2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Dec 15, 2018  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies and Requirements for Graduate Students



Dixie L. Thompson, BA, MA, PhD, Vice Provost and Dean
Ernest L. Brothers, BS, MS, MPPA, PhD, Associate Dean
Sara Bradberry, BS, MS, EdD Assistant Dean and Director of Student Services
Yvonne Kilpatrick, BS, MBA, Assistant Dean and Director, Graduate Admissions
Sarah Stone, Thesis/Dissertation Consultant
Catherine Cox, Graduate Catalog Editor and Curriculum Coordinator

http://gradschool.utk.edu

 

Application Procedures and Admission Policies

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent who wishes to take courses for graduate credit, whether or not the person desires to become a candidate for a degree, must submit a formal online application (https://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/applying-to-graduate-school/) for admission to graduate study or apply for transient status. No action is taken until a file is complete. An applicant will be notified once action has been taken by the department/program and the Office of Graduate Admissions. Applicants should check their status online.

The application and admissions is a multi-step process.

  1. The applicant completes the application process (described below).
  2. The Graduate School screens the application to ensure the applicant meets minimal standards.
  3. The Director of Graduate Studies for the particular program will work with the program faculty to review the materials submitted. Acceptance will depend on a number of factors including the applicant’s credentials and the needs of the program.
  4. The Graduate School is notified of the program’s admission decision.
  5. The Graduate School notifies the applicant of the admission decision.

Application Steps for Admission

To apply for admission, the following materials must be submitted to Graduate Admissions through the online application submission process:

  • The completed online (https://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/applying-to-graduate-school/) Graduate Application for Admission.
  • A non-refundable application fee paid by credit card or electronic check.
  • One unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities attended submitted online at the time of application to the Graduate School. See Graduate Admissions website https://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/ for more information.        
  • An applicant may be required to undergo English Certification for admission to the Graduate School by submitting results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
    • Minimum scores required for admission to the graduate School are
      • A total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT).
      • A total score of 550 or equivalent on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT).
        • To register, contact Educational Testing Service (ETS, https://www.ets.org/). The ETS UT code is 1843.
      • A 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.
    • The score will be considered valid if submitted within two (2) years of the test date.
    • An applicant may be exempted from the English Certification requirement if:
      • English is an official language in the applicant’s country of citizenship, according to Countries With English as Official Language as published by the Graduate School
        OR
      • English is the primary language of instruction at the institution in which the applicant received an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree.
    • Some graduate programs may have more rigorous requirements. Applicants are responsible for meeting the requirements of the graduate programs when the standards exceed those of the Graduate School.
  • Additional departmental/program supplemental materials my include but are not limited to:
    • Departmental supplemental application materials.
    • Reference letters or rating forms.
    • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE, Educational Testing Service, https://www.ets.org/. The ETS UT code is 1843) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT, register for the GMAT here, https://www.mba.com/us required by some programs.

After admission is offered, the following must be provided:

  • Official transcripts and degree certificates (if separate from the transcript). See Graduate Admissions website https://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/ for more information.
    • The Graduate School will reserve the right to revoke admission to a student if any unofficial or official documents are found to be fraudulent following review and comparison.
    • Registration is prohibited after the first semester of enrollment until students have submitted the official copy of transcripts, including any degree certificates or degree confirmations, from all institutions previously attended.
  • For those who submitted unofficial TOEFL or IELTS scores with the application, verification of official scores is required.
  • For those who have the Eligibility Verification for Entitlement Act (EVEA) requirement, documentation that proves U.S. citizenship or lawful presence as required by state law. For information on EVEA, visit the One Stop Student Services website

All documents submitted become the property of the university and will not be returned.

Admission Classifications

There are several types of admission classifications. Brief descriptions can be found below, and more detail is provided on the Graduate Admissions web page, https://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/. Regardless of classification, all applicants must apply through the Graduate Admissions process.

  • Degree admission – for those pursuing a graduate or professional degree.
  • Non-degree admission – for those interested in taking graduate courses but not in a particular degree program.
  • Graduate certificate admission – for those pursuing a graduate certificate, either a stand-alone certificate or a certificate earned simultaneous with a degree.
  • Transient admission – for those enrolled in a graduate program at another institution and wishing to use UT classes in their program of study.
  • Postdoctoral admission – for those holding a doctoral degree who wishes to continue taking graduate courses.
  • Faculty admission – for members of the faculty or staff located in Knoxville.

Degree Admission

Admission to a degree program requires that a person meet the minimum admission requirements and any additional program requirements. Refer to the appropriate department for specific requirements for admission to the degree program. Meeting minimum Graduate School and program requirements does not guarantee admission.

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, applicants must demonstrate a potential for superior academic performance. Criteria considered include performance in prior undergraduate and/or graduate studies, achievement on graduate admission tests, letters of recommendation from professors familiar with the applicant’s capabilities, and other evidence of scholarly achievement.

An applicant may not be admitted simultaneously to more than one degree program. Two or more applications to separate degree programs will not be considered concurrently. Note: A limited number of dual degree programs are available and listed in the Graduate Catalog. These require only one application to the dual program.

Non-Degree Admission

A major must be declared if the intent is to seek an advanced degree, but there are cases in which individuals wish to take graduate courses without being admitted to a degree program. Applicants may apply for non-degree status who, for example:

  • Need additional time to fulfill admission requirements for a degree program.
  • Do not wish to pursue a degree program.

Minimum requirements (see Admission Requirements/Policies) must be met for admission to non-degree status. Be aware that some departments do not permit non-degree students to enroll in graduate courses. Non-degree students should contact departments regarding course availability. Course restrictions may also be given in the course descriptions in the Graduate online catalog.

Admission to non-degree status does not constitute admission to a degree program. Typically, no more than 15 credit hours may be taken in graduate non-degree status. If admitted into a degree program, no more than 15 non-degree credit hours may be applied toward a graduate degree, if approved by the program. Courses applied toward any graduate degree must fall within the time limit specified for the degree.

Students in non-degree status may convert to a degree program before accumulating 15 credit hours of coursework in graduate non-degree status. The student must apply and be admitted to a specific degree program. To change your status from non-degree to degree seeking, see information on the Graduate School Forms Central, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, for Change of Program.

Non-degree graduate students do not have academic advisors since they are not affiliated with an academic unit and faculty. The Graduate School’s Assistant Dean and Director of Student Services is available to assist with questions. Contact the Graduate School (gradschool@utk.edu) if you have questions.

An international student on a student visa may not enroll as a non-degree student, except for students admitted through a reciprocal exchange program. These international exchange graduate students are subject to Graduate School policies affecting non-degree students. Additional information about exchange student status is found under Admission Requirements for International Exchange Graduate Students.

Auditors and Audited Courses

Persons who wish to attend certain classes regularly, without taking examinations or receiving grades or credit, may do so by completing an online graduate admissions application as a non-degree student, paying the application fee, registering as an auditor, and paying regular fees. Graduate students paying regular fees also are entitled to audit courses. Courses audited do not count toward minimum credit hours required for financial assistance.

The names of all auditors properly registered will appear on the electronic grade rolls, but will be removed from the final grade report. Auditors receive no credit and the audited course will not be recorded on the transcript and/or the permanent record.

Persons may not attend class without being properly admitted to the university and registered in the class.

Senior or Disabled Citizens

Legislation gives Tennessee citizens who are 60 years of age or older, 30-year state retirees, or those who are totally disabled, the opportunity to attend credit and non-credit courses at the university at no charge on an audit, space available basis. Legal verification of any of these conditions is required for enrollment. Students who are 65 or over, or who are totally disabled, and who desire to receive university credit for their courses, may pay a reduced rate. For more information see the One Stop Student Services website, https://onestop.utk.edu/class-registration/.

Admission for Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs provide a means for UT to respond to emerging needs. Graduate certificate programs provide focused areas of studies for students

  1. pursuing other academic programs at the Master or doctoral levels,
  2. who have already earned a Master or doctorate, or
  3. who are post-baccalaureate and enrolled solely in graduate certificate programs.

Graduate certificate programs are for-credit programs, based entirely on credit courses, and appear on the academic transcript. Graduate certificate programs are required to have student-learning outcomes and an assessment plan reported annually through the University’s adopted process.

Non-credit certificate programs may be established by any academic unit. The non-credit certificate is issued by the unit to those completing the program. These may be for professional development and continuing education of working professionals to maintain licensure. These may be offered online or non-traditional formats. They are not placed on an official university transcript. These are often offered through UT Conferences and Non-Credit Programs.

Admission for Postdoctoral Students

Persons who hold an earned doctoral degree and desire to take graduate courses may be admitted in the postdoctoral status. A completed online Graduate Application for Admission, the application fee, and confirmation of the doctorate are required for admission. Postdoctoral students will not be required to submit transcripts and test scores.

Admission in the postdoctoral status does not constitute admission to a degree program; hence, this is a non-degree seeking status and students are limited to the same 15 credit hour limitation. These credit hours may be applied towards a degree program if they are taken within the allowable time frame for a Master’s (six years from first course) or doctoral program (eight years from first course). To change your status from non-degree to degree seeking, see information on the Graduate School Forms Central for Change of Program. Students will be notified about admission decisions by email by the Office of Graduate Admissions and will not be permitted to enroll until officially admitted by the Graduate School.

Admission for Transient Students

A student who is enrolled in good standing in a graduate degree program at another institution and who wishes to take courses for transfer to that institution may be admitted after submitting a completed online Graduate Application for Admission, the application fee, and a Transient Student Certification form at least two weeks prior to registration. Transient students will not be required to submit transcripts and test scores. Only one semester, or a maximum of 12 credit hours, of coursework can be taken in transient status. Students will be notified about admission decisions by email by the Office of Graduate Admissions and will not be permitted to enroll until officially admitted by the Graduate School.

Admission for Faculty and Staff

If admitted to graduate study, members of the faculty or staff located in Knoxville may take courses as graduate students. UT System policy HR0330 (https://policy.tennessee.edu/hr_policy/) addresses the educational assistance that is part of the employee benefit package.

Faculty members of UT or the Institute of Agriculture at the rank of lecturer or above will not normally be admitted to a degree program at UT. Exceptions may be granted on an individual basis upon petition to the Dean of the Graduate School. Petitioners must present their request in writing, providing adequate assurance that the residence requirement will be met and that there will be no conflict of interest. Written endorsements must be provided by the respective deans and department heads of the units in which members are employed and in which the degrees are to be pursued.

Non-faculty UT employees who pursue graduate education are governed by the same application and registration rules as other applicants, except in the case of an employee applying to a program housed in the same department where employment resides. In this case, the employee must submit a written endorsement from the department head outlining how potential conflict of interest will be addressed.

Prerequisites

When applying for admission to a graduate program, there is an expectation of sufficient undergraduate work in the major and related areas to satisfy the department that the student can do graduate work successfully in the chosen field. Individual undergraduate records are examined and evaluated by the appropriate program faculty before admission to a degree program is granted. Questions about program prerequisites should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies for the specific program.

Admission Requirements for Domestic Students

Admission to graduate study requires a bachelor’s degree with a satisfactory grade point average (GPA) from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency or foreign equivalent.

A student may apply to a UT graduate program prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree; however, that degree must be awarded before the semester when the student begins taking classes at UT.

The Graduate Council requires a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.70 out of a possible 4.00, or a 3.00 out of a possible 4.00 during the senior year of undergraduate study. Applicants with previous graduate work must have a GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, or equivalent, on all graduate work. Programs may require a higher average GPA for admission. Applicants with work experience or who are entering graduate study after a number of years away from an educational institution, usually five years, will be given consideration with greater flexibility relative to GPA.

An applicant whose undergraduate GPA falls below a 2.70 or whose graduate GPA falls below a 3.00, may be admitted by exception, upon recommendation of an academic unit.

The Office of Graduate Admissions reviews and determines if admissibility is met according to the standards for admission.

Application files are then forwarded to the program for review and for an admission decision to be entered. Each program sets standards for admission, which in many cases are above the minimum requirements.

The Office of Graduate Admissions must be notified of any change in the entering date after admission has been granted. Individual departments and colleges may have further restrictions on admission dates. For this information, students should contact the department they wish to enter. If a student does not enroll within one year after the requested admission, the application process must be repeated.

Enrollment in graduate programs is a privilege that may be withdrawn by the university, or any area of graduate study, if it is deemed necessary by the Dean of the Graduate School to safeguard the university’s standards.

The Office of Graduate Admissions will notify students by email about admission decisions. Students will not be permitted to enroll until officially admitted by the Graduate School. Persons may not attend classes without being properly admitted to the university and officially registered in classes.

Admission Requirements for International Students

Admission to graduate study requires a bachelor’s degree with a satisfactory grade point average from a college or university accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency or foreign equivalent.

For admission to a graduate program, an international student must have an equivalent 4-year bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale on all previous coursework and a 3.30 on a 4.00 scale on all previous graduate work. Grading systems other than the 4.00 scale are evaluated, upon receipt of transcripts, in accordance with standard practice. Programs may require a higher average GPA for admission. Applicants with work experience or who are entering graduate study after a number of years away from an educational institution, usually five years, will be given consideration with greater flexibility relative to GPA. An international student graduating from a United States institution must meet the same requirements as those for domestic students.

An applicant with a non-U.S degree whose undergraduate GPA falls below a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or whose graduate GPA falls below a 3.30 on a 4.00 scale may be admitted by exception, upon recommendation of an academic unit.

An international student on a student visa may not request admission as a non-degree student, except for students admitted through a reciprocal exchange program.

International students may apply for admission any semester, but normally enter the fall semester. Individual departments and colleges may have further restrictions on admission dates. For this information, students should contact the department they wish to enter. If a student does not enroll within one year after the requested admission, the application process must be repeated. The submission deadlines for applications from non-domestic applicants to the Office of Graduate Admissions are:

  Semester of initial enrollment Application Deadline
  Fall February 1
  Spring June 15
  Summer October 15

The Office of Graduate Admissions must be notified of any change in entering date after admission has been granted.

Enrollment in graduate programs is a privilege that may be withdrawn by the university, or any area of graduate study, if it is deemed necessary by the Dean of the Graduate School to safeguard the university’s standards.

The Office of Graduate Admission will notify students by email about admission decisions. Students will not be permitted to enroll until officially admitted by the Graduate School. Persons may not attend classes without being properly admitted to the university and officially registered in classes.

International students must provide documentation of financial resources to cover the cost of attending UT (insert link). Submission of documented evidence of financial resources must be received by the Center for International Education (CIE) prior to the issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 form. The I-20 or DS-2019 is then used to obtain a visa.

The university will not issue the I-20 or DS-2019 after the following dates:

  Semester of initial enrollment Application deadline
  Fall May 15
  Spring October 1
  Summer February 15

Admission Requirements for International Exchange Graduate Students

UT seeks to develop and continue relationships with institutions of higher education around the world in an effort to globalize the experiences of students. The Center for International Education at UT in collaboration with academic units establishes and maintains formal agreements between UT and these institutions, outlining the specific conditions of each reciprocal graduate student exchange program. The Center for International Education and the Graduate School monitor jointly the International Agreements to ensure current program status and approval of graduate level student participation. As a host institution, UT requires that all criteria for admission and enrollment for international students must be met.

An international exchange graduate student may register as a non-degree student for the period specified in the exchange agreement of up to one academic year (two full semesters and one summer semester) and must comply with all regulations (federal and university) with regard to course load. In addition, they must meet any other requirements affecting non-degree graduate students.

