Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Memphis

November 24, 2020 • 3 Min Read

Memphis, situated on the Mississippi River, is a railway hub in the South and is crossed by Interstate Highways I-40 and I-55, making it a prime economic center for transportation and commerce. The city’s medical centers and international shipping/transportation firms also attract workers, while Memphis’ 187 parks, 11 golf courses and historical museums lure residents and tourists alike. On top of that, the city is home to ten colleges, universities, private schools and online colleges, offering students a wide selection of educational opportunities.

Colleges in Memphis

According to the U.S. Census, 82 percent of Memphis high school students graduate and 23.4 percent of all residents above the age of 25 have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. Memphis-area colleges offer students higher educational degrees in a variety of academic areas. The city is home to the oldest dental school in the American South—University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, which was founded in 1878. The largest college is the University of Memphis, offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 majors, master’s degrees in some 45 fields, and the Ph.D. in 20 specialties.

Historic LeMoyne-Owen College was founded in 1882 to serve a student population that included freed slaves. Today, LeMoyne-Owen is a small historically Black liberal arts college that offers programs leading to bachelor’s degrees in academic areas such as arts, science, and business. Rhodes College, located in the heart of the city, was named by Newsweek Magazine as “America’s #1 Service-Oriented College”.

Students looking for a two-year community college in Memphis may want to consider Southwest Tennessee Community College, which is home to nearly 20,000 students across seven campuses. In 2012, it was ranked in the top 10 percent of associate degree granting colleges for African Americans in Business Operations Support and Assistant Services by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Here’s a look at Memphis colleges and universities:

University of MemphisPublicFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in. Post-graduate and certificates.
Christian Brothers UniversityNot for Profit (Private)Higher full-time four-year, degrees.
Remington College-Memphis CampusNot for Profit (Private)Full-time two-year, four-year, diplomas.
Rhodes CollegeNor for Profit (Private)Higher full-time, four-year, selective.
Le Moyne-Owen CollegeNot for Profit (Private)Higher full-time, four-year, selective.
Baptist Memorial College of Health SciencesNot for Profit (Private)Higher full-time, four-year, selective.
Southwest Tennessee Community CollegePublicFull-time two-year, certificates.

Online Colleges in Memphis

Not all students have the time or resources to devote to a full-time residential college education. In Memphis, three online colleges offer solid options for students who have family or work commitments and who want to pursue a degree through an accredited, flexible college program. All three schools are for-profit institutions and provide 24/7 access to learning at the student’s convenience. For example, University of Phoenix-Online has a selection of academic majors leading to associates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in academic fields including business management, education, nursing, criminal justice, and technology. Post University-Online received U.S. News’s 2014 Best Online Programs Award for its online bachelor’s degree and for its online graduate degree programs in business and education. Westwood College-Online is recognized for its accelerated three-year bachelor’s degree programs in technology, business, healthcare, industrial services, and criminal justice.

The University of Memphis also offers a number of bachelor’s, master’s, and graduate certificate programs online through its eCampus.

Explore online degree programs

Top Industries, Careers, and Employers

The U.S. Census reports that the median household income in Memphis for 2013 was $36,817 and the median value for owned homes in the city is $98,300. As a result, Memphis’s cost of living is 14 percent lower than the national average, according to the Memphis Chamber of Commerce. The city was ranked 4th on the list of the nation’s least expensive urban areas for 2013 by The Council for Community and Economic Research.

The Memphis economy has long been based on transportation and distribution. Its largest employers are in the healthcare, education, air courier, and government sectors. This city is also host to several Fortune 500 titans in industry and merchandising.

The top companies, by total employees, are:

  • Federal Express Corporation, 30,000
  • Memphis City Schools, 16,000
  • United States Government, 14,800
  • Methodist Healthcare, 10,000
  • Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corp., 8,000

Programs such as the local Think Memphis: Partnership for Prosperity and Tennessee’s Small Business Energy Loan Program and FastTrack Infrastructure Program work to encourage economic development in zones throughout the city.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the leading growth sectors of the Memphis economy during the first half of 2014 as:

  • Information Technology
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Financial Services
  • Mining and Logging and Construction
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Colleges & Universities in Memphis


University of Memphis26,312$6,144Public
Christian Brothers University2,194$25,520Not For Profit (Private)
Remington College-Memphis Campus1,878$15,204Not For Profit (Private)
Rhodes College1,816$36,154Not For Profit (Private)
Le Moyne-Owen College1,340$10,098Not For Profit (Private)
Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences1,152$9,810Not For Profit (Private)


Southwest Tennessee Community College19,989$3,096Public

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts 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.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.