Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Tennessee

Today more than ever students across America are seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees fully online or seeking opportunities to further their careers through certificate or continuing education online programs. In keeping with pace, the American workforce and business owners nationwide now respect these degrees just as traditional degrees have been honored for years. For working adults or students who need to juggle other commitments, online education now is a desirable and viable option for gaining an education in a flexible and forgiving manner.

In this Value Colleges Top 10 list you’ll find the best of the best in online institutions in the state of Tennessee. Each school listed offer degrees, certificates and other programs that students can obtain 100% online. Tuition costs tend to vary program to program for online schools so Value Colleges uses the national tuition IPEDs listings to determine the tuition costs listed below. In addition, all the schools listed below are ranked by the number of fully online degree programs they offer and each institution meets Value Colleges Best Value credentials with a solid ROI and institutional accreditation.


University of Memphis

University of Memphis was founded in 1912 and is located in a residential area of Memphis, Tennessee. As a major research institution for the state of Tennessee, and recognized nationwide, the school hosts students from all walks of life, faiths, and from around the globe annually both on campus and online. In fact, the University of Memphis emphasizes that diversity is one of its core strengths and students and faculty come from all over the world to be a part of the Memphis educational experience!

University of Memphis online caters to students seeking a flexible avenue for obtaining a college degree. Fully online degrees and all coursework are self-paced in order to allow students to juggle school with other commitments such as work or family. All programs online are additionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the University of Memphis offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees fully or partially online.

Annual Tuition: $8,903 

Online Degrees: 45


East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University is the largest and only state-funded historically black institution in the state of Tennessee. Online programs and courses are flexible and accessible giving students from all walks of life the ease of learning remotely and at their own pace. The same faculty and staff that run the traditional campus lead courses online ensuring remote learners earn the same high-level education as is received by students on campus.

East Tennessee State University online offers a number of diverse online courses and degree programs from bachelor to graduate levels. Some fully online programs include degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies, Dental Hygiene, Allied Health Leadership, and Radiologic Science to name a few. The university also offers some mostly online, or partially online, degree programs in areas such as Economics, Psychology, Management, and English.

Annual Tuition: $8,153 

Online Degrees: 39


Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University is located in Clarksville, Tennessee, the state’s oldest city, and has been in the same urban location since its founding over 180 years ago! Originally founded as the Rural Academy in 1806, the school went through five transformations before becoming Austin Peay State University in 1927. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and can award degrees from the associates level to the graduate level.

With an understanding of the challenging circumstances that many students face juggling work, family, other commitments and school, Austin Peay State University online offers the same quality educational experiences fully or partially online that traditional students receive on the campus. A user-friendly platform allows students to access coursework and engage with professors, staff, or other online learners with ease including access to library services, advising, and other student support services.

Annual Tuition: $7,501 

Online Degrees: 33


Lee University

Affiliated with the Church of God, Lee University, located in Cleveland, Tennessee, is a Christ-centered university offering a liberal arts education to students from all walks of life and all faiths. In the past twenty years Lee has grown and expanded to become one of the largest Christian private universities in Tennessee. Additionally, it is the largest Christ-centered university in the Appalachian College Association.

Lee University online seeks to meet the needs of both working professionals, full-time parents, and traditional college students. Called the Division of Adult Learning, Lee University’s online programs include fully online degree option in both the bachelor and master degree levels. Some fully online programs include undergraduate degrees in Christian Studies, Ministry Leadership and graduate degrees in Business Administration and Marriage and Family Studies, to name a few.

Annual Tuition: $15,000 

Online Degrees: 25


Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University, commonly referred to as MTSU, is located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and is best known for being the largest and oldest university in the Tennessee Board of Regents system. The university offers a diverse number of degree programs from the undergraduate through the graduate levels and has eight undergraduate colleges and over 100 graduate degree programs! The university is fully accredited both on campus and offers accredited degree programs online.

