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Establishment and History

Chartered in 1915, Tennessee Tech opened its doors to students in 1916. Its academic programs began with basic humanities and sciences as foundation courses for three major areas of study: Agriculture, Home Economics and Mechanical Arts. The next year, students could enroll in Business as a major course of study as well. By 1918, military training had been added to the curriculum.

In 1938, all the major fields of study, as well as the foundation classes, were reorganized into two main divisions – Arts and Sciences, and Professional and Technical Subjects—housing eleven departments. Divisions were quickly renamed “schools” and, in 1949, the expansion of the curriculum had blossomed into five schools consisting of 24 departments.

Most of today’s academic programs have their roots in one of those five schools, which were re-designated “colleges” when Tennessee Tech achieved university status in 1965.

Relative newcomers to Tennessee Tech academics include the Department of Military Science (1950), the Graduate School (1958), the School of Nursing (1980), the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education (2001), the College of Interdisciplinary Studies (2012) which merged the freshly minted School of Professional Studies and School of Environmental Studies, and the new College of Fine Arts (2017).

Most degree programs at Tennessee Tech today are housed in nine colleges and one school; special programs include three centers of excellence, Honors, the Millard Oakley STEM Center and the Department of Military Science/Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

Aerial of Campus