I recently visited Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where I toured campus and spoke with the admissions office about the latest trends in admissions. Here are some takeaways from my visit:

· Located in a suburb of Nashville 30 miles from downtown, MTSU enrolls just under 16,000 undergraduates and offers over 180 undergraduate programs. The average class size is 25, and many classes are capped at 20 students.

· Given its proximity to Music City, it’s not surprising that MTSU has the top-rated audio engineering program in the US. The school’s College of Media and Entertainment houses many other standout programs, including animation, recording industry music business and video and film production. Many professors come from industry (which helps students land internships and jobs), and students and faculty have racked up numerous accolades, including 39 Grammys since 2001 and a recent Emmy for a student commercial. Animation alumni have worked on a variety of notable productions, including Netflix’s BoJack Horseman show.

· Aviation is also popular at MTSU. Under the umbrella of aerospace engineering, students can concentrate in aviation, unmanned drones, aviation management, flight dispatch or traditional aerospace engineering. MTSU partners with Delta and Southwest to provide students with mentorships and paths to aviation careers at those airlines. MTSU owns a fleet of 45 DA-40 aircraft just five minutes from campus at the school’s airport.

· Other notable programs include concrete construction engineering, mechatronics, engineering technology, insurance and risk management. The nursing program boasts a 97% NCLEX pass rate, and nursing students complete their clinical hours at Vanderbilt.

· Undergraduate research is emphasized and supported by university grants. Students present their research each year at the campus-wide Scholars Week event. An Honors College offers priority registration, additional advising, smaller honors classes and the option to complete a senior thesis.

· Although primarily a commuter campus, there is on-campus housing for 3,000 students, and students who want it are usually able to secure it. Weekends can be quiet, but students on-campus socialize, take part in weekend club events (there are over 300 student organizations) and enjoy the student union, which features a game room, ping pong table, pool table, air hockey, video games and movie theater. More than 200 concerts take place on campus each year, and Murfreesboro offers bowling, ice skating and additional movie theaters. Outdoor trips are also popular with students.

· LGBTQ students report feeling very welcomed on campus. The Center for Non-Traditional Students offers support and resources for the LGBTQ community, and there is an LGBTQ club that holds events on campus. The university also participates in LGBTQ Safe Space training.

· Greek life is not a big part of the campus experience, with only 9% of students participating.

· There are 17 Div I teams on campus and over 50 intramural sports.