Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information


In 1909, the Tennessee State General Assembly created three normal schools, including the Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes, which would grow to become Tennessee State University.  

1941 The General Assembly authorized the State Board of Education to establish graduate studies leading to the master’s degree in several branches of teacher education.
1944 In June, the first master’s degree was awarded.
1946 The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited the institution.
1951 The State Board of Education granted the college university status. The reorganization included the establishment of the Graduate School, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Engineering, and provided for the additions of the other schools: Agriculture, Business, and Home Economics, respectively.
1958 The University was elevated to a full-fledged land-grant university. The program included the School of Agriculture and Home Economics, the Graduate School, the Division of Business, the Division of Extension and Continuing Education, and the Department of Aerospace Studies.
1969 The current name, Tennessee State University, was adopted.
1974 The School of Allied Health Professions and the School of Business were established, while the Specialist in Education degree was authorized.
1976 The Master of Criminal Justice degree was approved.
1977 The Master of Public Administration degree was approved.
1978 The Master of Engineering degree, the Master of Arts in Education, and the Master of Education Degrees in Reading were approved.
1979 Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee-Nashville merged. The Master of Business Administration degree was established.
1980 The Doctor of Education degree was approved in three majors: Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, and Educational Psychology and Guidance.
1986 The Doctor of Education degree in Educational Psychology and Guidance was changed to a Doctor of Education degree in Psychology with concentrations in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology; an M.S. degree in Mathematical Sciences was approved; a Ph.D. degree in Public Administration was approved.
1987 The Graduate School was redefined as the School of Graduate Studies and Research.
1991 The School of Graduate Studies and Research celebrated 50 years of Graduate Education.
1994 The Master of Science in Nursing Degree was initiated.
1996 The Psychology doctoral program degree designation changed from Ed.D. to Ph.D.
1997 The Master of Science in Computer, Information, and System Engineering (CISE) was initiated.
1998 The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological Sciences was initiated.
1999 The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Computer and Information Systems Engineering was approved.
2004 The School of Allied Professions was changed to the College of Health Sciences
2006 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program was initiated.
2006 The Master of Occupational Therapy was approved.
2009 The Master of Public Health (M.P.H) was approved.
2009 The Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S) was approved.
2009 The Master of Social Work (M.S.W) was approved.
2014 The Professional Science Masters (P.S.M) was approved.
2014 The Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science was approved.
2016 The Graduate School was redefined as the School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Today, Tennessee State University offers twenty-four master’s degrees, seven doctoral degrees, and ten graduate certificate programs at the graduate level.

  Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Agricultural Sciences    
      M.S. Biotechnology (Plant and Soil Science)
      M.S. Agriculture Education
      M.S. Agribusiness Management and Analysis
      M.S. Food Supply Chain Management
    Food and Animal Sciences M.S.  
    Environmental Science M.S. Natuarl Resources

Plant Sciences

      M.S. Geospatial Sciences
    Professional Science P.S.M. Applied Geospatial Info. Sys.
Geospatial Information Systems
BUSINESS Business Business Administration M.B.A. Accounting
      M.B.A. Healthcare Economics & Management
      M.B.A. Management of Information Systems
      M.B.A. Supply Chain Management
      M.B.A. General MBA
  Educational Leadership   Educational Leadership Ed.D. K-12 Administration
        Ed.D. Higher Education Leadership
      Instructional Leadership Ed.S Licensure
        Ed.S Non-Licensure
      Instructional Leadership M.Ed. Licensure
          Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  Psychology   Professional School Counseling M.S. PreK-12 School Counseling
      Psychology M.S. Counseling Psychology
        Ph.D. Counseling Psychology
        Ph.D. School Psychology
  Teaching & Learning   Curriculum & Instruction Ed.D. Foundations & Curriculum
        M.Ed. Educational Technology
        Certificate Educational Technology
        M.Ed. Music
        M.Ed. Reading Specialist
        M.Ed. Secondary School Instruction
        M.Ed. Teaching English Language Learners (Endorsement or Non-Licensure Option)
      Elementary Education M.Ed.  
      Special Education M.Ed.  
  Electrical & Computer Engineering Engineering and Computational Sciences Ph.D. Computer Comm. & Networks
      Ph.D. Control Systems and Signal Processing
        Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing
    Computer, Information, and Systems Engineering M.S.  
  Computer Science Computer Science M.S. Cyber-Security & Networking
        Data Science
      M.S. High-Performance Computing & Bioinformatics
      M.S. Accelerated MS in Computer Science
  Engineering Engineering M.E. Biomedical Engineering
      M.E. Civil Engineering
      M.E. Environmental Engineering
      M.E. Electrical Engineering
      M.E. Mechanical Engineering
      M.E. Manufacturing Engineering
  Human Performance and Sport Sciences Human Performance and Sport Sciences M.A.Ed. Exercise Science
      M.A.Ed Sports Administration
  Nursing Nursing M.S.N. Family Nurse Practitioner
      M.S.N. Holistic Nursing
      M.S.N. Nursing Education (currently on hold)
    Nursing (online) M.S.N./ROCC Family Nurse Practitioner
      M.S.N./ROCC Nursing Education
      M.S.N./ROCC Nursing Administration
    Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate  
    Holistic Nursing Certificate  
    Nursing Education Certificate  
  Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy M.O.T.  
  Physical Therapy Physical Therapy D.P.T  
  Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences Public Health M.P.H. Behavioral Science & Health Education
      M.P.H. Cultural Competency
  Speech Pathology & Audiology Speech and Hearing Science M.S.  
  Criminal Justice Criminal Justice Administration M.C.J.  


