Tennessee Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

Tennessee requires all teachers to complete a teacher preparation program from an accredited school in order to work in the state’s educational system. This guide to teaching schools in Tennessee provides detailed information to help you research the various schools available in the state. For aspiring teachers pursuing a teaching degree in Tennessee, we provide an up-to-date list of accredited teacher preparation programs as well as student reviews. Whether you are fresh out of college or looking to change careers, this guide is a perfect place to start your next career move!

School Facts:

  • There are 57 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in Tennessee.1
  • 34 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.1
  • Highest graduation rate*: Vanderbilt University, 92%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Cumberland University, 50%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Strayer University-Tennessee, $30,661.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: Lane College, $8, 491.1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for teaching degree programs in Tennessee*: $8,560-$42,118.2
  • One school in the Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2013: University of Tennessee (69).
  • One school ranked in US News National Universities Rankings in 2013 (top 100): Vanderbilt University (17).
  • 23 teacher programs are accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP (see below).*

*For 4-year colleges and universities with teacher degree programs.

Profiles of Well-Known Schools

University of Tennessee: Located in Knoxville, the University of Tennessee College of Education, Health ,and Human Services readies students who desire an education that focuses on giving back to individuals and community. Quite appropriate given the moniker of the University is “Volunteer.” The College contains several departments including the Department of Educational Counseling and Psychology, Educational Leadership and Policy and Theory and Practice in Education. Students are able to choose from nearly 100 majors in educationally related degree paths leading to diverse teaching careers such as k-6 education, middle education, secondary education, educational leadership, counseling, and information technology. The University Of Tennessee College Of Education, Health and Human Services is one of the largest on campus serving thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.

East Tennessee State University: Johnson City, Tennessee is home to Claudius Clemmer College of Education at East Tennessee State University. The College is known for graduating methodical and passionate educators due to their caring and competent faculty, outstanding student services, and innovative educational curriculum. Departments that make up the College of Education include Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Human Development, and Learning, and Kinesiology, Leisure and Sports Sciences. The sign of a sound College of Education is its accreditation. The ETSU COE is accredited by several agencies and organizations including National Council of Teacher Education, Tennessee Department of Education, and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Tusculum College: Located in Greeneville, Tusculum College offers four distinct Bachelor of Arts programs leading to teacher licensure: Pre-Secondary Education-Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education, K-12 Education, and Special Education. Within each licensure path students may select from content and specialist fields aligned with their career goals. Tusculum’s focused academic calendar aims to provide students with early and frequent practicum placements in area schools that help guide their academic and career choices. All education students complete an enhanced student teaching experience, which is one full semester incorporating full days of teaching and observation under the guidance of faculty and school district personnel. Tusculum College’s student-faculty ratio of 17 to 1 provides students with focused learning opportunities and strong faculty interaction, which is furthered by the school’s focused, block-style class scheduling. Students’ academic progress is closely monitored within the Professional Licensure Sequence with faculty reviews each semester.

Top-Rated Teacher Preparation Programs

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) evaluated over 1,000 US college programs that prepare teachers for a professional career in the classroom (Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report). An impressive eleven programs in Tennessee made the “honor roll” rating by earning 3 stars or higher. Read more about the NCTQ Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report for more information.

The following teacher preparation programs in Tennessee received the highest ratings by the National Council on Teacher Quality:

    Lipscomb University (Undergraduate Secondary) 4stars
    Vanderbilt University (Graduate Secondary) 4stars
    Austin Peay State University (Undergraduate Secondary) 3-5stars
    Middle Tennessee State University (Undergraduate Secondary) 3-5stars
    Lipscomb University (Graduate Elementary) 3stars
    Maryville College (Undergraduate Secondary) 3stars
    Tennessee Technological University (Undergraduate Secondary) 3stars
    Union University (Undergraduate Secondary) 3stars
    University of Memphis (Undergraduate Elementary)3stars
    University of Memphis (Graduate Secondary) 3stars
    University of Tennessee – Martin (Graduate Secondary) 3stars

