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The Graduate School

Dean of the Graduate School 

The University of Memphis is a Doctoral Extensive Research/High Activity university. The Graduate School is the center of advanced study and research within the University. The basic objectives of the Graduate School are:

  • To preserve and disseminate knowledge;
  • To extend knowledge through research; and
  • To prepare men and women to assume responsible and useful roles in a changing society.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in audiology and speech-language pathology, biology, biomedical engineering, business administration, chemistry, communication, computer science, counseling psychology, earth sciences, educational psychology and research, engineering, English, history, mathematical sciences, music, philosophy, psychology, and social and behavioral sciences. The degrees of Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Musical Arts are awarded by the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, and the College of Communication and Fine Arts, respectively. The College of Education, Health and Human Sciences also awards the degree of Education Specialist with a major in education. The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law awards the Juris Doctor degree.

Masters programs are offered in fifty-five major areas through six colleges and two schools. The degrees include Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Architecture, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, International Master of Business Administration, Master of City and Regional Planning, Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Health Administration, Master of Music, Master of Professional Studies,  Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, and Master of Science in Nursing.

Mission of the University

The University of Memphis is a learner-centered metropolitan research university providing high quality educational experiences while pursuing new knowledge through research, artistic expression, and interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship.

The University of Memphis, as an engaged learning community, celebrates:

  • The pursuit of excellence in teaching and research as the highest measures of successful achievement.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration, artistic expression, and research as vehicles for leveraging our resources, solving problems, and multiplying our accomplishments.
  • The transfer and dissemination of knowledge with community stakeholders for the intellectual, economic, and social advancement of our community.
  • Innovation and creativity in everything we do.
  • Respect for diversity and individual worth.
  • Integrity and transparency in all our actions.
  • Responsible stewardship and conservation of resources.
  • Stewardship of wisdom, knowledge, and information created by our predecessors.
  • Leadership and involvement in the economic, social, and professional growth of Memphis, the state of Tennessee, and the nation.

Role of the Graduate School
The role of the Graduate School includes the following items:

  • Advocate graduate education and graduate student policies both on campus and in the profession
  • Strengthen the link between the research mission and graduate education at the university
  • Establish criteria for review and approval of graduate faculty
  • Provide oversight for policies and standards for graduate education at the campus level
  • Advance graduate education and enhance the graduate student experience
  • Review all proposals for new courses, new academic programs, and curricular and program modifications
  • Review, formulate, and approve policies and regulations relating to graduate education, graduate student recruitment, admission, retention, and graduation policies
  • Maintain equitable standards and policies across disciplines and program
  • Provide guidance relative to issues and problems affecting graduate education and graduate students at the university
  • Promote excellence for graduate students and faculty relative to the graduate education experience
  • Provide an administrative framework to facilitate efficient admission, retention, and graduation processes for graduate students
  • Promote the diversity of our student population and making graduate study accessible.
  • Advocate for adequate library and other research resources and services to support graduate education



The roots of The University date back to September 12, 1912, with the establishment and beginning of classes at West Tennessee State Normal School, which trained primary and secondary education teachers. However, the seeds for the normal school's creation were sown three years earlier, in 1909, when the Tennessee General Assembly passed a General Education law calling for the establishment and maintenance of three normal schools, one located in each of the three grand divisions of the state.

The eastern edge of Memphis became the site for West Tennessee State Normal School, which in 1929 became West Tennessee State Teachers College. In 1941, the college expanded its curriculum in liberal arts, and the name was changed to Memphis State College, an institution serving three to four thousand students. The undergraduate program was reorganized into three schools and a graduate school was added in 1951.

Memphis State achieved university status in 1957. On July 1, 1994, the name was officially changed to The University of Memphis.

Governing Body
The governance and control of The University of Memphis is vested in the Tennessee Board of Regents. The composition and powers of the Board are set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated 49-8-201 through 49-8-203.The Board consists of eighteen members: twelve lay citizens appointed for six-year terms by the Governor from each congressional district and grand division of the state; one faculty member appointed for a one-year term; one student appointed for a one-year term by the Governor from among the system institutions; and four ex officio members: the Governor, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30030-4097; telephone number 404-679-4501) to award bachelor's, first professional, master's, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. Individual colleges, schools, and departments are accredited by the appropriate agencies.

The schools and colleges that make up The University are the Graduate School, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, the Loewenberg School of Nursing, the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the School of Public Health, and six colleges offering graduate and undergraduate programs: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, the Herff College of Engineering, and the University College.

The Memphis Community
Memphis is one of the South’s largest and most attractive cities. As a medical, educational, communication, distribution, and transportation center, Memphis offers a rich and full range of research opportunities and cultural experiences. The city, known worldwide for its musical heritage as home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll, has many fine restaurants, museums, and theaters, as well as one of the nations largest urban park systems. Annual events include the St. Jude/Liberty Bowl Football Classic, Memphis in May International Festival, Kroger/St. Jude Tennis Tournament, Africa in April Cultural Awareness Carnival, St. Jude Memphis Golf Classic, and Carnival Memphis. Tourist attractions include the Beale Street Historic District, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Center for Southern Folklore, and Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. The medical complex in Memphis is the South’s largest and one of the nation's foremost centers of medical research.

The University's modern and beautifully landscaped campus is centrally located in an attractive residential area of Memphis, with shopping, recreation, and entertainment centers nearby. In addition to the Main Campus facilities, the University has research and athletic training facilities and married student housing on the South Campus, as well as teaching sites throughout West Tennessee.