  Biological Sciences Biology M.S.  
    Biological Science Ph.D.  
  Chemistry Biochemistry M.S.  
    Chemistry M.S.  
  Public Administration Health Administration and Planning Certificate  
    Non-Profit Management Certificate  
    Executive Leadership Certificate  
    Local Government Management Certificate  
    Public Policy Certificate  
    Professional Studies M.P.S. Human Resources
      M.P.S. Strategic Leadership
      M.P.S. Training and Development
    Public Administration M.P.A.  
    Public Administration and Policy Ph.D.  
    Social Work M.S.W.  
  Non-Degree Seeking Advanced Graduate Admission for Undergraduates    
    Teacher Licensure    
    Add-On Endorsement    
    Plus Thirty    
    Pre K-12 School Counseling    

 2021-2022 Special Fees

(Fees subject to change without notice)  
Application Fee (non-refundable, should be included with the application) $35.00
Fee Deferment $50.00
Returned Check Charge $30.00
Comprehensive Exam $15.00
Credit/Audit Change $10.00
Duplicate I.D. Card ($ 35.00 after second replacement/this fee is nonrefundable) $15.00
International Student Fee (This is not assessed for the Summer Term) $100.00
New Student Orientation (non-refundable) $40.00
Late Registration $100.00
Library Fines (non-refundable) per day  
    Lost Books -  
               The list price of the book plus a processing fee of $25.00
Parking (included in General Access Fee)  
Property Damage (Actual Value) 0-$600
Room Deposit (per semester/non-refundable) $100.00
Theses and Dissertations  
    Dissertation Continuation $25.00
    Thesis Continuation $25.00
    Traffic Fines $15.00-$200.00

*Fees subject to change without notice

Fee Payment

Bills will not be mailed. Access myTSU (http://myTSU.tnstate.edu) to view account balances. All fees must be paid at the time of registration unless covered by authorized deferment. Personal check or American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit card payments are accepted on myTSU (http://myTSU.tnstate.edu).

It is the policy of Tennessee State University to electronically convert and process all paper checks received via Point of Purchase, mail or drop box using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, under the rules governed by the National Automated Reserve Bank. Personal checks, cashier/bank checks, money orders, or completed Fee Waiver or Employee Discount or Dependent program forms may be mailed to:

3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.
P.O. Box 9621
Nashville, TN 37209

Payments should be mailed seven days prior to scheduled deadlines. Entering courses without paying fees does not constitute enrollment.

Financial Regulations

Students will not be permitted to register for the new semester or remain in residence halls any semester in which their financial obligations are not satisfactorily met.

No student will be given a diploma or any grade reports until all financial obligations are paid in full.

Transcripts are sent out only after all financial obligations to the University have been satisfied. Students registering for graduate credit must pay appropriate fees. All laboratory fees must be paid in full. Refer to a printed or online Class Schedule for a given semester for current Financial Regulations.

Persons Over 60 Years of Age and Totally Disabled Persons

Pursuant to TCA 49-7-113, disabled persons suffering from a permanent disability which totally incapacitates such persons from working at an occupation which brings him/her an income, and persons who will become sixty (60) years of age or older during the academic semester in which such persons begin classes (and who are domiciled in Tennessee) may audit courses at the University without paying tuition charges, maintenance fees, student activity fees, or registration fees; however, this privilege may be limited or denied by the University on an individual classroom basis according to space availability. Prior to admittance, the University may require an affidavit or certificate from a physician or an agency charged with compensating the disabled person or adjudicating the permanent total disability of the person who is requesting admittance to classes, to confirm that such person is permanently and totally disabled.

