Jul 18, 2024  
2015-16 Graduate Catalog 
2015-16 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About MTSU

Middle Tennessee State University, a coeducational, tax-supported institution founded in 1911, is located in Murfreesboro less than a mile from the exact geographic center of the state. Murfreesboro, a historic city of over 100,000, is 32 miles southeast of Nashville via I-24 and is easily accessible from any direction. MTSU students and personnel can enjoy the advantages of a metropolitan atmosphere without the impersonalization associated with a big city.

The large and beautifully landscaped campus of approximately 500 acres has more than 200 permanent buildings totaling almost 5.0 million square feet. Visitors may take a virtual tour at  tour.mtsu.edu/.

The University is made up of eight undergraduate colleges-the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Mass Communication, the University College, the University Honors College-and a College of Graduate Studies. MTSU offers curricular breadth in a variety of programs ranging from traditional ones on which the school was founded to new, innovative ones designed for a rapidly changing society. Designated a regional university, MTSU provides services and continuing education to the central Tennessee area.

Some 80 percent of the school’s more than 950 full-time faculty members hold terminal degrees. The student body numbers more than 22,000 and comes from 94 Tennessee counties, 49 states, and 79 foreign countries.

Statement of Mission

Middle Tennessee State University is a comprehensive university that embraces its role as the destination of choice for Tennessee undergraduates while expanding its reach nationally and internationally through signature programs and select master’s and doctoral programs. The University generates, preserves, and disseminates knowledge and innovation and uses scholarship to enhance teaching and public service. The University is committed to preparing students to thrive in their chosen professions and a changing global society.

A major public institution of higher learning, MTSU is a member of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee.

Approved March 25, 2011, by the Tennessee Board of Regents


To fulfill its mission, Middle Tennessee State University

  • fosters a student-centered environment conducive to lifelong learning, personal development, and success;
  • offers a broad array of high quality, affordable academic programs grounded in a common core of arts and sciences;
  • enhances access and academic opportunity for a diverse student population, including distance learning and other special services and programs for first generation, non-traditional, high-achieving, and transfer students;
  • challenges students through diverse teaching methods and media including educational technology, experiential learning, undergraduate and graduate research, and co-curricular and extra-curricular activities;
  • recruits exceptional faculty and develops resources to support excellence in instruction, research, creative activity, and public and professional service;
  • develops and sustains academic partnerships, entrepreneurial activities, outreach and public service that support instruction and research and that meet the needs of communities throughout the region; and
  • serves as an emerging center for international study, understanding, and exchange.

Middle Tennessee State University educates students to

  • think logically, critically, and creatively;
  • make sound judgments with an awareness of ethical, moral, and aesthetic values;
  • acquire a working knowledge of a discipline or a group of related disciplines;
  • examine, analyze, and shape the contemporary world through scientific knowledge, creative undertakings, and an understanding of culture and history;
  • communicate clearly and precisely and understand the proper role of free expression in our society; and
  • demonstrate the effective and adaptive use of current and/or emerging technologies.


Middle Tennessee State University will be a vibrant hub for educating accomplished students who are civically engaged and globally responsible citizens; a seedbed for research and entrepreneurship; and an engine of cultural and economic development.

Community Standards

MTSU is committed to developing and nurturing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. Each person who joins or affiliates with the community does so freely and accepts and practices the following core values and expectations:

  • Honesty and Integrity. The notions of personal and academic honesty and integrity are central to the existence of the MTSU community. All members of the community will strive to achieve and maintain the highest standards of academic achievement in the classroom and personal and social responsibility on- and off-campus.
  • Respect for Diversity. The MTSU community is composed of individuals representing different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, cultures, and ways of thinking. We respect individual differences and unique perspectives and acknowledge our commonalities.
  • Engagement in the Community. All members of the community are encouraged to participate in educationally purposeful activities that support and enhance the MTSU experience. Active involvement and personal investment in the classroom and throughout the community are hallmarks of an engaged citizen.
  • Commitment to Non-violence. MTSU is committed to the principles of nonviolence and peaceful conflict resolution. Community members will freely express their ideas and resolve differences using reason and persuasion.

The History of the University

Middle Tennessee State University began as Middle Tennessee State Normal School, opening its doors on Monday, September 11, 1911.

