Royal Blue & White
Middle Tennessee State University, commonly abbreviated as MTSU or MT, is a comprehensive coeducational public university in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Founded in 1911 as a normal school, the university is composed of eight undergraduate colleges as well as a college of graduate studies, together offering more than 80 majors/degree programs through over 35 departments. MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, Music, and Concrete Industry Management programs. The university has partnered in research endeavors with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2009, Middle Tennessee State University was ranked among the nation's top 100 public universities by Forbes magazine.
MTSU student athletes compete intercollegiately as the Blue Raiders, as a part of Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision athletics in the Conference USA. On November 29, 2012, MTSU Athletics announced they had accepted an invitation to the conference.
MTSU is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its president is Sidney A. McPhee.
One of the earliest calls for a normal school occurred in 1855 when a Wilson County, Tennessee politician wanted to build a normal school in Lebanon, Tennessee. Education efforts collapsed shortly with the breakout of the American Civil War. Later on, state superintendents and teachers traveled around the state giving speeches about the dire need of teacher preparation. In 1909, the Tennessee General Assembly moved "to provide for the improvement of the system of Public Education of the State of Tennessee, that is to say, to establish a General Education Fund." The major thrust of this "improvement" embodied in the legislative act that was to become known as the General Education Bill of 1909 was the establishment of three normals or teacher-training institutions. Following the intent of the act that one was to be located in each of the grand divisions of the state, the State Board of Education assigned the middle Tennessee institution to Murfreesboro.
Middle Tennessee State Normal School (MTSNS or MTNS) opened on September 11, 1911, with a two-year program for training teachers. It evolved into a four-year teachers' college by 1925 with the power of granting the Bachelor of Science degree, and the institution's name was changed for the first time to Middle Tennessee State Teachers College. The school was often abbreviated as "S.T.C." In 1943, the General Assembly designated the institution a state college, changing its name for the second time to Middle Tennessee State College. This new status marked a sharp departure from the founding purpose and opened the way for expanding curricular offerings and programs. In 1965, the institution was advanced to university status, changing its name to Middle Tennessee State University. In October 2010, the Student Government Association at MTSU proposed that the university be renamed to "The University of Middle Tennessee," though approval by the university administration and the Tennessee Board of Regents is required.
During the progressive movement from a two-year normal to a university, several significant milestones may be identified. In 1936, the Bachelor of Arts program was added. Responding to the expressed needs of the institution's service area, the Graduate School was established in 1951. To effect better communications and improve administrative supervision, the schools concept was introduced in 1962.
As Middle Tennessee State University developed and grew, the Doctor of Arts program was added in 1970 and the Specialist in Education in 1974. These degree programs became attractive centerpieces for other efforts to improve and enhance institutional roles. Library resources were dramatically increased and sophisticated computer services were developed to aid instruction and administration. A highly trained faculty enabled the university to continue growth in program offerings. In 1991, the university's six schools—five undergraduate and the graduate school—became colleges. In 1998, MTSU's Honors program became the Honors College, the first in the state. In 2002, approval was granted to redesignate three D.A. programs to Doctor of Philosophy programs, expanding the progressive institution's offerings. Ph.D. degree offerings now include Computational Sciences, Mathematics and Science Education (including concentrations in Biology Education, Chemistry Education, Mathematics Education, and Interdisciplinary Science Education), Molecular Biosciences, Economics, English, Human Performance, Public History, and Literacy Studies.
Since 1911, MTSU has graduated more than 100,000 students. Despite the university's growth from a campus of 100 acres (0.40 km2), 125 students, and a faculty of 19, to an academic city of over 500 acres (2.0 km2), more than 26,000 students, and a faculty of over 900, the institution is still essentially a "people's university" with a concern for the diverse needs of the area that it serves. In the 1980s and 1990s, the institution dedicated resources to become a leader in technology, both in the classroom and in many services to students.
In 1986, James McGill Buchanan ('40) became the first MTSU alumnus to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Buchanan received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering role in the development of the field of public choice, a way of studying the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats.
MTSU is divided into nine colleges:
The College of Graduate Studies offers Master's degrees in nearly 40 areas, the Specialist in Education degree (Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction in Educational Leadership, Elementary School Education, and School Psychology), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. MTSU's first Ph.D. was awarded in May 2003, though the university had awarded many Doctor of Arts (D.A.) degrees in the past.
In 1986, James McGill Buchanan ('40) became the first MTSU alumnus to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Buchanan received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering role in the development of the field of public choice, a way of studying the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats. In addition, former MTSU economics professor Muhammad Yunis received the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development. Visiting professor Al Gore received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change activism.
Middle Tennessee State University employs approximately 900 full-time faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1.