Disabled persons, as defined above, and persons who become sixty-five (65) years of age or older during the academic semester in which such persons begin classes (and who are domiciled in Tennessee) may be enrolled in courses for credit at the University. For credit, a fee equal to 50% of the per hour rate with a maximum of $70.00 per semester may be charged. Admissions will be limited on an individual classroom basis according to space available. Eligible persons are advised to check with the Office of Admissions and Records prior to attempting to register for courses, as special provisions must be made for them during registration.

Refund Policy

  1. The refund policy for the fees, outlined in the Fee section of the Class Schedule is outlined below:
    1. 100% of the fees will be refunded for classes canceled by the University.
    2. 100% of the fees will be refunded in case of a student’s death.
    3. No refund of rent, tuition or other fees will be made to students who are dismissed or suspended.
    4. The parking permit fee is non-refundable.
  2. The refund policy for all other fees is outlined below:
    1. 100% of the fees will be refunded for drops or withdrawal prior to the beginning of the first day of classes.
    2. 75% of fees will be refunded for drops or withdrawals from the first day of classes through the (14th) fourteenth calendar (including weekends)day of classes.
    3. 25% of fees will be refunded following exhaustion of the 75% period, for a period of time extending 25% of the time period covered by the term. If the refund date falls on the weekend, drops or withdrawals must be processed by the previous Friday.

Appeals Procedures for Fees and Refunds

A student may appeal the assessment, application, calculation or interpretation of any University fee, charge, deposit, or refund, or any University action connected with fees or charges. Questions should be discussed with personnel in the Bursar’s Office. If the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the problem offered by the Bursar’s Office, a written appeal can be made to the Associate Vice President for and Finance.

Residency Classification

The Admissions Office is charged with the determination of a student’s residency status for fee-paying purposes and as the basis for some University admission requirements. Classification is determined by information submitted on the admission application and/or application for re-classification (Change in Residency Application). Notification in writing is made soon after the student applies for re-classification.

The deadline dates are:

  Summer Session April 1
  Fall Semester July 1
  Spring Semester November 1

All decisions are based on regulations established by the Tennessee State Board of Regents, with the intent that all Tennessee public institutions of higher education apply uniform classification rules. Should a student be denied in-state classification, the student has the right to appeal. The appeal steps are

  1. Dean of Admissions and Records
  2. Vice President for Academic Affairs
  3. President of the University
  4. Tennessee Board of Regents

Financial Aid

Federal funding for graduate students is limited. Students with outstanding need are advised to consider the possibility of more than one type of aid, and are urged to also seek alternative sources of aid outside the university. To provide a standardized and unbiased financial needs assessment, Tennessee State University adheres to federal guidelines. Therefore, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) needs to be submitted to be considered for Federal aid and institutional funds each academic year. The FAFSA can be completed at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The Office of Financial Aid is located in Suite 343, Floyd Payne Campus Center, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37209-1561 (phone: 615-963-5701). 

Federal Direct Student Loan Program

An unsubsidized loan is awarded to students regardless of financial need, and interest is charged from the time the loan is disbursed. A Graduate Plus loan is awarded to a student after an approved credit decision has been received. Direct Loans are awarded to regular students enrolled in an eligible program of study at least half time; other general eligibility requirements must be met. Students never qualify for more than the cost of attendance for the college or the annual loan limit. For eligibility requirements, borrowing limits, and application process visit the Financial Aid section on the University webpage, the U.S. Department of Education (https://studentaid.gov/), or a representative available in the Office of Financial Aid.

Libraries and Media Centers 

The Martha M. Brown-Lois H. Daniel Library is adjacent to the Floyd-Payne Campus Center and the Library at Avon Williams is located on the basement level of the building (Libraries & Media Centers (tnstate.edu)). The Main Library has 82,000 square feet of space which includes a Multimedia Learning Commons that features iMac computers and printers for group or individual projects. There are 76 computers available for patron use and a MakerSpace with 3D printers. Remote access for all electronic resources including periodicals, books, streaming video, theses, dissertations, and databases is provided. In addition to its status as a government documents depository, the Library has a Special Collections Department which houses collections that include archival information and memorabilia related to the University’s colorful history and its alumni. The Library houses 200,516 book volumes and provides subscriptions to 226 print periodicals. It provides access to 312,119 ebooks and 226 databases.   Study rooms are available at the Main Campus and the Avon facility by online reservation. The librarians offer research appointments for students in graduate programs. The Media Centers on the main and downtown sites offer state-of- the-art media support which includes podcasting, digital recording and video projects assistance.  

Access to Educational Records


Educational Records are defined as those records, files, documents, and other materials which (1) contain information directly related to a student; and (2) are maintained by Tennessee State University or by a person acting for the University. “Records” means information recorded in a medium, including but not limited to the following: handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche. Educational records do not include (1) personal notes, (2) records available only to law enforcement personnel, (3) employment records, (4) medical and psychiatric records (these are accessible by the student’s physician). All credentials become the property of the University and will not be forwarded or returned. Credentials will be maintained in active files for a 12-month period after which credentials will be relegated to inactive status and must be submitted again before an admission decision will be made. The applicant is advised to have all credentials on file well in advance (preferably thirty days) of the registration period for the term for which application is made.


