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Online Colleges in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to a number of accredited online colleges, offering a variety of degree programs from associate to doctorate. Whether you’re looking to complete your degree or start a new one, there’s an online college in Tennessee that can meet your needs.

With the growing demand for flexible learning options, many colleges and universities in Tennessee have expanded their online education programs. Institutions like the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Martin offer a range of degree options, attracting students from various regions.

These universities provide numerous undergraduate and graduate online programs, such as nursing, business, engineering, agriculture, and more.

best online colleges in Tennessee

Online programs in Tennessee are designed to be flexible and accessible to a diverse student body, including working professionals and international students. Financial aid and tuition discounts are commonly available, helping to make education more affordable. Accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) ensures high educational standards across these programs.

Key Takeaways

  • Online education in Tennessee offers flexible and accessible learning options across various disciplines.
  • Financial aid and tuition discounts make these programs affordable for many students.
  • Accreditation by SACSCOC ensures quality and standards in online programs.

Best Online Colleges in Tennessee

Our methodology prioritizes a balanced assessment of academic excellence, accessibility, affordability, and online learning opportunities.

We assign a score to each university based on factors like admissions and graduation rates, the strength of their academic programs, and the availability of online education. We further consider the financial health of the institution by evaluating the average net price and loan default rate. Schools are listed in order of most to least affordable.

This multifaceted approach ensures our rankings provide a holistic view of the value each university offers to students.

1. Austin Peay State University

Location: Clarksville, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $292
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $556
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Austin Peay State University offers over 30 online degrees with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18-to-1. Notable programs include business administration, computer science, and criminal justice. The university’s interactive approach to online learning and financial aid packages, including veteran benefits, make it an affordable choice.

2. Middle Tennessee State University

Location: Murfreesboro, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $314
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $563
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, ABET, Aviation Accreditation Board International, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Middle Tennessee State University offers over 55 online and hybrid degrees, serving more than 10,500 students in 2024. Key programs include criminal justice, information systems, and nursing. MTSU’s reduced tuition rate for non-resident online learners and extensive online course offerings make it a cost-effective option.

3. Cumberland University

Location: Lebanon, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $625 (Graduate)
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $625 (Graduate)
Credits to Earn Master’s: 30+
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cumberland University offers over 100 academic programs, primarily in-person for undergraduates, with online master’s degrees available in sport management and other fields. Flexible start dates and financial aid for sports management students enhance its appeal.

4. Lincoln Memorial University

Location: Harrogate, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $420
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $420
Credits to Earn RN-to-BSN: 79
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant

Lincoln Memorial University offers 100% online and hybrid programs through Canvas. Key programs include nursing, criminal justice, and education. The university’s commitment to financial assistance for 65% of its students and flexible course delivery options make it a competitive choice.

5. The University of Tennessee – Martin

Location: Martin, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $426
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $463
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, ABET, National Association of Schools of Music, American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities

UT Martin offers over 30 online educational programs, including forensics, farm management, and veterinary technology. With significant financial aid options and a high employment rate for graduates, it provides a solid return on investment.

6. East Tennessee State University

Location: Johnson City, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $441
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $507
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, Council on Social Work Education, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

ETSU offers over 170 academic programs with online options in dental hygiene, radiologic science, and respiratory therapy. The university’s flat rate for online learners and extensive degree options make it a versatile choice for students.

7. Tennessee Technological University

Location: Cookeville, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $468
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $608
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, ABET

Tennessee Tech serves over 10,000 students with online programs in business, education, and nursing. Innovative admission pathways and participation in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway program ensure accessibility and support for online learners.

8. The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

Location: Chattanooga, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $436
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $462
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, ABET, The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

UT Chattanooga offers more than 116 undergraduate majors and 48 graduate programs, including online and hybrid degrees in nursing and business. The university provides regional discounts, financial aid packages, and a same-as-resident tuition structure for online out-of-state learners.

9. Johnson University

Location: Knoxville, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $475
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $475
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Association of Christian Schools International, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Johnson University offers online programs in business, ministry, leadership, and counseling. Financial aid and work-study packages help keep tuition affordable. The university provides specialized certificates and reduced costs for field ministry credits.

10. Tusculum University

Location: Greeneville, TN
In-State Cost per Credit: $12,600/year
Out-of-State Cost per Credit: $12,600/year
Credits to Earn Bachelor’s: 120
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Programmatic Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Tusculum University offers online undergraduate degrees in business administration, education, and psychology, with graduate options in teaching and nursing. Over 90% of traditional undergraduates receive financial aid, including federal, state, and institutional assistance.

Job Opportunities in Tennessee for College Graduates

online colleges in TN - group of Tennessee graduates illustrated

In Tennessee, job opportunities for college graduates are abundant, particularly in healthcare, education, business, and technology. With the state’s unemployment rate at 3.2%, lower than the national average, graduates have promising prospects. Those holding bachelor’s degrees typically earn around $53,000 annually, while those with associate degrees make about $39,000.

Cities like Knoxville and Martin provide numerous roles in areas such as business administration and criminal justice. In healthcare, demand for registered nurses (RNs) continues to grow, with salaries reaching $60,122. Business roles, such as general and operations management, also offer competitive pay at $87,975.

Degrees at both bachelor’s and master’s levels can open doors to these high-demand positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which online college programs in Tennessee are budget-friendly?

Several institutions in Tennessee offer online college programs that are known for being cost-effective. For example, some private schools have an average cost of about $401.50 per credit for online courses. On the other hand, public universities like the University of Tennessee, Knoxville provide competitive tuition rates for in-state students at approximately $490 per credit, though out-of-state students might pay more.

Which Tennessee schools have top-rated online degree programs?

Various rankings highlight the best institutions in Tennessee for online education. According to Intelligent.com, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Union University are prominent for their quality. Additionally, Academic Influence ranks Carson-Newman University highly for online MBA and master’s programs.

What online degrees does Tennessee Tech offer?

Tennessee Tech University offers a variety of online degree programs ranging from undergraduate to graduate levels. They provide courses in fields such as business, education, and engineering. This makes it a versatile option for students in different disciplines.

Do any online colleges in Tennessee provide laptops to students?

Some online colleges in Tennessee include laptops with enrollment. It’s worth researching individual institutions to confirm specific policies. These provisions help ensure students have the necessary tools to succeed in their coursework.

What online high school education options are there in Tennessee?

Tennessee offers several online high school education programs. These include state-run virtual schools and private online high schools that cater to students who prefer a flexible learning environment.

How do University of Memphis’s online degrees stack up in quality?

The University of Memphis offers several well-regarded online degree programs. Their courses often receive praise for comprehensive curricula and robust support services. This makes their online degrees a competitive choice for students seeking quality education remotely.