Best Grad Schools in Tennessee 2022

Best Grad Schools in Tennessee 2022

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Tennessee offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Colleges and Universities in Tennessee

About one third of the higher learning institutes in Tennessee are public schools. Students who attend these schools can expect to pay anywhere between $4,000 to $13,000 in tuition and have the option to pursue degrees in fields such as economics, history, nursing, literature, education, and criminal justice. Tennessee’s largest public school, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, boasts some impressive alumni, including Oprah Winfrey, Kurt Vonnegut, and Cormac McCarthy. The private school alumni are equally as notable. For example, author James Patterson and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus both attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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Tennessee also offers nearly 30 religiously affiliated schools, the largest being Belmont University in Nashville, located just blocks from the famous Music Row. Here, students can study a wide range of fields including Christian leadership, audio engineering technology, and biophysics. Additionally, Tennessee offers students several loan forgiveness programs. Math and science teachers, minority teachers, and registered nurses interested in becoming teachers or administrators who meet certain requirements may be eligible.

Tennessee is home to mouthwatering barbecues, electrified blues, and the sweeping majesty of the Smoky Mountains National Park. And with access to countless historic sites, unique museums, and lush green spaces, students attending one of the more than 60 colleges and universities in The Volunteer State will have plenty to do and see in their downtime.

Discover more about the top programs and higher education learning opportunities available in Tennessee.


What are Tennessee’s Colleges & Universities?

Tennessee’s Best Overall


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There are 15 doctorate-granting graduate schools in Tennessee. Our ranking of the best graduate schools in the Tennessee is composed of both private and public schools. To be included, schools must be fully accredited non-profit institutions, and must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

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Best Grad Schools in Tennessee 2022

  1. #2

    University of Tennessee

    Knoxville , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/27

    University of Tennessee’s Online Degrees

    MBA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Agriculture and Natural Resources
    Degree Concentrations
    • Agribusiness and Risk Management
    • Natural Resources Systems Management
    • System Science in Agriculture
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Family and Consumer Science
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MHIIM in Health Informatics and Information Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Epidemiology
    Degree Concentrations
    • Clinical Investigation
    • Biostatistics
    • Data Science
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Instructional Technology
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #3

    University of Memphis

    Memphis , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    University of Memphis’s Online Degrees

    MS in Health Administration in Health Systems Management and Policy Division
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in English
    Degree Concentrations
    • English as a Second/Foreign Language
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Health Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE)
    • Health Promotion
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Educational Psychology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Instructional Design and Technology
    • School Library Information Specialist
    • Literacy
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Journalism and Strategic Media
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Music in Music Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Nursing Education
    • Executive Leadership
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 40
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Professional Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Strategic Leadership
    • Human Resources Leadership
    • Training and Development
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nutrition - Environmental Nutrition
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Social Work
    Degree Concentrations
    • Advanced Standing
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in History
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    Degree Concentrations
    • Transportation
    • Manufacturing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Technology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Sport and Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MPH in Public Health
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Teaching
    Degree Concentrations
    • Secondary Education
    • Special Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    7K

    Tennessee State University’s Online Degrees

    MEd in Career and Technical Education for Teacher Leaders
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Curriculum and Instruction
    Degree Concentrations
    • Educational Technology
    • Teaching English Language Learners
    • Literacy in Education
    • Secondary School Instruction
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Instructional Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Licensure
    • Non-Licensure
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Holistic
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MPA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Professional Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Strategic Leadership
    • Human Resources Leadership
    • Training and Development
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Special Education
    • Required Credits: 42
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Speech and Hearing Science
    • Required Credits: 53
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/23

    East Tennessee State University’s Online Degrees

    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Digital Marketing
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Criminal Justice and Criminology
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in General Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MALS in Liberal Studies
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Reading
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in School Librarianship
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSW in Social Science
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSAH in Allied Health
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MHA in Health Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MPH in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Sport Science and Coach Education
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Online Degrees

    MS in Engineering Management in Construction Management
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering
    Degree Concentrations
    • Chemical
    • Civil
    • Electrical
    • Mechanical
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/22