A student is any person who is or has been enrolled at Tennessee State University. An applicant who does not enroll or who is declared ineligible has no inherent right to inspect his file. Wherever “student” is used in reference to personal rights, an eligible parent of a dependent student has similar rights. This “eligible” parent is one who has satisfied Section 52 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, and who presents such proof to the custodian of the educational records. Normally, this proof will be written affirmation by the student and the parent declaring that the student is a dependent for federal income tax purposes.


Directory information is defined as: “name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.” At the time a student registers for courses, the student may notify the Office of Admissions and Records (this must be done in writing) that directory information for the student may not be released. This notification is effective only for the semester for which the student is then registering.


To have access to an Educational Record is to be allowed to see the original record. This implies the right to obtain copies of that record.


Tennessee State University shall not permit access to, or release of, any information in the Educational Records of any student that is personally identifiable, other than Directory Information, without the written consent of the student, to any other than the following:

1. Tennessee State University officials and staff who have legitimate educational interest; Education records and personally identifiable information obtained from those records may be disclosed without the student’s consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill institutional duties.

2. Officials of other schools in which the student seeks admission;

3. Appropriate persons in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid;

4. Federal or State officials as defined in paragraph 99.37 of the regulations concerning the law;

5. State officials and officials authorized by State statute;

6. Organizations conducting studies for or on the behalf of Tennessee State University for the purpose of assisting in accomplishing the University’s stated goals, when such information will be used only by such organizations and subsequently destroyed when no longer needed for the intended purpose;

7. Accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;

8. Parents of dependent students as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (Written consent may be allowed from either of the separated or divorced parents subject to an agreement between the parents or court order. In the case of a student whose legal guardian is an institution, a party independent of the institution, appointed under state and local law to give parental consent, may be allowed to do so.)

9. In compliance with judicial order or subpoena, provided the student is notified in advance of the compliance; or

10. Appropriate persons in connection with an emergency, if knowledge is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student, or other persons.

With the exception of Tennessee State University officials and staff who have been determined by the University to have legitimate educational interest, all individuals and agencies that have requested or obtained access to student’s records will be noted in a record which is kept with each student’s educational record. A request must be in writing stating the purpose of the request. This record will also indicate specifically the legitimate interest that the persons or agency had obtaining the information.


The student requests the custodian to allow him or her to inspect the Educational Record. The student may ask for an explanation and/or copy of the Educational Record. The price of copies shall not exceed the cost of duplication of the record. After consultation with the custodian, errors may be corrected at that time by the custodian. If there is a disagreement between the student and the custodian as to the correctness of the data contained in the record, the student, after exhausting reasonable means of reconciliation with the custodian, may submit a request for a formal hearing. The request and the formal challenge to the content of the records must be presented in writing to the chairman of the University Appeals Committee. The chairman shall call a meeting of the committee or place this matter on the agenda for the scheduled meeting no later than forty-five days after receipt of the written appeal and challenge. The committee will allow the student to present evidence to substantiate his or her appeal and shall render a written decision to the student within forty-five days after the meeting. This procedure does not provide for a hearing to contest academic grades.


1. Financial records of parents or any information therein;

2. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the Educational Records of the student prior to January 1, 1975.

3. Records to which access has been waived by a student. (This applies only if a student, upon request, is notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and if such recommendations are used solely for the purposes that they were intended.)


Educational Records may be destroyed except that a student shall be granted access prior to the destruction if such is requested.

Academic Abbreviations for Course Codes







  Agricultural Sciences


  Biological Sciences


  Business Information Systems




  Computer Information and Systems Engineering


  Computer Science


  Criminal Justice


  Civil and Architectural Engineering




  Educational Leadership


  Education, Curriculum and Instruction


  Education, Literacy


  Education, Special Education


  Electrical and Computer Engineering








  Human Performance and Sport Sciences


  International Business


  Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering


  Business Administration, Management


  Business Administration, Marketing






  Occupational Therapy


  Public Administration


  Physical Therapy




  Public Health Sciences


  Social Work


  Speech Pathology and Audiology

Course Numbering System

5000-5999 numbered courses are associated with masters’ degrees and can be taken by graduate students at the master’s or specialist degree levels.

6000-6999 numbered courses are associated with specialist degrees and can be taken by graduate students at the masters and doctoral level students.

7000-7999 numbered courses are associated with doctoral degrees and can only be taken by graduate students at the doctoral level.