Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 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 140,000, 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 6.0 million square feet. Visitors may take a virtual tour at tour.mtsu.edu/ or schedule a visit at mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/index.php.

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 Media and Entertainment, the University College, and 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 74.5 percent (729) of the institution’s 979 full-time faculty members hold terminal degrees. The student body numbers 20,086 and comes from 95 Tennessee counties, 48 states, and 75 foreign countries.

Statement of Mission

Middle Tennessee State University takes pride in its role as a comprehensive, diverse, and innovative institution whose distinctive bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs prepare graduates to thrive in their chosen professions and a changing global society. Students, faculty, and staff generate, preserve, and disseminate knowledge and collaboratively promote excellence through teaching and learning, research, creative activity, and public engagement.

Approved April 4, 2023 by the MTSU Board of Trustees


To fulfill its mission, Middle Tennessee State University          

  • fosters a student-centered environment conducive to lifelong learning, personal development, and success;
  • educates and challenges students through a broad array of high-quality, affordable academic programs grounded in a common core of arts and sciences;
  • enhances access through unique programs, distance learning, and advising to meet the needs of a diverse student population;
  • supports student learning through effective teaching methods, emerging technologies, experiential and integrative learning, research, and co-curricular and extracurricular activities;
  • attracts and retains exceptional faculty and staff and develops resources to support excellence in instruction, research, creative activity, and public and professional service;
  • develops and sustains academic partnerships, entrepreneurial activities, and public service to support instruction, research, and communities throughout the region;
  • promotes ongoing engagement with its alumni, partners, and friends; 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 rapidly changing 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 and civic engagement in our society; and
  • demonstrate the effective and adaptive use of current and evolving 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 150,000 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, 20,000 students, and a faculty of 979, 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, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Middle Tennessee State University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Middle Tennessee State University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

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

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

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

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication - ACEJMC

American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission)

American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA)

American Anthropological Association

American Association for State and Local History

American Association of Airport Executives

American Association of Colleges and Universities

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)

American Association for Leisure and Recreation

American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

American Chemical Society

American College Testing Program

American Concrete Institute

American Council on Education

American Historical Association

American Library Association

American Political Science Association

American Simmental Association

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

American Society of Concrete Contractors

American Sociological Association

Associated General Contractors (Middle Tennessee chapter)

Association for Childhood Education International

Association for Continuing Higher Education

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE)

Association for Infant Mental Health in Tennessee (AIMHiTN)

Association of Departments of Foreign Languages

Association of Public and Land Grant Universities

Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)

Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI)

Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC)

Broadcast Education Association

Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate

Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Affiliated University

CIM National Steering Committee

Coalition for Networked Information

Coalition of Adult Learning Focused Institution (ALFI)

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Conference USA

Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST)

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

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

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Early Childhood

Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education

Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences

Council of Graduate Schools

Council of Southern Graduate Schools

Council on Library and Information Resources

Council on Social Work Education (CWSE)

Council on Accreditation of Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT)

Council on Undergraduate Research


Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Administrators Association

International Dyslexia Association

Learning Resources Network (LRN)

NASFA - Association of International Educators (National Association of Foreign Student Advisors)

National Air Transportation Association (NATA)

National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA)

National Association for School Psychologists (NASP)

National Association for the Education of Young Children

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)

National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators

National Athletic Trainers’ Association

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

National Collegiate Athletic Association

National Collegiate Honors Council

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing

National Council for Preservation Education

National Council for Public History

National Council of University Research Administrators

National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA)

National Intercollegiate Flight Association

National League of Nurses

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF)

National Recreation and Parks Association

North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture

Online Learning Consortium

ORAU - Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Partnerships for Innovation

Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP)

The PA Education Association (PAEA)

Physics Teacher Education Coalition

Reacting Consortium

Society of American Archivists

Society of  Health and Physical Educators

South Central Local Interagency Coordinating Council

Southeastern Museums Conference

Southern Association for College Student Affairs

Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (SACRAO)

Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA)

Southern Gerontological Society

Southern Regional Honors Council

Southern Regional Honors Council

Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities

Teachers College Association of Extension and Field Services

Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA)

Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education

Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

Tennessee Association of Museums

Tennessee Association of Science Department Chairs

Tennessee Association of Veterans Programs Administrators

Tennessee Board of Nursing

Tennessee Clinical Placement System (TCPS)

Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY)

Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools

Tennessee College Association

Tennessee Collegiate Honors Council

Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Tennessee Early Intervention System

The College Board

The Tennessee Academy of Science

United States Army, Cadet Command

University Aviation Association

University Film and Video Association

Women in Aviation International (WAI)