East Tennessee State University Profile


 History . . . 

Situated in Northeast Tennessee, East Tennessee State University is a state-supported, coeducational institution and one of the principal campuses governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.  Its main campus is located in Johnson City with a center in Elizabethton and sites in Kingsport, Bristol and Greeneville. Chartered in 1909 as East Tennessee State Normal School, the institution experienced several name changes before achieving university status in 1963.  East Tennessee State Normal School, which opened in 1911, became East Tennessee State Teachers College in 1925; five years later, the name was changed to State Teachers College, Johnson City.  Beginning in 1943, the institution was known as East Tennessee State College for 20 years.  Today, ETSU is a multifaceted university offering two-year, four-year and graduate programs of study through nine colleges and schools:  College of Applied Science and Technology; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business; College of Education; James H. Quillen College of Medicine; College of Nursing; College of Public and Allied Health; School of Continuing Studies; and School of Graduate Studies.

 The James H. Quillen College of Medicine, one of three state-supported medical colleges in Tennessee, offers a program leading to the M.D. degree as well as accredited residency programs in family practice, internal medicine, internal medicine/pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery.   Accelerated residency programs in family practice and internal medicine are also offered. Created by the Tennessee legislature in 1974, the College of Medicine enrolled its first class of 24 students in 1978, awarded the first M.D. degrees four years later and as of June 2001 will have awarded 1,042 M.D. degrees.  In 1988, this college combined with the colleges of Nursing and Public and Allied Health to form a Division of Health Sciences.

Student Population . . .

The student population totals 11,311, including undergraduate, graduate, medical students and medical residents.  While the majority of students are from Tennessee and the surrounding southeastern region, 42 states are represented along with 60 foreign countries.  Housing for 2,488 students is available in residence halls, apartments, efficiency apartments and married student housing. 

Academic Overview. . .

Committed to the needs of all its students -- from those who have emerging potential for university-level coursework to the gifted -- ETSU provides all citizens in the region opportunities to continue lifelong learning.  The university offers more than 100 degree programs organized within the areas of arts and sciences, business, education, health sciences and services and technology.  All programs and degrees are offered during the regular day schedule and extensive evening programs are also provided.  Some 5,000 -- 10,000 persons are served annually through continuing education and extended service programs.

The university seeks to serve as a center for intellectual and cultural growth as it nurtures an educational environment that respects individuality and stimulates creativity.  To earn a bachelor's degree, a student must complete a minimum of 128 semester hours of credit, consisting of coursework from the major field of study, the minor field of study (if required) and the general education core requirements.  The university's General Education Program includes two parts.  Part I is a Core Curriculum of 41 -- 44 semester credit hours that address specific academic "Proficiencies" and "Areas of Familiarity."  Part II is specific Requirements Reinforcing Academic Proficiency and requires students to complete during college a minimum number of courses that reinforce academic proficiency by providing intensive experiences in writing, communicating orally and using information technology. Advanced standing credit is accepted and recorded as "passed hours" of credit toward graduation through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (APP) Program of the College Board, the Proficiency Examination Program (PEP) in nursing, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests.

A career counseling service and an advisement center provide professional guidance for students who have not reached a decision concerning a college major.  Remedial and developmental courses are offered for students who lack a sufficient level of proficiency, as determined from ACT or SAT scores and/or an evaluation assessment examination.

An Army ROTC program, available through the Department of Military Science, provides scholarship opportunities and offers advanced courses that may result in a commission.

Athletics . . .

Intercollegiate and intramural sports programs are available.  The university is a member of the NCAA Division 1 in all sports except football, which is Division 1-AA.  Sports for men are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis and track.  Sports for women are basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and volleyball.  Memorial Center, one of the most functional athletics and convocation centers in the nation, is also home for ETSU's football, basketball, tennis and track teams.

Calendar . . .

East Tennessee State University operates on a semester calendar consisting of a fall semester in which classes begin in late August and semester examinations are completed prior to the Christmas holidays; a spring semester in which classes begin in early January and semester examinations are completed during the first week of May; pre-summer, a three-week intensive study term beginning in mid-May; and two five-week summer sessions, one beginning in early June and the other beginning in mid-July.

The Faculty . . .

Including the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the university has 661 full-time faculty members.   The percentage of faculty members holding terminal degrees is approximately 75%.  The average class size is 21, which allows the faculty to give students individual instruction and attention and to share interests and expertise.   Entering students are required to meet with faculty advisers prior to registration for classes.  Advisement is conducted primarily through a one-on-one interview.

Support Facilities . . .

ETSU provides a wide range of computer, network, telecommunications and software resources in support of instruction, research, administration and public service.

