The University of Tennessee at Martin was officially founded in 1927, but the history of its campus dates back to 1900, when a local woman donated land to the Tennessee Baptist Convention for a school. Originally called the Hall-Moody Institute, the school taught 1st through 12th grade, and one year of college. The school struggled to find its place, becoming a normal school, then a teacher’s college, before merging with another Baptist college, Union University. With the campus empty, the state of Tennessee swept in to purchase the campus and open the University of Tennessee Junior College. After weathering the loss of students to the Great Depression and WWII, the hordes of returning veterans going to college on their GI BIll started a wave of growth that saw UT Martin turn into a major regional institution, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 50 best regional universities in the South.
Academic ProgramsAs a regional university, UT Martin has a big responsibility; as one of only two public universities in western Tennessee, Martin has needed to develop programs in a wide variety of fields, from agriculture to education. UT Martin offers more than 100 majors for undergraduates, with 17 different degree types; in recent years, Martin has built on its history to develop strong engineering and business programs, helping to prepare the next generation of leaders and scientists. UT Martin’s nursing school is one of the best in the region – 100% of 2016 graduates passed the NCLEX exam on the first try. Experiential learning, from self-directed research to internships, are built into the curriculum, and every student has the opportunity for hands-on learning from experienced experts.
UT Martin also offers several graduate degree programs, including the MBA, counseling, educational leadership, and agriculture. Many of Martin’s graduate degrees are available in fully online format – the MBA, the MS in Agriculture, and the MS in Education, among others. Martin was the original home of the University of Tennessee’s online degree programs, both bachelor’s and master’s, and Martin continues to use its online programs to meet the region’s educational needs in an accessible, affordable way. Adult education has been important to Martin’s mission from the beginning, and Educational Outreach centers help Martin reach working adults across Tennessee as well as online.
Student LifeUT Martin has a student body of over 6800, with the vast majority of those being undergraduates; most students come from Tennessee, and around 80% of graduates stay in the state after graduating – UT Martin alumni are spread across Tennessee. Martin’s traditional residential students (around 2500) live on campus and take part in more than 150 student-led clubs and organizations. Martin is also host to a vibrant Greek Life, which is celebrated annually with Greekfest, in which houses compete in fundraising, line dancing, and other friendly contests. Community service and engagement is also an important part of student life at Martin.
The UT Martin Skyhawks – a cheeky derivative of the Hall-Moody Bible Institute’s original “Sky Pilots” – compete in NCAA Division I athletics in the Ohio Valley Conference. Many traditional college sports, like football, basketball, and cross-country, are represented, but of course, Martin it Tennessee – equestrian sports, rifle marksmanship, and rodeo are also big draws. The annual UTM Rodeo is one of the preeminent college rodeos in the US, a nearly 50-year tradition that draws college rodeo teams from across the country.