The following reviewed schools were cited as problematic (no stars):

    East Tennessee State University (Graduate Elementary) 0stars
    University of Tennessee (Graduate Elementary) 0stars

Teacher Preparation Programs Accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP

  • Austin Peay State University
  • Belmont University
  • Carson-Newman University
  • Christian Brothers University
  • Cumberland University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Freed-Hardeman University
  • Lee University
  • LeMoyne-Owen College
  • Lincoln Memorial University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Milligan College
  • Southern Adventist University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee Technological University
  • The University of Memphis
  • The University of Tennessee
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Union University
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • University of Tennessee at Martin
  • Vanderbilt University

Read more about the CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC accrediting bodies.

School Programs for Becoming a Teacher in Tennessee

Request free information from the following schools to learn more about your options for choosing a teacher degree program. We recommend you: Request information from one or more of these schools

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Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Tennessee

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Aquinas College-Nashville
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 297-7545

Austin Peay State University
601 College St
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7011

Belmont University
1900 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212-3757
(615) 460-6000

Student Review: “My experience at Belmont University has been fantastic! I am a junior now but the past few years have been amazing here. Belmont has a really welcoming environment with many programs designed to bring people together and develop friendships. Belmont has also provided me with many opportunities to meet people in my field and getting to experience working in my field before I graduate.” -Frank S., student at Belmont University

Bethel College-McKenzie
325 Cherry Ave
McKenzie, TN 38201
(731) 352-4000

Bryan College-Dayton
721 Bryan Drive
Dayton, TN 37321-7000
(423) 775-2041

Carson-Newman College
1646 S Russell Ave
Jefferson City, TN 37760
(865) 471-2000

Chattanooga State Technical Community College
4501 Amnicola Hwy
Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097
(423) 697-4400

Crichton College
255 N Highland
Memphis, TN 38111-1375
(901) 320-9700

Cumberland University
One Cumberland Square
Lebanon, TN 37087
(615) 444-2562

East Tennessee State University
807 University Pky
Johnson City, TN 37614-0000
(423) 439-1000

Fisk University
1000 17th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37208-4501
(615) 329-8500

Free Will Baptist Bible College
3606 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37205-0117
(615) 844-5000

Lambuth University
705 Lambuth Boulevard
Jackson, TN 38301
(731) 425-2500

Le Moyne-Owen College
807 Walker Ave
Memphis, TN 38126-6595
(901) 435-1500

Lee University
1120 N Ocoee St
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614-8000

Student Review: “The teacher education department at Lee University prepared me for the career of my dreams. The professors were not only wonderful in the classroom, but supportive and caring outside the classroom. The College of Education provided a challenging program but gave me a wonderful preparation for my own class. Lee University worked to educate us not only professionally, but spiritually and personally. The Christian environment made the experience even better. They provided many opportunities for us to work in local school and classrooms to made sure we were prepared for the “real world.” I would recommend the Lee University Education Program to anyone who dreams of being a teacher.” -Student at Lee University

Lipscomb University
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951
(615) 966-1000

Martin Methodist College
433 West Madison Street
Pulaski, TN 38478-2799
(931) 363-9800

Maryville College
502 E Lamar Alexander Pky
Maryville, TN 37804-5907
(865) 981-8000

Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
(615) 898-2300

Student Review: “I had a wonderful experience at Middle Tennessee State University. It’s located in the heart of Murfreesboro, TN, about an hour outside Nashville, which makes it a lengthy drive to get to the nearest metropolitan area. Luckily there are plenty of things to do on campus, which I always appreciated. You could walk to class and pass a dozen booths for various organizations and activities. The biggest problem with MTSU is the parking situation. There aren’t nearly enough parking spots for students and the shuttles to class are small and arrive too infrequently to be useful. Otherwise, MTSU is a great experience. All of the professors I had were really helpful and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that students got the most out of their classes. Middle Tennessee State University is small enough to give you a personalized experience but big enough to expose you to a wealth of new and exciting opportunities.” -Crystal C., student at Middle Tennessee State University

