Best Doctorate Programs in Tennessee

There are many students across the country curious about how to earn a doctorate. Tennessee offers a robust assortment of doctoral programs, but you must choose the program that best suits your interests. Doctorates typically take 5-7 years to complete, and dissertations are usually required.

Most doctoral degree-holders work in academia or in the private sector as experts earning high salaries. The top earners in Tennessee take home about $81,220 a year out of the 2,986,840 workers. On average, workers in the state earn $37,700 per year, according to the BLS. In Tennessee, doctoral degrees can result in good incomes.

In today’s competitive job market, doctorates offer an advantage. Take time to carefully consider the programs listed below when conducting your search.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Showing 21 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Vanderbilt University

    Nashville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    13,131

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $52070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $52070

    Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Students study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. At the accredited institution, learners also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Vanderbilt University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    Johnson University

    Knoxville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    1,037

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16920

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16920

    Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Johnson University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Johnson University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    The University of the South

    Sewanee, TN

    Graduation Rate

    79%

    Enrollment

    1,768

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $46472

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $46472

    From its Sewanee, Tennessee campus, The University of the South offers 48 program options for students. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. Information on the student-to-teacher ratio is unavailable. How much aid students receive on average is not currently known. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 79%. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements.

    #4

    Lipscomb University

    Nashville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    4,595

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33424

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33424

    Lipscomb University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, often ranks as one of the best schools. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help students meet a variety of professional goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Lipscomb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    Union University

    Jackson, TN

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    3,172

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33750

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33750

    A private institution, Union University educates students on its campus in Jackson, Tennessee. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Union University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #6

    Lincoln Memorial University

    Harrogate, TN

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    4,867

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $22740

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22740

    Located in Harrogate, Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Students study with experts in many different fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Lincoln Memorial University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #7

    Trevecca Nazarene University

    Nashville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    4,088

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26098

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26098

    From its campus in Nashville, Tennessee, Trevecca Nazarene University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. The accredited school qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #8

    Southern Adventist University

    Collegedale, TN

    Graduation Rate

    55%

    Enrollment

    2,834

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $22520

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22520

    Located in Collegedale, Tennessee, Southern Adventist University often ranks among the best schools. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Belmont University

    Nashville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    8,440

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $35650

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $35650

    A private institution, Belmont University grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Nashville, Tennessee. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The private institution reports a 72% graduation rate. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #10

    The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

    Knoxville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    29,460

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13264

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $31664

    From its campus in Knoxville, Tennessee, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville educates students as a public institution. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. Students pay a per-credit fee of around 1313 at the school. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #11

    Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences

    Memphis, TN

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    989

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $12332

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12332

    A private institution in Memphis, Tennessee, Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 56%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #12

    Freed-Hardeman University

    Henderson, TN

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    2,117

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $22950

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $22950

    Freed-Hardeman University, which offers programs from its Henderson, Tennessee campus, often ranks among the top schools. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #13

    King University

    Bristol, TN

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    1,968

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30616

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30616

    Located in Bristol, Tennessee, King University enrolls students as a private institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution charges an average per-credit fee of 530. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The private school reports a 59% graduation rate. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. King University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #14

    Milligan University

    Milligan, TN

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    1,310

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $34650

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $34650

    Located in Milligan, Tennessee, Milligan University grants college degrees as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Milligan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #15

    Tennessee Technological University

    Cookeville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    10,140

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8934

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24798

    Tennessee Technological University, a public institution in Cookeville, Tennessee, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at this accredited school also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Tennessee Technological University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

    Chattanooga, TN

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    11,651

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9656

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $25774

    Located in Tennessee, The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga enrolls students in 85 programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The average student-to-teacher ratio is currently unknown. Data on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. The school reports a 48% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Many schools no longer require test scores for admission. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #17

    Middle Tennessee State University

    Murfreesboro, TN

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    21,721

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9070

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27742

    Located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University is a public institution that offers multiple programs. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Middle Tennessee State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #18

    University of Memphis

    Memphis, TN

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    21,685

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9912

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13752

    A public institution located in Memphis, Tennessee, University of Memphis offers a variety of programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #19

    East Tennessee State University

    Johnson City, TN

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    14,191

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9259

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27406

    East Tennessee State University, located in Johnson City, Tennessee, often ranks as one of the best schools. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help learners meet their professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. Test-optional policies make it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. East Tennessee State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #20

    Tennessee State University

    Nashville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    8,081

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9012

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21732

    Tennessee State University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, offers 77 programs for degree-seekers. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is unknown. Information on the average amount of aid students receive is unavailable. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 32%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Applicants can reach out to the admission department to learn more about enrolling.

    #21

    South College

    Knoxville, TN

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    2,843

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $17025

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17025

    Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, South College operates as a private institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Learners can expect to spend around 1143 per credit at the school. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 34%. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements. South College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.