Best Online Colleges in Tennessee

Colleges in Tennessee offer online degrees and certificates in many majors and fields of study. Start your research with our program listings and find the right place for you.

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by Staff Writers

Updated August 12, 2022

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Tennessee is home to dozens of higher education institutions, including doctoral research universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges. The main state university, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, serves over 30,000 students. Major cities like Memphis and Nashville also house large colleges and universities, which often have online programs.

The best online colleges in Tennessee also offer hybrid learning options. The Distance Education State Almanac reported that about 83% of students who enrolled exclusively in distance learning courses in Tennessee in 2015 also lived there.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Whether you will be an in-state or out-of-state student, you can find a school to suit your remote or hybrid learning needs in our ranking of the best online colleges in Tennessee.

Why Study in Tennessee?

For students looking to head outdoors, Tennessee offers a wealth of activities and scenic views.

Colleges in Tennessee offer students a variety of cultural enrichment opportunities. Known as Music City, Nashville is perhaps Tennessee's most famous tourist destination. Here, students can visit attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and the Music City Walk of Fame.

Music lovers may also flock to Graceland and the historic Sun Studio, both in Memphis, which also hosts the National Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and the Center for Southern Folklore.

A large student population lives in Knoxville. UT Knoxville students can explore attractions like the World's Fair Park, Zoo Knoxville, and Knoxville Museum of Art. Sports fans can watch the school's football team, the UT Vols, play at Neyland Stadium, the fifth largest stadium in the nation.

For students looking to head outdoors, Tennessee offers a wealth of activities and scenic views. Students can enjoy Tennessee's moderate weather year-round at the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Ruby Falls, the nation's largest underground waterfall.

Top Degree Programs in Tennessee

Tennessee Employment Outlook

Tennessee offers diverse career opportunities for college-educated job-seekers.Jobs in Tennessee have been on the rise since August 2020, especially in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, and the education, health, and professional services industries.

According to theBureau of Labor Statistics, Tennessee employment is most concentrated in office and administrative support occupations. These professionals earn an annual mean wage of $37,910.

Surgeons earn the highest annual mean wage in Tennessee, at $270,180. Other highly paid occupations in Tennessee include chief executive, sales manager, and postsecondary teacher; professionals in these fields earn more than $100,000 annually.

Popular Career Paths in Tennessee

2022 Best Online Colleges in Tennessee

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

#1

Johnson University

School Information
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $450
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $450-$675
Graduate, out of state | N/A

Christian-based JUTN tops our list of online colleges in Tennessee, with programs for undergraduate and graduate learners. Students major in applied linguistics or business administration, pursue a master's in intercultural studies or ministry, or earn a Ph.D. in leadership studies.

Undergraduate admission requires test scores (ACT, SAT, or CLT) or a writing sample and two academic references. Distance learners enjoy access to academic advising, career counseling, library resources, and tutoring. Asynchronous course delivery follows a seven-week term. 

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#2

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

School Information
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $378
Undergrad, out of state | $453
Graduate, in state | $639
Graduate, out of state | $714

UT Knoxville offers over 40 online programs with 24/7 counseling services. Distance learners study agriculture, arts and sciences, nursing, or social work. Graduate students choose from options in business, communication and information sciences, engineering, and education.

Course delivery options include hybrid on-campus and online learning, asynchronous online only, or synchronous online only. The virtual aspect of all three options takes place using Canvas or Zoom. First-year applicants submit an online application, self-reported academic record, and a prompted essay. Some departments use additional requirements. 

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#3

Trevecca Nazarene University

School Information
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 56%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $275-$395
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $435-$799
Graduate, out of state | N/A

Trevecca, a Christian university, is one of the online colleges in Tennessee with programs at every level. Trevecca offers an associate in business management, a bachelor's in healthcare administration, a master's in African American worship studies, and a Ph.D. in clinical counseling.

Admission requires submission of an application and transcripts. An enrollment counselor contacts applicants once they submit an online form. Trevecca offers financial aid to distance learners, along with remote writing center tutoring and technology help.