An international exchange graduate student must obtain the approval of the instructor prior to enrolling in a course. The transferability of academic credit is determined by the student’s home institution.

International exchange graduate students are required to submit official documents and meet the requirements of the Graduate School as listed in Admission Requirements of International Students. Incoming exchange graduate students will work with the Programs Abroad Office of the Center for International Education and the coordinators of the International Agreement at the home and host institution to submit the documentation as required by all parties in the exchange.

If an international exchange graduate student who was enrolled as a non-degree seeking student later applies for admission to the University as a degree-seeking graduate student, he or she must follow the normal procedures required for admission to a degree program, as described in Admission Requirements of International Students. The use of any graduate coursework completed as a non-degree exchange student toward degree requirements will be subject to approval of the student’s faculty committee. All requirements related to courses that may be counted toward graduate degrees apply, including rules concerning courses counted toward another degree.

Residency Classification: Admissions and University Fees

Residency classification is needed to determine the tuition and fees assessed to each student. Initial residency classification is determined from information included on the UT Graduate Application for Admission. Notice of residency classification is included in the acknowledgement of the application for admission. Applicants who would like their residency classification reviewed may submit a Graduate Application for In-State Classification appeal form as indicated on the Registrar’s website at https://registrar.utk.edu/student-residency-classification. The appeal form and supporting documentation must be filed no later than the last day of regular, or priority, registration in order to have the reclassification effective for the semester. After review, the applicant will be notified by email. Additional information regarding the State of Tennessee regulations for classification may be found in the Residency Classification Guide at the Office of the University Registrar’s website https://registrar.utk.edu/student-residency-classification/residency-classification-guide/.

Academic Common Market

Simultaneous with application for admission to UT, students from out-of-state may apply for in-state tuition if the student is from one of the participating southern states and the specific program is part of the Academic Common Market. The Academic Common Market is an agreement among Southern states for sharing unique programs. Participating states can make arrangements for their residents who are fully admitted to specific programs at the UT to enroll on an in-state tuition basis if these programs are not available in the state of residence.

Cooperating states in the Academic Common Market are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Residents of member states who seek further information on approved programs should contact the Southern Regional Educational Board (https://www.sreb.org/), 592 Tenth Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318-5790, (404) 875-9211, FAX (404) 872-1477. To identify their state’s Academic Common Market contact http://home.sreb.org/acm/states.aspx or Norma Harrington, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, (865) 974-1111.

Admissions Application Fee

A non-refundable Graduate Admissions Application Fee must be submitted with each first-time admissions application before an individual will be permitted to become a University of Tennessee graduate student or attend classes and before an individual student account will be established. A reduced, non-refundable Graduate School Readmission Application Fee must be submitted by previously enrolled UT graduate students who are re-applying after being absent for one semester or more, not including summer semester. If a student does not enroll within one year after the requested admission, the application process must be repeated as a first-time admissions application.

Readmission

Graduate students at UT with an interruption in enrollment must seek readmission unless they qualify for reinstatement (see section below on Reinstatement. An interruption in enrollment is defined as follows:

  1. Interruption of enrollment for at least one semester (excluding summer) when last enrolled as a graduate student.
  2. Withdrawal from the university when last enrolled as a graduate student.
  3. Not complying with conditions stipulated in the context of an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) and thus forfeiting reinstatement into the graduate degree program for which a Leave of Absence had been granted. 

To seek readmission, students must submit a Readmission Application to the Office of Graduate Admissions through the on-line application submission process. The application is located on the Graduate Admissions website http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu. A non-refundable application fee will be assessed upon each submission of the Readmission Application.

  • Domestic students must submit their applications at least two weeks prior to the first day of class in the desired semester of entry.
  • International students must note that all published deadline dates for new international graduate applications also apply for applications for readmission. (See Admission Requirements of International Students section in Graduate Catalog.)

Students who have attended other institutions since their last graduate enrollment at UT must also submit an official transcript from each institution showing all coursework and any degrees earned at other institutions. See information under Application Steps for Admission for more information regarding transcripts.

The Office of Graduate Admissions notifies students about readmission decisions by email. Students will not be permitted to enroll until officially readmitted. Persons may not attend classes without being properly admitted to the university and officially registered in classes.

Conditional Admission Registration

Applicants who appear to meet the admission requirements for graduate study may be allowed to register for an initial term after submitting the Graduate Application for Admission form and application fee. Time is allowed to obtain official transcripts and additional requirements for admission. Students who fail to gain admission within seven weeks after registration will not be permitted to register again until all admission requirements are met. International students may not register until all required materials, including official transcripts, have been submitted.

Application Information about Student Conduct

The University of Tennessee is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all members of our community. All applicants to the university must answer the student conduct information questions on their application for admission. An application will not be processed without the responses. An affirmative answer to any of these questions does not automatically bar admission to the university, but does require review. You may save time in the review process by submitting copies of legal or other documentation with the application, or separately if applying online. The application review process occurs monthly.

English Language Requirements

English Certification

An applicant requesting admission to the Graduate School may be required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum score requirements for admission to the Graduate School are:

  • a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT),
  • a total score of 550 or equivalent on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT), or
  • a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

The scores will be considered valid if submitted within two (2) years of the test date. An applicant may be exempted from the English Certification requirement if:

  1. English is an official language in the applicant’s country of citizenship, according to standards published by the Graduate School.

Or

  1. English is the primary language of instruction at the institution in which the applicant received an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree.

Some graduate programs may have more rigorous requirements. Applicants are responsible for meeting the requirements of the graduate programs when the standards exceed those of the Graduate School.

Conditional Admission Based on English Proficiency

For those applicants who do not have English language scores or who have scores below the minimum of

  • a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT),
  • a total score of 550 or equivalent on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT), or
  • a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS

may request conditional admission.

The policy on conditional admission based on English proficiency facilitates the admission of academically qualified, degree-seeking international graduate students who have not satisfied the English certification requirement, yet are being considered for full admission by a graduate program.

Degree-seeking applicants must be recommended by a graduate program for English proficiency conditional admission to UT.

This policy supplements the English Certification policy specifying minimum qualifications for admission of applicants to degree-seeking status at the master’s and doctoral levels (see English Certification). Individual graduate programs may in addition have more stringent conditions beyond these standards (see the specific graduate program for details).

This conditional admission policy shifts the timing for the applicant to fulfill the English certification requirement to a date after arriving at UT for intensive English language study. The conditional admission based on English proficiency provides the student with the guarantee of admission to a graduate program once the English proficiency requirement is satisfied. Other requirements prescribed by the program must be completed within the allotted time frame of three semesters, including summer.

Prospective international students should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for the list of graduate programs that have agreed to consider applicants for conditional admission for English proficiency.

Program/Unit Commitment

English proficiency conditional admission to a graduate program may be granted by the UT Graduate School for a period of one year (three semesters, including summer). Therefore, any graduate program recommending English proficiency conditional admission must commit to

  • admitting the student into the program no later than the end of the three semesters specified in the admission letter only if the student has fulfilled the English language requirement and
  • any other requirements prescribed by the program.

A program granting conditional admission, based on English proficiency, is obligated to offer admission by the end of the three-semester conditional admission period to the student meeting the requirement(s).

English Language Institute Enrollment

A student admitted conditionally will receive the I-20 to enter the U.S. only for English language study. Upon entry into the U.S., the student will enroll in the University of Tennessee English Language Institute (UT ELI), in order to satisfy the English proficiency requirement by achieving one of the following scores

  • a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT),
  • a total score of 550 or equivalent on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT), or
  • a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

The student may not enroll in any other UT course while enrolled in the ELI.

The student may request a waiver from the Graduate School to attend a different U.S.-based and U.S.-accredited intensive English language program.

When the student completes the ELI program and achieves the above stated minimum standards, he/she will be expected to enroll as a degree-seeking student in the admitting UT program starting with the semester immediately following successful completion of the ELI program. The student will have no more than three semesters (including summer) to complete the ELI program and enroll in the UT degree program to which they were conditionally admitted.

Conditional Admission Based on English Proficiency Procedures

  • The applicant must submit an online application for admission to the UT Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • Graduate programs may request the Office of Graduate Admissions to conditionally admit a student based on English language proficiency.
  • Conditional admission can be granted only by the UT Graduate School if the UT ELI has confirmed that it can accommodate the student or if a waiver has been granted to attend a different intensive English language program.
  • Once the UT Graduate School and the degree program agree that the student’s qualifications warrant conditional admission, an admission letter will be issued by the Office of Graduate Admissions to indicate the English proficiency conditional admission and other requirements to be met within the specified time frame.
  • Funding for enrollment in the intensive English language program at ELI is the student’s or his/her sponsor’s responsibility
  • The Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student) will be issued for the ELI program only.
  • Upon successful completion of the ELI course and/or program and the appropriate TOEFL or IELTS score, the student will be issued a new Form I-20 by UT Center for International Education for the intended graduate degree program.

NOTE: The student may not enroll in any other UT course while enrolled in the ELI.

Revocation of Conditional Admission Based on English Proficiency

If a student is unable to fulfill the English proficiency condition within the required time frame, admission to the graduate program will be revoked. In this case, the student has the following options:

  • Submit a new graduate admission application and, if admitted conditionally, continue studying at UT ELI.
  • Leave the U.S.
  • Seek a transfer to another school in the U.S.

CIE will advise students in this situation of their options and rights.

Competency in English to Teach

UT requires all who teach to be competent in spoken English. The specific policy, as it relates to graduate students who teach, is as follows:

Since a certain level of competency with English as a spoken language is necessary for effective communication and teaching, all Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Teaching Associates whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of comprehensibility for classroom teaching by taking the Oral Proficiency Interview by computer (OPIc) administered through the Graduate School.

Students need to consult the OPIc website for more specific details on the OPIc, including test dates at https://gradschool.utk.edu/graduate-student-life/ita-testing-program/.

The results of the OPIc will be communicated to the appropriate department to be used in determining the nature and extent of instructional or other duties assigned the Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Teaching Associates. Suggested modes of remediation will be given to the department and graduate student when appropriate.

New international students who have been offered an appointment as Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Teaching Associate will take the OPIc after their arrival at UT and the results of the test will be used to determine the nature of their assignment.

Validation of competence in communicating with students in English is required for all who are responsible for working with students. Deans, department heads, and directors are responsible for validating such competence.
 

Enrollment and Registration

Course Loads

The maximum load for a graduate student is 15 credit hours during fall and spring semesters. While 9 credit hours are considered full time, the typical full academic load varies by discipline. For the summer semester, graduate students may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours in an entire summer semester or for a maximum of 6 credit hours in a five-week summer session. Students may enroll in only one course during a mini-term session.

Students holding a one-half (50 percent full-time equivalent, FTE) time assistantship normally should enroll in at least 6 credit hours during the semesters of the assistantship. A one-fourth (25 percent FTE) time graduate assistant normally should take at least 9 credit hours during the semesters of the assistantship. A student must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours to be considered full-time for federal financial aid purposes, even if the student has an assistantship. The section entitled Policy for the Administration of Graduate Assistantships contains additional information about assistantships.

Registration for more than 15 credit hours during any semester, or for more than 12 credit hours in the summer semester, is not permissible without prior approval. The academic advisor may request registration of up to 18 credit hours during a semester if the student has achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.60 or better in at least 9 credit hours of graduate work with no outstanding incompletes. The Graduate Course Overload form can be found on the Forms Central page on the Graduate School website.

Courses audited do not count toward minimum credit hours required for financial aid purposes.

Law Courses

A graduate student may take up to 6 credit hours of law courses and apply them toward a graduate degree, upon approval of the College of Law and the student’s major professor. The graduate student must register for law courses during the registration period at the College of Law and request a Satisfactory/No Credit only grade. If the student earns a 2.00 or better, an S will be recorded on the transcript. Below 2.00, a No Credit will be recorded, and the course cannot be used toward meeting degree requirements. Grades for law courses will not be reflected in the cumulative grade point average, as law courses do not carry graduate credit.

Different rules apply to students enrolled in the Dual JD-MBA, JD-MPA, and other dual degree programs. Grades must be earned according to the grading system of the respective colleges, e.g. numerical grades for law courses, letter grades for graduate courses. Refer to the appropriate sections for these dual degree programs in the current graduate catalog for more information.

A student enrolled in the PhD in Business Administration program may use 8 credit hours or more of law courses for the supporting area via the arrangement described under Business Administration.

Veterinary Medicine Courses

Only students in the dual DVM-PhD with a major in Comparative and Experimental Medicine are allowed to apply up to 8 credit hours veterinary medicine coursework with a grade equivalent of B or better towards their doctorate. See the information on the Dual DVM-PhD Program - Veterinary Medicine  program for more details.

Auditing Graduate Level Courses

Graduate students paying regular fees also are entitled to audit courses. Courses audited do not count toward minimum graduate credit hours required for financial assistance.

The names of all auditors properly registered will appear on the electronic grade rolls, but will be removed from the final grade report. Auditors receive no credit and the audited course will not be recorded on the transcript and/or the permanent record.

Late Registration Fee

A late registration fee will be assessed to students who register during Late Registration period (including those who were canceled during Priority Registration). Payment of fees must be made by the Late Registration payment due date. This due date is published on the One Stop Student Services Dates and Deadlines web page (https://onestop.utk.edu/calendar-charges/). The Late Registration Fee is non-refundable. One Stop Student Services has more information on this fee.

Continuous Enrollment

All degree-seeking students are expected to make a full commitment to their graduate and/or professional study in order to ensure that they can complete all degree requirements without unnecessary delay. Graduate students are therefore required to maintain an active status through continuous enrollment from the time of first enrollment until graduation. (Doctoral students registered for course 600 Dissertation have option of exemption under special circumstances of full-time internships not related to the dissertation. See section below Exemption from Continuous Enrollment of Course 600.

Continuous enrollment is maintained by registering for a minimum of one graduate credit hour per semester (excluding the summer, unless stipulated otherwise by the program or department). However, students who have started taking dissertation hours (course 600 Dissertation) must maintain a minimum of 3 credit hours per semester during all semesters, including the summer, in order to comply with the Continuous Enrollment requirement.

Special Note for International Students. The minimum enrollment for international students may be different, and international students always need to check with the Center for International Education (CIE) in order to determine what minimum enrollment they need to maintain in order to satisfy all enrollment requirements attached to their specific visa.

Exemption from Continuous Enrollment of Course 600 Dissertation: Internships/Practicum for Doctoral Students

Doctoral students who have started taking course 600 Dissertation and wish to do an internship/practicum that is relevant to their degree, but not specific to the dissertation, can petition to be exempted from the Continuous Enrollment requirement for a maximum of up to three semesters or 12 months. The petition should be submitted before the student participates in an internship/practicum, describe the nature of the internship/practicum, and must include justification. Approval must be granted first by the student’s advisor, then the Department or Unit, followed by the Graduate School. Multiple terms may be separate in time or back-to-back. Students whose petition is approved need not sign up for any coursework while doing the internship/practicum except international students must always check with the Center for International Education (CIE) to ensure that they remain compliant with their specific type of visa. The time limit to degree is not extended as a result of an internship/practicum. The petition form is available at the Graduate School’s Forms Central web page (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/).

