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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