for excellence across the state.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % #ONLINE PROGRAMS Student-teacher RatioGrad Rate
Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % #ONLINE PROGRAMS Student-teacher RatioGrad Rate
1 University of Memphis
99.78 40% 51 14:1 44%

Founded in 1912, the University of Memphis is located in the largest city in Tennessee. More than 21,000 students attend the school that is located in a residential area. Five Centers of Excellence are at the school. Its honors program, the Helen Hardin Honors Program, is the largest in the state. Students in the program have won prestigious academic awards. The university awards undergraduate and graduate degrees. It also confers law degrees through its Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Priority consideration into the university is given to students who enroll in advance of class registration deadlines.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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2 Lee University
98.75 71% 24 17:1 54%

Lee University, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, offers distance learning courses that follow seven-week terms. Online learning involves online assignments, instruction, discussions and lectures. Students can access their materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although students can work at their own pace, instructors may determine that some pre-scheduled login time may be necessary for meetings, mentoring or discussions. Students should expect to dedicate roughly 16 hours of work per week to their online studies. Seven-week hybrid intensives are also available for students who want some face-to-face instruction.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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3 Bethel University
98.52 51% 17 12:1 36%

Nearly 20 degrees spread across all academic levels are available completely online. Online students will use the Bethel University ePortal as a central hub where they will access their grades, schedules, transcripts, and other records and data. The 60-hour College Start program is an online track designed for students with little or no college credit. Students take just one course at a time, each of which lasts for five weeks. There is also an associate-to-bachelor's degree-completion program that allows incoming students to transfer up to 80 community college credits. Open enrollment allows distance learners to start classes whenever they're ready.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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4 Cumberland University
98.43 98% 9 14:1 37%

Distance learners at Cumberland University will receive and submit assignments, view and download lectures, and communicate with instructors and peers through the Canvas learning management system. Online learners have access to career services, as well as to academic advising and tutoring. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is chartered by the state of Tennessee. Online learning is delivered through the Net.Work division, and includes an RN to BSN degree completion program, an MSN, an MBA and an MA in education.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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5 Tennessee State University
98.29 30% 12 19:1 42%

Distance education at Tennessee State University is delivered through interactive video instruction (ITV/VOIP), as well as fully online or in the hybrid format. The SmartMeasure assessment test helps prospective students decide if they are ready to enroll in an online program. Accelerated programs, which allow students to earn their online degrees faster, are designed for distance learners with associate degrees or close to 60 college credits. The university has partnered with a network of regional community colleges to provide off-campus programs to online learners. There are seven undergraduate programs and nine graduate programs.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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6 East Tennessee State University
98.26 15% 20 18:1 43%

There are 13 programs available completely online to undergraduate students at East Tennessee State, and several more programs that are delivered mostly online. There are more than three dozen programs available to distance learners at the graduate level. Courses can be either synchronous, meaning students are required to log on at specific times, or asynchronous, which means they can work at their own pace, provided they complete assignments on deadline. An articulation agreement enables students to easily transfer credits. Coursework is delivered through the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system. Online courses take the same amount of time as traditional courses, and require the same materials, which can be ordered online.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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7 The University of Tennessee Martin
98.26 51% 14 17:1 47%

There are six undergraduate programs available completely online, all of which result in either BS degrees or a bachelor of interdisciplinary studies degree. One option is a degree-completion program for veterinary technicians. There are four master's degrees available to distance learners, including three MS degrees and an MBA. Academic support to distance learners includes the Student Success Center, a writing center, a reading center, online tutoring, health and counseling, library resources, librarian chat, electronic databases and online tutorials. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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8 Johnson University
98.24 87% 15 17:1 67%

All online learning at Johnson University, like that delivered on campus, incorporates spiritual growth and Christian principles. The six undergraduate programs include BA and BS degree tracks. At the graduate level, there are two online MAs and an online MBA. There is also an online PhD degree and three associate degrees. Distance learners can also pursue a range of certificates and non-degree options. The academic support center offers distance learners an array of resources, including career services, time-management training, study guides, writing and proofreading tutorials, test-taking skill enhancements and self advocacy training.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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9 Bryan College-Dayton
97.96 96% 6 15:1 53%

Online learning at Bryan College-Dayton is designed for busy, working adults. Some high school juniors and seniors will be able to participate in dual enrollment, which allows them to take a maximum (which is not necessarily recommended) of 12 credits per semester of 100- and 200-level college courses before they graduate completely online. The college, and all of its online degrees, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school is also a member of many business, academic and faith-based associations. The school's motto is "Christ Above All."