Leave of Absence (LOA) and Reinstatement Following a LOA

If extenuating circumstances arise that make it necessary for students to interrupt their studies temporarily, a Request for a Leave of Absence (LOA) for a maximum of two years may be granted by the Graduate School upon approval by the student’s home department or program. All Graduate Student Leave of Absence Requests are reviewed and granted on a case-by-case basis. There are many situations for which a leave can be requested, such as the birth or adoption of a child, dependent care, a serious medical condition, military service, or other personal reasons. A Leave of Absence (LOA) will not be granted with the sole reason of financial hardship.

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to consult with their program, advisor, and Director of Graduate Studies of their academic unit in order to determine whether a Leave of Absence (LOA) is the most appropriate course of action, and international students must also consult with the Center for International Education in order to ensure compliance with Federal immigration policy. Prior to requesting a Leave of Absence (LOA), graduate students should always explore alternatives which would allow them to remain registered and make progress toward the degree, even if at a slower pace.

Students who are granted a Leave of Absence (LOA) by the Graduate School in accordance with this policy are eligible for Reinstatement provided they enroll no later than the term immediately following the expiration of the approved Leave of Absence, excluding summer (see Reinstatement policy below for more details). The term(s) and/or year(s) of an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) will not be counted toward time to degree, and milestone deadlines such as Admission to Candidacy will be adjusted accordingly. Having a Leave of Absence (LOA) granted does not imply a guaranteed continuation of funding options upon return.

Graduate students who are on a Leave of Absence (LOA) suspend their active study for one semester or more (up to 2 years), and while on a Leave of Absence (LOA) they are not able to make any formal progress toward their degree. In addition, they may not use faculty services and/or university facilities for the period of time that they are on a Leave of Absence (LOA).

Students are expected to return from a Leave of Absence (LOA). If they do not return to active student status by the end of the period of time stipulated in the approved Leave of Absence (LOA), they will be considered non-enrolled once their LOA has expired and lose their eligibility for Reinstatement. Graduate Students who have lost their eligibility for Reinstatement need to seek Readmission prior to being able to continue work in their graduate degree program (see policies below on Consequences of Non-Enrollment without Leave of Absence and on Readmission).

In order to return to an active student status, graduate students on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) need to establish Reinstatement into their graduate degree program by the end of the leave period stipulated on their approved Leave of Absence (LOA). Students on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) need to complete and submit their Request for Reinstatements to the Graduate School no later than on the last day of classes of the semester prior to the semester for which they seek to be reinstated (also see policy below on “Reinstatement”).

Consequences of Non-Enrollment without Leave of Absence

Graduate students who do not maintain continuous enrollment as stipulated in the Continuous Enrollment policy will lose their active student status. A student who has lost his or her active status without having been granted a Leave of Absence for the period of non-enrollment ahead of time will not be allowed to continue in his her graduate program until readmitted. (See policy below on Readmission for more details.)

Non-enrollment other than during an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) does not alter or affect any of the milestone deadlines, such as admission to candidacy, time to degree, and other milestones depending upon the program.

Upon approval for readmission to complete the interrupted degree program, students will be retroactively enrolled in every semester of missed enrollment for one graduate credit hour of course 502 Use of Facilities or for 3 credit hours of course 600 Dissertation (whichever is appropriate). Students will be responsible for paying the past tuition charges and fees as well as the current university per semester late registration penalty. All past due charges will need to be paid before the Graduate School will approve the student for any future enrollment.

Reinstatement

Graduate students on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) are expected to seek reinstatement to active student status by the end of the period approved by the Graduate School. Reinstatement Requests need to be initiated by the student, processed by the Director of Graduate Studies in charge of the graduate degree program to which reinstatement is requested, and submitted to the Graduate School no later than the last day of classes of the semester prior to the semester for which reinstatement is requested.

Early Reinstatement. If a student would like to return to active study earlier than originally anticipated and approved on his or her Leave of Absence (LOA) Request, the student will need to contact the director of graduate studies of his or her academic unit and discuss available options.

International students must note that all published deadline dates for new international graduate applications also apply for applications for reinstatement. (See section above on Admission Requirements of International Students.)

Readmission

Graduate students at UT with an interruption in enrollment must seek readmission unless they qualify for reinstatement (see section above on Reinstatement. An interruption in enrollment is defined as follows:

  1. Interruption of enrollment for at least one semester (excluding summer) when last enrolled as a graduate student.
  2. Complete withdrawal from the university for the semester when last enrolled as a graduate student.
  3. Not complying with conditions stipulated in the context of an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) and thus forfeiting reinstatement into the graduate degree program for which a Leave of Absence had been granted.

Please note that for the above circumstances, there is a charge for readmission (see section above on Readmission).

Students completing degree requirements and continuing into a new program must either

  1. complete a Change of Program application prior to graduation or
  2. complete a Readmission application if they have an absence of either a fall or spring semester after the point of graduation. Summer semester does not count as an absence.

To seek readmission, students must submit a Readmission Application to the Office of Graduate Admissions through the online application submission process. The application is located on the Graduate Admission website (http://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/). A non-refundable application fee will be assessed upon each submission of the Readmission Application.

  • Domestic students must submit their application at least two weeks prior to the first day of class in the desired semester of entry.
  • All published deadline dates for new international graduate applications apply for international students’ applications for readmission. (See section above on Admission Requirements of International Students.)

Students who have attended another institution since their last graduate enrollment at UT must also submit one official transcript from each institution showing all coursework and any degrees earned at that institution.

Students will be notified about admission decisions by the Office of Graduate Admissions and will not be permitted to enroll until officially admitted by the Graduate School.

Registration and Enrollment Requirements

Registration

All degree-seeking graduate students need to comply with UT’s Continuous Enrollment requirement and are therefore required to maintain an active status through continuous enrollment from the time of first enrollment until graduation (for details see section above on Continuous Enrollment). Only graduate students who are properly registered may use university facilities and/or faculty time.

The minimum number of credit hours for registration is 1 credit hour (however, for students who must register for course 600 Dissertation, the minimum is 3 credit hours), and registration allows use of services such as library checkout, laboratories, and recreation facilities not open to the public.

Students on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) are exempted from the continuous enrollment requirement during the semesters approved for an LOA and they will consequently not be able to use university facilities and/or faculty services while on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA).

Information concerning registration is available at the One Stop Student Services web page (http://onestop.utk.edu/class-registration/). Registration is accomplished via the web through the MyUTK (http://my.utk.edu/) student portal (you will be asked to login using your UT NetID and password). During priority registration, the VolXpress statements are delivered electronically (e-VolXpress). Students will receive an email at their UT email address indicating their e-VolXpress statement is available for viewing. The e-mail will include the website address where the student may view the statement at MyUTK (http://my.utk.edu/). Payment is due by the deadline noted on the bill. A graduated late fee is assessed to any student who fails to register during priority registration. Additional information can be obtained from the One Stop Express Student Services Office, (865) 974-1111, online (http://onestop.utk.edu/), or in person at Hodges Library.

Failure to pay tuition and fees before the deadline, as noted each semester on the bill (VolXpress statement), will result in student’s being dropped from all courses. Students may not attend and credit cannot be earned for classes without proper enrollment registration.

Since non-degree students are not admitted into a degree program, they obtain permission to register from the Graduate School. Non-degree students with no declared major must obtain permission from the department/program head to register for restricted courses.

Change in Registration Adds, Drops, and Withdrawals

The permanent record will show all courses for which the student has registered except those audited and those from which the student has withdrawn on or before the “Drop Course without W” deadline. This deadline is listed at the One Stop Student Services website (http://onestop.utk.edu/calendar/) under Dates and Deadlines.

Students who fail to attend the first class meeting, without prior arrangement with the department, may be dropped from the course roster to make space available to other students; but, it is the responsibility of the student to drop the course from their own schedule.

Students have the responsibility to assure courses they do not attend are dropped. Otherwise, a grade of F will be received for the course. Dropping courses may also impact repayment of some forms of financial aid and impact your ability to stay on assistantship. Consult with your advisor / major professor before dropping courses. If the student drops all courses for the semester, that is considered Withdrawing from the University. See following section on Withdrawing From the University.

Class days permitted to change registration for Full Term Classes Fall and Spring 

  • *From 1st through 10th day of class Add or Drop a course without a W or change credit/grading on the web at MyUTK (https://onestop.utk.edu/calendar/).
  • *From 11th through 42nd day of class Add course with instructor’s and advisor’s online permission; change credit/grading with advisor’s permission.
  • *After the 84th day, no drops are permitted. From the 85th day to the last day of classes, a student cannot drop single courses but instead can withdraw from the university. This will be recorded on the official transcript by a grade of W for all courses.

*These dates are separate from the Bursar’s refund deadlines. Charges for dropped classes and withdrawing are found at One Stop Student Services website (http://onestop.utk.edu/class-registration/drop/#dcc) under Registration and Degree Planning.

For summer semester, that includes full, first, and second terms, and for mini-term, the periods for add, drop, change of credit/grading are determined based on a percentage of the equivalent deadline for a full semester. See the Timetable/Financial Deadline Calendar for Summer Semester available at the Office of the Registrar website under Calendars (http://registrar.utk.edu/academic_calendar/index.shtml).

Within the change of registration period, a student may change registration on MyUTK (http://my.utk.edu/). If additional permission is necessary, a student must execute a change of registration at the Graduate School with approval of the instructor and Director of Graduate Studies.

Withdrawing From the University

Graduate students who need to drop all of their courses and leave the university before a semester is finished may totally withdraw by the deadline posted to the One Stop Student Services website under Dates and Deadlines (https://registrar.utk.edu/calendar/). Information about how to totally withdraw is also available at One Stop Student Services website under Registration and Degree Planning (http://onestop.utk.edu/withdraw/). The word “withdrawn” will be posted on the transcript for the semester.

NOTE: The consequence of failing to withdraw from a course or to totally withdraw from the university, is the grade of F will be recorded for each course the student stops attending. The act of stopping class participation and attendance does not constitute a course drop or withdraw or total withdrawal from the university.

Students who officially withdraw must apply for readmission in advance of their next semester of anticipated enrollment, except for withdrawal from summer semester.

Enrolled students are liable for fee payment; the amount is determined by date when during the semester the student drops courses or withdraws from the University. Withdrawal from the University may also impact repayment of some forms of financial aid. Any refunds that may be due upon a student’s withdrawal are issued by Office of the Bursar, 211 Student Services Building. Always consult with a One Stop Student Services advisor regarding impact on financial aid.

Students who are called to active military duty during a semester of enrollment should contact the Veteran Student Services Office (https://veterans.utk.edu/), G020 Hodges Library, 865-974-5420, for assistance with withdrawal and readmission procedures.

Conditional Admission Registration

Applicants who appear to meet the admission requirements for graduate study may be allowed to register for an initial term after submitting the Graduate Application for Admission form and application fee. Time is allowed to obtain official transcripts and additional requirements for admission. Students who fail to gain admission within seven weeks after registration will not be permitted to register again until all admission requirements are met. International students may not register until all required materials, including official transcripts, have been submitted.

Registration for Use of Facilities

Students using university facilities, services or faculty time, including summer semester, must be registered. Normally, students are registered for coursework or thesis/dissertation credit hours. Students who are not taking coursework and are not yet eligible to register for thesis or dissertation credit hours, must register for course 502 Use of Facilities if they wish to have borrowing privileges in the University Libraries or to use computer labs, other labs, or other university resources.

Proficiency Examinations

A proficiency examination measures the level of knowledge a student has in a specific body of knowledge. By taking a proficiency examination, a student may earn course credits and apply them towards a master’s degree. A maximum of one-fourth of the total credit hours in a master’s degree program may be earned by this method, subject to approval by the student’s graduate committee.

A proficiency examination may be given in academic courses offered for graduate credit. Applications for proficiency examinations are only available in the Office of the University Registrar, 209 Student Services Building. They are not available online.

  • Students should check with the department offering the course on the availability of proficiency examinations and check with their advisor to determine if their own program allows coursework completed by proficiency examination to be applied towards the master’s degree program of study.
  • A student must be admitted to graduate study. Proficiency examination is not available to students in non-degree seeking status.
  • The request for examination must be approved by the head of the department offering the course.
  • The student applying for this privilege must present evidence to the department head that he/she has the knowledge and abilities expected of graduate students who have taken the same course.
  • A per credit hour fee must be paid before each examination.
  • Upon passing the examination with a minimum grade of B, the student will receive graduate credit.
  • Proficiency examinations may not be used to raise the grade or change the credit in a course previously completed, nor may such an examination be repeated.
  • Proficiency examinations taken at other institutions are not transferable.

Undergraduate and Professional Students

UT Seniors Seniors Eligible for Graduate Credit

Subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, a senior at UT who needs fewer than 30 credit hours to complete requirements for a bachelor’s degree and has at least a B average (3.00) may enroll in graduate courses for graduate credit. During the fall and spring semesters, the combined total of undergraduate and graduate coursework cannot exceed 18 credit hours. During the summer semester, the combined total cannot exceed 12 credit hours.

  • Only students working toward a first bachelor’s degree are eligible.
  • Students who have met all requirements for graduation are not eligible.
  • Approval must be obtained each semester at the Graduate School, 111 Student Services Building, (865)974-2475. Senior Requesting Graduate Credit form (Senior Privilege) is available on the Graduate School Forms Central web page (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/).
  • A maximum of 9 credit hours of graduate credit at the 400 and 500 level can be obtained in this status. Under special circumstances, 600-level courses may be taken for Senior Privilege.
  • Some departments do not permit seniors to register for graduate courses without prior permission.
  • Courses taken for graduate credit may not be used for both the baccalaureate and a graduate degree program except in the case of approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs.

UT Law Students

Subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School and the College of Law, a law student at UT may enroll in graduate courses for graduate credit. Approval must be obtained each semester from the Graduate School.

Courses taken for graduate credit may not be used toward both the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree and a graduate degree. Use of such courses toward the JD degree is subject to guidelines approved by the law faculty.

UT offers numerous internal dual degree programs between the JD and master’s graduate programs (see the list in the online catalog (the Majors / Minors A-Z tab). Requirements for each degree must be met with rules differing for the application of JD courses to a graduate degree program. Consult the Director of Graduate Studies for the appropriate degree program and the College of Law for more information.

UT Veterinary Medicine Students

A student in good standing in the College of Veterinary Medicine may enroll in UT graduate courses under the following conditions.

  • The student’s advisor must approve in advance the student’s enrollment in each course.
  • The student may take a maximum of 10 credit hours of graduate courses during the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.
  • Approval must be obtained each semester at registration through the Graduate School. The student’s progress is subject to review and approval each semester by the Associate Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Courses taken for graduate credit typically may not be used toward both the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a graduate degree. However, UT offers internal dual degree programs of the DVM with the MS in Animal Science, with the MPH in Public Health, and with the PhD in Comparative and Experimental Medicine. Requirements for each degree must be met with rules differing for the application of DVM courses to a graduate degree program based on the needs of the graduate program. Consult the Director of Graduate Studies for the appropriate degree program and the College of Veterinary Medicine for more information.

Academic Standards, Standing, Grades, and Appeals

Academic Honesty and Integrity

Academic integrity is a responsibility of all members of the academic community. An honor statement is included on the online application for admission and readmission. Submitting the application acknowledges that adherence is confirmed. The honor statement declares (taken from Hilltopics (http://hilltopics.utk.edu/), the student handbook of the University).

An essential feature of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As a student of the University, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.

As stated in Hilltopics (http://hilltopics.utk.edu/), Academic Integrity is described as,

Study, preparation, and presentation should involve at all times the student’s own work, unless it has been clearly specified that work is to be a team effort. Academic honesty requires that the student present their own work in all academic projects, including tests, papers, homework, and class presentation. When incorporating the work of other scholars and writes into a project, the student must accurately cite the source of that work.