    Lincoln Memorial University’s Online Degrees

    MEd in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Professional Counseling
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Criminal Justice
    Degree Concentrations
    • Administration
    • Applied Professional
    • Research
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MPA in Public Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • General Public Administration
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Health Care Policy
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Business Analytics
    • Healthcare Administration
    • General Business
    • Strategic Management
    • Digital Marketing
    • Sports Management
    • Dual Degree (DO/MBA)
    • Dual Degree (DVM/MBA)
    • Dual Degree (JD/MBA)
    • Required Credits: 30-36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Nursing Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Initial Teacher Licensure
    • Required Credits: 42
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Veterinary Clinical Care
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/24

    Tennessee Technological University’s Online Degrees

    MA in Exercise Science, Physical Education, and Wellness EXPW
    Degree Concentrations
    • Adapted Physical Education
    • Elementary and Middle School Physical Education
    • K-12 Licensure
    • Lifetime Wellness
    • Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    Degree Concentrations
    • Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Curriculum
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Educational Technology
    • Elementary Education
    • Family and Consumer Sciences
    • Library Science
    • Literacy
    • Music
    • Secondary Education
    • Special Education
    • STEM Education
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 49
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Engineering Management
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Professional Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Healthcare Administration
    • Human Resource Leadership
    • Public Safety
    • Strategic Leadership
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL)
    • Training and Development
    • Corporate Communication
    • Media and Strategic Communnication
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 40
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing- Nursing Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #10

    Lipscomb University

    Nashville , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/26

    Lipscomb University’s Online Degrees

    MA in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Professional Studies
    • Required Credits: 30-36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Sustainability
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #11

    Austin Peay State University

    Clarksville , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    Austin Peay State University’s Online Degrees

    Master of Leadership and Organizational Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Strategic Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mathematical Finance
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Corporate Communication
    • Required Credits: 34
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Marketing Communication
    • Required Credits: 34
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Media Management
    • Required Credits: 34
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Mathematics Instruction
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Predictive Analytics
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Data Management and Analysis
    • Required Credits: 30-36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Information Assurance and Security
    • Required Credits: 33-36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MAED in Advanced Studies
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MAED in Reading
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MAT in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nursing Educator
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Public Health Education
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MHA in Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #12

    Union University

    Jackson , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/26

    Union University’s Online Degrees

    MA in Christian Studies
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Business Analytics
    • Healthcare Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Leadership
    • Marketing
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Nursing
    Degree Concentrations
    • Education and Administration
    • Required Credits: 41
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #13

    Carson–Newman University

    Jefferson City , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/24

    Carson–Newman University’s Online Degrees

    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Resources
    • Marketing
    • Management
    • Sports Management
    • Operations
    • Nonprofit Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Coaching
    • Reading Specialist
    • Special Education
    • Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1179/23

    Trevecca Nazarene University’s Online Degrees

    MA in Church and Community
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Curriculum and Online Teaching
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in African American Worship Studies
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Health Care Administration
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in English as a Second Language
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Educational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Instructional Design and Technology
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    Degree Concentrations
    • Crisis and Emergency Management
    • Data Analytics
    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • Health Care Administration
    • Human Resources
    • Management and Leadership
    • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
    • Project Management
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Organizational Leadership
    Degree Concentrations
    • Health Care Administration
    • Project Management
    • Management and Leadership
    • Human Resources
    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • Crisis and Emergency Management
    • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MPA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Master of Library and Information Science
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Theology and Biblical Studies
    • Required Credits: 32
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Freed–Hardeman University’s Online Degrees

    Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MBA in Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Curriculum and Instruction
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MEd in Instructional Leadership
    • Required Credits: 40
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MAT in Special Education
    • Required Credits: 56
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in School Counseling
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in New Testament
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Old Testament
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MDiv in Divinity
    • Required Credits: 87
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Ministry
    • Required Credits: 48-57
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Tennessee’s Best Grad School for Your Area of Interest

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Vanderbilt University
  2. University of Tennessee
  3. Middle Tennessee State University
  4. Tennessee State University
  5. University of Memphis
  6. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  7. East Tennessee State University
  8. Tennessee Technological University
  9. Lincoln Memorial University
  10. Carson–Newman University
  11. Lipscomb University
  12. Union University
  13. Trevecca Nazarene University
  14. Freed–Hardeman University