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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10 Trevecca Nazarene University
97.66 98% 6 18:1 51%

The beginnings of Trevecca Nazarene University date back to 1901. Nashville, Tennessee is the university’s home location. As a fully accredited, Christian university, Trevecca Nazarene delivers its degrees, ranging from associate to master’s degrees, through five schools and colleges. Most of its degrees are awarded at the bachelor’s level. Trevecca Nazarene has 95 full-time faculty members, 78% of which have earned a doctorate. Although the majority of the students attend classes full-time, part-time and online options are available. This semester school has a rolling admissions policy.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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11 Southern Adventist University
97.59 97% 3 14:1 52%

Core values and the mission at Southern Adventist University, a Seventh-day Adventist affiliated school in Collegedale, Tennessee, center on Christian education and service. Its professors exemplify the school’s foundational beliefs. Academics are developed for adults who are new to the postsecondary academic world. The school offers more than 20 associate and bachelor’s majors for the undergraduate. At the graduate level are social work, business, computing, education, counseling, nursing, religion and global community development majors. Southern Adventist is near major roadways and spans across 1,300 acres. Its student population tops 3,000.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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12 Welch College
97.47 81% 3 10:1 39%

Welch College mentors and educates freshmen who are new to college, transfer and international students and adults enrolled in continuing education programs. Leaders at the college in Nashville, Tennessee prepare students for a lifetime of Christian service, particularly through its theological studies. Other academic programs at Welch include teacher education, music and arts and sciences. Students with a bachelor’s degree can enroll in Welch’s Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry program. The program instructs students in traditional and modern religious concepts. Welch College is part of the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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13 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
97.28 53% 3 17:1 69%

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is about an hour drive from the Great Smoky Mountains. Other nearby attractions are Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Former NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning; Olympics medalist, Justin Gatlin, and women’s basketball coach, Pat Summit-Head, are among its famous alumni and faculty members. UT Knoxville was founded in 1794. Its main campus in Knoxville rolls out across more than 560 acres, many in the heart of the city. Eleven colleges and over 300 degree options are at the semester-based school. Approximately 28,000 students and 1,700 faculty members attend or work at the school that offers research and outreach opportunities and undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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14 The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
97.12 39% 5 18:1 40%

The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga is a part of the UT volunteer system. As a metropolitan university, the school offers easy access to local business, community activities, shopping and roadways. UT Chattanooga truly is in the heart of the city. Enhancing its academics are its partnerships with government agencies, national laboratories and private and public businesses. Academic programs operate at the undergraduate and graduate level. More than 75% of the school’s more than 10,000 students attend full-time. There is enough on campus housing available to accommodate 3,146 students. Entire scope of the campus covers about 418 acres.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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15 Tennessee Technological University
97.03 31% 3 20:1 49%

The Tennessee Board of Regents oversees Tennessee Technological University, a school based in Cookeville, Tennessee. At the heart of the university’s offerings are life changing experiences that come through classroom learning, student life activities and engagement with the local community. A total of 60 academic majors are administered at the school. In addition to the traditional, recent high school graduate, Tennessee Technological University enrolls and educates military members, transfer and international students and working adults who may be attending college for the first time. Total enrollment at the school exceeds 10,000.

  • Credit for ExperienceNo
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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16 Austin Peay State University
91.13 21% 12 18:1 37%

Austin Peay State University is a small school set in Clarksville, Tennessee. History of the school extends back 180 years. Its size and culture welcome the development of student connections that not only enrich oral and demonstrative instruction but that also last a lifetime. In addition to its main campus in Clarksville, Austin Peay operates an extended campus in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Its Highland Crest campus is located in Springfield, Tennessee. Accreditation for Austin Peay rolls up to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This accreditation approves the school to award education specialist, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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17 Tennessee Wesleyan College
86.00 93% 3 12:1 43%

Tennessee Wesleyan College has more than 30 undergraduate majors in more than 10 academic disciplines. The college is located in Athens, Tennessee, a town near Knoxville and Chattanooga. Student population at Tennessee Wesleyan is at 1,100, a number small enough to allow for an attractive 12 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Two of the school’s master’s degrees, the MBA and Master of Science in Leadership Curriculum, prepare adults to take on senior roles in business and education. Students live in four different resident facilities, two of which are similar in look and feel to off campus apartments.

  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
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Search Accredited Tennessee Online Colleges

Wading through the hundreds of available online programs presents a challenge. The search tool below helps prospective students filter Tennessee online colleges by key factors including cost of tuition, accreditation, and types of degree programs.

Degree Level:
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Best Online Colleges in Tennessee for 2015-2016

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCostMORE INFO
1 Tennessee State University 99.4015:198%

Tennessee State University has eighteen fully online degree programs for its undergraduate and graduate students, respectively. Distance learning options focus on professional studies, with concentrations in leadership, nursing, teaching, and more. A number of professional licensure programs are available, as well, making TSU one of the up-and-coming online colleges in Tennessee.

2 University of Memphis 93.6314:197%

The University of Memphis boasts an impressive list of online degree programs, making it one of the biggest online colleges in Tennessee. Degrees are offered through UM's schools of nursing, business, engineering, education and more. While many schools typically offer similar degrees through their online programs, UM gives student's access to more unique programs.