The Department of Recording Industry (often called "RIM" for its former name "Recording Industry Management") is a department in the College of Mass Communications and the university's most popular program. Due to the large number of students in the program, only a limited number of slots are opened for students to gain candidacy to take upper-division classes. The RIM program is divided into three concentrations: Music Business, Commercial Songwriting, and Production & Technology. Music Business focuses on the marketing and business aspects of the recording, touring, and publishing industries. The Production and Technology concentration focuses on recording, mixing, and mastering techniques, and specific technological trends of the industry. Commercial Songwriting is a blend of music business, songwriting, and music theory classes.
The department boasts five recording studios on campus, each open 24 hours a day.
The Rolling Stone College Guide recognized MTSU as having "one of the preeminent music business programs in the country."
The Department of Aerospace offers an aerospace major with five concentrations: Professional Pilot, Administration, Technology, Flight Dispatch, and Maintenance Management. Each concentration has been accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International, and the aerospace program as a whole has been accredited since 1992. The Department of Aerospace has a working agreement with the single-runway Murfreesboro Airport to provide many of its classes on-site. A decommissioned Boeing 727 airliner (number N117FE, donated by FedEx) is housed at the airport as a teaching tool. Though no longer considered air-worthy, its engines remain functional, and can be restarted for training purposes. American Airlines has also donated a 727 cockpit procedure trainer to MTSU, which allows students to receive their flight engineer rating. It is housed in the Business & Aerospace Building near the center of campus.
The aerospace program's training fleet is made up of Diamond DA40 single-engine aircraft featuring glass cockpits, with an assortment of other single- and multi-engine aircraft available. In 2010, the Department of Aerospace purchased ten radar simulators as well as a one-of-a-kind 360 degree control tower simulator to enhance training for its air traffic control students. These simulators allow students to experience lifelike air traffic control scenarios that will aid in preparing them for training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City.
The Concrete Industry Management program is a four-year bachelor of science degree offered through the Engineering Technology department in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. CIM develops graduates that are broadly educated with technical knowledge in addition to a solid business background. It was started in 1994 by concrete professionals and industry consultants. Since its inception, the CIM program has graduated over 250 alumni.
The campus, set on 466 acres (1.9 km²), features 234 permanent buildings with 3.1 million square feet (944,500 m²) of space. It is one mile (1.6 km) from the geographic center of Tennessee and 1.3 miles (2 km) east of downtown Murfreesboro.
There are 13 dormitory buildings on campus, as well as two apartment complexes. The dormitories were being renovated and modernized as of 2011. In addition to the dormitories, four fraternities have chapter houses on Greek Row.
The western section of campus contains most of the college's original buildings, including the oldest classroom building, Kirksey Old Main, and the original dormitories — Monohan, Lyon, and Rutledge Halls. Athletic facilities such as the Murphy Center, Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium, the Alumni Memorial Gym, Reese Smith Jr. Field, and the university's tennis courts are on the western part of campus.
The eastern part of campus features the newest structures. In the center is the main quad, surrounded by the Learning Resource Center, the Business and Aerospace Building, the Mass Communications Building, and the James E. Walker Library. The newest structures, the College of Education and Student Union buildings, lie on the east side of the campus. Other notable facilities include the recreation center, softball field, intramural fields, and Greek Row.
Middle Tennessee State University is a "dry campus", meaning alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all times. In addition, all tobacco products are prohibited on campus.
Due to a significant emphasis on Mass Communication at MTSU, the campus has several mass media outlets. Sidelines is the campus's editorially independent, student-run newspaper, printed every Monday and Thursday. MT10 (formerly known as MTTV), a student-run TV station, is carried locally by Comcast. The two radio stations on MTSU's campus are 88.3 FM WMTS, a student-run radio station, and 89.5 FM WMOT, a publicly supported classical and jazz radio station.
The university is host to approximately 225 student organizations, fraternities, and interest groups.
In addition, MTSU's Greek Life consists of the following social fraternities and sororities:
The Band of Blue is considered the largest student organization on campus, maintaining approximately 350 members each year. Membership is open to any university student who can display good marching techniques and a fundamental proficiency on an instrument used in the marching band.
Middle Tennessee's athletic teams, known as the Blue Raiders, compete in Conference USA of NCAA's Division I in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, formerly Division I-A). On November 29, 2012, MTSU announced they had accepted an invitation to the conference.
The most prominent athletic facilities on the campus are Johnny "Red" Floyd football stadium, Murphy Center basketball stadium, and Reese Smith Jr. baseball field. MTSU has won two national championships: golf in 1965, and men's doubles tennis in 2007. The Blue Raider football team has won the Sun Belt Championship two times (2001 and 2006) and has participated in three bowl games (2006, 2009, and 2010). The Blue Raider Baseball team has sixteen conference titles and fourteen NCAA tournament appearances
The MTSU mascot is "Lightning," a winged horse based on Pegasus from Greek mythology.
Some of MTSU's most notable alumni include politician Albert Gore, Sr., Nobel Prize winning economist James McGill Buchanan, NFL quarterback Kelly Holcomb, Nashville Star winner Chris Young, country music artist Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, and WNBA players Alysha Clark and Amber Holt.