Milligan College
Milligan Hwy
Milligan College, TN 37682
(423) 461-8700

Southern Adventist University
4881 Taylor Cir
Collegedale, TN 37315-0370
(423) 236-2000

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Blvd
Nashville, TN 37209-1561
(615) 963-5111

Tennessee Technological University
1 William L. Jones Drive
Cookeville, TN 38505-0001
(931) 372-3223

Student Review: “I have been studying to become a certified teacher in middle schools, focusing on general science, at Tennessee Tech. Thus far, the program has exceeded my expectations. Tech is a fairly large school with a larger Teacher Certification program, and I was initially apprehensive that I would not receive enough individual support. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much individual attention students can get if they simply go that extra step to seek professors out. I have found that the professors for my program have what is essentially an open door policy. I have even dropped in for a chat or extra support when the professor’s office hours had past. The friendly, approachable nature of the professors in my program have made all the difference to me. The one complaint I have is the lack of cutting edge technology use. We are preparing to teach in an age when technology will be increasingly used in classrooms, even in those with younger students. I would like to see greater emphasis on learning to use the latest technology in our classrooms. This would better prepare me for the rapid developments in technology I will be faced with as a new teacher.” -Ashley W., student at Tennessee Technological University
Student Review: “I liked the actual educational courses pertaining to art, as it was relevant to the subject I wished to teach, but also because the professor was amazing. She knew how and why to teach art the way we should, and used hollistic approaches to art education. The classes were fun, while still learning valuable lessons in theories and methods of teaching visual art. My practicum and student teaching were wonderful experiences and helped me prepare to become a professional in the field after graduation. However, I cannot give 5 stars because the general education department gave me trouble in my last few years. They did not have clearly stated rules on what was to be accomplished before teaching, and thus caused me to be held back an extra semester. This meant more student loan debt, and loss of income from not being able to obtain a job. I fought to appeal this but was ignored or dismissed. Otherwise, if you’re interested in Art Education, this is a great place to be for both the educational and studio art courses and the professors who oversee them.” -Laura M., student at Tennessee Technological University

Tennessee Temple University
1815 Union Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
(423) 493-4100

Tennessee Wesleyan University
204 East College Street
Athens, TN 37303
(423) 745-7504

The University of Tennessee
Circle Park
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000

Student Review: “My university is extremely unique in that the education program requires me to get a major in arts and science, and then a minor in elementary education. From that minor, I went on to the teaching program in graduate school for a year. During that school year, I interned for a full year at a local school, which allowed me to get a second year teaching salary. I really liked this because it allowed me to have an “option” to fall back on if teaching did not work out. I also had numerous advising sessions with my elementary education advisor. Both the teaching program and psychology program were amazing. There is absolutely nowhere I would have rather earned a degree from than the University of Tennessee.” -Student at University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598
(423) 425-4111

The University of Tennessee-Martin
University Street
Martin, TN 38238-5021
(731) 881-7000

Trevecca Nazarene University
333 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200

Tusculum College
60 Shiloh Road
Greeneville, TN 37743
(423) 636-7300

Union University
1050 Union University Dr
Jackson, TN 38305-3697
(731) 668-1818

University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

Student Review: “My program at the University of Memphis was a very academically challenging and rigorous series of classes. Much of the workload included managing the classroom, budgeting materials, and how to work with inner-city youth and impoverished children. Which, to be honest, I was worried about because I had no experience in the area. However, after two semesters I found that the same best practices used with those children I was able to apply to all kids. Also, the student teaching experience gave me the opportunity to branch out and understand what skills I would have working with a class full of kids. The only thing I would change is the minor needed. I felt that it was just extra busy work for the institution.” -Aaron J., student at University of Memphis

Vanderbilt University
2101 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37240
(615) 322-7311

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-education/