In 1909, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation to improve the system of public education by establishing a General Education Fund and creating three normal schools, one in each of the three grand divisions of the state. These institutions were to establish teaching standards or “norms,” hence the name. The Murfreesboro school began with four buildings on a dusty site that just a year earlier had been farmland.

Opening with a two-year program for training teachers, Middle Tennessee State Normal School evolved into a four-year teachers college in 1925 with the power of granting the Bachelor of Science degree. In 1943, the General Assembly designated the institution a state college. This new status marked a sharp departure from the founding purpose and opened the way for expanding curricular offerings and programs. In 1965, the institution advanced to university status.

Several significant milestones chart the progress from normal school to university and beyond. During the progressive movement from a two-year normal to a university, several significant milestones may be identified. Responding to the expressed needs of the institution’s service area, the Graduate School was established in 1951. The Bachelor of Arts was added that same year. To effect better communications and improve administrative supervision, the schools concept was introduced in 1962.

As MTSU developed and grew, new degree programs included the Doctor of Arts in 1970 and the Specialist in Education in 1974. Library resources dramatically increased, and sophisticated computer services aided instruction and administration. A highly trained faculty enabled the University to continue growth in program offerings. In 1991, the University’s six schools-five undergraduate and the graduate school-became colleges. In 1998, MTSU’s Honors Program became the Honors College, the first in the state. In 2006, the Division of Continuing Studies and Public Service changed to the College of Continuing Education and Distance Learning. In 2002, approval was granted to redesignate three D.A. programs to Doctor of Philosophy programs, and subsequently five others have been approved. In the 2010 reorganization, Continuing Education and Distance Learning became the University College, and the College of Education and Behavioral Science became the College of Education and the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. The Doctor of Education was approved in 2012.

Since 1911, MTSU has graduated more than 100,000 students. Despite the University’s growth from a campus of 100 acres, 125 students, and a faculty of 18, to an academic city of over 500 acres, more than 22,000 students, and a faculty of more than 900, the institution is still essentially a “people’s university” with a concern for the diverse needs of the area that it serves. In 1986, James McGill Buchanan (‘40) became the first MTSU alumnus to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Buchanan received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his development of the theory of public choice, a way of studying the expenditure of public funds. In 2011 the University celebrated it’s Centennial year with the theme “A Tradition of Excellence.” As the University looks forward to the next 100 years, the theme is exemplified as everyone in the University community-students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends-strives to be the best.

Accrediting Agencies and Memberships

Middle Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the SACSCOC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Middle Tennessee State University.

AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

ABET, Inc., Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET (http://www.abet.org)

ABET, Inc., Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET (http://www.abet.org)

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication - ACEJMC

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

American Anthropological Association

American Association of Airport Executives

American Association of Colleges and Universities

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

American Association for Leisure and Recreation

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

American Chemical Society

American College Testing Program

American Council on Education

American Historical Association

American Political Science Association

American Sociological Association

Association for Continuing Higher Education

Association of Departments of Foreign Languages

Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering

Aviation Accreditation Board International

Aviation Technician Education Council

Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)

CIM National Steering Committee

Coalition of Adult Learning Focused Institution (ALFI)

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Council for Accreditation of Counseling to Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education

Council of Graduate Schools


Council of Southern Graduate Schools

Council on Social Work Education

Fuld Institute for Technology in Nursing Education

Learning Resources Network

National Air Transportation Association

National Association for School Psychologists (NASP)

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

National Association for the Education of the Young Child

National Association of Schools of Art and Design

National Association of Schools of Music

National Association of Schools of Theatre

National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators

National Athletic Trainers’ Association

National Business Aviation Association

National Collegiate Athletic Association

National Collegiate Honors Council

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

National Intercollegiate Flight Association

National Recreation and Parks Association

ORAU - Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Partnerships for Innovation

Physics Teacher Education Coalition

Southern Association for College Student Affairs

Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

SREB Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing

Southern Regional Honors Council

Sun Belt Conference

Teachers College Association of Extension and Field Services

Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education

Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

Tennessee Association of Science Department Chairs

Tennessee Association of Veterans Programs Administrators

Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools

Tennessee College Association

Tennessee Collegiate Honors Council

The College Board

United States Army, Cadet Command

University Aviation Association