East Tennessee State University


East Tennessee State University was founded in 1911 as a normal school and received university status in 1963. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its primary focus is regional, with an emphasis on serving the people and the area of Northeast Tennessee. It is classed as a Doctoral Research University—Intensive by the Carnegie Institute.


Information Summary

Ranks 23rd in Tennessee and 877th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 82.0
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $24,068
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 27 / 1180
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 19 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 73% / 56%
Enrollment Total (all students) 14,317


East Tennessee State University has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 10 colleges and schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Technology, the College of Education, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Public and Allied Health, the Honors College, the School of Continuing Studies, and the School of Graduate Studies.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level can be received in such areas as allied health, biology, computer and information science, dental hygiene, engineering, history, management, music, nursing, physics, and special education. Traditional fields of study are well-represented. Minors are available in more specialized areas, such as Appalachian Studies, leadership, Japanese, and urban & regional studies. Pre-professional programs are offered in law, engineering, veterinary medicine, and many areas of health and medicine.

Graduate programs are offered in a large number of programs in 7 academic colleges. These include master’s level programs in art and design, English, mathematics, social work, business administration, clinical nutrition, liberal studies, counseling, education (in many areas), biomedical science, nursing, and public health. Doctoral degrees are offered in several fields, including biochemistry, microbiology, nursing, and classroom leadership. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is offered through the College of Education in the following areas: school system leadership and teacher leadership. The Quillen College of Medicine is a fully accredited medical school, and a College of Pharmacy will open in 2006.

ETSU offers 112 programs for undergraduate students, who make up 82% of the student body. Five bachelor degree programs are offered online, as are more than 90 courses. Of the 670 full-time faculty, nearly 80% hold the terminal degree in their field. The great majority of undergraduate courses have less than 25 students. ETSU is classified as a Doctoral/Research University—Intensive, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a classification that indicates ETSU’s emphasis on research for both faculty and students alike. One area of specialty and excellence is the health science program, including primary care and rural health.

Most Popular Fields of Study


East Tennessee State University
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Unique Programs

East Tennessee State University has an undergraduate Honors Program. Students who seek admission to the Honors Program need to meet the following requirements to apply: ACT of 39 or SAT of 1280, GPA of 3.5, and evidence of community and leadership activities. Only 20 students are admitted per year. Once admitted to the Honors Program, students will participate in a year-long interdisciplinary program and in designated Honors courses, and will complete a senior thesis. The Honors College also administers an Arts Scholars program, which admits 25 students a year into an interdisciplinary program for artistically talented students.

Distance learning programs are offered in some undergraduate and graduate programs, and students can also take courses at branch campuses.

Some of the other unique opportunities available at East Tennessee State University include a community based learning program in several areas, where students work outside the classroom in internships or other community partnerships.

ETSU offers the only advanced degree in reading and storytelling. This unique degree program blends education with theater, communications, folklore, history, and linguistics. Summer classes are led by leading figures in storytelling. Students have the opportunity to hone their skills at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, the most reputable storytelling even in the country. ETSU also houses a storytelling library with over 40,000 stories for students to access.

The Bluegrass and Country Music Program, part of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services and the music department, builds on the popularity of country music and its bluegrass roots to prepare students for experiences in the business of music. Areas of study include vocal harmony, performance skills, and songwriting.


East Tennessee State University has an open undergraduate admissions deadline. The application fee is $15. Applications can be submitted on-line. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office.

As part of their application, students should submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Students should have completed high school courses as follows: 4 units of English, 3 units of mathematics, 3 units of history and social studies, 2 units of science, 1 unit of a foreign language, and one unit of visual or performing arts. Students must generally meet the following minimum requirements: high school GPA of 2.3 or ACT score of 19 (or SAT equivalent). Graduates of Tennessee high schools must also pass the Tennessee Competency Test.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Students applying to the graduate programs at East Tennessee State University should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying for specific program requirements. Applications can be submitted on-line, and the application fee is $25. General requirements include a bachelor’s degree; most programs also require GRE scores and an additional for and/or vita. The graduate application deadline is June 1 for the fall semester, but some programs have earlier deadlines. Students applying to the medical school or the College of Pharmacy should consult directly with those schools about admissions requirements.

