Middle Tennessee State University


Middle Tennessee State University was founded in 1911 as a state normal school and received university status in 1965. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its mission statement says in part, “MTSU prepares students to live productively and to become lifelong learners; to employ scientific knowledge and an understanding of culture and history; to think logically, critically, and creatively; to communicate clearly; to make sound judgments; to acquire working knowledge of a discipline or group of related disciplines; and to participate as citizens in the global community.” It is classed as a Dcotoral Research University—Intensive by the Carnegie Institute.


Information Summary

Ranks 11th in Tennessee and 513th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 86.5
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $22,964
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 26 / 1240
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 76% / 63%
Enrollment Total (all students) 21,631


Middle Tennessee State University has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 7 colleges: the College of Basic and Applied Science, the College of Business, the College of Education and Behavioral Science, the Honors College, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Mass Communication, and the College of Graduate Studies.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as aerospace, agribusiness, biology, computer sciences, engineering, accounting, education, art, geography, French, social work, journalism, and theatre.

Graduate programs are offered in a number of fields and concentrations. These include master’s level programs in information systems, library science, engineering, airport/airline management, chemistry, economics, English, mathematics, nursing, counseling, and education. Doctoral degrees are offered in chemistry, economics, English, human performance, and public history. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is offered through the College of Education in the following areas: administration and supervision, educational leadership, and elementary education. Graduate certificates are offered in art education, critical care, dyslexic studies, geosciences, gerontology, and nursing informatics.

MTSU is home to seven different colleges, as well as a College of Graduate Studies. More valedictorians and salutatorians from the mid-state area attend Middle Tennessee State than any other university in the area. The University’s entering freshmen consistently score above national averages in their studies. And Middle Tennessee State is home to the state’s first Honor’s College at any higher educational institution.

Most Popular Fields of Study


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Unique Programs

Middle Tennessee State proclaims eleven “Chairs of Excellence,” which provide an overview of its areas of emphasis, including the fields of dyslexia, free enterprise, health services, first amendment studies, health services, nursing, manufacturing excellence, equine reproductive physiology, equine health, and urban and regional planning.

MTSU is also home to a number of centers with special emphases, including energy efficiency, Albert Gore research, historic preservation, labor-management relations, and popular music. The University’s programs in Aerospace and the Recording Industry attract students from many different backgrounds and locations.

Three “interdisciplinary departments” provide students with degree programs and studies that transcend specific fields and prepare graduates for the increasingly interdisciplinary professional world and advanced study.

Middle Tennessee State University has an undergraduate Honors Program. Students who seek admission to the Honors Program need to meet the following requirements: ACT of 26 and GPA of 3.0, or ACT of 24 and GPA of 3.5. Students meeting these requirements are admitted to the Honors program automatically. Once admitted to the Honors Program, students will live in Honors dorms, take small courses, and attend colloquia and speaker programs. There are several scholarships especially for Honors students.

Distance learning programs are offered in some undergraduate and graduate programs, including a certificate program in creative writing. Students enrolled in distance learning programs will take part in courses offered on-line, off-campus, through videoconferencing, or teleconferences.


Middle Tennessee State University has an undergraduate admissions deadline of February 15 for the fall; applications received later will be continued until July 1 or until enrollment is full. Students who apply after July 1 will be put on a wait list. The application fee is $25. Applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students should have completed high school courses as follows: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 2 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 2 units of a foreign language, and 1 unit of visual or performing arts. Students must generally meet the following minimum requirements: high school GPA of 3.0 or act of 22 or combination ACT score or 19 and GPA of 2.7.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to the graduate programs at Middle Tennessee State University should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $25. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree. The graduate application deadline is in August for the fall semester.

With the exception of Honors Admissions policies, Middle Tennessee State has two categories of admissions policies: Guaranteed Admission and Conditional Admission. Applicants for Guaranteed Admission must have either a minimum 3.0 high school grade point average; a minimum ACT score of 22 or SAT score of 1020; a minimum 2.7 grade point average and a minimum ACT score of 19 or SAT score of 900; or satisfy the NCAA guidelines for student-athletes qualifying under Division I guidelines. Conditional Admission is for students who do not meet the Guaranteed Admission standards. Such students are reviewed on an individual basis, and their particular accomplishments and skills taken into consideration. Students enrolled under Conditional Admission policy must eliminate any high school deficiencies within 64 hours of enrollment, continue to be in good academic standing, take support from the Academic Support Center, and enroll in the general education course University 1010 during their first semester. Middle Tennessee State is also subject to the Tennessee Board of Regents’ rules on Academic Assessment Placement Testing, meaning that students who meet certain criteria must participate in specific assessment exams. One example is any freshman applicant who is younger than 21 years, who must take the Developmental Studies Program based on ACT or SAT scores that illustrate a deficiency.

