What Everyone Should Know About Fisk

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is the oldest institution of higher education in Nashville, Tennessee and will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2016. Fisk received a charter for the first chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society on a predominantly black campus in 1953. Fisk’s outstanding faculty and students continue to enhance the University’s national reputation for academic excellence that is validated year after year by the leading third party reviewers, as well as by the pool of talented applicants and the large percentage of alumni who complete graduate or professional degrees and become leaders and scholars in their fields.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Programs

Fisk’s longstanding legacy of excellence is reinforced by its accomplishments in the 21st century, especially in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Business disciplines. Fisk remains the only historically black college or university (HBCU) ever to win the prestigious R&D 100 award, and to date has won four.

Since 2010, the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program has produced eighteen (18) Ph.D. graduates in physics, astronomy, and materials science, disciplines in which women, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are underrepresented. The Program is on track to graduate an average of three to four each year. This places the program at the top of productivity of Ph.D. degrees awarded to underrepresented minorities.


Department of Business Administration

The Department of Business Administration, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, has a reputation for producing alumni who hold top positions in their fields. These include entrepreneurs George Russell Curtis, Sr. ’56, Karl Turner’77 and Jacquelyn Denton Alton ’66, sports agents and executives Carl Poston III ’77 and Kevin Poston ’81, hospital system executive Mark Chastang ’74, and past American Hospital Association Chairman and former Truman Medical Center CEO John W. Bluford III ’71.

Among the many young alumni who have begun to make their marks are Toyota North America finance executive Dennis Deveaux ’04, risk analysts Jenise Burks ’11 and Jordan West ’10, financial services professional James Horton ’06, accounting executive Dominique D'Antignac-Bell ’97, and Foreign Services Officer William Campbell ’07.

The department’s ENACTUS organization (formerly SIFE) regularly wins regional competitions for their innovative projects that make a difference in the Nashville community while developing them into socially responsible business leaders. Fisk holds membership in the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The Department of Business Administration offers a minor in music business through a collaborative agreement with Belmont University. In addition, Fisk offers a joint program with the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. In five years, students earn a Fisk B.S. degree and a Vanderbilt Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree.

National Rankings

Fisk University has received a top 10 ranking among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), according to the 2019 U.S. News and World Report. The school rises to No. 6 out of 80 ranked institutions, jumping three spots from its 2018 position.

In addition to the 2019 U.S. News and World Report recognition, Fisk University is also nationally ranked in the following publications and surveys:


Rank #                        Category                                            List

1                                  Social Mobility                                     2018 The Washington Monthly

3                                  Research Expenditures                        2018 The Washington Monthly

4                                  Best Professors in Tennessee               Department of Education

19                                Universities in Tennessee                    2018 Top Consensus Ranked School

55                                National Liberal Art College                2018 The Washington Monthly

537                              Overall Top Colleges                           Forbes 650 Top Colleges

345                              Private Colleges                                   Forbes’ 650 Top Colleges         

169                              Liberal Arts Universities                      Forbes 650 Top Colleges

125                              South                                                   Forbes’ 650 Top Colleges                   

Fall 2018 Enrollment