Middle Tennessee State University, commonly abbreviated as MTSU or MT, is a comprehensive coeducational public university in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, Music, the university has partnered in research endeavors with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2009, Middle Tennessee State University was ranked among the nations top 100 public universities by Forbes magazine, MTSU student athletes compete intercollegiately as the Blue Raiders, as a part of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision athletics in the Conference USA. On November 29,2012, MTSU Athletics announced it had accepted an invitation to the conference and its president is Sidney A. McPhee. One of the earliest calls for a normal school occurred in 1855 when a Wilson County, Tennessee, politician wanted to build a school in Lebanon. Education efforts collapsed shortly with the breakout of the American Civil War, later, state superintendents and teachers traveled around the state giving speeches about the dire need of teacher preparation. In 1909, the Tennessee General Assembly moved to provide for the improvement of the system of Public Education of the State of Tennessee, that is to say, to establish a General Education Fund. Following the intent of the act that one was to be located in each of the divisions of the state. Middle Tennessee State Normal School opened on September 11,1911, the school was often abbreviated as S. T. C. In 1943, the General Assembly designated the institution a state college and this new status marked a sharp departure from the founding purpose and opened the way for expanding curricular offerings and programs. In 1965, the institution was advanced to university status, changing its name to Middle Tennessee State University, during the progressive movement from a two-year normal to a university, several significant milestones may be identified. In 1936, the Bachelor of Arts program was added, responding to the expressed needs of the institutions service area, the Graduate School was established in 1951. To effect better communications and improve administrative supervision, the concept was introduced in 1962. As Middle Tennessee State University developed and grew, the Doctor of Arts program was added in 1970 and these degree programs became attractive centerpieces for other efforts to improve and enhance institutional roles. Library resources were increased and sophisticated computer services were developed to aid instruction and administration. A highly trained faculty enabled the university to continue growth in program offerings, in 1991, the universitys six schools—five undergraduate and the graduate school—became colleges. In 1998, MTSUs Honors program became the Honors College, the first in the state, in 2002, approval was granted to redesignate three D. A. programs to Doctor of Philosophy programs, expanding the progressive institutions offerings. Ph. D. degree offerings now include computational sciences, mathematics and science education, molecular biosciences, economics, English, human performance, public history, since 1911, MTSU has graduated more than 100,000 students
1952 aerial photograph of the university
Middle Tennessee State Teachers College Training School, now known as the Homer Pittard Campus School, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.