Financial Aid

The University’s scholarship deadline is December 1 for incoming freshmen. Incoming applicants do not need to submit a separate application for scholarship consideration. Incoming freshmen that receive an institutional scholarship are required to complete 5 hours of community service while they are on the scholarship. Such opportunities include the National Merit Finalist award ($6,000 per year), the Chancellor Scholarship ($5,000 per year), the Presidential Scholarship ($4,000 per year), the James M. Buchanana Scholarship ($1,000 per year), and the Academic Service Scholarship ($3,000 per year). All of these scholarships require that the student receiving them must maintain a 2.75 grade point average.

Tuition at Middle Tennessee State University is $2,300 per semester for the 2005-2006 academic year for in-state, lower division undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for students with need. These are awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4878th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Tennessee.


Middle Tennessee State offers 19 different residence halls and two apartment communities. More than 3500 students live on campus. The residences are centrally located, allowing access to computing centers, student activity areas, and recreational facilities. The Student Recreation Center is a $14 million, 140,000 square foot facility that houses athletics facilities, aerobics rooms, free weight areas, water slides, rock climbing, and four full-sized sand volleyball courts.

Student life at Middle Tennessee State University includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. Besides fraternities and sororities, there are religious groups, academic and professional groups, sports clubs, multicultural organizations, political groups, and special interest groups such as the Astronomy Club or the Blue Moves Modern Dance Company.

There is an annual student film festival, showcasing films produced by students, fine arts programming in a variety of exhibits and performances, and a lecture series. An American Indian festival is held the first full weekend in March.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders compete in the NCAA Division I-A and in the Sunbelt Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, track, and tennis. Women’s sports include softball, basketball, track, volleyball, and soccer. The Blue Raiders have a history of success within their Athletic Department. The intercollegiate teams have a combined total of 121 NCAA tournament appearances, including 13 in baseball, 9 in women’s basketball, and 7 in football. The men’s and women’s track teams have combined for 8 different Sunbelt Conference championships since 2001. The baseball team has claimed three Conference championships, and the basketball, football, and soccer teams have each claimed a single Conference championship. The golf team has won one national team championship and two individual national championships, while the track team has captured five individual national championships. Track coach Dean Hayes has won eight different Sunbelt Conference Coach of the Year awards since 2000, and three other coaches at Middle Tennessee State have also been honored with that award.

Middle Tennessee State University is an NCAA Division I School. Teams compete in the Sun Belt Conference. Competition was formerly in the Ohio Valley Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and track & field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes a marching band, a dance team, co-ed and all women’s cheerleading teams, and a mascot, “Lightning,” a winged horse. The team nick-name is the Blue Raiders.

Athletic facilities at Middle Tennessee State University include a campus recreation center, a stadium, an athletic center, a baseball field and clubhouse, a softball field, a coliseum, and tennis courts. The coliseum was opened in 2003 and hosts horse shows.

Among the championships and awards that Middle Tennessee State University has received are 8 national championships in golf and track & field, 144 Ohio Valley Conference championships, 16 Sun Belt Conference championships, and 121 NCAA tournament appearances.


James McGill Buchanan is a prominent figure in Middle Tennessee State history. This alumnus of the 1940 class was the first MTSU alum to be awarded the Nobel Prize. His was the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and rewarded his “theory of public choice,” which explained the complicated expenditure of public funds. Buchanan is memorialized throughout the MTSU campus, as well as in scholarships and other programmatic memorials.

Local Community

Middle Tennessee State University is located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is approximately 30 miles from Nashville. Near-by attractions include historical buildings and museums, several annual festivals, among them the Tennessee Highland games, and the Center for the Arts, which has numerous performances and exhibits.

Murfreesboro, with a 2003 population of just under 80,000, experienced a massive population growth of nearly 40% between 1990 and 2000. The town’s average annual temperature is 52—79 in July and 36 in January—giving residents a true four-season year (including an average annual snowfall of 6 inches). Outdoor enthusiasts have access to nearly ever recreational activity possible. Visitors can experience drag racing, Civil War re-enactments, and historical museums.

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