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University of Tennessee


Two years before the Southwest Territory joined the Union, the University of Tennessee was first chartered in 1794 as the all-male Blount College. After the Civil War, the college was endowed as a state, land-grant agricultural school under the Morrill Act of 1862 and changed its name to East Tennessee University. By 1879, the university was renamed the University of Tennessee and became the state’s premier flagship public research institution. UT enrolls over 21,400 undergraduates and 5,900 post-graduates from more than 100 countries. The University of Tennessee is headquartered on a main 560-acre urban campus in Knoxville near the Great Smoky Mountains.

According to the U.S. News, the University of Tennessee is the 103rd best national university, 47th top public school, and 84th best college for veterans. In particular, UT is acclaimed for having America’s 63rd best engineering school, 52nd top education college, and 52nd best law school. Forbes ranked UT as the 126th best research university nationally. Along with the “Best 380 Colleges,” the University of Tennessee is profiled in the Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back.” Kiplinger’s named UT among the country’s 100 best public values. Times Higher Education also honored the University of Tennessee in the globe’s top 300 universities.

University of Tennessee Accreditation Details

Recently reaffirmed in 2015, the University of Tennessee is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), one of six agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. UT’s academic departments also have 24 discipline-specific accreditations. Nursing degrees are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs (CANAEP). Health programs align with the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Teaching degrees also have approval from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

University of Tennessee Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of 74 percent, the University of Tennessee has a lightly selective admissions process. First-year students must be high school graduates, have completed a home school program, or earn the GED equivalent. Freshmen must have at least four units of English, two units of algebra, two units of advanced math, three units of science, two units of social studies, two units of foreign language, and one unit of visual/performing arts. On average, students have a high school GPA of 3.85. Admitted freshmen also achieve an average ACT score of 27 and SAT score of 1165, excluding the essay.

Transfer applicants must have completed at least one year full-time at a regionally accredited college or university. Incoming transfers must hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 in college credit courses for transfer. Tennessee Transfer Pathways are available for applicants with an A.A. or A.S. degree in the Board of Regents (TBR) system. International students must demonstrate English proficiency by scoring at least 70 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. At the graduate level, candidates must already possess a baccalaureate degree from a four-year accredited university. Most graduate programs mandate a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the senior year of bachelor’s study or 2.7 cumulative GPA.

Before the December 1st regular deadline, students interested in studying at the University of Tennessee should submit:

• UTK or Common Application form
• Official high school or collegiate transcripts
• Standardized testing score reports
• Two short-answer essay responses
• One or two letters of recommendation
• Brief personal statement (optional)
• Payment for the $30 application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from Tennessee can expect to pay $6,218 per semester. Non-resident undergraduate students must afford $15,428 per full-time semester. This includes the $378 maintenance fee, $120 technology fee, and $196 facilities fee. Part-time learners could pay $482 (in-state) or $1,234 (out-of-state) per credit. Room and board is estimated to cost $9,926 annually. Total yearly cost of attendance for undergraduates is $29,626 (in-state) and $48,046 (out-of-state). Full-time graduate students living in Tennessee are charged $6,178 per semester. Non-resident graduates enrolled full-time pay $15,387 each semester. Law students specifically pay $9,503 (in-state) and $18,840 (out-of-state) per semester.

95 percent of beginning, full-time UT students receive financial aid. On average, students borrow $16,000 total in Federal Perkins, Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Grad PLUS loans. Based on their EFC, students could qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents may apply for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) Grant or Tennessee HOPE Access Grant. Need-based Federal-Work Study (FWS) provides an average of $3,000 per year for on-campus employment. Many scholarships are awarded also, including the Volunteer Scholarship, Tennessee Pledge Scholarship, Provost Scholarship, and UT Promise Scholarship.

Student Experience

Split into nine undergraduate and 11 graduate college, the University of Tennessee is an academic giant offering aggressive learning paths. Currently, students can select from over 300 bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral, and certificate programs. Some unique undergraduate majors include Agricultural Leadership, Business Analytics, Classics, Forestry, Logistics, Materials Science, Plant Science, and Rhetoric. There’s also a Pre-Professionals Major for medicine, dentistry, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, and physical therapy. Top students can enroll in the Haslam Honors Program. UT has a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, but only around 27 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students.

Known for being one of the Southeast’s largest purchaser of green power, UT’s campus meets LEED certification standards on sustainability. Research is a large part of campus life. Students could engage in cutting-edge studies at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, Center for Environmental Biotechnology, and more. The University of Tennessee is known for its forensic work at the Anthropological Research Facility, or “Body Farm.” When not studying, students could tour the UT Gardens, explore the Blanton Museum of Art, or burn calories at the RecSports Center.

The Center for Student Engagement has registered 472 student-run organizations for staying busy on-campus. Depending on their interests, students could write for the “Daily Beacon,” shake it with the Dance team, broadcast live on UTTV, or join the Pride of the Southland Band. For Greek life, there are 22 sororities and 30 fraternities housed here. Fun annual events include Torch Night, Aloha Oe, Vol Walk, and Big Orange Friday. UT residence halls also battle in the month-long POWER Challenge to go green. Every weekend in football season, the 102,000-seat Neyland Stadium fills for cheering on the University of Tennessee Volunteers.