Deborah Tollefsen, PhD
Dean of the Graduate School
The University of Memphis is a Carnegie R1: Doctoral University – Very high research activity. The Graduate School’s associated graduate programs housed in each college/school at the University of Memphis are 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 graduates to assume responsible and useful roles in a changing society.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in applied physics, audiology and speech-language pathology, biology, biomedical engineering, business administration, chemistry, communication, computer science, counseling psychology, earth sciences, educational psychology and research, engineering, engineering management english, history, mathematical sciences, music, nursing, philosophy, psychology, social and behavioral sciences, and urban affairs. The degrees of Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Liberal Studies, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Social Work are awarded by the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the College of Education, the College of Professional and Liberal Studies, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and the College of Arts and Sciences, respectively.
The College of Education also awards the degree of Education Specialist with a major in education. The Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law awards the Juris Doctor degree.
Over sixty-one Master’s programs are offered through eight colleges and three schools. The degrees include Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Architecture, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching, 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 Nonprofit Management, Master of Professional Studies, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work.
Mission of the University
We provide the highest quality education by focusing on research and service benefiting local and global communities.
Integrity, transparency, excellence and the highest standards govern everything we do.
We seek partnerships both within and beyond the University to enhance our actions and our outcomes.
Diversity and Inclusion
Everyone is respected, included and given the opportunity to excel.
We consistently seek a better way, and we embrace challenges.
Our purpose is to benefit our students and society through knowledge and effort.
We provide every student with the opportunity to excel.
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.
The governance and control of The University of Memphis is vested in the University of Memphis Board of Trustees, with state coordination by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). The composition and powers of the Board are set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated 49-8-101 through 49-8-303. The UofM Board consists of ten members of which nine members are voting and one member is nonvoting. Eight of the members are appointed by the Governor, one is chosen from among the faculty by the faculty senate and one is a student appointed by the Board.
The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist, doctoral, and graduate certificates. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Memphis. 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 College of Arts and Sciences, the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, the College of Education, the College of Health Sciences, the Herff College of Engineering, the Loewenberg College of Nursing, the College of Professional and Liberal Studies, the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, and the School of Public Health.
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.