Colleges & Universities

Whether you are looking for a two-year degree, undergraduate four-year degree, or post-secondary graduate degree, McMinn County colleges offers it all.  There are also multiple choices for higher education in the region with our convenient location to Chattanooga and Knoxville. The following highlights both local and regional post-secondary education opportunities.

Tennessee Promise 
The Tennessee Promise program provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA funds. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate’s degree program.  

Two-Year and Technical Colleges

Cleveland State Community College operates a satellite campus in McMinn County in the City of Athens.  Their main campus is located in Cleveland, Tennessee and within 28 miles of their satellite campus.  Cleveland State Community College is an accredited public community college serving approximately 3,500 credit students and 1,500 non-credit students. Committed to quality education, Cleveland State operates within the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.  The average age of the student population is 28 years old.  More than 200 employees work at the college with 70 full-time faculty members of which 94 percent hold a master’s degree or higher.  A variety of academic degrees are available in Humanities and Social Science, Math and Science, Business and Technology, and Health, Wellness and Nursing.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Athens is McMinn County’s choice for skills education training.  Established in 1964, the Tennessee Technology Center at Athens serves McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Bradley and Polk counties. The Center is one of twenty-seven technology centers strategically located across the state. The TTC Athens is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, and is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.  Through the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology's Workforce Development mission, Tennessee residents are able to obtain the technical skills and professional training necessary for advancement in today's competitive job market. Full-time certificate programs include:  Administrative Office Technology, Automotive Technology, Collision Repair Technology, Computer Electronics, Industrial Electricity, Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Pharmacy Technology, Practical Nursing, Special Industry Training, and Welding. 

More post-secondary two-year private colleges in the region include the following.  To learn more about these institutions, please follow the link provided.

Chattanooga State Community College

Pellissippi State Community College

Fountainhead College of Technology Knoxville

Roane State Community College

ITT Tech Chattanooga and Knoxville locations

 Miller-Motte Technical College


Four-Year and Beyond Colleges and Universities

Located in McMinn County in the City of Athens, Tennessee Wesleyan College, is a liberal-arts college associated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church.  The student population is approximately 1,100 students with a 16:1 student-faculty ratio.  The college offers over 30 undergraduate majors and graduate master’s degrees in Curriculum Leadership and Business Administration.  Tennessee Wesleyan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master's degrees. 

The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) s Tennessee’s flagship university.  Located within 50 miles of McMinn County, the university has a student population of 21,033 undergraduate and 6,138 graduate students.  The average first-time freshman ACT is 27.  The student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1.  The University of Tennessee Knoxville has 11 colleges and offers over 300 degree programs and employees 9,791 faculty and staff.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) is located in the City of Chattanooga within 46 miles of McMinn County.  The university has a student population of 10,287 undergraduate and 1,377 graduate students.  The national mean ACT composite for first-time freshmen is 21.7.  UTC has a total of 1,053 full-time equivalent faculty and staff.  Over 100 undergraduate degree and 45 graduate degree programs are offered at UTC. 

More post-secondary four-year and beyond private colleges in the region include the following.  To learn more about these institutions, please follow the link provided.

Bryan College

Maryville College

Covenant College

Southern Adventist University

Hiwassee College

Tennessee Temple University

Lee University

Tusculum College

Lincoln Memorial University