2017 Best Colleges in Tennessee

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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Viewing 1-25 of 39
  1. 1

    Vanderbilt University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 1,156 reviews
    Sophomore:Vanderbilt is an excellent place to continue your education. It is easy to find your place at this school because the environment is amazingly friendly and welcoming. Greek life is huge here and many people get involved. The weather is usually mild and the faculty is great. The food is ranked in the country, and as a sophomore, I still enjoy it. Anchor Down! This school is not without flaws, however. The campus is pretty divided racially. There is no malice, but it is clear that intermingling between races only truly occurs in the classroom. That is one thing this school could improve.
    More about Vanderbilt University
  2. 2
    Niche User: The university grounds are always kept incredibly pristine. The building's collegiate gothic architectural style is beautiful and well maintained. The food there was wonderful, the campus cafeteria put meticulous effort into preparing each meal. The academic side of university of the south is where they excel. The former graduates of the university are well educated and prepared for their career field. The athletics are less than satisfactory however; because the university is so goal oriented towards educating students. Partying at the university is not great because the students are less focused on social affairs. Overall The University of the South is a perfect place to go to college if your goal and life are built around education. I personally love this school, but if you are the sort of person who enjoys less of the scholar side I would not recommend it to you.
    More about Sewanee - The University of the South
  3. 3

    Rhodes College

    • Memphis, TN
    • 607 reviews
    Senior:Rhodes college has been an unbelievable place to attend school for the past four years. As you can see from the statistics, it is obviously a very good academic school; the rigor, diversity, and interactions with the professors in the classroom has prepared me tremendously for the real world. The experiences and opportunities that the students have here in the city of Memphis is truly incredible. From internships to volunteering to simply experiencing the culture of a diverse city has shaped me as a very well rounded person in addition to the broad liberal arts education. But most importantly, the best part about Rhodes is the people here. Coming from all of the country with all different backgrounds, goals, and interests does not stop the students of Rhodes from forming an incredibly tight-knit community. I would highly suggest looking into becoming a part of this community as it has been a life changing experience for the better.
    More about Rhodes College
  4. 4
    College Freshman:I love Baptist College because of the oneness that is felt amongst the students and facualty! The advantages of going to a small, private college are great if you are a person like me who tends to ask questions, engage in class with the instuctor and classmates, and emails their instructor often. Though the classes are much more challenging than I visioned, they are definitely worth the challenge because I am most assured that they will prepare me for my future responsibilities in the healthcare field. One aspect of the school I have noticed is that you do not have to worry about anyone stealing your things if you set them down! Overall, great school, and great students and facualty!
    More about Baptist College of Health Sciences
  5. 5

    University of Tennessee

    • Knoxville, TN
    • 3,204 reviews
    Junior:University of Tennessee is a wonderful school! The campus and surrounding area are very beautiful year round, yet a little hilly. Watch out engineering or chemistry students, those buildings are up "the hill" so prepare for that daily workout! Student life is actively and responsive to changes that happen both locally and nationally, and students are not afraid to voice their opinions in this safe school environment. The teachers are very genuine and want you to succeed to the best of your ability. The University of Tennessee is definitely worth noticing. Oh yeah, and Tennessee football is the best in the SEC!
    More about University of Tennessee
  6. 6

    Union University

    • Jackson, TN
    • 597 reviews
    College Sophomore:Union is the best. If I could choose any school in the country, I would still choose Union. The community at Union is unbelievable. The people are so inspiring, intelligent, loving, and accepting. My fellow students are among some of the most diverse and all around coolest people I have ever met. Teachers are wise and intentional with students. What makes Union unique is the fact that it is a Christian University with a high academic standard. It's different from other Christian universities because it encompasses Christianity into every class and subject -not just those classes that are specifically "bible classes". The academic challenges are great, the drive for excellence is apparent, and the Christianity love shared by all is undeniable.
    More about Union University
  7. 7

    Lipscomb University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 675 reviews
    Sophomore:I absolutely love Lipscomb University! It has small class sizes so that the professors are able to know your name and have a relationship with their students. All of the professors will go the extra mile in order to make concepts clearer. The student life is also great! The sense of community that you get at Lipscomb is something that I was searching for and definitely found. Lipscomb is a great school with a high emphasis on making sure that the students understand and learn the concepts in order to thrive in every day life during and after college.
    More about Lipscomb University
  8. 8

    Maryville College

    • Maryville, TN
    • 314 reviews
    Sophomore:Maryville College has small classroom sizes for those that like more individualized education. It's a beautiful campus and feels like a community. No matter if you are into sports or the arts, Maryville can provide opportunities to get involved. I would highly recommend you coming to campus!
    More about Maryville College
  9. 9

