The largest schools in Tennessee include private non-profit and public universities, and they offer broadcasting studies at the undergraduate level. Bachelor's degrees are the most common, though degree program minors are also available. Studies are offered in radio or television broadcasting, broadcast journalism, telecommunications, video production and mass media communications.
Students can gain hands-on skills in on-campus studio and digital editing labs or by working for their college's radio station or TV channel. They can also participate in off-campus internships. Below are brief overviews of the 10 largest Tennessee schools, as well as a comparison table showing individual school offerings and tuition info.
Austin Peay State University
Located in Clarksville, this public university offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication Arts through its Department of Communication and Theatre. The department employs 22 faculty members, and classes are limited to 25 students. The school has state-of-the-art media hardware and software, a mobile broadcast van, a digital editing bay, a TV studio and a radio station. Students can gain hands-on experience at the college's cable channel.
Communications students can select a concentration in broadcast media or sports broadcasting, among others. Students in the broadcast media program receive instruction in on-air broadcast and production skills, taking courses such as media ethics and law; audio and video production; and news reporting, writing and editing. They also select from electives such as advanced audio or visual production, broadcast management and international broadcasting. Sports broadcasting students take many of the same courses as broadcast media students, but they also take classes in sports media, interviewing, writing, marketing and psychology. They're also required to complete an internship and a practicum.
Belmont University is a private, Christian institution in downtown Nashville. It was ranked the 7th best regional university in the South and the 2nd top up-and-coming school by U.S. News and World Report in 2013. At Belmont, students can pursue B.A. or B.S. degrees in mass communication, journalism or video production through the Department of Media Studies, which has six faculty members.
Mass communication students focus on TV and radio programming and production, as well as leadership in media, research, advertising, sales and operation. Students in the video production program take courses in TV, audio and sports production, as well as directing and scriptwriting for broadcast. Through the journalism program, students can study news writing, editing, reporting and production.
Belmont also offers a minor in sports and media, which incorporates coursework in sports writing, commentary and marketing, along with media production and advertising. Media students have opportunities to intern with major TV and radio broadcasting networks in the area, and they have access to the Media Studies Center, which houses a computer lab, broadcast studio and editing suites.
East Tennessee State University
Located in Johnson City, this state university offers a B.A. and a B.S. in Mass Communications with a radio-TV-film concentration. This program has 12 faculty and staff members, and students have access to industry-standard software and equipment, including a digital editing lab, a high-definition TV studio and a control room. Both bachelor's programs have the same general education requirements, except that the B.S. requires a single, eight-credit course in the natural sciences, while B.A. students can distribute the requirement over two semesters.
Broadcasting students take 39 credits within the radio-TV-film concentration, in courses such as video and audio production, media writing, mass media and entertainment law. Students gain hands-on experience in studio performance and production through lab requirements. They also complete a capstone project. Additionally, all bachelor's students must choose a minor course of study.
Students at Lee University in Cleveland can minor or major in digital media studies through the Communication Arts Department, which has ten faculty members. Digital Media students have access to 11 computer labs and over 450 computers.
The B.A. and B.S. programs have identical requirements, except that the B.S. requires fewer general education credits and additional elective courses. Digital Media students complete specialty area courses, which include TV and audio production, broadcast writing and journalism, law, management, media research, speech and social media. They can fulfill elective requirements through a special program in Los Angeles or take courses on topics such as Web design, digital photography, international media or the history of film. An internship and a practicum are also required. All students must also meet religion course requirements.
Lincoln Memorial University
Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate was founded in 1897 as a memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. The university has average class sizes of 14 and offers a bachelor's program in media communications that covers both the theory and practice of broadcasting through courses in audio and video production, editing, post-production, multimedia and sports. Broadcasting students can choose to focus on either media production or media performance.
Additional course requirements include mass media, camera acting, writing, broadcast history, law and programming. Students have practical opportunities to work with state-of-the-art equipment through the college's FM radio station, and they can also gain experience through internships with major and local TV networks. Students can also minor in broadcasting, which includes courses in lighting and scenery, law and ethics, acting, media writing, editing and production.
Located in Nashville, this private university offers an undergraduate program in journalism and new media that has four faculty members and various visiting faculty who are working industry professionals. Students in the journalism program have access to a studio production complex with TV and radio studios, a control room, state-of-the-art audio and video editing suites, a newsroom and a voiceover booth. Through a student-run media network, students can gain journalism experience in print, online, TV and radio.