The online programs at Middle Tennessee State University online are all managed by MTSU faculty and staff to ensure the same quality academic and college experience as students on the traditional campus enjoy.  Additionally, the coursework is student focused can be completed in a flexible manner to ensure students with additional commitments can succeed in obtaining their degree. Some fully online degree programs include a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration, Liberal Studies, or Psychology to name a few.

Annual Tuition: $8,080 

Online Degrees: 22


University of Tennessee at Knoxville

University of Tennessee at Knoxville was founded in 1794 and was actually the first public university to be chartered west of the Appalachian Divide. Today the university is continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and offers degrees from the baccalaureate to doctoral levels. Additionally Value Colleges ranked the university as having one of the Top 50 Best Value MBA Programs for 2015.

Online students can expect to get the same quality education as students on the traditional campus receive. Just as on campus, University of Tennessee at Knoxville online offers degrees both fully and partial online from the baccalaureate to doctoral level. Some distance education programs include degrees in a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Nursing Degree and master degrees in Social Work, Civil Engineering, Agricultural Leadership, Mathematics, and much more.

Annual Tuition: $12,436

Online Degrees: 17


Bethel University

Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and is going into its 175th year of educational excellence in 2017. Offering bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees, Bethel University is recognized as a leader in Liberal Arts education both online and on campus and is additionally accredited by the he Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Bethel University online is dedicated to reaching students and adults who are juggling their educational goals with their work or professional commitments. Learning online allows students to flex their schedules as they complete coursework while still gaining the same accredited degrees that would be available to on-campus students. Some online degrees include areas like Emergency Services Management, Business Management, Healthcare Management, Criminal Justice, Human Resources, and Information Technology to name a few.

Annual Tuition: $15,714

Online Degrees: 16


Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University, commonly referred to as TSU, is located in Nashville, Tennessee and is proud to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Tennessee State Board of Education. Founded in 1912, the university today has two campuses and serves students state- and worldwide.

Distance education at Tennessee State University online is available to students wishing to obtain the same quality education found on the traditional campus but with the flexibility of self-paced learning. The delivery of courses happens in a variety of ways including video instruction, online coursework, or combined or blended learning which means students attend classes online and on campus. Some undergraduate programs offered online include Bachelor of Science degrees in Sociology, Interdisciplinary Studies, or Urban Studies to name a few. Additionally, the school offers online master degree programs in areas such as Holistic Nursing or Speech and Hearing Science.

Annual Tuition: $7,112

Online Degrees: 15


University of Tennessee at Martin

The University of Tennessee at Martin is located northeast of Memphis in Martin, Tennessee and was founded in 1900 as the Hall-Moody Institute. The school started its path towards becoming the comprehensive, accredited university we see today in 1927 when it became a Junior College. Today the school prides itself in offering a quality education that prepares students for success in a global economy.

University of Tennessee at Martin online offers the convenience of learning online through its distance learning program while maintaining the same rigorous high-quality level of academics as are found on the traditional campus. The online school offers both undergraduate and graduate fully or partially online degree programs as well as a number of diverse courses. In fact, the online graduate business program is ranked as one of the best in the nation. Undergraduate programs include degrees in Business Administration, Agriculture, and Veterinary Technology and Management to name a few.

Annual Tuition: $8,326

Online Degrees: 15


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga began humbly in 1886, founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church as a private institution, and today is a public university. Today it is known as one of the fastest growing campuses in Tennessee and is proud to offer a variety of diverse accredited degree programs from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga online is often referred to as UTC Learn and is a virtual school that offers the same thorough academics as are found on the university’s traditional campus. Utilizing state of the art technologies, online learning at UTC Learn is flexible and student-paced. Degrees can be completed fully or partially online from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level. Some fully online graduate programs include degrees in Elementary Education, Business Administration, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Some undergraduate fully online degrees available include areas of study such as Criminal Justice, Management, and Integrated Studies to name a few.

Annual Tuition: $8,356

Online Degrees: 7