For additional information see the UT Libraries web page (http://www.lib.utk.edu/instruction/plagiarism) on plagiarism. See also the Student Code of Conduct web page (http://hilltopics.utk.edu/student-code-of-conduct/).

Research Compliance

Research and creative work is an integral part of graduate education, regardless of the discipline. As part of graduate education, it is incumbent upon students to conduct their research in an ethical manner.

The Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) drives the campus research enterprise by providing technical expertise in proposal development, faculty development, sponsored programs administration, and compliance requirements. Graduate students are expected to maintain high standards for the conduct of their research. To learn more about training, workshops and other resources available at the University, visit the ORE’s Compliance Training web page and the Graduate School’s Office of Training and Mentorship web page.

Plagiarism

Students shall not plagiarize. As stated in the Student Code of Conduct (see Section 10.4 Plagiarism, http://hilltopics.utk.edu/student-code-of-conduct/),

Plagiarism is using the intellectual property or product of someone else without giving proper credit. The undocumented use of someone else’s words or ideas in any medium of communication (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge) is a serious offense, subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course and/or dismissal from the university. Some examples of plagiarism are, but are not limited to

  • Using without proper documentation (quotation marks and citation) written or spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source;
  • Summarizing without proper documentation (usually a citation) ideas from another source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge);
  • Borrowing facts, statistics, graphs, pictorial representations, or phrases without acknowledging the source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge);
  • Collaborating on a graded assignment without the instructor’s approval; and
  • Submitting work, either in whole or partially created by a professional service and used without attribution (e.g., paper, speech, bibliography, or photograph).

Extreme caution should be exercised by students involved in collaborative research to avoid questions of plagiarism. If in doubt, students should check with the major professor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and/or the department head/school director about the project. Plagiarism will be investigated when suspected and prosecuted if established.

All theses and dissertations must be scanned with university-approved plagiarism detection software prior to thesis or dissertation defense. Major professors must confirm, at the time the thesis or dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School, that documents have been analyzed using the university-approved plagiarism detection software.

To learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid problems, view resources available on the University Libraries website (https://libguides.utk.edu/style).

Academic Standing

Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student. This includes not only periodic objective evaluation, such as the cumulative grade point average, performance on comprehensive examinations, and acceptance of the thesis or dissertation, but also judgments by the faculty of the student’s progress and potential. Continuation in a program is determined by consideration of all these elements by the faculty and the head of the academic unit.

The academic records of all graduate students are reviewed at the end of each semester, including the summer term, to determine academic standing.

Departments and programs may have requirements for continuation or graduation in addition to the minimum requirements set forth in this catalog for all graduate programs. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the special requirements of the department or program, as some have standards that exceed those of the Graduate School.

There are three types of academic standing set at the end of every term of enrollment: good standing, academic probation, and academic dismissal.

Good Standing

To achieve good standing, graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 on all graduate courses taken for a letter grade of A-F. Grades of S/NC, P/NP, and I, which have no numerical equivalent, are excluded from this computation.

Academic Probation

Upon completion of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework, a graduate student will be placed on academic probation when their cumulative GPA falls below 3.00. A student will be allowed to continue graduate study in subsequent semesters if each semester’s grade point average is 3.00 or greater. Upon achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.00, the student will be removed from probationary status and returned to good standing.

Academic Dismissal

If a student is on academic probation, the degree or non-degree status will be terminated by the Dean of the Graduate School if the student’s semester GPA falls below 3.00 at the end of the next semester while on probation. When the particular circumstances are deemed to justify continuation, and upon recommendation of the appropriate academic unit and approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, a student on probation whose semester GPA is below 3.00 may be allowed to continue on a semester-by-semester basis.

Dismissal of a graduate student by a department or program is accomplished by written notice to the student, with a copy to the Graduate School. Specific reasons for the dismissal should be provided.

In those cases where the department’s requirements for continuation are more stringent than university requirements for graduate programs, the Dean of the Graduate School will evaluate the student’s record to determine whether the student is eligible to apply for a change of status and register in another area of study. Registration for courses in a department from which a student has been dismissed will not be permitted, except by written authorization from that department.

Grades, Credit Hours, and Grade Point Average

Credit Hour Definition

The unit of credit is the semester credit hour. One credit hour represents an amount of instruction that reasonably approximates both 50 minutes per week of classroom-based direct instruction and a minimum of 2 credit hours per week of student work outside the classroom over a fall or spring semester. Normally, each credit hour represents an amount of instruction that is equivalent to 700 minutes of classroom-based direct instruction. The amount of time that is required to earn 1 credit hour in a laboratory, fieldwork, studio, or seminar-based course varies with the nature of the subject and the aims of the course; typically, a minimum of 2 or 3 credit hours of work in a laboratory, field, studio, or seminar-based setting is considered the equivalent of 50 minutes of classroom-based direct instruction. Credit hours earned in courses such as internships, research, theses, dissertation, etc. are based on outcome expectations established by the academic program.

Grades and Grading

Each course at the university carries a number of credit hours as determined by the faculty and specified in the course description. At the completion of each course, a student will be assigned a grade reflecting the student’s performance in the course. Passing grades carry a certain number of quality points per credit hour in the course.

A student’s grade point average is obtained by dividing the number of quality points the student has accumulated at UT by the number of credit hours the student has attempted at UT, not including credit hours for which grades of I, SI, NC, NP, NR, P, S, and W have been received.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required on all graduate coursework taken at the UT to remain in good standing and to receive any graduate degree or certificate from the university. All coursework taken for graduate credit is computed into the graduate GPA.

  • The grading system available for a course is based on the level of the course.
  • Courses numbered 100-499 are graded letter grade or Satisfactory/No Credit, except where noted otherwise in the catalog.
  • 400-level courses: Certain courses at the 400-level are available for graduate credit. The 400-level courses approved for graduate credit are listed in the Graduate Catalog’s course descriptions. All 400-level courses taught for graduate credit must have information contained in the course syllabus detailing the higher expectations and/or additional requirements in order for graduate credit to be earned.
  • Courses numbered 500-699 are graded letter grade only, except where the Graduate Catalog indicates Satisfactory/No Credit only or optional Satisfactory/No Credit or letter grade.
  • Veterinary Medicine courses are letter grade only except where noted Satisfactory/No Credit only. Veterinary Medicine grades on a numeric scale and a grade of C or better (2.00) is considered satisfactory progress in veterinary medicine courses. For more information about the grades used in Veterinary Medicine, contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Law courses are numeric grades only except where noted otherwise. Law courses use a numeric scale with 0.1 grade increments, with 0.0 being the lowest possible grade, 0.8 being the lowest passing grade, 4.3 the highest possible grade, and 2.0 is considered Satisfactory. For more information about the grades used in Law, contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Law.
  • There are restrictions regarding the use of Satisfactory/No Credit graded courses, including the number of credit hours that may be used toward any degree program.
  • A graduate student may not do additional work nor repeat an examination to raise a final grade.
  • A change of grade may occur only in cases of arithmetic or clerical error.
  • An instructor may not initiate a change of grade as a result of a reevaluation of the quality of the student’s performance nor as a result of additional work performed by the student.

Grades in graduate study have the following meanings. These meanings do not apply to the College of Law and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Contact the Offices of the Dean in Colleges of Law and Veterinary Medicine for more information regarding the grades used in these professional programs.

A (4.00 quality points per credit hour) superior performance.
A- (3.70 quality points per credit hour) intermediate grade performance.
B+ (3.30 quality points per credit hour) very good performance.
B (3.00 quality points per credit hour) good performance.
B- (2.70 quality points per credit hour) intermediate grade performance.
C+ (2.30 quality points per credit hour) less than satisfactory performance.
C (2.00 quality points per credit hour) performance well below the standard expected of graduate students.
D (1.00 quality point per credit hour) clearly unsatisfactory performance and cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
F (no quality points) extremely unsatisfactory performance and cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
I (no quality points) a temporary grade indicating that the student has performed satisfactorily in the course but, due to unforeseen circumstances, has been unable to finish all requirements. An “I” is not given to enable a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade. The instructor, in consultation with the student, decides the terms for the removal of the “I”, including the time limit for removal. If the “I” is not removed within one calendar year, the grade will be changed to an F. The course will not be counted in the cumulative grade point average until a final grade is assigned. No student may graduate with an “I” on the record.
S/NC (carries credit hours, but no quality points) S is equivalent to a grade of B or better, and NC means no credit earned. A grade of Satisfactory/No Credit is allowed only where indicated in the course description in the Graduate Catalog. The number of Satisfactory/No Credit courses in a student’s program is limited to one-fourth (25 percent) of the total credit hours required.
P/NP (carries credit hours, but no quality points) P indicates progress toward completion of a thesis or dissertation. NP indicates no progress or inadequate progress and does not count toward degree requirements.
W (carries no credit hours or quality points) indicates that the student officially withdrew from the course.

Grade of Incomplete

Under extraordinary circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor, the grade of I (Incomplete) may be awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course requirement but cannot complete the course for reasons beyond their control.

  • The “I” (Incomplete) grade is not issued in lieu of the grade of F.
  • The conditions for the removal of the “I”, including the time limit for removal of the “I”, are decided by the course instructor.
  • It is the responsibility of the student receiving an “I” to arrange with the course instructor whatever action is needed to remove the grade at the earliest possible date, and in any event, within one calendar year of the assignment of incomplete.
  • Students do not remove an “I” grade by re-enrolling in the course.
  • The “I” grade does not carry quality points and is not computed as a grade of F in the grade point average.
  • If the “I” grade is not removed within one calendar year or upon graduation, it shall be changed to an F and count as a failure in the computation of the grade point average.
  • A student need not be enrolled at the university to remove a grade of incomplete.

Repeating Courses

A graduate student may repeat up to two courses in which they earned a grade of D or F.

  • The decision to repeat a course is made between the student and the advisor / major professor.
  • Each course may only be repeated once.
  • The original and repeat grades will be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • Credit hours will only be counted once towards meeting degree/program requirements.

Programs may prohibit students from repeating courses.

Approval Process: To re-enroll in a class in order to improve an earned grade, the graduate student must complete a petition for consideration by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Students in the Colleges of Law and Veterinary Medicine follow standards established by those colleges that adhere to professional standards associated with their programmatic accreditation. Other programs may be more restrictive than these rules established by the Graduate School.

Graduate Credit

To earn graduate credit

  • A student must apply and be admitted by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • The student’s enrollment must show the appropriate status / level as a graduate student.
  • The registration must reflect graduate status / level in order to receive graduate credit.
  • The course must be approved for graduate credit and be listed in the Graduate Catalog.

Coursework taken in any other status is unacceptable for graduate credit and cannot be changed retroactively to graduate credit. Special privileges are accorded UT seniors and professional students, as stated in the section on Undergraduates and Professional Students.

Graduate level courses are numbered as 500 and 600. Those 400-level undergraduate courses approved for graduate credit are listed in the Graduate Catalog. Other 400-level undergraduate courses that do not appear in the Graduate Catalog are not approved for graduate credit.

Grievances and Appeals

The Graduate Council Appeal Procedure can be obtained at the Graduate School Appeals Committee website (https://gradschool.utk.edu/faculty-staff/graduate-council/appeals-committee/). In brief, appeals should be handled first at the department level through the student’s academic advisor, the director of graduate studies, or the department or program head. Further appeal may be made to the dean of the respective college, the Graduate Council Appeals Committee through the Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, and ultimately to the Dean of the Graduate School. Per Board of Trustees bylaws, Article V, Section 5, “Any employee or student of the University who feels that he or she may have a grievance against the University shall have the right of appeal through the appropriate Chancellor or Vice President to the President of the University, except as otherwise provided by University policy.” In the case of UT students, they may appeal the decision of the Dean of the Graduate School to the Provost and then the Chancellor.

Appeals may involve the interpretation of and adherence to university, college, and department policies and procedures as they apply to graduate education and the issuance of grades based on specific allowable reasons stipulated in the Graduate Council Appeal Procedure.

Appeal procedures in regard to allegations of misconduct or academic dishonesty are presented in Hilltopics under Student Code of Conduct (http://hilltopics.utk.edu/student-code-of-conduct/).

Students with grievances related to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or veteran status should file a formal complaint with the Office of Equity and Diversity (https://oed.utk.edu/), 1840 Melrose Avenue.
 

Programs and Program Requirements

Program Requirements

A complete list of graduate programs is found in the Graduate Catalog under Majors, Degrees and Certificates Programs Chart. For specific degree requirements, consult individual program descriptions. Department/program policies and procedures, which are specific to degree programs and may be more rigorous than those set by the Graduate School, are provided in the Graduate Catalog and in the Graduate Student Handbook available within each academic department and/or program.

UT offers graduate certificates, various masters, the specialist in education, and various doctoral degrees. The following are the minimum requirements established by the Graduate Council for degree programs. Refer to the college, department, school, and programs for additional program requirements. Be aware that many programs have set academic performance requirements and standards to meet professional practices and may be in excess of the minimums set by the Graduate School.

UT offers an array of academic minors designed by the faculty. Students may co-enroll in a minor while working on a master’s or doctoral degree. Students are not directly admitted to a minor. See the section below about minors.

Continuous Enrollment

All degree-seeking graduate students are expected to make a full commitment to their graduate and professional study in order to ensure that they can complete all degree requirements without unnecessary delay. Graduate students are therefore required to maintain an active status through continuous enrollment from the time of first enrollment until graduation. For more detailed information for this expectation, see the section on Continuous Enrollment under Enrollment and Registration.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs provide a means for UT to respond to emerging needs. Graduate certificate programs provide focused areas of study for students 1) pursuing other academic programs at the master’s or doctoral levels, 2) who have already earned a graduate degree, or 3) who are post-baccalaureate and enrolled solely in a graduate certificate program.

Graduate certificate programs are for-credit programs, based entirely on credit courses, and appear on the academic transcript. Graduate certificate programs are required to have student learning outcomes and an assessment plan reported annually through the University’s adopted process.

Administration of Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Graduate certificate programs require the same curricular approval process as majors and minors. Only those that appear in the Graduate Catalog will be posted to the student’s official transcript. Graduate certificate programs are comprised of approved graduate courses. For any graduate certificate programs, the student must earn all semester credit hours from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

At least three (3) credit hours for the certificate must be earned outside of the requirements of the degree(s) and other certificates.

Since graduate certificates are university credentials, a student must apply through Graduate Admissions to the graduate certificate program. Student must be admitted to the certificate program prior to completing six credit hours toward the certificate. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average once in the program and complete the requirements of the certificate program as stated in the Graduate Catalog to be awarded the graduate certificate.

For those students who are concurrently enrolled in a Master or doctorate program, the graduate certificate will be awarded the same semester as the degree. Certificates will be awarded at the normal times when degrees are awarded.

For independent, stand-alone graduate certificates (those when a student is not concurrently enrolled in a Master or doctorate program), the certificate is awarded upon completion of required courses and submission of application for graduation.

The Office of the University Registrar will issue all graduate certificates.

Minors - Area of Study

Minors provide an opportunity for both master’s and doctoral students to demonstrate training in a field of study outside the major. For students pursuing a graduate degree, a minor consists of no fewer than 6 credit hours in a field of study outside the major.

