Quick Facts

The UofM has 17 bachelor's degrees in more than 250 areas of study, master's degrees in 54 subjects, doctoral degrees in 26 disciplines, graduate certificates in 44 areas of study, specialist degrees in two areas, and the Juris Doctor (law).


We provide the highest quality education by focusing on research and service benefiting local and global communities.


The University of Memphis is an internationally recognized, urban public research university preparing students for success in a diverse, innovative, global environment.


  • Student success, access and affordability
  • Academic excellence
  • Research and innovation
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Community, alumni and external collaborations
  • Brand enhancement and global visibility
  • Sustainability


The University of Memphis was founded under the auspices of the General Education Bill, enacted by the Tennessee Legislature in 1909. Known originally as West Tennessee state Normal School, the institution opened its doors Sept. 10, 1912, with Dr. Seymour A. Mynders as president.

Students selected blue and gray as the school colors and the tiger as the mascot. Tradition holds that the colors, those of the opposing armies during the Civil War, were chosen in commemoration of the reuniting of the country after that divisive conflict.

In 1925 the name of the college was changed to West Tennessee State Teachers College. The college changed names again in 1941, becoming Memphis State College and was granted full university status in 1957. In 1983, Memphis State University became the first public university in Tennessee to gain accreditation of its entire curriculum. In 1994, MSU became the University of Memphis.

Today, The University of Memphis is one of Tennessee's three comprehensive doctoral-extensive institutions of higher learning. It awards more than 3,000 degrees annually.