Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Nashville

Updated April 20, 2021 • 3 Min Read

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The Nashville metropolitan region lays claim to 30 higher learning institutions, including four-year and community colleges as well as graduate-level universities and technical training schools. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce cites that over 70,000 people in the metropolitan area hold graduate degrees and over 51 percent of residents over the age of 25 attended at least one year of college. For a population of 624,000, those numbers represent a city that is not only comparatively educated but also a source of potential post-educational career opportunities.

Colleges in Nashville

Nashville State Community College is the city's largest community college, with six campuses across Tennessee and the main campus in Nashville, serving a total of over 9,800 students. NSCC's mix of programs includes online courses catering to hectic student schedules and Workforce Community Development programs offering credited and non-credited training in subjects relevant to specific industries and community businesses local to Nashville. The city and its nearby areas feature additional options such as Motlow State Community College and Volunteer State Community College.

Tennessee State University in Nashville is the city's largest public research university, with bachelor's through doctorate-level programs available to over 9,000 students. TSU offers a downtown campus in addition to its 500-acre main campus. TSU's Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program, funded by the National Science Foundation, supports students in STEM disciplines such as science, technology and engineering.

Vanderbilt University, one of the country's most selective private research universities, attracts over 12,000 students to its undergraduate, graduate and professional schools in Nashville. Vanderbilt is known for its academic and sports programs, and its campus is also an arboretum. Fisk University, Lipscomb University, Aquinas College and Belmont University are smaller private universities based in Nashville, which is home to far more private colleges than public institutions.

Nashville also features some specialty schools such as the John A. Gupton College, focusing on funeral arts and sciences, as well as the Watkins College of Art Design & Film. The Art Institute of Tennessee - Nashville has on-campus classes allowing hands-on learning in fields that may dove-tail with the local music economy, such as audio production and engineering. The following are some of the colleges and specialty schools based in Nashville.

Aquinas College646Private
Fisk University533Private
Lipscomb University4,010Private
Belmont University6,395Private
Vanderbilt University12,836Private
Trevecca Nazarene University2,478Private
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film394Private
American Baptist College101Private
Tennessee State University9,165Public
Remington College - Nashville373Private
John A. Gupton College147Private
Free Will Bible Baptist College290Private
Nashville State Community College9,876Public

Online Colleges in Nashville

Among the numerous Nashville colleges with online degree programs or courses, Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College and Vanderbilt University allow students to take individual courses or earn degrees completely online. TSU's distance education for-credit classes utilize delivery methods such as interactive video instruction (ITV/VOIP), fully online courses and hybrid programs blending online and on-campus studies. Online degree options at TSU include a bachelor's in urban studies as well as a master's program for RNs studying holistic nursing.

Lipscomb University, a private entity, offers a fully online MBA program that can be completed in 18-22 months, depending on a student's schedule and commitments. The school even issues its online MBA students an iPad upon enrollment. Remington College, which describes itself as nonprofit and non-traditional, has a Nashville location and also offers online associate and bachelor degree programs in areas such as business, management, marketing, criminal justice and paralegal studies. 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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Top Industries, Careers and Employers

With the nickname Music City, Nashville sees representation from major record labels, including Sony, Warner and Universal Music Group, among hundreds more independent music labels. The legendary Gibson Guitar Corp. has also called Nashville home since inception. Music industry related companies offer an employment base to put business types, marketers and engineers to work, along with the city's throngs of musicians.

Many national and global companies have built substantial operations or based their headquarters in the Nashville metropolitan area. Nissan North America, Vanguard Health Systems, Servpro Industries, AT&T, SunTrust, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Electrolux, Schneider Electric and have a major presence in the city and its surrounding towns.

A span of industries operate in Nashville but, overall, health care is the biggest and fastest growing sector. Over 300 domestic and international health care companies have a base in the city, encompassing hospital, ambulatory and outpatient surgery; medical research; disease treatment and management; and health care support services. Recognized names in the industry include Vanguard Health Systems, HCA Corporation, Community Health Systems and LifePoint Hospitals. Nashville employers in fields such as health services, technology and finance generally seek prospective employees with a postsecondary education.

Colleges & Universities in Nashville


Vanderbilt University13,500$40,320Not For Profit (Private)
Tennessee State University10,416$5,208Public
Belmont University6,543$23,770Not For Profit (Private)
Lipscomb University4,546$21,896Not For Profit (Private)
Trevecca Nazarene University3,106$19,990Not For Profit (Private)
Aquinas College Tennessee863$18,450Not For Profit (Private)
Meharry Medical College801N/ANot For Profit (Private)
Remington College-Nashville Campus723$15,152Not For Profit (Private)
Fisk University629$17,952Not For Profit (Private)


Nashville State Community College14,305$3,096Public

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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.

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