Microsoft Windows based servers that support the main ETSU campus, Bristol, Kingsport and Greeneville Centers support ETSU students.  Individual accounts for E-mail and Internet use are generated for all enrolled students, guaranteeing every student has the access they need to compete in an increasingly technology-oriented collegiate and research environment. Students have available to them over 200 state of the art Microsoft Windows NT based workstations in 6 labs that have a common user environment.

The administrative systems utilize a cluster of DEC Alpha computers under the VMS operating system.  Several Windows NT 4.0 servers supplement this system.  Registration for classes is now predominately done online through the ETSU GoldLink Online system.  Linked with this system is a Payment Gateway NT server, which enables students to pay tuition and fees online using a credit card.

The campus has benefited from an infusion of technology facilities and services from the technology access fee paid by each student.  Recent improvements include the replacement of computers in student labs on a three-year cycle, upgrading the campus network and construction of multimedia classrooms.

The main PC lab is located in the D.P. Culp Center with additional labs in Sam Wilson 124 and 129, Gilbreath 105, Rogers Stout, as well as the Bristol, Kingsport and Greeneville Centers.  The Culp Center computer lab is a dedicated open lab, but the others may be scheduled for classes. In addition, there are more than 20 additional departmental labs spread throughout the campus that support both the standard Microsoft software packages and discipline-specific software packages.  These departmental labs support both the PC and Macintosh platforms.

At the heart of the campus network is a high-speed asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) based backbone that can accommodate voice, video and data transmission.  The ETSU campus is extensively networked with over 9000 network connections.  All classrooms and offices are connected through this backbone to each other and the world through the Internet via the Tennessee Board of Regents network TECNET.  Students residing on campus are connected to the Internet via Mountainet, a dedicated high-speed campus residence hall ISP.

Six multimedia classrooms and six multimedia lecture halls serve the students by providing high-tech but easy-to-use instructional technologies so faculty can help the students better visualize the materials being taught.  Computers, cameras, a SmartBoard and a projector augment the normal audio-visual equipment in an integrated system.  In addition, the multimedia classrooms also have power and network connections for each student.  The number of multimedia classrooms is expected to triple in the next two years.

Students are provided access to NetG, an on-line web based training system that permits students to train for a number of Information Technology subjects, including Cisco, Microsoft, Netscape, and Oracle products. Antivirus software is provided to all students on a site license.

In summary, great strides have been made on the campus to provide students with the most up to date technologies in order to help them master the information age tools and prepare them to compete in the modern workforce.

The Sherrod Library contains the major learning resources that support the university's programs of teaching and research.  With a seating capacity for 1,800 readers, the library contains over half a million volumes, over one million microforms, 3,500 periodical subscriptions and more than 350,000 federal and state documents and maps.  The Media Center contains the university's collection of audio-visual resources; in-house listening and viewing facilities are provided.

The university's Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, an accomplished Center of Excellence in Tennessee, is a hub of scholarly, educational, community service and artistic activities addressing the needs and interests of the Appalachian region.  The center has three divisions: the Regional Resources Institute, the Reece Museum, one of only twelve accredited museums in Tennessee, which houses several permanent collections and presents a varied schedule of exhibits, and the Archives of Appalachia, which contains the most significant collection of materials about the Appalachian region in the country.  The Center publishes Now & Then, the Appalachian magazine;sponsors the Bluegrass and Country Music Program and the Appalachian-Scottish and Irish Studies program;and hosts the Governor's School for Tennessee Heritage each summer.  The Center is also responsible for the region’s only comprehensive reference work, the Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 

The D.M. Brown Hall science building and the Quillen College of Medicine provide extensive research laboratory and training facilities.  Among other facilities of interest are Slocumb Galleries, which enables students and others to view works of past and contemporary artists, while allowing art students to display their own works; the Hutcheson Hall Planetarium, which annually attracts hundreds of visitors to campus; the Gilbreath Hall Theater, a restored early‑century theater; and an outdoor Amphitheater, originally constructed by the WPA and restored to its original beauty.

The D.P. Culp University Center is one of the most modern student centers in the nation.  The specific purpose of the center is to serve the students as an integral part of their educational and recreational life.  The Culp Center provides a wide variety of services, entertainment and social and recreational activities for the campus community.  In addition to recreational facilities, the Culp Center houses five separate food service areas, bookstore, post office, a theater/auditorium, computer lab, ballroom, meeting rooms and conference facilities.  The Culp Center is open from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday – Saturday and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday.

Over 175 clubs and organizations are available on campus, including chapters of national fraternities and sororities.  Special interest groups and support services include the Black Affairs Association, Student Government Association, International Students Organization, Medical Student Government Association,

Center for Adult Programs and Services, Counseling Center, Health Services, Veterans Services, Placement Services, Special Services, and various religious organizations.