The student’s graduate committee must approve the minor area of study, and at least one member of the student’s graduate committee must be selected from the minor area. Students declare a minor at the time of filing the Admission to Candidacy form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/. The minor is awarded simultaneously with the degree conferral and is listed on the transcript.

Academic units request approval for minors through the curricular approval process. A complete list of approved graduate minors can be found at Majors/Minors A-Z.

Master’s Degree

UT offers various master’s degrees including the Master of Arts, the Master of Science, the Master of Fine Arts and a number of professional master’s. See the list of Majors, Degrees, and Graduate Certificates webpage.

The master’s degree is evidence of successful completion of a body of coursework, advanced understanding, and the ability to apply knowledge within a major field. Many master’s degrees require a culminating experience. Examples of culminating experiences include an advanced seminar, creative product, exhibit, independent project, integrated case study or simulation, internship, practicum, recital, or thesis. Through this experience, the student will demonstrate skills associated with the particular degree program, such as applied performance, critical analysis, organization and writing.

Academic majors leading to a Master’s degree may offer options for degree completion,

  1. Thesis Option: minimum of 30 credit hours including a thesis and defense resulting from research conducted under the guidance of an advisor / major professor and a guidance committee.
  2. Project Option: minimum of 30 credit hours including a written Project in Lieu of Thesis and the oral defense of the project are the typical culminating experiences for the degree.
  3. Non-Thesis Option: minimum of 30 credit hours. The non-thesis option offers flexibility in delivering an educational experience appropriate to the various disciplines and is responsive to the needs of students’ career choices. The non-thesis option may include 1) a scholarly, creative, or professional project conducted under the guidance of an advisor / major professor and/or a committee; 2) a course-based capstone experience, or 3) a course only option. Academic units that have a non-thesis master’s program option determine whether or not a comprehensive examination is required.

NOTE: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges sets the minimum for master’s degrees at 30 credit hours.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements to Earn a Degree

These are minimums required of the Graduate School. Departments and programs may impose stricter requirements.

  • A candidate must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on all graduate course work taken at UT to receive the master’s degree.
  • A candidate for a master’s degree must successfully complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate credit in courses approved by the student’s guidance committee. These courses may be evaluated on an A-F, pass/no pass, or satisfactory/no credit basis.
  • In the Thesis option, included in the 30 credit hour requirement is a minimum of 6 credit hours earned in course 500 Thesis while the student is preparing the thesis.
  • NOTE: Non-Thesis option students do not enroll in 500 Thesis credit hours.
  • Graduate credit hours applied to the master’s degree may be entirely from one major subject or include support courses from other disciplines or an approved academic minor.
  • A 30 credit hour program requires a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work in the major subject, exclusive of course 500 Thesis.
  • At least two-thirds of the minimum required hours (20 of the 30 credit hours) in a master’s degree program must be taken in courses numbered at or above the 500 level. Only 6 credit hours of 500 Thesis may be counted toward this requirement.
  • For coursework taken at other institutions, refer to section on Credits Earned through Transfer, Correspondence, and Audits.

Master’s Committee

A master’s committee is composed of the major professor from the student’s academic program and at least two other faculty members, all at the rank of assistant professor or above and should be formed as early as possible in a student’s program, and must be formed by the time a student applies for admission to candidacy. If the student is pursuing a minor, the student in consultation with the major professor, should consider adding a committee member from the minor department.

The responsibility of this committee is to

  • assist the student in planning a program of study and carrying out research or other scholarly work,
  • serve as the review panel for thesis or project proposals,
  • prepare a final comprehensive examination, and
  • assure fulfillment of the program’s degree requirements.

Master’s Admission to Candidacy

Admission to candidacy indicates agreement that the student has demonstrated ability to do acceptable graduate work and that satisfactory progress has been made toward a degree. This action usually connotes that all prerequisites to admission to the program have been completed and a program of study has been approved by the major professor, all members of the master’s committee, and the Director of Graduate Studies for the program. Admission to Candidacy formalizes the agreement between the student, the department, and the Graduate School to ensure that all parties understand what constitutes a completed plan of study.

The Admission to Candidacy application is made after the student has completed prerequisite courses and at least 9 credit hours of graduate coursework with an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher. The application, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, must be signed by the student’s master’s committee and the Director of Graduate Studies and all courses to be used for the degree must be listed, including transfer coursework. The student must submit the application to the Graduate School (111 Student Services Building) no later than the last day of classes of the semester preceding the semester in which the student plans to graduate.

Thesis Option: Thesis Registration

When students select the Thesis option, they will be engaged in developing a research topic with the assistance of the major professor. Most programs require the development of a thesis proposal and many require a thesis proposal presentation to the program faculty prior to initiating research. See Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations for guidance on preparing the thesis for submission and other publication policies governing theses.

Students register for 500 Thesis while conducting their research and preparing the final written work. Students must register for a minimum of 3 credit hours in the semester in which the thesis is accepted by the Graduate School. A minimum of six credit hours of 500 are required for the thesis option. After receiving the master’s degree, a student is no longer permitted to register for 500 Thesis.

The thesis represents the culmination of an original research project completed by the student and is submitted in electronic format to the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant in the Graduate School for examination, final approval, and acceptance. The consultant will review the material and assure that it is appropriately presented and free of technical errors in format. It must be prepared according to guidance provided at the Theses and Dissertations (http://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/) webpage. An electronic copy of the thesis must be accompanied by one original approval form (not a photocopy). The approval sheet must have the original signatures of the members of the master’s committee. The approval sheet reflects the final format for submission. The approval sheet certifies to The Graduate School that the committee members have examined the final copy of the thesis and have found that its form and content are satisfactory. If the thesis is not accepted by the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material. More detailed information is provided in the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations section of this catalog, including the requirement to use university-approved plagiarism detection software prior to thesis defense.

Thesis Option: Final Examination

A candidate presenting a thesis must pass a final comprehensive oral (or oral and written) examination on all work offered for the degree. The examination, which is concerned with coursework and the thesis measures the candidate’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields, including the work presented in the thesis. Academic units determine the appropriate venue for the comprehensive examination. The final draft of the thesis must be distributed to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the date of the final examination. This examination should be scheduled through the academic department at least two weeks prior to the examination. This examination must be held at least two weeks before the final date for acceptance and approval of thesis (indicated on the Graduate Student Deadlines Dates (https://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/graduation-deadlines/) by the Graduate School. The advisor / major professor / committee chair must submit the results of the exam/defense (Pass/Fail form with original signatures) by the deadline. In case of failure, the candidate may not apply for reexamination until the following semester. The result of the second examination is final.

Project Option: Final Examination

A candidate presenting project in lieu of thesis must pass a final comprehensive oral (or oral and written) examination on all work offered for the degree. The examination, which is concerned with course work and the project, measures the candidate’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields, including the work presented in the project. Academic units determine the appropriate venue for the comprehensive examination. The final draft of the project must be distributed to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the date of the final examination. This examination should be scheduled through the academic department at least two weeks prior to the examination. This examination must be held at least two weeks before the final date for Report of Final Examination (indicated on the Graduate Student Deadlines Dates (https://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/graduation-deadlines/) by the Graduate School. The major professor must submit the results of the exam/defense (Pass/Fail form with original signatures) by the deadline. In case of failure, the candidate may not apply for reexamination until the following semester. The result of the second examination is final.

Non-Thesis Option Comprehensive Exam

Academic units that have a non-thesis master’s program option determine whether or not a comprehensive examination is required. The comprehensive examination is typically a measure of the student’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields. Academic units determine the appropriate venue for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination should be scheduled through the academic unit at least two weeks prior to the examination. The results of the comprehensive exam (Pass/Fail form with original signatures) must be submitted to the Graduate School by the deadline date indicated on the Graduate Student Deadlines Dates (https://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/graduation-deadlines/). In case of failure, the candidate may not apply for reexamination until the following semester. The result of the second examination is final.

Master’s Degree Time Limit

Candidates have six calendar years to complete the master’s degree, starting at the beginning of the semester of the first course counted toward the degree. Students who change degree programs during this six-year period may be granted an extension after review and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School. In any event, courses used toward a master’s degree must have been taken within six calendar years of graduation. The semester(s) and/or year(s) of an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) (see information available at Forms Central, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, on the Graduate School website) will not be counted toward time to degree, and milestone deadlines such as Admission to Candidacy (see information above under Admission to Candidacy Application) will be adjusted accordingly.

Second Master’s Degree

For a second master’s degree, taken concurrently or consecutively, the student must have fulfilled all major requirements applicable to both master’s degree, including the thesis, if appropriate. Course work applied to one master’s degree program may not be applied toward a second.

There are approved dual master’s degree programs available. Students admitted to these dual master’s degree programs should follow the defined requirements as given in the Graduate Catalog.

Accelerated Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Programs

Departments and colleges may propose to offer accelerated combined bachelor’s/master’s programs. These proposals must be approved by the Curriculum Committees of both the Undergraduate and Graduate Councils. Students must apply to, and be admitted to, the Graduate School before receiving a master’s degree.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers accelerated combined bachelor’s/master’s programs in some areas of study. These programs are designed for, and limited to, students with exceptional undergraduate academic performance in their major field of study.

Participation in one of these programs must be approved both by the faculty members of the department offering the program and by the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. A student pursuing an accelerated combined bachelor’s/master’s program may take a limited number of 400- or 500-level graduate courses for graduate credit during her/his final undergraduate year and use these courses to satisfy disciplinary elective requirements in the student’s bachelor’s degree program. The number of graduate credit hours that may be applied to a student’s bachelor’s degree requirements is determined by the faculty members offering the program, but may in no case exceed nine credit hours. Students participating in an accelerated combined bachelor’s/master’s program must adhere to the policies for “Seniors Eligible for Graduate Credit”. A student pursuing an accelerated combined bachelor’s/master’s program must have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 in the semester prior to the student’s enrollment in coursework that will apply to the master’s degree; however, individual departments may require more rigorous standards.

Specialist in Education Degree

The Specialist in Education (EdS) degree is offered with majors in education and teacher education.

Admission to the Specialist in Education program requires acceptance by the Office of Graduate Admissions and review and acceptance by the department or area in which the student is majoring. It is recommended that students who apply for the EdS have at least one year of related work experience. Additional information on specific admission requirements for the programs can be obtained from academic units offering the degree. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

EdS Degree Requirements

All students in EdS programs must meet these requirements. Departments and programs may impose stricter requirements.

  • A candidate must earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on all graduate coursework taken at UT to receive the EdS degree.
  • For those students who enter the program with a baccalaureate degree, the EdS program involves a minimum of four semesters of study totaling not fewer than 60 credit hours.
  • For those students admitted to the program with a master’s degree, the EdS program involves a minimum of two semesters of study with a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • For those students admitted to the program with a master’s degree and additional graduate coursework taken beyond the master’s degree,
    • Program requirements may be modified upon recommendation of the student’s committee.
    • A maximum of 6 credit hours taken after the master’s degree may be transferred from another institution to the EdS program (refer to section on Transfer Credits).
  • Of the coursework taken for the EdS, a minimum of 6 credit hours is required outside the concentration (concentration lists are available in the program description).
  • All prior coursework accepted toward the degree must be related to the student’s program objectives.
  • Courses numbered at the 400-level required for Teacher Licensure through UT may not be taken for graduate credit and used as coursework in the EdS major.
  • At least one-half of the last 30 credit hours of work, exclusive of thesis courses (course 500 Thesis), must be in 500- or 600-level courses.

EdS Committee

A EdS committee of at least three faculty members, including one that serves as an advisor, is assigned to each student. A minimum of two members of this committee must represent the student’s department. The guidance committee responsibilities include formulating the student’s program of coursework, supervising progress, recommending admission to candidacy, directing research, and coordinating the qualifying and final examinations.

EdS Admission To Candidacy

Admission to Candidacy indicates agreement that the student has demonstrated ability to do acceptable graduate work and that satisfactory progress has been made toward a degree. This action usually connotes that all prerequisites to admission have been completed and a program of study has been approved.

The Admission to Candidacy form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, must have original signatures of the student’s guidance committee and all courses to be used for the degree must be listed, including transfer coursework. This form is submitted to the Graduate School before the student has completed 15 credit hours of course work in the Specialist in Education program. A qualifying examination may be required for admission to candidacy if the student has an appropriate master’s degree earned six years or more prior to admission to the program. This examination may be written and/or oral.

EdS Research Requirements

See the program descriptions of individual departments for list of thesis and non-thesis options.

In the non-thesis course option, a candidate will study research methods and findings and will demonstrate skill in adapting them to professional needs as defined by the major department. The course option may require an internship, which is decided in consultation with the advisor.

In the thesis or non-thesis project options, 6 credit hours of research (course 518 or 503) must be earned in preparation of an acceptable piece of work. The student must continue to register for the appropriate research course while working on the thesis or project. For those completing a thesis, registration for thesis credit hours the semester the thesis is accepted by the Graduate School.

 Thesis Preparation

The thesis represents the culmination of original research completed by the student and is submitted in electronic format to the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant in the Graduate School for examination, final approval, and acceptance. The consultant will review the material and assure that it is appropriately presented, free of technical errors in format. It must be prepared according guidance provided at the Theses and Dissertations webpage, http://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/. An electronic copy of the thesis must be accompanied by one original approval form. The approval sheet must have the original signatures of the members of the specialist’s committee. The approval sheet reflects the final format for submission. The approval sheet certifies to The Graduate School that the committee members have examined the final copy of the thesis and have found that its form and content are satisfactory. If the thesis is not accepted, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material. More detailed information is provided in the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations section of this catalog, including the requirement to use university-approved plagiarism detection software prior to thesis defense.

Comprehensive Examination

A candidate presenting a thesis must pass a final comprehensive oral (or oral and written) examination on all work offered for the degree. The examination, which is concerned with coursework and the thesis, measures the candidate’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields, including the work presented in the thesis. The final draft of the thesis must be distributed to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the date of the comprehensive examination. Academic units determine the appropriate venue for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination should be scheduled through the academic department at least two weeks prior to the examination and the comprehensive examination must be held at least two weeks before the final date for acceptance and approval of thesis give on the Graduation Deadlines webpage, https://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/graduation-deadlines/, by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. The major professor must submit the results of the thesis exam/defense (Pass/Fail form) by the thesis deadline. In case of failure, the candidate may not apply for reexamination until the following semester. The result of the second examination is final.

Those completing a project in the non-thesis option also follow the above steps for a comprehensive exam.

Those completing a course-only non-thesis option should consult with their program as to any requirement for a comprehensive examination.

EdS Degree Time Limit

Candidates have six calendar years from the time of entry into the last 30 credit hours of their degree programs to complete the Specialist in Education degree. The semester(s) and/or year(s) of an approved Graduate Student Leave of Absence (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, LOA) will not be counted toward time to degree, and milestone deadlines such as Admission to Candidacy will be adjusted accordingly.

Doctoral Degree

UT offers several different doctoral degrees including Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), Doctor of Social Work (DSW), and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). For specific degree requirements, consult individual program descriptions listed in this catalog. The doctoral degree is evidence of exceptional scholarly attainment and demonstrated capacity in original investigation. Requirements for the degree, therefore, include courses, examinations, and a period of resident study, as well as arrangements which guarantee sustained, systematic study and superior competency in a particular field.

The doctoral degree is evidence of exceptional scholarly attainment and demonstrated capacity in original investigation. Requirements for the degree, therefore, include courses, examinations, and a period of resident study, as well as arrangements which guarantee sustained, systematic study and superior competency in a particular field.