3 King University 93.2712:192%

The King University Online program has plenty of degree options for students looking for a bachelor's, and there are also two master's programs and one associate degree available. As one of the bigger online colleges in Tennessee, King allows students can take advantage of a number of different career paths.

4 Bethel University 92.4415:194%

Bethel University offers an online college choice in Tennessee, through their InMinistry Distance Learning Program, for those in the ministry that are seeking online work to attain their degree. Online courses are offered as a part of the curriculum for many master's and doctoral programs the university offers.

5 Lee University 91.6318:194%

Students looking for Christian online colleges in Tennessee will be interested in the great programs offered by Lee University. Their school of theology offers a variety of degrees based on Christian ministry and leadership, and a single master's in ministry studies is offered, as well.

6 Welch College 91.6310:1100%

Welch College offers an extensive online learning program for students who desire some biblical courses as well as courses that can lead to a continued education at another college. Students can take courses to earn an online associate degree in general core classes or in business. Because Welch College is religiously affiliated, some of these online programs include an emphasis on religious studies, such as online associate and bachelor's degree options for ministry-related subjects. Religion is an importantaspect of the culture and academics of Welch College. Online semesters are shorter, with two segments offered within each typical fall and spring and semester.

7 Trevecca Nazarene University 91.4315:199%

Trevecca Nazarene University offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in four different fields, allowing students to further their academic and professional careers at a pace which doesn't require them to have to come into a physical classroom. The private education that students receive at TNU is top-notch, making it one of the great online colleges in Tennessee.

8 East Tennessee State University 91.0620:194%

East Tennessee University offers students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree without having to commit their time to come to campus, so it's an awesome choice when looking into online colleges in Tennessee. The on-site teachers are the same ones who teach class online so that the virtual ETU experience is as close to the real one as possible.

9 Middle Tennessee State University 91.0519:199%

Middle Tennessee State allows you to create a graduate degree schedule that works around your life so that you can be as prepared for success as possible when furthering your education. The school offers a variety of online, hybrid and off-campus options for distance students, making it one of the more flexible online colleges in Tennessee.

10 Austin Peay State University 90.1318:199%

Austin Peay State University allows students to earn a degree online through the Austin Peay Online program or the Regents Online Degree Programs. By combining both systems, there are plenty of degree programs that a student can take advantage of through these online colleges in Tennessee. Students can work toward an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree at Austin Peay or the RODP.

11 Tennessee Technological University 89.5321:198%

Not only does Tennessee Tech University offer an impressive list of undergraduate and graduate degrees online, they also have many other online programs designed to further a student's education. This variety makes Tennessee Tech a clear choice for consideration out of all the online colleges in Tennessee.

12 The University of Tennessee-Martin 88.3017:196%

University of Tennessee Martin (UTM) offers online and distance learning education programs designed to fit your needs, at an affordable price. From undergraduate programs in Business Administration, Nursing, and Agriculture, to online graduate studies Banking / Financial Services, Education, and Consumer Science, UTM has online programs for almost every prospective student. Additional programs include Paralegal Studies, Teaching and Educational Leadership.

13 The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 86.7818:196%

With plenty of resources to help out distance students and an already-stellar reputation, it's no wonder that the University of Tennessee is considered by many to be one of the better online colleges in Tennessee. A multitude of both graduate and undergraduate degrees can be obtained through UT's online school, so it's definitely worth a look.

Deans Talk: Inside Tennessee’s Online Colleges

While finding an affordable online program is an important consideration, it is not the only factor when choosing a school. Wanting to better understand online learning in Tennessee, we spoke with Trevecca Nazarene University about their online offerings. Here’s what they had to say:

Online Departments in Tennessee

Trevecca Nazarene University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

We are committed to taking a learner-centric approach to online learning. We understand that this is not about the technology. It’s all about our learners. We continually evaluate our programs for ways that we might improve the learning experience. We seek to support the unique learning styles and personality preferences of each learner. Our faculty are closely engaged with the courses and our advisors are in frequent contact with each learner. This level of support and commitment is a huge value to learners progressing through our programs.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our students often tell us how pleased they are with the level of support they receive from our faculty and staff. Clearly the learning and the skill development in our courses are the ultimate outcomes. We pride ourselves on those things. However, if a learner cannot get to the support they need or cannot find the resources they need, then they will never achieve their learning goals. Our level of student care sets us above many of the other programs in our market today.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Trevecca Nazarene University is committed to becoming a leader in online education in Middle Tennessee over the next five years. Our president and board are firmly behind this goal and we are bringing in the best talent to make this happen. Our faculty are very creative in their classroom innovations. This creates a fantastic experience for our learners. As we move forward, our goal is to maximize the potential of the technology while simultaneously allowing it to recede into the background. We do not want the technology to be the centerpiece. The center belongs always to our valued learners.

Great Resources for Online Schools in Tennessee

In order to properly research schools and funding options, Tennessee students need key state resources at their fingertips. Below are links to free sites providing valuable insight into topics such as financial resources, veteran’s education benefits, and continuing education.