Beyond the Campus Setting . . .

ETSU is a member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), a consortium of five universities that operates a 0.9-m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. Astronomers at the five participating universities have retrofitted the 1950s vintage telescope with robotic controls that allow them to use it from their local campuses, providing an unprecedented means for state-of-the-art research and instruction.  Other members of the consortium include the Florida Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia, Valdosta State University and Florida International University.

ETSU's Office of International Programs encourages students to study abroad, especially at our exchange universities.  ETSU has exchange programs with the University of Rostock, University of Bremen, and the University of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany; Anhui University, Shanghai Technical College of Metallurgy, University of Petroleum, and North China University of Technology in China; Bolivar State University in Ecuador; the University of Newcastle in Australia; Semmeilweis University in Hungary; Fareastern National Medical University in Russia; University Trollhattan-Uddevalla in Sweden; University of Huddersfield in England; and the Scottish Studies program at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The office promotes matriculation of international students at ETSU and the internationalization of the curriculum.  It pursues international contacts and provides speakers and events for the university community.  An annual International Day brings area secondary school pupils to the ETSU campus to stimulate thinking about various cultures and also to consider the option of studying here.  The Office of International Programs also promotes domestic exchange via the NSE (National Student Exchange) program to over 170 U.S. colleges and universities.

The office administers a faculty travel fund in support of research and teaching abroad especially, but not exclusively, at our exchange universities.

The Director of the Office of International Programs is the official ETSU Fulbright representative and the National Security Education Program representative.  The National Security Education Program provides resources for scholarships, fellowships, and grants to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to add an international dimension to their studies by studying geographic areas, languages, and fields of study that are considered critical in the maintenance of U.S. national security.  In addition, the Office of International Programs houses a library of current material relating to opportunities for both faculty and students to teach, study and do research abroad.

As well as the academic and technical dimensions of its activity, the Office of International Programs provides the support facilities for ensuring that students both here and abroad succeed culturally, socially and emotionally. ETSU's international students and scholars represent more than fifty countries from which our community benefits.  The office is open to all people wishing to develop the international aspect of their experience at ETSU.

The university's cooperative education program gives students in most major fields of study an opportunity to alternate work periods and classes on a semester-in/semester-out system.  Through cooperative education, in addition to gaining valuable work experience and employment connections, students may help to finance educational costs and earn college credit.

The university has cross-enrollment agreements, available to full-time ETSU students, with nearby Milligan College and Emmanuel School of Religion.  ETSU is affiliated with the Penland School of Crafts, located in Penland, N.C., and provides credit for coursework completed there.  The university is also a participant in the Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market.

Requirements for Admission . . .

Students seeking admission as first‑time freshmen must present a minimum composite ACT score of 19 or a comparable SAT combined score or must earn a minimum high school GPA of 2.3 (on a 4.0 scale).  Tennesseans who graduate from public high schools must successfully complete the Tennessee Competency Test.  Assessment evaluation examinations to determine levels of proficiency are required for entering freshmen who present ACT composite, English, or math scores lower than 19.  Freshman applicants must meet specific high school course requirements, including 4 units of English, 1 unit of visual and/or performing arts, 2 units of algebra I and II, 1 unit of geometry, 2 units of natural/physical sciences, 1 unit of social studies, 1 unit of U.S. history, and 2 units of a single foreign language. Transfer applicants must offer satisfactory academic records from degree granting institutions. Transfer admission requirements are consistent with the university's retention standards.

Financial Aid Information . . .

Nearly seventy percent of the university's students receive federal, state and private sources of financial aid.  Four general types of assistance are available: scholarships, grants, student employment and loan programs.   Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or use the paper application available at high school guidance offices, college financial aid offices or by calling 1-800-4FED-AID (433-3243).  Additional information is available at the university's financial aid website, http://www.etsu.edu/finaid/financial.htm.  The FAFSA must be completed each year, as soon as possible after January 1.  The university's Office of Financial Aid can be contacted directly at 423-439-4300; 800-704-ETSU (3878); or via e-mail at finaid@etsu.edu .

About the Johnson City Area . . .

Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol are part of the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area -- the nation's 84th largest MSA with a population exceeding 462,300.  Tri-Cities MSA consists of Carter, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties, and Scott and Washington counties in Virginia.  Additional counties in ETSU’s service area include Greene, Johnson, Hamblen, Hancock, Cocke, Sevier and Jefferson.  Johnson City, a progressive city with a population of over 57,000, is located close to the state lines of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Recreational opportunities abound, including boating, skiing (snow and water), white water rafting, fishing, jogging, climbing and hiking.  Interstate highways 181 and 81 provide access to the area by automobile.  The Tri-Cities Regional Airport provides access by commercial airlines.