Doctoral Program of Study

The student’s program of study is subject to Graduate Council policies and individual program requirements. The program of study as listed by the student on the Admission to Candidacy form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, must be approved by the doctoral committee. Doctoral programs include a major field or area of concentration and, frequently, one or more cognate fields. Cognate fields are defined as a minimum of 6 credit hours of graduate course work in a given area outside the student’s major field. Students may also complete minors, as listed in this catalog.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Regardless of the type of doctoral program, the following are the minimum requirements expected of all doctorates. Departments and programs may impose stricter requirements.

  • A candidate must earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on all graduate coursework taken at UT to receive the doctoral degree.
  • A candidate for a doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate courses (exclusive of course 600 Dissertation) beyond the master’s degree, which is a prerequisite for entry into most doctoral programs.
    • Additional credit hours will be determined by the nature of the doctoral degree to meet the required minimum of 30 credit hours master’s and doctoral degrees set by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The SACSCOC minimum 30 credit hours may include dissertation, capstone, practicum or similar credit hours, as determined by the nature of the doctoral degree
  • If the doctoral program does not require a master’s degree, the candidate must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree.
  • A minimum of 12 of the 24 credit hours, or 30 of the 48 credit hours, must be graded A-F.
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours must be taken in UT courses at the 600-level, exclusive of course 600 Dissertation.

In addition to the above, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) require

  • 24 credit hours of course 600 Doctoral Dissertation (see Continuous Enrollment under Enrollment and Registration).

All professional doctorates include a minimum of 48 credit hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate or 24 credit hours of coursework beyond the master’s, and must meet their programmatic accreditation standards and the needs of professional certification. These hours may include capstone, project, or similar experience.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the Doctor of Social Work (DSW) require a capstone or practicum experience specific to those disciplines. See the program descriptions for more information.

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) or the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) should consult College’s Office of the Dean or their websites about the academic policies and practices for JD and DVM.

For coursework taken prior to admission to the doctoral program, refer to section on Credits Earned through Transfer, Correspondence, and Audits.

Doctoral Admission to Candidacy

A completed Admission to Candidacy form is required of the EdD, PhD, DrPH, DNP, and DSW. It is not required for the DVM or JD.

Admission to candidacy indicates agreement that the student has demonstrated the ability to do acceptable graduate work and that satisfactory progress has been made toward a degree. This action usually connotes that all prerequisites to admission have been completed and a program of study has been approved.

A student may be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree after passing the comprehensive examination, fulfilling any language requirements, and maintaining at least a 3.00 GPA in all graduate coursework. Each student is responsible for filing the Admission to Candidacy form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, which lists all courses to be used for the degree, including courses taken at UT or at another institution prior to admission to the doctoral program, and is signed by the doctoral committee. Admission to candidacy must be applied for and approved by the Graduate School at least one full semester prior to the date the degree is to be conferred. The candidacy form must be submitted with original signatures.

PhD Committee

The chair/major professor directs the student’s dissertation research and chairs the dissertation committee.

Ph.D. committees at the University of Tennessee must be composed of at least four people. At least two committee members must be tenured or tenure track UT faculty. The chair of the committee is typically from the student’s department/intercollegiate program. At least one member must be from an academic unit other than that of the student’s department; in interdisciplinary programs, one member shall be from outside that program. Committee members outside the student’s home department/program are referred to below as external members. External members may be from outside of the University of Tennessee, but must be approved in accordance with the procedures below.

The Dean of the Graduate school must approve every PhD student committee; however, the primary responsibility for approving individuals to serve on those committees is held at the department/interdisciplinary unit level, according to their bylaws. As a rule, the faculty member’s graduate unit/department submits the Doctoral Committee form with any necessary attachments to the Graduate School immediately upon formation of the dissertation committee.

Those who may chair and/or serve on committees fall under one of the following categories. However, the Dean of the Graduate School may grant one-time approval outside the parameters of these categories, in specific cases as supported by the department and deemed in the best interest of the student.

Category One: University of Tennessee tenured or tenure-track faculty holding a doctoral degree or joint faculty holding a doctoral degree are automatically granted the approval to chair or be a member of any doctoral committee. University of Tennessee tenured or tenure-track faculty, without a doctoral degree, may serve on doctoral committees.

Category Two: Individuals who are not tenured/tenure track whose primary employer is the University of Tennessee and who hold the titles of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor can co-chair or be a member of dissertation committees. However, they may only co-chair committees if their appointment is within the student’s major.

Category Three: Tenured or tenure-track faculty at other institutions may serve as the external member on a dissertation committee. The individual’s CV must be attached to the Ph.D. committee form when it is submitted to the Graduate School.

Category Four: Others who are considered experts in the field may serve as an external member of the dissertation committee. The individual’s CV must be attached to the Ph.D. committee form when it is submitted to the Graduate School.

Category Five: Emeritus faculty may continue to chair, or serve as a member of, existing committees. They may not be appointed to any new committees once retired, but they may continue to serve out their previously approved committee roles. In the case that a Ph.D. committee chair leaves the University of Tennessee prior to a student completing the degree, the chair may (1) resign from the committee, (2) serve as a co-chair of the committee; or (3) serve as a member of the committee. The student must submit a change of committee form documenting the appointment of a new chair or co-chair and updating the appointment status of the previous chair.

In cases when a department head believes an exception to the above categories is needed, the department head may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.

For non-PhD degrees, information on formation of the doctoral committee can be found in the student’s respective program description.

To officially establish the committee, the student will submit the Doctoral Committee Appointment form, (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/), with original signatures. This committee is nominated by the department head or college dean and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

A doctoral student should begin to form the committee during the first year of study. Subject to Graduate Council policies and individual program requirements, the committee must approve all course work applied toward the degree, certify the student’s mastery of the major field and any cognate fields, assist the student in conducting research, and recommend the dissertation for approval and acceptance by the Graduate School.

The College of Social Work Doctor of Social Work program has specific requirements for the structure of the academic committee for the Capstone I and II projects. The formation of the committee occurs in the fourth semester of the program. Consult with the director of the DSW program to learn more about their requirements.

The College of Nursing has program specific criteria for the creation of the Scholarly Project Committee for the DNP. Consult the DNP Student Handbook; questions should be directed to the Director of the DNP Program.

The Department of Public Health has specific qualifications for the Dissertation Committee Chair. Questions should be directed to the coordinator for the Doctor of Public Health program.

Concurrent Master’s Degree Program

Currently enrolled UT doctoral students who plan to complete the master’s degree while maintaining enrollment in the doctoral program must submit a Request for Concurrent Master’s Degree form (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/) to the Graduate School two weeks prior to the deadline for submission of the graduation application for the master’s degree. No fee will be assessed for submission of this form.

Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Requirement

Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy may be required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language in which there exists a significant body of literature relevant to the major field of study. Please refer to the descriptions of individual programs.

The doctoral committee will determine the specific language (or languages) required, and it will further determine which of the following options are available to students from their academic unit to satisfy the Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Requirement:

  • The student’s first language is a foreign language that allows the student to access a significant body of literature resources that are relevant to his or her major field of study. This option can only be chosen if the student received formal schooling that is equivalent to completing an American high school diploma in this foreign language.
  • The student completes a Graduate Reading Course offered at UT (French 302 or German 332) that satisfies the reading proficiency requirement with a grade of B or higher.
  • The student received approval from his/her home department to satisfy the Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Requirement by taking a course taught at UT in the target language at the 400-level or above, and he or she completed the course with a grade of  B or higher.
  • The student’s home department registered the student for the Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Exam that is offered through the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures once per semester, and the student received a PASS on this examination.
  • The student completes a standardized Reading Proficiency Test offered by another institution or testing service, and the student’s home department considers the results of this test as sufficient documentation for fulfilling the Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Requirement for the degree program in question.
  • A faculty member from the above named student’s home department has advanced proficiency in the foreign language in which the student needs to document Foreign Language Reading Proficiency and is thus considered qualified to evaluate a foreign language reading proficiency exam. The student’s home department will determine if faculty members with this expertise can and/or should be expected to prepare, proctor, and grade a unit-specific foreign language reading proficiency exams for their own students. If this option is made available to students by their home department, receiving a “PASS” on this unit-specific exam will satisfy the foreign language reading proficiency requirement.
  • Some programs may accept a computer language in lieu of a foreign language.

Students whose graduate degree program lists a foreign language reading requirements need to file the Foreign Language Reading Proficiency Documentation Form along with their Admission to Candidacy in order to document that they satisfied this requirement through one of the options listed above.

Residence Requirement

Doctoral programs at the University of Tennessee require intensive study over consecutive semesters, including summers. Doctoral students may satisfy the residence requirement in either of two ways:

  • Enroll in 2 consecutive semesters of 9+ credit hours.
  • Enroll in 3 consecutive semesters of 6+ credit hours.

For the doctoral degree, a minimum of two consecutive semesters of residence is required, except in programs where alternative or additional residence requirements have been approved. In these cases, the details can be found in the program description.

A statement as to how and during what period of time the residence requirement has been met will be presented with the Application for Admission to Candidacy (http://(https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/) along with signatures of approval from the major professor and the department head/program director.

Doctoral Degree Time Limit

Comprehensive examinations must be taken within five years, and all requirements must be completed within eight years, from the time of a student’s first enrollment in a doctoral degree program. The semester(s) and/or year(s) of an approved Graduate Student Leave of Absence (LOA) https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/ will not be counted toward time to degree, and milestone deadlines such as Admission to Candidacy will be adjusted accordingly.

Dissertation

The dissertation represents the culmination of an original research project completed by the student. The Doctor of Philosophy and the Doctor of Public Health require the completion of a dissertation. The student submits the dissertation in electronic format to the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant in the Graduate School for examination, final approval, and acceptance. See Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations for guidance on preparing the dissertation for submission and other publication policies.

The consultant will review the material and assure that it is appropriately presented, free of technical errors in format. It must be prepared according to the guidelines established by the Graduate School and available on the Theses and Dissertations webpage (http://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/). An electronic copy of the dissertation must be accompanied by one original Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form (not a photocopy). The approval sheet must have the original signatures of the members of the doctoral committee. The approval sheet reflects the final format for submission. The approval sheet certifies to The Graduate School that the committee members have examined the final copy of the dissertation and have found that its form and content are satisfactory. If the dissertation is not accepted by the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material. More detailed information is provided in the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations section of this catalog, including the requirement to use university-approved plagiarism detection software prior to thesis defense.

Doctoral Examinations

Departments may, at their option, administer diagnostic and/or qualifying examinations in the early stages of the student’s doctoral program. Successful completion of a comprehensive examination and a defense of dissertation (PhD and DrPH), scholarly project (DNP), or capstone paper (DSW) is required for all doctoral degrees. Registration is required the semester in which examinations are taken.

Diagnostic Examination

A student on admission to a doctoral program may be given a written and/or oral diagnostic examination to help determine the student’s level of preparation, areas of strengths and weaknesses, and general background. The diagnostic examination is designed to aid in the selection of courses and to determine the student’s preparation to continue doctoral studies at UT.

Qualifying Examination

A written and/or oral qualifying examination may be given near the end of the student’s first year in the doctoral program. Qualifying examinations are designed to test the student’s progress, general knowledge of fundamentals of the field, and fitness to continue with the more specialized aspects of the doctoral program.

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination (or the final part of this examination, when parts are given at different times) is normally taken when the doctoral student has completed all or nearly all prescribed courses. Thus, its successful completion indicates that, in the judgment of the faculty, the doctoral student can think analytically and creatively, has a comprehensive knowledge of the field and the specialty, knows how to use academic resources, and is deemed capable of completing the dissertation. The comprehensive examination must be passed prior to Admission to Candidacy. A written examination is required, and an oral examination is encouraged.

The faculty of the graduate program and/or the student’s doctoral committee will determine the content, nature, and timing of the comprehensive examination and certify its successful completion. The department or committee may at its discretion subdivide the examination, administering portions of the examination at several times during the student’s course of study. Students should review carefully the written statement from each doctoral degree program which details the timing, areas covered, grading procedures, and provisions for repeating a failed examination.

Doctoral Defense Examination

The PhD and DrPH require the completion of a dissertation. The DNP and DSW, being professional doctorates, require the preparation of a comprehensive scholarly work appropriate to the discipline. Each requires an oral defense of the work.

Dissertation Defense

A PhD or DrPH candidate must pass an oral examination on the dissertation. The dissertation, in the form approved by the major professor, must be distributed to the committee at least two weeks before the examination. The examination must be scheduled through the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the examination. Academic units determine the appropriate venue for the comprehensive examination. The examination is announced publicly and is open to all faculty members. The defense of dissertation will be administered by all members of the doctoral committee after completion of the dissertation and all course requirements. This examination must be held at least two weeks before the final date for acceptance and approval of dissertation as given at the Graduation Deadlines webpage, https://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/graduation-deadlines/. The major professor must submit the results of the defense Pass/Fail form with original signatures provided by the Graduate School by the deadline date.

After the defense has been scheduled, subsequent emergency situations concerning participation of committee members require that the Director of Graduate Studies from the student’s academic unit consults with the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee to determine whether the emergency situation warrants a rescheduling of the dissertation defense. The guiding principle for resolving such ad-hoc emergency situations will be to guard the integrity of the process

Defense of Scholarly Project/Capstone Paper

The Doctor of Nursing Practice requires a scholarly project. The Doctor of Social Work requires a capstone paper. Students in these programs should consult with the major professor about the examination upon completion of these works.

Remote Participation in Oral Defenses

It is expected that all members of graduate committees should be physically present at all required oral examinations including the culminating thesis, dissertation, scholarly project or capstone defenses. Under special circumstances, however, it is permissible for the student, and/or committee members to participate from a remote location provided the conditions listed below are met:

  • Advance agreement of the student and all committee members has been obtained;
  • All participants join using university adopted video conferencing tools that allow for screen sharing;
  • The thesis, dissertation, scholarly or capstone project has been distributed in advance to the remote participants;
  • The committee members participate in real time during the entire, complete meeting, discussion, presentation, and evaluation;
  • The student, with the assistance of the major professor, is responsible for making the scheduling arrangements; the major professor accepts responsibility for the oversight of any logistical arrangements necessary;
  • Any costs associated with remote participation are not the responsibility of the Graduate School, and must be arranged in advance; and
  • The UT requirement of a public presentation for oral defense of dissertation is still in effect.

The student is required to submit the Remote Participation at Oral Defense Notification Form together with the Scheduling of the Defense Form to the Graduate School when the student or member(s) of the committee participate remotely.
 

Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations

All theses and dissertations must be scanned with university-approved plagiarism detection software prior to thesis or dissertation defense. Major professors must confirm, at the time the thesis or dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School, that documents have been analyzed using the university-approved plagiarism detection software. Additional information on this process can be found on the Theses and Dissertation webpage at https://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/. The student, major professor and committee share responsibility for the accuracy and professionalism of the final product of the student’s research.

All theses and dissertations are submitted in electronic format (TRACE) http://trace.tennessee.edu/ the Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange, a digital archive hosted by the University Libraries, to the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant in the Graduate School for examination. The consultant will review the material and assure that it is appropriately presented, free of technical errors in format, and reflects credit upon graduate education at the UT. If the thesis or dissertation is not accepted by the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material. Students should consult information provided on Theses and Dissertations webpage, https://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/.

