The Graduate School
KAREN WEDDLE-WEST, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Graduate Programs
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:
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.
- 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.
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.
Graduate certificates are offered in African American Literature, Applied Lean Leadership,
Artist Diploma in Music, Business Information Assurance, Cognitive Science, College
Teaching, Community College Teaching and Leadership, Disabilities Studies, Geographic
Information Systems, Healthcare Informatics Leadership, Information Assurance, Instructional
Computer Applications, Literacy Leadership and Coaching, Local Government Management,
Museum Studies, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Software Testing, Teaching
English as a Second Language, Urban Education, and Women's and Gender Studies. The
Loewenberg School of Nursing awards the post-master's Family Nurse Practitioner certificate.
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
- 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.
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.
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
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.