The University Complex . . .

ETSU's main campus in Johnson City consists of 366 acres and 63 academic and administrative buildings including a new $28 million Sherrod Library and the new $259,000 Harry D. Powell Astronomy Observatory. Currently under construction is a new multi-million dollar Center for Physical Activities which is being provided by student funding.  Adjacent to the campus is the 247-acre Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the 75-acre Johnson City Medical Center and Woodridge Hospital, consisting of five acres. On the VA grounds, ETSU conducts its medical programs using the facilities available in six buildings, including the hospital complex. The university's Palma L. Robinson Clinical Education Center is located on a seven-acre plot of land on nearby State of Franklin Road.  This $6 million, 67,755 square-foot ambulatory care facility, completed in the spring of 1992, houses some 72 examination and 21 special diagnostic rooms as the center provides outpatient services in surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, opthalmology, internal medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics.  Faculty from all units of the Division of Health Sciences are involved in teaching and training at the center, which also offers consultation rooms, conference rooms and a large classroom.  ETSU's new $36 million basic sciences building is scheduled to be completed on the VA grounds in January, 2001.

The university operates sites in Kingsport, Bristol and Greeneville along with the Nave Center in Elizabethton. 

ETSU/UT at Kingsport offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate courses each semester, including courses leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees in business.  Courses are offered during the days, evenings and on weekends.  Facilities on the 100-acre site include a full-service library; computer, chemistry and biology labs; gymnasium; student center; mini-market bookstore; and distance education classrooms.  Student services include academic advisement; financial aid and career counseling; tutoring; COMPASS testing; and registration and fee payment.  Services are offered at convenient times for both traditional and nontraditional students.  ETSU/UT at Kingsport shares its facility in partnerships with both the University of Tennessee and Northeast State Technical Community College.

ETSU at Bristol offers a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate courses with flexible schedules including day, evening and weekend choices.  Located at 1227 Volunteer Parkway, Executive Park Plaza, Bristol, TN, the facility includes a computer lab; fiber-optics televised classes, in addition to live ones; a student lounge; library with electronic access; and a bookstore.  Student support services include admission; registration and fee payment with assistance; academic advisement; career counseling; financial aid information; and I.D. production.  Students can choose from several undergraduate and graduate degrees such as management, education, RN to BSN Nursing and MBS.  Basic general education core classes, plus upper level classes in various additional majors are also available.

Working cooperatively with Walters State Community College, ETSU offers junior, senior and graduate level courses from selected academic disciplines to the residents of the Greeneville area each semester.  Both day and evening courses are delivered through ETSU’s distance education program and the traditional classroom setting.  A new state-of-the-art computer lab provides ETSU library and Internet access to Greeneville students.  Located in the Greeneville-Greene County Center for Higher Education at 215 North College Street, this site represents sharing of facilities between two Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and enhanced access to opportunities for advanced education and lifelong learning.  ETSU and Walters State have an articulation agreement that improves student transfer between the community college and the university.

The Marshall T. Nave Center in Elizabethton houses ETSU's programs in the health related professions, including allied health, radiological technology, medical laboratory technology, dental laboratory technology, cardiopulmonary science, dental assisting and respiratory technician.

ETSU benefits from strong affiliations with major hospitals in the region: Johnson City Medical Center Hospital; Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home; Holston Valley Hospital and Medical Center at Kingsport; Bristol Regional Medical Center, Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia; and Woodridge Hospital.

Alumni . . .

More than 61,900 people have graduated from ETSU since 1911.  Many recipients of undergraduate degrees return to pursue graduate studies.  Some 32,000 of ETSU's alumni reside within a 100-mile radius of the university while over 31,000 live in the State of Tennessee alone.  The overall alumni gender breakout is 48% male, 52% female.

Cultural Diversity . . .

The guiding principle in all we do and say at East Tennessee State University must be respect for the individual.  Through our teaching, research and public service, we must affirm the fundamental human values of courage, honor, pride, compassion, tolerance and understanding.  These values transcend time and place.  They transcend technology.  They rise above educational trends.  They are the enduring principles that must be observed in order for the human race to flourish.

ETSU commits itself to creating and perpetuating an environment in which diversity of people and thought is respected.  We embrace the belief that differences should be celebrated and we believe that intolerance poses the single most dangerous threat to the continued existence of the race.

Our aspiration is to create a university that fully appreciates the culture and the history of its surrounding region while it seeks to understand and accept the practices, beliefs and customs of the greater global community.

It is ETSU's role not only to teach and to train but to inspire those among us as we build on our individual differences to achieve a common appreciation of our humanity.

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