East Tennessee State University (ETSU) opened its doors in 1911 as East Tennessee State Normal School, a teacher training institution which survives to this day as ETSU’s University School K-12 education programme. The university took on its current name in 1963 after expanding its curriculum and gaining university status.
ETSU offers a broad range of academic subjects, with colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Technology, Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, Education, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health. It also has an Honors College and schools of Continuing Studies and Graduate Studies.
ETSU has several unique course offerings. The Appalachian Studies minor looks at the history and culture of the Appalachian region and its indigenous people. ETSU is one of just a handful of universities to offer a graduate course in storytelling. The public speaking skills learned on the course are valuable for any role that requires group communication, from teachers to sales officials. ETSU is also the home of the first degree in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies, making it a favourable choice for musicians.
The ETSU campus is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, a hub for bluegrass music and Americana. The city’s yearly Little Chicago Blues Festival pays homage to the region’s musical heritage, while international music is celebrated at the Blue Plum Festival.
Trails through the Appalachian Mountains begin just 30 minutes away from ETSU’s campus. Further afield, the Cherokee National Forest and Great Smokey Mountains National Parks offer more opportunities for camping, hiking and climbing in beautiful natural settings.