From The School
Intent on being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. Belmont was ranked seventh on the U.S. News & World Report listing of "Best Universities" in the South in the master's category for the 2012 edition of America's Best Colleges, making Belmont the highest ranked university in Tennessee in this category. In addition, Belmont was named a most cited "School to Watch," a high honor that indicates the strength of the university's reputation and innovations.
Both Rolling Stone and Time magazines have hailed Belmont's Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business as one of the best music business programs in the country. The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business has been named the best MBA program in the region, while Belmont's business administration and accounting programs have been accredited by AACSB International, the premier accrediting agency in that arena. Moreover, for the second year in a row, Belmont University's undergraduate School of Business achieved a Top 100 national ranking in BusinessWeek's annual report on the "The Best Undergrad B-Schools" in the U.S. Belmont's Entrepreneurship major was even named National Model Undergraduate Program of the Year by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Belmont's SIFE team won the 2012 National Championship and placed third in the SIFE World Cup.
Located in the heart of Music City USA, one of Belmont's consistent success stories is its world-renowned music and music business programs, including songwriting. Several big names in the music industry started their careers at Belmont including "American Idol" finalist Melinda Doolittle, Christian recording artists Ginny Owens and Steven Curtis Chapman, and country stars Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Brad Paisley and Josh Turner. The annual "Christmas at Belmont" concert showcases performing ensembles from many different genres and has been broadcast nationwide on PBS for several years.
Students who have passions outside of the music industry also have a home at Belmont. From international business and accounting to education, sport administration, nursing, journalism and the humanities, Belmont provides avenues of learning for almost any interest. Recent program additions include interdisciplinary studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Asian Studies as well as a doctoral degree in Pharmacy, a program that is already gaining acclaim for its four-pillared approach to educating pharmacists for an ever-evolving health care environment. Belmont's also received attention for its innovative, year-long programming around the university's hosting of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate. A variety of speaker series, visual and performing arts programs, and special events occurred on campus, all around the central theme "The Art of Being Free."
Belmont faculty members display a consistent commitment to excellence as well. Multiple professors have been awarded Fulbright awards, including a nursing professor who spent a year recently in Uganda as a guest lecturer while conducting research on how standards of nursing are adapted to austere conditions. Also, four Belmont professors from four different schools--Finance, Psychology, Spanish and Philosophy--have been chosen as Tennessee Professor of the Year by CASE/Carnegie Foundation since 2000.
Belmont's boundaries extend beyond the Nashville campus through its Cool Springs campus and organized programs such as the Washington Center program and music business' Belmont West in Los Angeles and Belmont East in New York City. Study-abroad programs place students in China, Costa Rica, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Africa and Spain, among other foreign nations. Also, Belmont serves as a regional site for the East-West Center for the Development of Asian Studies and is the host institution for the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad, a higher education consortium of 24 colleges and universities.
“Life at Belmont is all about music,” says one student. “Many people here want to make a career out of their musical abilities, and many people want to make careers out of other people’s musical abilities.” Belmont’s famous music business program lets students tap into the musical lifeblood of surrounding Nashville. “You can get an internship or learn how to manage an artist.” Other School of Music undergraduate majors include church music, commercial music, and musical theater performance. Belmont “has one of the best nursing programs in the state,” and the popular social work program boasts “excellent” faculty. The school’s academic atmosphere emphasizes faith: “Teachers pray in class before tests and some invite the class as a group to attend their church. Some send you verses with your lessons.” Belmont doesn’t “even hire” non-Christian professors, a policy that, although common to Christian colleges, stirred controversy when a Jewish candidate advanced through the faculty hiring process only to be considered ineligible for the post. Students say, however, that “religion is not forced on anyone.” Most professors are very attentive, closely monitoring student progress; one student says, “I had a professor call me because I was late to a class once.” In general, faculty members “know your name and face and remember you after you have finished their class.” One student warns, however, that the best teachers are not always the most involved: “So far this semester, the professors who do not know my name have taught me more than the professors who know my name and can’t communicate the time of day effectively.”