    Milligan College

    • Milligan College, TN
    • 272 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love Milligan! The professors are amazing, helpful, and firmly committed to student learning on a level that is extremely rare for a college campus. The courses are applicable to the real world and expect high achievement from students while not being unattainable. The classes are small, and the professors are willing and eager to interact with students. I have attended several professor's office hours and they are more than willing to help. The students really do function as a community, and you simply cannot walk across campus without seeing someone you know, a smile from someone you don't, or a wave from a friend or even a professor.
    More about Milligan College
  10. 10

    Trevecca Nazarene University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 345 reviews
    Alum:Trevecca is a private, Christian university that helps you grow personally, academically, and spiritually. The university offers many spiritually deepening experiences such as chapel and prayer walks. Trevecca also has an outstanding faculty that are there to help you reach your full potential. They are not there to work on large research projects, but are there to help personally guide each student through mentoring and small classes. The professors have multiple contacts in Nashville at other universities and do all they can to provide meaningful internships to allow you to build your recognition. Trevecca is a great place to shape your future in a community that promotes personalized education and spiritual deepening.
    More about Trevecca Nazarene University
  11. 11

    University of Memphis

    • Memphis, TN
    • 1,801 reviews
    Alum:The University of Memphis is a wonderful place to go to school! The years there have been some of the happiest in my life. The friends that I made, the organizations I was a part of and led, the professors......these people have made a difference in my life. The best part is the feeling of open-mindedness. As Memphis is a diverse city, everyone is friends with others without judgment. I was friends with African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, and Caucasian classmates. The things I learned and the way I developed have changed me forever. Go Tigers!
    More about University of Memphis
  12. 12

    Tennessee Technological University

    • Cookeville, TN
    • 937 reviews
    College Freshman:There are plenty of courses to choose from, that is if you have time outside your major. The professors are always willing to help, and they are the best feature about Tennessee Tech. I believe one could not find better hands-on or more intelligent teachers anywhere else in this state. The class styles are generally a form of lecture, but they are engaging. Professors make an effort to entertain and motivate their students. The majority of music professors are great examples of how teachers should be as role models. I have, so far, loved my experience as a student inside their classrooms!
    More about Tennessee Technological University
  13. 13

    Southern Adventist University

    • Collegedale, TN
    • 691 reviews
    Graduate Student:Love this place! The mountians and the outdoor feel to eveything is wonderful. I never want to go back to Jersey unless God sends me there, but not my own choice! The people are wonderful and very nice and would even give you a ride to your house if they see you struggle with a package from the post office. Overall I do not regret coming to SAU it has definitely been an experience!
    More about Southern Adventist University
  14. 14

    Christian Brothers University

    • Memphis, TN
    • 364 reviews
    Freshman:Overall, I love CBU and in the past year it has truly become my home away home! A few of my favorite things about CBU are that there no shortage of things to do on campus, I always feel safe there, and the professors really care about the students. One thing I would like to see change is the relationship between commuters and the school. I am not a commuter myself but I have a lot of friends who are. A lot of events happen later in the evening or during week days, making it hard for commuters to get involved on campus. If we could change the commuter experience in anyway, I'm sure there would be an immediate increase in Buc pride on campus.
    More about Christian Brothers University
  15. 15

    King University - Tennessee

    • Bristol, TN
    • 326 reviews
    Senior:I am in my last semester at King University in the online communication program, and I’m about to graduate! King has created their online communication program to be affordable and great for the working adult. I took some time from school to work and save money, and attempted to go back traditionally- unsuccessfully. I decided that I needed to attend online so that I could have time to keep up my jobs. I found that King had an online program that included public relations, marketing, interpersonal communication, and more. I aspire to earn a career in public relations upon graduation and this program has equipped me with the knowledge and skills for that. In an online environment, it is important for the professors to respond to emailed questions in a quick manner, and King professors are great with doing this. I would recommend this program to anyone, especially those with families or full-time jobs.
    More about King University - Tennessee
  16. 16

    Lee University

    • Cleveland, TN
    • 1,389 reviews
    College Freshman:My school is so diverse- so many people come from different backgrounds, places (even internationally), and places in their relationship with Christ. Everyone here is so inviting and accepting. If I am sitting alone, it won't be five minutes until someone approaches me and asks if they can join me. I never have to worry about finding kind loyal friends, caring professors, or a loving stranger. There are so many opportunities to serve and get to grow in Christ in fellowship with compassionate friends!
    More about Lee University
  17. 17

    Middle Tennessee State University

    • Murfreesboro, TN
    • 2,923 reviews
    Junior:This university provides incredible resources to its students. The library alone has had every single book that I have ever needed. Yes, even the ones needed for certain classes! Despite its large campus, it is the simplest school to maneuver-- I have never gotten lost, even when I was new! Please consider MTSU if you want a beautiful campus to call home, wonderful professors, and great learning opportunities.
    More about Middle Tennessee State University
  18. 18
    Junior:My experience at UTM has been one for the books! The resources for success are unlimited on campus. The advisors are extremely helpful, and they will help guide you to reach your ultimate goals. The professors truly strive for your success and are always there to listen and help.
    More about University of Tennessee - Martin
  19. 19