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#4

Lincoln Memorial University

School Information
Location Harrogate, Tennessee
Admission Rate 50%
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $400
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $490-$810
Graduate, out of state | N/A

As one of the top online colleges in Tennessee, LMU features both fully online and hybrid programs. LMU offers remote bookstore and library services, along with career and academic advising.

Degree options include a bachelor's in nursing bridge program; master's in criminal justice, public administration, and veterinary education; and master's and doctorates in business administration.

Program admission requirements vary. The bachelor's in nursing for registered nurses requires a state license and associate degree or nursing diploma.

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#5

Union University

School Information
Location Jackson, Tennessee
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $340-$470
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $590-$675
Graduate, out of state | N/A

Offering Christian-based learning, Union's academic catalog lets students choose from many different fully online degrees. Options include an associate of science in professional studies and a bachelor's in Christian leadership. Graduate learners study accountancy, business, Christian studies, education, music technology, nursing, and social work. 

Remote learners get access to advising information, IT help, library databases, and writing assistance. Online undergraduate admission requires an age of 22 and a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some programs, such as nursing, require additional criteria.

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#6

King University

School Information
Location Bristol, Tennessee
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $305-$330
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $605-$610
Graduate, out of state | N/A

Presbyterian-affiliated King lists 17 online programs for undergraduates and graduate students. Distance learners earn their credentials in arts and sciences, business, criminal justice, healthcare, and information technology.

King's admission process starts with a consultation with an enrollment counselor. Undergraduates need a high school diploma, a GED certificate, or 16 college credits in core prerequisites. Specific programs may have additional requirements, such as licensure, recommendations, or personal statements. Online learning features asynchronous coursework, and success coaches support remote students.

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#7

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

School Information
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $416
Undergrad, out of state | $600
Graduate, in state | $550
Graduate, out of state | $967

UTHSC offers online degree and certificate programs in nursing, health data analytics, and health informatics and information management. Students interested in hybrid instruction choose from graduate nursing and epidemiology.

Remote learners access the health science library, financial aid, technology support, and academic advising through Blackboard and other web-based applications. Applicants submit an online application, essay, three recommendations, transcripts, and test scores. Some programs require specific licensure.

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#8

University of Memphis

School Information
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $419
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $606
Graduate, out of state | N/A

UofM Global distance learners study asynchronously and earn degrees in more than 100 programs. Undergraduates choose from areas like business, computing, health, humanities, and social sciences. Graduate programs include arts, education, engineering, and liberal studies.

UofM supports online students with advising, tutoring, library resources, and career services. Prospective students submit an online application, transcripts, and test scores, depending on their program. Applicants and admitted students get access to a free online college prep course.

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#9

Bryan College-Dayton

School Information
Location Dayton, Tennessee
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 45%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $395
Undergrad, out of state | N/A
Graduate, in state | $475-$600
Graduate, out of state | N/A

As one of the colleges in Tennessee offering asynchronous online study, Christian-based Bryan lists several programs. Undergraduates pursue associate degrees in business or interdisciplinary studies and bachelor's degrees in applied psychology, business administration, communication studies, and criminal justice. 

Bachelor's and graduate business administration concentrations include healthcare management, human resource management, leadership, and marketing. Graduate students can also earn education and biblical-focused credentials.

Applicants work with an admission counselor after submitting their applications and transcripts.

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#10

The University of Tennessee-Martin

School Information
Location Martin, Tennessee
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Avg. Cost per Credit
Undergrad, in state | $426
Undergrad, out of state | $463
Graduate, in state | $631
Graduate, out of state | $688

UT Martin's online programs include paralegal studies, criminal justice, family and consumer science, education, sport coaching and performance, and strategic communications. Business administration students can earn a bachelor's degree or MBA. Other bachelor's degrees include agricultural business, history, interdisciplinary studies, nursing, and philosophy.

Remote learners use the Canvas platform and work with an advisor. Online services include bookstore and virtual writing center services. Admission requires an online application.

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Best Community Colleges in Tennessee

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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