East Tennessee State requires students complete a core curriculum of college preparatory courses prior to admission. This required curriculum includes four years of English, two years each of algebra, natural sciences, and foreign language, and one year each of geometry, social studies, United States history, and visual or performing arts. Applicants under the age of 21 must submit test scores from either the ACT or the SAT exam. Applicants must have a minimum high school grade point average of 2.3 or a minimum ACT score of 19. Students who lack the appropriate preparatory curriculum may be admitted based on test scores or grade point average. These conditional admission parameters are available for students who post an ACT score of 21 or more, or for students who post an ACT score of 19 or 20 and have a high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Students who are admitted as an exception must eliminate any high school curriculum deficiencies during the first 60 semester hours at ETSU. Alternative admission is a possibility for students who do not meet any of the above requirements, however such positions are limited. Residents of Tennessee who wish to be admitted under alternative admission must have a grade point average of 2.0 or ACT score of 17; nonresidents must have a grade point average of 2.3 or ACT score of 19.

Financial Aid

Tuition at East Tennessee State University is $2,253.50 per semester for the 2005-2006 academic year for in-state, undergraduate students attending full-time. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Student employment is also possible. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line. Students with disabilities may be eligible for funds through the Vocational Rehabilitation program of the state of Tennessee.

Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process. Some scholarships specifically for graduate students are available in biology, chemistry, city management, and nursing.

ETSU awards approximately $13 million in financial aid every year. The average aid package—consisting of grants, loans, scholarships, or a combination of these—is $18,777. Students entering with an ACT score of 28 or an SAT score of 1240 and a grade point average of 3.5 receive a guaranteed Academic Performance Scholarship of $3,000 annually for a maximum of 8 semesters. ETSU also offers dozens of departmental scholarships, which do not require the standard University application, but rather require students to contact the respective departments directly. There are nearly 20 general scholarships that students may also qualify for. For those students who do not qualify for scholarship funding, there are loans and grants available that the financial aid office can help acquire.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4793rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Tennessee.


Student life at East Tennessee State University includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. Students can write for the twice weekly student newspaper, participate in radio and television broadcasting, or take part in physical recreation at the Center for Physical Activity. There are many musical performances on campus, an art museum and an art gallery, and a theater program.

Nearly one quarter of all students live on the ETSU campus. One perk of the residence halls is that every room is equipped with high-speed network access. There are over 170 student organizations on campus, including 27 honor societies and a number of social fraternities and sororities. Available recreation includes swimming, weight lifting, basketball and racquetball facilities, and various intramural sports. ETSU also offers the Outdoor Adventure, which gets students involved in the numerous outdoor recreational sports nearby.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


East Tennessee State University is an NCAA Division I School. Teams compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Teams formerly played in the Southern Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, and track & field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes a cheerleading team and a mascot, Bucky. The team nick-name is the Buccaneers.

Athletic facilities at East Tennessee State University include a baseball stadium, Cardinal Park or Howard Johnson Field, which is also home to a minor league team affiliated with the major league St. Louis Cardinals. There is a new golf center, a track, a softball field, tennis courts, and a physical activity center.

Among the championships and awards that East Tennessee State University has received are 11 Southern Conference Championships and numerous tournament wins in golf, advances to regional competition by cross country runners, and back to back conference and tournament championships in men’s tennis.

The East Tennessee State University Buccaneers compete in NCAA and the Atlantic Sun Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, and track & field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. ETSU recently invested in an impressive new golf facility. The Warren-Greene Golf Center Golf Center provides 14 acres of practice facilities for ETSTU men’s and women’s golf teams, including two tee areas, four bunkers, six target greens, and two bent-grass greens. There is an accompanying, two-story building that contains offices, conference rooms, and the Hal Morrison Hall of Fame. There are also locker rooms, hitting bays, and lounges. Howard Johnson Field (also known as Cardinal Park), is home to the Buccaneers’ baseball team and was built in 1923. It has been home to the Johnson City Cardinals, a rookie league team for the St. Louis Cardinals MLB club. Johnson Field was remodeled for the first time in 1994, including a new press box, dressing rooms, concessions, and spectator seating. The park was named after a founding member of the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Board who passed away in 1979.

Local Community

East Tennessee State University is located in Johnson City, Tennessee. The surrounding environment is rural and mountainous, though other cities are located nearby. There are many streams and areas for hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. Near-by attractions include many museums and historical sites, state and national parks, golf courses, and live music. The area is home to a number of festivals, including a storytelling festival.

Johnson City, located on the far eastern border of Tennessee, has a population of more than 55,000. Founded in 1856, Johnson City grew rapidly in the late 20th century. During the 20s the town acquired the moniker of “Little Chicago” due to its ties to bootlegging. In fact, it is rumored that Al Capone kept a luxury apartment nearby.

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