    Belmont University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 1,450 reviews
    Freshman:I love Belmont University! The size of the campus and student ratio is perfect. All of the classes are easy to get to and the community is very friendly. The teachers are very understanding and will help you if you are having trouble. The food is pretty good. It's a lot better than other universities, however the only downside is they serve the same stuff everyday. They change it up every now and then but its pretty much the same stuff. One of the best things about Belmont is there programs. They get some of the greatest speakers to come and give lectures about different topics. Belmont is truly a great school, and I am proud to call myself a Bruin.
    More about Belmont University
  20. 20

    Johnson University

    • Knoxville, TN
    • 245 reviews
    College Sophomore:I am a non-traditional Student. My husband, three children and I moved to TN so that I could earn my bachelors degree. I was worried about going to classes with students much younger than me. The students and professors exceeded my expectations of school. I felt welcomed and not at all uncomfortable from the very first class. My favorite experience was the day I was having a horrible morning and was so close to having an anxiety attack that I could feel myself melting down and not able to breathe. I walked in my classroom to find 3 other students already there. I wanted to run and hide because I was embarrassed. Instead I walked up to one of them and simply said pray for me. They all laid their hands on me and prayed. Their prayer melted all of my anxiety away instantly. During the prayer our professor and other students came in. They didn't know what was going on but stopped walking immediately and bowed their heads. There was no teasing, no sidelong looks, nothing. Just pure friendship and love was shown to me. I would choose this school over and over again and have encouraged kids in my life to attend Johnson University.
    More about Johnson University
  21. 21

    Freed-Hardeman University

    • Henderson, TN
    • 406 reviews
    College Sophomore:FHU is great! If you come here, and you plan on majoring in something other than Bible, you're probably not coming here because of any phenomenal programs. Freed's strength is the emphasis of the students on social and spiritual life. If you're not a Christian, it can be difficult fitting in at first, but if you let someone know you're interested in becoming or renewing yourself as a Christian, you will find more than enough people who would be thrilled to help you.
    More about Freed-Hardeman University
  22. 22

    Bryan College - Tennessee

    • Dayton, TN
    • 204 reviews
    Freshman:I absolutely love Bryan College! The people here are my favorite - everyone is so welcoming and sweet, and the professors go out of the way to prove they truly care about their students. The quality of the education is great, and I am so grateful to be taught from a Christian standpoint - it makes a huge difference. The campus is safe, well-kept, and absolutely beautiful. It is NOT a party scene by any means, which is a blessing for me. Bryan inspires me to become a better Christian daily, and my relationship with God has definitely grown here.
    More about Bryan College - Tennessee
  23. 23

    University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

    • Chattanooga, TN
    • 1,289 reviews
    Freshman:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has so much to offer, not only academically. UTC offers many extracurricular activities, while strongly promoting the importance of getting involved with the community. They also offer help. Coming into this school knowing nothing about Chattanooga itself, the staff here at UTC has broadened my horizons and made me quite comfortable in a setting that I was completely unfamiliar with. Academically, this school is top notch. All of the professors that I have encountered thus far have been nothing but kind and willing to help. Although it is challenging, UTC offers much outside help in order to insure that you succeed. All in all, UTC has been an amazing experience. I would recommend this school to any and everyone!
    More about University of Tennessee - Chattanooga
  24. 24

    Carson-Newman University

    • Jefferson City, TN
    • 396 reviews
    Alum:Carson-Newman University is a wonderful institution with incredible teachers and academics. It's a great size and there's a 'feeling of family' across the campus. Nestled in a rural community with access to restaurants and local businesses and only a short drive from larger cities, you have the best of both worlds.
    The athletics, extra-curricular activities (intramurals, organizations, SGA, etc.), food service and overall student moral on campus is outstanding.
    It's quite the school!
    More about Carson-Newman University
  25. 25

    Lincoln Memorial University

    • Harrogate, TN
    • 280 reviews
    Sophomore:Well this is my first semester at Lincoln Memorial University. Everything is going good so far and the teachers seem very educated and focused on teaching their students all they need to know to become successful. I'm currently enrolled in the nursing program and even though it's tough and there is a lot of work involved already, I'm up for the challenge. I like that Lincoln Memorial University has many different campuses because it makes it convenient for students everywhere to attend one of the locations closer to their residence. The only thing I would like even more about Lincoln Memorial University is if the tuition was a lil but more affordable. I understand it is a private university and you get what you pay for so it still balances out.
    More about Lincoln Memorial University