A graduating student is handed a diploma.

Reasons to Attend Carson-Newman University

Nestled near the Smoky Mountains in the rolling hills of East Tennessee, Carson-Newman University provides high-quality opportunities for the twenty-first-century student. Whether working full-time with a family or going straight from undergrad, Carson-Newman delivers on-campus programs while simultaneously offering numerous highly ranked online programs in Tennessee.

Carson-Newman’s online programs are offered 100% online with small cohort sizes, allowing students great networking opportunities. These programs provide students’ opportunities for immediate success with Carson-Newman’s 100% pass rate on state exams and one of the most affordable graduate-level tuition rates in Tennessee.

I have experienced all that Carson-Newman has to offer being a 2018 Doctorate of Education graduate while being a full-time school administrator. If you are on the fence, I hope, as I elaborate on the high-quality school Carson-Newman University is and my experience, that you get a personal grasp on the great opportunity ahead.

Valuable, Christian Education

One major aspect of Carson-Newman University that makes the school personal is it being a Christ-centered university. The focus is more than keeping the gospel within the boundaries of a building. It is bringing the mission of the gospel into daily lives by equipping students within their mission fields (jobs, education, studying abroad, etc.) to share and work in the good news of Jesus Christ.

Carson-Newman’s educational approach “is focused on helping you identify and further your calling—who did God create you to be?” Carson-Newman’s mission extends the gospel of Jesus Christ to and past East Tennessee with “a strong commitment to local and international service, following the example Jesus set.”

Quality of School

Carson-Newman University offers full-time teachers looking to advance their career with immediate success with eleven graduate programs. Students may take classes on-campus, 100% online, or hybrid (mixture of online/on-campus).

Carson-Newman University has a total student enrollment of 2,835 (1,525 undergraduate and 1,204 graduate) and welcomes students from over twenty-eight countries, and most states in the United States. With worldwide demographics, Carson-Newman has proven student success with a 100% pass rate on state exams ranging throughout all offered programs.

My first-hand experience was with the user-friendly online platform and education faculty’s willingness to work with me as a full-time graduate student with a full-time job and family. This helped my success as a doctoral student.

Student success does not come by accident as Carson-Newman’s compassionate and hard-working faculty provide students’ opportunities to differentiate learning while providing real-world, rigorous coursework that is applicable to students’ fields of study.

Top Ranked Tennessee Online Education Program

In 2021, U.S. News and World Report ranked Carson-Newman University #1 amongst the online education programs in Tennessee.

This top ranking is in coherence with Carson-Newman’s affordability, various educational program offerings (varying from Educational Leadership to Curriculum and Instruction), and the opportunities to obtain these graduate degrees 100% online.

Carson-Newman also offers tracks to obtain graduate degrees with an emphasis: Reading Specialist, Special Education, Coaching, and English as a Second Language.

100% Online Cohort Design

Carson-Newman University’s 100% online cohort design offers small class sizes (14:1 student-teacher ratio) that still yield to connection and networking occurrences for students. Classes enable students to learn from one another through discussion boards and online group work (reviewing other’s work, providing revisions, etc.)

The only time that an online education Carson-Newman student may have to step on campus is if they decide to walk in their graduation commencement ceremony; in which I did and highly recommend because you earned it and it is a fantastic opportunity.

Affordability/CAEP & SACSCOC Accredited

As a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredited university, Carson-Newman provides one of the best tuition rates for graduate education programs in Tennessee: Master of Education, Educational Specialist, and Doctorate of Education.

Along with all of these great facets, Carson-Newman offers students affordable opportunities to attend and complete programs. Carson-Newman students may utilize financial aid, payment plans, and grants (such as the TEACH grant, if eligible) to pay for tuition.

Admission advisors help provide students and potential students sound guidance throughout the admissions’ process and develop plans regarding finances and tuition. Carson-Newman’s affordability is one of the many ways the university makes the experience personal for current and future students.


When I started the doctoral education program, I chose Carson-Newman because the program was 100% online, accepted transfer hours, its affordability, and had the convenience of working outside of a normal classroom setting.

In August 2018, that thought pattern shifted as I was walking the graduation line at Butler-Blanc Gymnasium. I remember seeing my family sitting in the gym as my name was called. At that moment, I knew what I had earned was more than a piece of paper. I was given an opportunity at Carson-Newman University that would give future family generations hope. I thought about my wife and daughters; I finished my degree for them.

I have the opportunity to share with my daughters that even when situations are challenging, you keep your focus on the end goal, which is always greater than the difficulties. This is what Carson-Newman University holds for students, alumni, and future students. I encourage anyone on the fence of attending Carson-Newman to take the leap of faith and give yourself an opportunity.

Interested in learning more? Check out Carson-Newman University’s education graduate programs and get started today!

Carson-Newman University (2022). https://www.cn.edu/about-carson-newman-university/quick-facts/