Tennessee State University, based at Nashville, Tennessee, is a co-educational land grant university. Established as a normal school for African-Americans, it has grown into a national university enrolling students from 42 states and 52 countries.
The university was formed by merging Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville. A striking feature of the university is the existence of two campuses; the main campus and the downtown Avon Williams campus. Tennessee State University has been listed for 11 consecutive years in U.S. News & World Report's “Guide to America’s Best Colleges."
Tennessee State University made a humble beginning as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School in June 1912. The school was converted to a four-year teacher's college, in 1922. The first bachelor's degree was granted in June, 1924.
The institute was named the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College the same year. In 1927, the college was named the Agricultural and Industrial State College. Graduate degrees were first offered in 1941, following which the master’s degrees were offered in 1944.
The first accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was obtained in 1946, with the college attainin university status in August 1951. It was then called Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State University.
In August 1958, it was made a full-fledged land-grant university, and then the university took its present name of Tennessee State University, in 1968.
In July 1979, the university merged with the former University of Tennessee at Nashville, to form the present-day Tennessee State University.
Tennessee State University currently offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 24 master's degrees, and doctoral programs in biological sciences, psychology, public administration, computer information systems engineering, administration and supervision, and curriculum and instruction.
The main campus of 450 acres encompasses more than 65 buildings. The library, located at the center, contains two computer labs, one smart classroom, an art corner, and various rooms showcasing the collections of well-known Nashville and Tennessee citizens. The library building is three stories high, and features 82,000 square feet of space. It houses an impressive array of books, journals, microforms, and periodicals.
There are also the electronic versions of many books and full-text online databases. Similar state-of-the art library is located at the Avon Williams campus.