Upon successful defense of the thesis or dissertation, the final electronic copy of the thesis or dissertation, must be submitted to TRACE and accepted by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. Each thesis or dissertation must be accompanied by one original Thesis/Dissertation Approval form (not a photocopy). The approval form must have the original signatures of all members of the master’s or doctoral committee. The approval sheet reflects the final format for submission. The approval sheet certifies to The Graduate School that the committee members have examined the final copy and found that its form and content demonstrate scholarly excellence.

For PhD candidates, the Survey of Earned Doctorates certificate of completion is also submitted when the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form and the final copy are submitted.

The dissertation represents the culmination of an original major research project completed by the student. The organization, method of presentation, and subject matter of the dissertation are important in conveying to others the results of such research.

Classified Research

A basic principle in graduate education is that theses and dissertations produced by graduate students will be published and made available to other researchers in the field. When a graduate student is involved in classified or proprietary research, and such research is intended to lead toward a thesis or dissertation, prior approval should be secured from the department head and dean, and from the Dean of the Graduate School. Should the research become classified in the course of a project, these same persons should be notified immediately so that proper procedures can be assured. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to rejection of a thesis or dissertation manuscript.

Publication Policies of Theses and Dissertations

After conferral of the graduate degree, the final approved thesis or dissertation is available for downloading from TRACE, http://trace.tennessee.edu/, a UT digital archive hosted by the University Libraries. A student must, as a condition of a degree award, grant royalty-free permission to the university to reproduce and publicly distribute, including by electronic and digital technologies now known or developed in the future, on a non-commercial basis, copies of the thesis or dissertation. All Publication Policies are available at the Theses and Dissertations webpage, https://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/.

Thesis and Dissertation Embargo Option

Students with significant concerns related to sensitive or classified information, patents, and potential publishers’ restrictions may request a 12-month embargo after the conferral of their degree to delay public release of the thesis or dissertation. The request must be approved by the student’s major advisor and submitted to the thesis/dissertation consultant in the Graduate School no later than the thesis/dissertation submission deadline. Complete the Embargo Request section on the second page of the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form. In the Embargo Request section the student checks the statement “I would like my ETD [electronic thesis/dissertation] to be held from release for one year from the date my degree is conferred.” The student must indicate the reason for the embargo, sign the form and obtain the major professor’s signature on the “Advisor Signature” line. All requests must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Upon special request, this embargo may be extended for two additional 12-month periods. The maximum embargo period is 36 months following the conferral of the graduate degree. Those students wishing to embargo their ETDs for longer than 12 months must submit an additional request at least two weeks before the end of the embargo period.

Use of a Foreign Language in Preparation of the Thesis or Dissertation

The thesis or dissertation normally should be written in English. Under exceptional circumstances, another language may be used if prior approval is obtained from the Dean of the Graduate School. A request to write in a language other than English should be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School by the student’s thesis committee, with endorsement by the department head and dean of the college, prior to Admission to Candidacy for the degree sought. The request should include a proposal and justification for the exception. In all cases, one thesis or dissertation abstract must be written in English.

Credits Earned through Transfer, Correspondence, and Audits

Courses taken at another institution may be considered for transfer into a master’s or EdS program as determined by the student’s graduate committee and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. At the doctoral level, courses are not officially transferred although they may be used to meet degree requirements. Where a requirement has been met through coursework in another program, the student may petition the academic unit for a waiver of the requirement at the doctoral level. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School from all institutions previously attended before any credit will be considered.

To be transferred into a master’s or EdS program at the UT a course must

  • Be taken for graduate credit.
  • Be a course transcribed for graduate credit and in which the student earned at least a grade of B.
  • Not have been used for a previous degree.
  • Be approved by the student’s graduate committee and the Dean of the Graduate School on the Admission to Candidacy form.

Courses transferred to any graduate program will not affect the minimum residence requirements for the program, nor will they be included in calculating the student’s UT grade point average.

Graduate course credit hours that may not be applied towards meeting degree requirements include:

  • Graduate credits transferred from universities outside the University of Tennessee system cannot be used to meet the thesis or dissertation requirements or 600-level course work requirements.
  • Graduate credit for extension courses taken from other institutions is not transferable, nor is credit for any course taken at an unaccredited institution.
  • Graduate credit previously earned as audits at any university.
  • Graduate credit earned for work done by correspondence study at any university.

Additionally there are restrictions on the application of course credit hours depending upon the degree program level:

  • Master’s Degree: A majority of the total credit hours required for a master’s degree must be taken at UT. Transferred courses must have been completed within the six-year period prior to receipt of the degree. The courses must be listed on the Admission to Candidacy form and will be placed on the student’s UT transcript only after admission to candidacy.
  • Specialist in Education Degree: A maximum of 6 semester credit (9 quarter) hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree may be transferred to an EdS program. Transferred courses in the most recent 30 credit hours taken for the degree must have been completed within the six-year period prior to the receipt of the degree. The courses must be listed on the Admission to Candidacy form and will be placed on the student’s UT transcript only after admission to candidacy.
  • Doctoral Degree: Coursework taken prior to admission to a doctoral program may be used toward the degree, as determined by the student’s doctoral committee. Although the courses are used as part of the requirements toward the degree and are listed on the admission to candidacy, they are not officially transfer courses and are not placed on the student’s UT transcript.

Change of Program

Graduate students at UT with no interruption in enrollment must submit an online Change of Program form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, to the Office of Graduate Admissions if the change of program they are requesting fits one of the following scenarios:

  1. A currently enrolled graduate student at UT is seeking a change of graduate major, concentration, or degree.
  2. A currently enrolled graduate student at UT requests moving from non-degree to degree seeking (or vice-versa).
  3. A student requests admission to another graduate program immediately following the completion of his/her current graduate degree program at UT so that there will be no interruption of enrollment (summer excluded) between finishing one graduate program at UT and entering another.
  4. A student is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at UT and has decided to NOT complete the doctoral program but instead requests admission to a master’s degree program within the same major and concentration. The following condition must apply: The change of program is requested in such a way that there will be no interruption in enrollment (summer excluded) when moving from the doctoral program into the master’s degree program.

Students who seek a Change of Program need to contact the department/program to which they seek admission in order to receive information about program-specific deadline dates, program-specific supplemental materials that are required from all applicants who seek admission to that program, etc., in order to ensure that they are in full compliance with the application guidelines of that program and thus can be considered for admission.

A Change of Program form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions, https://gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/, at least two weeks prior to the first day of class of the desired semester of entry. A non-refundable Change of Program application fee will be assessed upon each submission of the Change of Program form.

Change of Program Information for International Students

Stricter deadline dates may apply to international students, and international students therefore must consult with an international student advisor in the Center for International Education, https://cie.utk.edu/, prior to submitting a Change of Program in order to

  • explore whether visa regulations that are specific to their status at UT allow such a change of program, and
  • discuss in which way the desired change of program would affect their immigration status.

A non-refundable application fee will be assessed upon each submission of the Change of Program Application.

Graduation and Graduate Hooding Ceremony

Application for Graduation

Submitting the online Application for Graduation begins the final checking of degree requirements and is used to order the diploma and initiate the degree audit. Deadlines and steps to graduation are available on the Graduate School website, http://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/. A student planning to graduate must complete the following steps:

  • If not already submitted, submit Admission to Candidacy Application prior to the deadline for online application for graduation.
  • Submit an online Application for Graduation on MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/, no later than the last day of classes of the semester prior to the semester the student intends to graduate.
    • Pay the non-refundable graduation fee (see One Stop Student Services for current fees, http://onestop.utk.edu/tuition-fees/) which is charged to the student account on MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/, at the time the application is submitted.
    • Once paid, the graduation fee is waived for up to one-year from the original application should the student fail to meet requirements and must graduate in a subsequent semester. Contact your graduation specialist (gradspec@utk.edu) for assistance.
  • For all students, review and plan to meet deadline dates for graduation for the intended semester. Deadline dates can be found at the Graduate School’s Graduation webpage, http://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/.
  • For students completing a thesis or dissertation, submit a draft of your document to TRACE for preliminary review.
  • If a dissertation candidate, submit Scheduling of Defense of Dissertation form to the Graduate School by the deadline. Submitting the Scheduling of Defense form will generate the candidates Pass/Fail form, which will be sent by email to the doctoral candidate and his/her major professor.
  • Upon successful defense of the thesis or dissertation, or the completion of the master’s or doctoral project or capstone, submit Report of Final Examination (Pass/Fail) form, with original signatures, to the Graduate School prior to the deadline date.
  • If thesis or doctoral candidate, submit Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form (with original signatures on paper form to the Graduate School) and submit an approved and accepted thesis or dissertation to TRACE (http://trace.tennessee.edu/) by the deadline.
  • For PhD and DrPH candidates, the Survey of Earned Doctorates, http://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/submission/survey-of-earned-doctorates/, certificate of completion must also be submitted when the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form and the final copy are submitted.
  • Verify removal of “Incomplete” grades (letter grade “I”) and NR grades by deadline.

 If a graduate student does not graduate as anticipated, the Graduation Application is cancelled. Therefore, the following steps must be repeated

  • The graduate student must contact their graduation specialist (gradspec@utk.edu) in the Graduate School to request an update of their Graduation Application to the next anticipated semester of graduation. The Graduate School will update the Graduation Application for up to one year with no additional fee.
  • If graduation is more than one year beyond the original anticipated date of graduation, pay the non-refundable graduation fee which is charged to the student account on MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/.
  • Review deadline dates for new expected semester of graduation.
  • Upon successful defense of the thesis or dissertation, or completion of non-thesis requirements or doctoral projects or capstones, submit Report of Final Examination (Pass/Fail) form, with original signatures, to the Graduate School.
  • If thesis or dissertation candidate, submit Approval Sheet (with original signatures on paper form to the Graduate School) and submit an approved and accepted thesis or dissertation to TRACE by the deadline.
  • For PhD and DrPH candidates, the Survey of Earned Doctorates, http://gradschool.utk.edu/thesesdissertations/submission/survey-of-earned-doctorates/, certificate of completion must also be submitted when the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form and the final copy are submitted.
  • Verify removal of “Incomplete” grades (letter grade “I”) and NR grades by deadline.

Graduate Hooding Ceremony

Graduate Hooding ceremonies are held in fall and spring semesters. There is no ceremony in summer semester.

For eligibility to participate in the Hooding Ceremony:

  • Be a candidate for the degree by submitting the online Application for Graduation form for appropriate semester.
  • Master’s or Education Specialist candidates in non-thesis programs who need 12 or fewer credit hours (and plan to complete these hours in the summer) may participate in the spring Graduate Hooding ceremony.
  • Master’s candidates completing a thesis must meet all degree requirements by the deadlines for that semester.
  • For doctoral candidates to participate, all degree requirements must be met by the deadlines for that semester.
  • Register to participate (RSVP) at Graduate School’s Graduation webpage, http://gradschool.utk.edu/graduation/.
  • Regalia is required for participation and is available for rental and/or purchase through the VolShop, https://shop.utk.edu/default.aspx, at the graduation counter.

Participation in the Graduate Hooding Ceremony and your name printed in the program does not constitute awarding of the degree.

Diplomas are mailed to the address selected on the Online Graduation Application. Questions concerning the diploma should be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar. To order an additional diploma, complete the Duplicate Diploma Order Form, available on the Registrar’s webpage, http://registrar.utk.edu/, and pay the service charge.

Finances of Graduate Education

Financial Assistance

UT offers several types of financial assistance for which graduate students may apply.

Assistantships

Graduate assistantships, scholarships, traineeships, and some fellowships are offered through many departments and colleges. Information concerning these types of assistance can be obtained from the department in which the student plans to study. All assistantships are governed by the Policy for the Administration of Graduate Assistantships. Graduate students on assistantships must enroll in a minimum number of credit hours dependent upon the type of assistantship. The minimum number will vary with the form of assistance. See the Course Loads under Enrollment and Registration.

Employment

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships coordinates the Federal Work Study Program which provides part-time off- and on-campus jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have demonstrated financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Jobs are available in academic units, administrative offices, and non-profit agencies. Students must be admitted into a degree program and be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester to receive federal financial aid, including FWS.

Fellowships

The Graduate School offers and administers various fellowships. These awards are for full-time study at UT and awardees are selected on the basis of high achievement, broad intellectual ability and potential for significant career contributions. More detailed information may be found on the Graduate School fellowships webpage, http://gradschool.utk.edu/graduate-student-life/costs-funding/graduate-fellowships/.

Graduate Student Travel Award

The Graduate Student Travel Award is administered by the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and the Dean of the Graduate School. Allocations from this fund are utilized to provide travel awards for UT graduate students presenting research at professional meetings. The awards are made on the basis of merit, not need, and allow for partial reimbursement of transportation, lodging and registration expenses.

Travel award requests must be filed using the current Graduate Student Travel Fund application. Visit the Graduate Student Senate Travel Awards, https://gss.utk.edu/travel-awards/information/, to review the process, application, and deadline dates. Applications must be submitted online.

Loans

Students must apply through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for all loan programs. Loans are limited to U.S. citizens and certain permanent residents. Additional paperwork is required on unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must be admitted into a degree program and be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester to receive federal financial aid, including federal student loans.

Three types of loan programs for graduate students are administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan (FAFSA must be on file).
  • Graduate PLUS Loan (FAFSA must be on file).
  • The University of Tennessee Loan.

Processing time varies from one loan program to another. All students receiving financial aid are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress standards to remain eligible to receive aid. In addition, all students receiving federal financial aid must have a valid social security number. Information on these standards, applications, and additional information are available from the One Stop Express Student Services Center, http://onestop.utk.edu, on the ground floor of John C. Hodges Library.

Veteran Student Services

Veterans, active duty military members, reservists, or dependents of veterans who need information about VA education benefits may contact Veteran Student Services at G020 Hodges Library, 1015 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996 (865-974-5420).

Service members, veterans, and dependents of veterans who are eligible beneficiaries of United States Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits or other governmentally funded educational assistance, subject to the conditions and guidelines set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated 49-7-104 as amended, may elect, upon formal application, to defer payment of required tuition and fees until the final day of the semester for which the deferment has been requested. Application for the deferment must be made no later than fourteen days before beginning of the semester, and the amount of the deferment shall not exceed the total monetary benefits to be received for the semester. Students who have been granted deferments are expected to make timely payments on their outstanding tuition and fees balance once education benefits are being delivered, and eligibility for such deferment shall terminate if the student fails to abide by any applicable rule or regulation, or to act in good faith in making timely payments. This notice is published pursuant to Public Chapter 279, Acts of 2003, effective July 1, 2003.

Students who are called to active military duty during a semester of enrollment should contact the Graduate School for assistance with withdrawal and readmission procedures.

Health Insurance

Student Health Insurance

The university makes available, by contract with an insurance company, group health insurance expressly for students who do not have a graduate assistantship. The program is designed to supplement the care provided by the campus Student Health Center and provide basic benefits at low group premium rates. Primary emphasis is placed on hospitalization benefits, since in-patient care is not provided on campus. Students not otherwise covered are urged to avail themselves of this or comparable insurance, since paying for hospital care is the student’s responsibility.

Enrollment in the insurance plan (or alternative coverage) is mandatory for international students. Students may obtain applications in person from the Student Health Center or on-line at the Student Health Center at https://studenthealth.utk.edu/health-insurance-records-requests/student-health-insurance/. Except for international students, enrollment for insurance is not part of registration for classes.

