Tennessee Technological University was established by an act of the General Assembly in 1915 and opened its doors to students the following year. The University began operation on the campus that had belonged to Dixie College, a private institution founded in 1911. The purchase of the Dixie campus property and the erection of two dormitories, East and West Halls, were funded by Putnam County and the City of Cookeville. Since then, the growth of the institution has been closely interwoven with the development of the Upper Cumberland region.
From 1916-24 Tennessee Polytechnic Institute offered work only on a high school and junior college level. By 1929, however, the Tennessee Board of Education authorized a complete college program and the first class of four-year graduates received the B.S. degree in June.
In 1938 the instructional program was reorganized into two main divisions, the Arts and Sciences and the Professional and Technical Subjects. These divisions were renamed schools nine years later. In 1949 the administrative structure was expanded into five schools consisting of Agriculture and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Engineering. The five undergraduate schools were designated as colleges in 1965 when Tennessee Polytechnic Institute gained university status and changed its name to Tennessee Technological University.*
The Master of Arts degree was authorized in 1958, and the Master of Science degree in 1964. The Specialist in Education degree was authorized in 1970, the Doctor of Philosophy in engineering in 1971, the Master of Business Administration in 1976, the Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Sciences in 1997, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Exceptional Learning in 2000. The University granted its first 3 Master’s degrees in August 1959.
Since its inception in 1958, the Graduate School has striven to provide the highest quality of graduate programs and to maintain its rich heritage.