Coursework in the journalism program includes 21 core credits in communications, covering topics like communication law and ethics, writing, storytelling, persuasion and intercultural communication. Students take 39 credits of courses within their major, covering broadcasting, new media, news reporting, radio and news programming and production. By the end of the program, students complete an internship, a practicum and a capstone project.
Middle Tennessee State University
Located in Murfreesboro, southeast of Nashville, this public university offers a bachelor's program in electronic media communication with an electronic media production concentration. The College of Media and Entertainment employs 70 faculty members and enrolls 2,548 pre-major and major students. Students have access to radio and television production and recording facilities, as well as a mobile production van. The program also has an electronic media journalism specialization that provides classes in broadcasting.
All media and entertainment students take general education courses in the arts, humanities and sciences and are required to select a minor in the liberal arts. After they've attained 45 credits, students can apply for a specialization. Some of the courses in the electronic media program cover media writing and law, multimedia and electronic media. Students specializing in electronic media production study news writing, reporting and producing. They also take electives on topics such as broadcast announcing, management, radio, advertising and/or directing.
Tennessee State University
Students at Tennessee State University in Nashville can learn broadcasting skills through the mass communications program, which has 12 faculty members. Facilities include a studio, a control room, a multimedia newsroom and digital editing software. Students can get involved with entertainment, news and sports TV programs and a student-produced radio station.
The program requires core courses in communications, including public speaking, theatre appreciation and research. Students also take 15 hours of courses in mass communications, covering digital media, news writing, media law, writing and production. Students interested in broadcasting can follow the news track, which covers beginning and advanced print, online, radio and TV news reporting. They also choose electives on topics like performance or screenwriting and complete an internship and a senior project or seminar.
Each year, more than 4,000 students attend Union University in Jackson. Through the university's Communication Arts Department, which employs 10 faculty, undergraduates can pursue a major in journalism or a minor in broadcast journalism. The B.A. program requires 45 major credits, which cover storytelling, reporting, mass media, media writing and law. Students also take electives in topics like public relations, interactive media and documentary.
The broadcast journalism minor requires 21 credits in areas like television production, mass media, media writing and storytelling, as well as electives like media law and news producing. Broadcasting students have access to a TV studio, digital media lab, editing suite and mobile production unit. Additionally, they can gain practical experience with the Union Broadcasting Society or the student-run branch of the National Broadcast Society.
The University of Tennessee - Martin
At this 4-year, public school in Martin, students can pursue a broadcasting sequence through the communications program, which has 12 faculty. The university has two TV studios, four audio studios, an audio/video editing lab, a radio station, an affiliation with a public TV station and a student-run broadcasting guild.
Students in the broadcasting sequence choose a track in either production and management or performance and journalism, both of which require courses in media law and ethics, radio and TV production, media writing, public relations, visual communication, management, sales and performing for broadcast.
The production and management track offers electives in topics such as film appreciation and advertising, while performance and journalism electives address topics like photojournalism and broadcast news.
Students earning a B.A. are required to take additional foreign language, social science and humanities courses, while the B.S. requires more courses in the laboratory sciences and mathematics. All broadcasting students complete a practicum and create a final portfolio through a senior seminar.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Broadcasting Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Austin Peay State University||4-year, public; midsized city|| Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts,
Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts
|$7,501 in-state; $22,333 out-of-state*|
|Belmont University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication,
Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication,
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism,
Bachelor of Science in Journalism,
Bachelor of Arts in Video Production,
Bachelor of Science in Video Production
|East Tennessee State University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a radio-TV-film concentration,
Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a radio-TV-film concentration
|$8,153 in-state; $24,977 out-of-state*|
|Lee University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Studies with a Journalism or Studio Production Emphasis,
Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Studies with a Journalism or Studio Production Emphasis
|Lincoln Memorial University||4-year, private not-for-profit; distant town||Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications||$20,546*|
|Lipscomb University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism||$28,624*|
|Middle Tennessee State University||4-year, public; midsized city||Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media Communication with an electronic media production concentration||$8,080 in-state; $24,808 out-of-state*|
|Tennessee State University||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Mass Communication-Journalism,
Bachelor of Science in Communications with a concentration in Mass Communication-Journalism
|$7,112 in-state; $19,832 out-of-state*|
|Union University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Minor in Broadcast Journalism,
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
|The University of Tennessee - Martin||4-year, public; remote town|| Bachelor of Arts in Communications - broadcasting sequence,
Bachelor of Science in Communications - broadcasting sequence
|$8,326 in-state; $22,270 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.