Colleges in Nashville

Colleges in Nashville

The capital of Tennessee, Nashville is also the most populous city in the state. Home to the Grand Ol’ Opry, a variety of honky-tonk bars, and the CMA Music Festival, Nashville is known for music, particularly country music and contemporary Christian music. Healthcare, Civil War tourism, publishing, and numerous higher education institutions also play a significant role in Nashville’s economy.

Sometimes referred to as the “Athens of the South” for its collection of institutions, Nashville has 16 colleges and universities in its city limits. Most of them are private, but there are two public options as well. The Nashville State Community College is a public 2-year institution serving nearly 10,000 students and Tennessee State University is the largest and only public-funded historically black university in the state. TSU offers degrees at all levels, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate, and its main campus spans 500 acres.

There are three other HBCUs in the city, Fisk University, American Baptist College, and Meharry Medical College. Founded in 1866, Fisk is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and was the first African-American institution to be accredited by SACS. Also affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Meharry Medical is a graduate school dedicated to healthcare professionals and scientists. American Baptist College was founded in 1924 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its contribution to the Civil Rights Movement.

One of the most prominent universities in Nashville is Vanderbilt University, a nationally and globally recognized private research institution. Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt offers 137 areas of study on its campus in the heart of Nashville, and is one of the founders of the Southeast Conference. Belmont University, Lipscomb University, and Trevecca Nazarene University, Christian liberal arts institutions, both call Nashville home, as well, as do Aquinas College and Welch College.

There are a number of special focus institutions in the city, too. John A. Gupton College focuses on mortuary sciences, while Watkins College of Art, Film, and Design specializes in 4-year art degrees. The Nashville Auto Diesel College is one of 23 campuses in 14 states that offers career-focused training, the Nashville campus in automotive, while Daymar College is a career college that offers training in healthcare, technology, criminal justice, and more.

Nashville is largely dependent on automobiles, though it does offer public transit via bus and currently a single leg of a commuter rail system. The city is not served by Amtrak and has no public intercity transportation, but is served by the Nashville International Airport.

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Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 as a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee. Academically, the university focuses on an interdisciplinary approach,  encouraging students to take courses from any of the 143 areas of study. The...

“…Vanderbilt is often confused with one of them Ivy League schools up in Connecticut or wherever, but with good reason. If you choose to attend the prestigious Vanderbilt University then you will receive a very fine education from professors who want...” – K from Atlanta, GA

With two campuses in Nashville, Tennessee State University is the only state-funded Historically Black College and University in the state of Tennessee and part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. TSU grants bachelor’s and graduate degrees in 77...

“…TSU is an great school, full of educational opportunities, networking, and fun. You will become apart of the family. It is vital to stay on top of your work and paperwork at Tennessee State University. ” – Mikayla Austin from Cincinnati, OH

Belmont University is a 4-year liberal arts institution in Nashville and the largest ecumenical Christian university in the United States. Belmont is home to 10 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 90 fields of study,...

“…The tour I was given at the Nursing building was phenomenal. My advisor was helpful in every way possible and fully capable of answering all my questions and concerns. At Belmont, the class sizes are smaller so the student feels comfortable and can...” – Nicole from Brentwood, TN

Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Lipscomb University is a Christian liberal arts institution in Nashville. Lipscomb confers undergraduate degrees in 176 academic areas of study. As a Christian university, Lipscomb holds chapel services twice...

“…Lipscomb University is an incredible school with a positive atmosphere and community. The academics are challenging, and the professors are encouraging towards students. Lipscomb is a great place to learn and grow as a person.” – Kelly from Orland Park, IL

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private HBCU and the oldest university in Nashville, Tennessee. Fisk University is a member of the United Negro College Fund and its Victorian architecture-style campus is recorded in the National Register of...

“…Amazing, Family Feeeling, Challenging” – Victor from Nigeria

National College is a career-focused institution for adult students with three campus locations throughout Tennessee. National College offers six vocational bachelor’s degrees and is also home to six Health Science training concentrations....

Volunteer State Community College is a public, 2-year institution located in Gallatin, Tennessee, with satellite facilities in Livingston, Springfield, and Cookeville. Vol State offers more than 100 academic programs conferring certificates and...

“…There are some great teachers at this school. Everyone is extremely willing to go out of their way to help their students. Several of them even offer study sessions in their own homes! They really care about what they're teaching, and it shows (in...” – Candace from Gallatin, TN

Affiliated with Belmont University, the O’More School of Design is a college of art and design in Nashville. O’More confers undergraduate degrees in Interior Design, Fashion Design, and Architecture. Once every spring, the O’More Fashion Show...

“…Magical! This campus and the staff are magical! High quality with a down home feel, this couldn't be a better school! If you want a high quality education with personal attention from professors, this is the place for you. ” – Heidi from Logandale, NV

Established in 1885, Watkins College of Art Design & Film is a private, 4-year institution located on an urban, 13-acre campus in Nashville, Tennessee. Watkins College offers bachelor’s degree programs in fine art, illustration, graphic design, film,...

“…Being that Watkins is an art school, you are free to express yourself through your art in whatever way you deem necessary. The teachers are willing to let students express themselves and help with anything they can. You also get opportunities to work...” – Anonymous

Named for St. Thomas Aquinas and founded by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, Aquinas College is a private Catholic school in Nashville. Aquinas is home to a School of Education as well as four liberal arts majors and every Theology...

“…Attending Aquinas College has just been a blessing in my life. Learning is such a fulfilling experience but the best part is having a personal relationship with God and knowing that the staff and students care about the same values as I do. The...” – Michelle from Lavergne, TN

American Baptist College is a liberal arts college emphasizing Christian leadership, service, and social justice. Although its student body is predominately African American, ABC is open to all students regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. ABC...

John A. Gupton College is a 2-year mortuary science institution in Nashville. The college features three academic programs conferring associate of arts and associate of applied science degrees in Funeral Service and a Funeral Director certificate....

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Murfreesboro is a regional campus of the TCAT system with two locations in the Nashville metro area. TCAT Murfreesboro offers 17 technical and vocational programs conferring degrees and certificates. The...

Williamson College is a private, Christ-centered institution located in Franklin, Tennessee, with a newly-established satellite campus in Smyrna. WC offers programs in Ministry and Organizational Leadership, Business Administration, and Accounting,...