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Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is a large campus located in the middle of Tennessee, in the town of Murfreesboro. The undergraduate population is just under 20,000 and there are over 2,000 graduate students on campus (or online) during any given term. Those students come to Murfreesboro to engage with one of over 300 nationally recognized degree programs. In fact, Princeton Review dubbed MTSU one of the nation's best universities.

Overview of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)

Going to MTSU is about more than classes, papers, and assignments. MTSU students learn to engage with their fellows in non-academic areas as well. The campus supports a wide range of cultural, recreational, and social resources that let students develop their full selves. For instance, the campus recreation center is a hub of activity all week long. There, students are able to take a fitness class, pump some iron, swim laps in a 12-lane pool, or enjoy the rock-climbing wall. There are also loads of opportunities to compete at the intramural or club sport level.

Intramural opportunities include disc golf, pickleball, and basketball. Club sports up the ante with inter-collegiate play in sports including powerlifting, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, E-sports, and bass fishing. There are also outdoor options and MTSU has equipment to help students explore a new outdoor activity such as hiking, kayaking, cycling, and even caving (spelunking).

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 54%
Year Founded 1911

Student Enrollment

Total Students21,568


Undergraduate Student

Male 8,371
Female 10,232

Graduate Student

Male 1,334
Female 1,631

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MTSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 4,912
Female 6,332


Male 3,389
Female 4,306

Acceptance Rate68%

Male 69%
Female 68%

Enrollment 2,753

Male 1,288
Female 1,464
Application Fee $25
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Considered But Not Required
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Considered But Not Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted Yes

MTSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of higher education is a huge factor for most students. Middle Tennessee State University manages to control costs by being a publicly funded institution. Tennessee state residents get the biggest benefit of that, naturally, but then non-residents also receive a tremendous value in higher education. For those who live in the state, a full year of tuition, books, and supplies runs around $10,400 while out-of-state scholars pay nearly $30,000. However, those are gross costs. The financial aid office is able to mitigate much of that.

They apply grants and scholarships that bring the net price down to an average of $13,000, which includes tuition, supplies, fees, and all living costs. Those in lower income brackets get a deeper break with an average net price tag of a mere $9,000. Even the top-earning households get a steep discount and pay an average net price of $17,000.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $12,617
Average Total Aid $8,747
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Room & Board $9,576

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,232
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $28,264
  • Books and Supplies - $1,260
  • Room & Board - $9,576
  • Other - $4,486


There are many reasons for students to choose Middle Tennessee State University for their college experience. Many will find the location desirable, while others may want to cheer the Blue Raiders from the student section. However, our educational research team would point to MTSU's stellar academic statistics, particularly their retention and graduation rates.

The retention rate may be unfamiliar to many. This is the rate at which first-time, full-time students return to MTSU for a second year. A high percentage indicates that students are pleased with the school's faculty, curriculum, and campus resources. Since MTSU reports a strong 79% rate of retention, its numbers are competitive with many of the nation's top institutions. Even part-time students return in droves, as MTSU finds that 67% of part-timers become second-year students.

MTSU also has strong graduation rates. Their students stay around for a diploma at a rate of 54%. On top of that, 28% are reported to transfer to other schools. Most transfer students are highly motivated individuals who apply to, and are accepted at, more competitive universities or simply schools with unique degrees that MTSU does not support. Therefore, researchers tend to include transfer rates as a positive indication that MTSU helps these students achieve their goals. It can be stated that MTSU helps up to 82% of its students earn an undergraduate diploma.

Student Population Total

Student Population 21,568

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 721 Total Graduates / 18%
Business Administration and Management, General 237 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 89 Graduates
Management Information Systems, General 88 Graduates
Accounting 76 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 475 Total Graduates / 12%
Music Management 134 Graduates
Cinematography and Film/Video Production 91 Graduates
Music Technology 86 Graduates
Art/Art Studies, General 63 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 301 Total Graduates / 8%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 253 Graduates
Biological and Physical Sciences 37 Graduates
International/Globalization Studies 11 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 256 Total Graduates / 7%
Industrial and Organizational Psychology 238 Graduates
Psychology, General 18 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 228 Total Graduates / 6%
Journalism 88 Graduates
Mass Communication/Media Studies 70 Graduates
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 57 Graduates
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 13 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 49%

Outcome & Salary

Educational outcomes go farther than mere grades. Students want to know how well their educational dollar will pay off in the working world. To this end, many alumni self-report their salaries, and it turns out that the construction management students come out on top with a median salary of $70,000. The fifth highest earning students hold diplomas in engineering technology and earn around $57,000. Engineering students also hold the median spot among the top five earners, with a reported median salary of $62,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $50,800
College Grads Average Salary $65,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $85,500
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $650,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,505,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $50,468
10 Year Projected ROI $599,532
20 Year Projected ROI $1,454,532
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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