Graduate Assistant Health Insurance

All graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants or associates, and/or graduate research assistants or associates who are employed at least quarter-time (25 percent Full-Time Equivalent, FTE) will automatically be enrolled in the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance Program. These students will have 100 percent of the premium paid by the university. The health insurance benefit applies to nine-month and twelve-month appointments. These students may elect to add spouse or dependent coverage at their own expense. If students already have insurance coverage through another insurance carrier, this policy functions as additional coverage.

The Student Health Center will manage the Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance Program.

Student Accounts: MyUTK

Students may pay their fees via the mail or online at MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/. Students receive an e-mail at their UT email address indicating their fee statement is available for viewing. The statement includes current tuition and fees, fee waiver information, past-due amounts, pending financial aid that can be credited toward fees, and any excess funds from scholarships and/or loans. See payment methods at https://onestop.utk.edu/pay.

Students who register and pay early will receive the greatest benefit if the payment deadlines are observed.

Failure to view the e-statement does not relieve the student of their obligation to pay on or before the due date.

University Fees

For the most current listing of tuition and fees at UT, see One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/tuition-fees/

University fees and other charges are determined by the Board of Trustees and are subject to change without notice. All student fees are due in advance.

All charges and refunds will be made to the nearest even dollar. All charges are subject to subsequent audit and verification. The university reserves the right to correct any error by appropriate additional charges or refunds.

All students must meet the minimum payment requirements by the due date to avoid schedule cancellation. Students who do not pay 100% of the charges by the payment due date are required to enroll in the Deferred Payment Plan.

Late registration fees are applicable to students who register during late registration.

If you decide not to attend, you must:

  • Drop all your courses prior to the beginning of classes to avoid assessment of fees.
  • Failure to attend does not cancel registration and associated charges.
  • As of the first day of class, you must officially withdraw from the University.

The UT is authorized by statute to withhold diplomas, grades, transcripts, and registration privileges from any students until their debts and obligations owed to the university are satisfied.

Part-time students pay fees computed by semester credit hour (or audit) at the rates shown on the above website, with the total charge not to exceed the regular maintenance fee for in-state students or the maintenance fee plus tuition for out-of-state students for each campus: Knoxville, On-line, UTSI, Nashville School of Social Work, and off-campus locations.

All students both in- and out-of-state are required to pay the established maintenance fee. In addition, tuition is required of all students who are classified as non-residents for fee assessment purposes.

Deferred Payment Plan

The Deferred Payment Plan (DPP) is available to students in good financial standing. Eligible students may enroll in a payment plan at the MyUTK Portal. The DPP permits eligible students to pay 50% of the total semester charges plus a $30.00 service charge on or before the published due date of each semester. Students who do not pay 100% of the charges by the payment due date are required to enroll in the Deferred Payment Plan. If you do not pay 100% of your fees AND do not enroll in the Deferred Payment Plan, you will be automatically enrolled in a payment plan for an additional fee assessment of $40.00. After the first installment of 50% payment is made, the second installment (half of the remaining balance) is due approximately 45 days later, with the final balance due approximately 15 days later. A $35.00 late fee will be assessed if installments are not paid on or before each due date whether or not the student receives a reminder e-statement. All unpaid fees and charges must be paid in order to access registration services, receive a transcript, grades, or a diploma. All existing rules and policies pertaining to returned checks, refunds, withdrawal from school, dropped classes, application of financial aid to unpaid accounts, reinstatement, service charges and collection costs are applicable to the DPP. Students who are not eligible for the DPP must pay 100% of the total semester charges on or before the published due date of each semester in order to avoid schedule cancellation. To select the deferred payment plan, go to MyUTK Portal, click on View/Pay Fees and click on the Payment Plan Tab.

Mandatory Fees

All students are required to pay mandatory fees.

  • Maintenance Fee. The in-state portion of tuition that is charged to all in-state and out-of-state students who attend UT.
  • Tuition. The fee that is paid by out-of-state students in addition to the maintenance fee to cover the cost of education.
  • Facilities Fee. Paid by all students enrolled in credit and audit courses. It helps provide upgraded classroom facilities, expand information technology in the classroom, and funds campus beautification and infrastructure improvements. The fee differs for in-state and out-of-state students and is pro-rated for part-time students.
  • Library Fee: Assessed to all students, excluding those in the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Law (College of Law has a separate Law Students Library Fee), who are enrolled in credit and audit courses. It is used to fund student services, acquisition of books and electronic resources, and other services and upgrades to University Libraries.
  • Student Programs and Services Fee. This fee helps pay for costs at several facilities including the Aquatics Center, Student Health Service, TRECS, and the Student Union, as well as student activities, publications, the Student Government Association, and the Graduate Student Senate. The fee is assessed in two parts called Primary and Health. This is a non-refundable fee once the semester begins. Students who wish to purchase tickets to athletic events are required to pay the maximum Primary and Health Fees.
    • Primary. If you are enrolled in between 6 and 9 credit hours, you can choose to add the difference between the amount of the fee you would be charged based on the number of credit hours and the maximum fee value.
    • Health. Use of the Student Health Center is limited to students who have paid this portion of the fee. If you are enrolled in nine or more credit hours, you pay the full portion of this fee. If you are enrolled for between 3 and 9 credit hours, you can choose to pay the full Health Fee.
      • Note: If international students lose GTA or GRA employment or falls below the 25% employment rate they must contact Student Health and request to have the insurance charge added to their bursar account. It is a mandatory requirement that all international students have health insurance which is comparable to the Student Health insurance plan. International students who choose to opt out of the Student Health insurance plan must contact Student Health, complete a waiver request and provide in English a copy of the insurance plan which they have to ensure they meet the minimum requirements of the University sponsored plan. The deadlines for completion of a waiver and proof of documentation of health insurance coverage is September 20th for the fall semester and January 31st for the spring semester.
  • Technology Fee. A per-credit-hour fee assessed each semester to every student capped at $120. It helps provide improved information technology resources on campus.
  • Transportation Fee. A per-credit-hour fee (capped at $75) helps provide students with transportation around campus and helps subsidize the cost of transportation systems.

Students who are not located on the Knoxville campus are exempt from paying most mandatory fees but have other fees.

  1. Distance Education Programs: maintenance fee, tuition fee for out-of-state students, library fee, and distance education fee.
  2. College of Social Work students located in Nashville: maintenance fee, tuition fee for out-of-state students, Social Work program fee, and library fee.
  3. UT Space Institute students: maintenance fee, tuition fee for out-of-state students, and UTSI activity fee.

Other Fees

Students may be subject to various other fees determined by the course of study, student status, or application for admission.

  • Course Fees. Some departments have additional course fees paid by students when registered for these specific courses. The Director of Graduate Studies should be able to provide this information prior to registration.
  • Deferred Payment Plan Fee. This fee is associated with the Deferred Payment Plan, an option for paying tuition and fees.
  • Distance Education Course Fees. Distance education students are assessed the per-credit-hour rate of maintenance, tuition (if out-of-state), the Library Fee, any applicable course fee, and the Distance Education Fee. The Distance Education Fee is used to support the technology needed to deliver online courses to distance education students, as well as the creation of new courses and course material for future programs.
  • Drop/Withdrawal Fees. Dropping courses and withdrawing can impact your full-time enrollment status and the amount owed to the university and affects your financial aid. Check with One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/, for the schedule.
  • Engineering Course Fee. An additional fee is assessed for all engineering courses.
  • Final/Late Registration Fees. These fees are assessed to any student enrolled in a fall or spring semester who does not priority register for the upcoming semester. Check with One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/, for the schedule.
  • Graduate School Readmission Fee. A non-refundable fee due for students who are re-applying after an absence of at least one semester.
  • Graduate Student Application Fee. A non-refundable fee due for prospective graduate students due with each first-time admissions application.
  • Graduation Fee for Graduate Students. UT charges a non-refundable graduation application fee each semester for each graduate degree application submitted.
  • Housing Fee. Contracted amounts for on-campus housing are billed through student accounts. Rates vary depending on the type of room. For more information, you can email housing@utk.edu or call 865-974-3411.
  • Late Payment Fees. This fee will be added to your student account if minimum payment is not received by the due date. This does not include the beginning of semester registration statements that will cause your schedule to be cancelled if you do not meet the minimum payment. Late payment fees are exclusive of all other charges. They are due when they are assessed, even if you do not look at your account statement. Accounts are also subject to a late fee if there is an account balance at mid-semester. It is assessed in addition to your unpaid fees and charges. Your account balance must be paid so you can register for classes, get a transcript, or receive your grades or a diploma.
  • Law Fee. All law school students pay an additional per semester charge for fall and spring. Contact the College of Law for the specific amount.
  • Law Students Library Fee. All law school students pay an additional per semester fee that supplements the collections budget for databases and books, provides support for improving patron services and library infrastructure, and provides support to upgrade the facility.
  • Meal Plans. These options are available through UT Campus Dining. You can find out the different plans and their costs online, http://dining.utk.edu/ or by calling 865-974-4111.
  • Non-Resident Alien Tax. For international students, this is either a 14 percent (for J1 and F1 Visas) or a 30 percent tax on your financial assistance depending on the Visa code. The allowable charges, a book allowance, and a tax allowance are deducted from the total assistance you receive. Any excess is subject to the 14 percent or the 30 percent tax, and it is payable by the student. The tax is calculated approximately one month into the semester. It is reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, at the end of the semester. The tax assessments are submitted to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
  • Nursing Course Fees. All nursing courses have additional fees attached. These fees vary by course and by program and cover costs associated with clinical experiences and placements, clinical lab supplies and equipment, advising and admissions, and more. Please contact the College of Nursing for additional information regarding these required fees.
  • Proficiency Examination Fee. A per-credit-hour fee is assessed for students opting for a proficiency examination.
  • Sponsored International Student Fees. An administrative management fee will be charged to sponsoring agencies of international students whose programs require special administrative or management services beyond those normally provided. Fees are $250 per semester and $100 per summer session.
  • Third Party Charges. Students are responsible for charges and fees paid by a third party. Non-Person Entity (NPE) accounts, which include government sponsored agencies and private organizations, are automatically assessed a fee at their authorization. Late authorizations and payments are subject to late payment fees, as well as schedule cancellation policies and procedures.
  • Transcript Fee. UT charges a fee for each copy of your official transcript. Information on placing orders is posted at One Stop Student Services, Transcripts and Academic History, http://onestop.utk.edu/transcripts/.
  • Returned Check Service Fee. UT will assess a service charge when checks do not clear the bank. The charge may increase if the check is not redeemed within two weeks. Along with returned check fees, UT will assess late payment fees from the date the check is redeemed. Repeated returned checks may result in forfeiture of university services. For more information on the UT Check Writing Policy see One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/pay/.

Refunds and Repayments

Refunds are defined as the portion of maintenance and/or tuition and UT housing/meal charges due as a rebate when a student withdraws or drops a portion of class hours. Refunds are also processed as a rebate on some fines/penalties paid such as parking fines, library fines, etc. Once a refund is determined to be appropriate, all amounts will be applied toward other outstanding fees/fines owed to the university at the time the refund is issued, including outstanding fees due on the Deferred Payment Plan. Any remaining refund balance will be refunded via ACH direct deposit or mailed to the student’s billing address. Set up your refund profile at MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/ view/pay fees, eRefund profiles.

Refund/Charge of Fees for Withdrawal (Drop All Classes)

Beginning the first day of class, withdrawal for the semester must be by official notification via MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/, or to the One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/.

Failure to attend class does not automatically withdraw or drop a student from a course or the entire semester.

The effective date of the withdrawal is the date the withdrawal office is notified by completion of the official withdrawal request form (either online or using an official Withdrawal Request Form).

The appropriate percentage of fees (maintenance and tuition, facility, transportation, library, and technology fees only) will be charged unless this action is completed the day before the first official day of classes for the semester. Failure to comply with the university withdrawal policy and procedures could result in a larger fee assessment. Withdrawal does not cancel fees and charges already incurred. All charges and refunds will be made to the nearest even dollar.

The drop/add procedure cannot be used to withdraw from school for the semester. See One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/ for the dates and percentage charges for the semester in question.

Refund/Charge of Fees for Dropped Courses (Continue with a Reduced Course Load)

Students who drop courses and continue with a reduced load are eligible for a refund only if the sum of charges computed at the credit hour rate for the hours continued, plus the percentage assessed for the credit hours dropped, results in an amount less than that paid. A course on a student’s schedule is officially dropped, and the drop becomes effective, on the date the change of registration form is processed or the date the drop was entered on MyUTK, http://my.utk.edu/. Any refund due for dropped courses will be made after the drop deadline. See One Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/ for the drop charge/percentage refund for the semester in question.

Repayments – Financial Aid Withdrawals

Repayments are defined as the portion of aid, received by a student after direct charges from the university have been paid by that aid, which must be repaid when a student withdraws or is dismissed. The amount of repayment is determined by the Refund/Charge percentages stated previously.

Refunds and repayment to the federal financial aid (Title IV) programs are determined according to the formula published in the current Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is responsible for calculating the amount of the refund and/or repayment and distributing the correct amount back to the financial aid program(s) according to the Refund/Repayment Allocation Policy.

VolCard

The VolCard is issued to a new student after admission at the appropriate university level or anytime during the year to all students. The VolCard is used in nearly all aspects of campus life to obtain services. Many students have established VolCard accounts, meal plans, or Dining Dollar accounts which are accessed through use of the VolCard ID.

These cards are non-transferable and may not be duplicated. The VolCard must be carried at all times for purposes of identification. Students are responsible for the safekeeping of this card and must immediately report it lost or stolen if the card is not in their possession. Failure to notify the VolCard office will make the student liable for any unauthorized charges to the VolCard accounts, meal plans, or Dining Dollar accounts the student may have.

To obtain a new VolCard or replace a lost or stolen card, report to the VolCard Office, Room 472, South Stadium Hall (located adjacent to Gate 9 at Neyland Stadium) on Phillip Fulmer Way. You may also designate a VolCard as lost or stolen by logging into the VolCard WebCard Center webpage, http://webcardcenter.utk.edu/, or at the VolCard webpage, https://volcard.utk.edu/lost-cards/ by selecting the option to Report Lost or Stolen VolCard. There is a charge for replacement of a VolCard.

Policy for the Administration of Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Education and the Role of Assistantships

Graduate education is designed to transform the individual from student to knowledgeable practitioner or professional scholar. A well conceived and executed program facilitates this transformation. Graduate assistantships can provide experiences to enhance professional development while working with a faculty mentor.

Note: In this section when graduate assistant is not capitalized (except in headings), reference is to all types of graduate assistantships at UT.

The graduate assistant is both student and employee. As a student, the graduate assistant is expected to perform well academically to retain the assistantship. The student should be counseled and evaluated regularly by a faculty mentor to help develop professional skills. As an employee, the graduate assistant is expected to meet teaching, research, and/or administrative obligations. The graduate assistant works under the supervision of experienced faculty and/or professional staff members and receives in-service training. In sum, the graduate assistant receives financial support for graduate study by contributing to the teaching and/or research mission of the university.

With this in mind, graduate students placed on assistantship must be currently enrolled in graduate study as fully-admitted degree-seeking students. Graduate students in non-degree or transient student status are not eligible to be placed on assistantship.

What is an Assistantship?

An assistantship is a financial award to a graduate student for part-time work in teaching, administration or research while pursuing study toward an advanced degree. Appointments are normally on a one-quarter to one-half time basis (25 percent or 50 percent fulltime equivalent, FTE). The appointment may be for either nine or twelves. In addition to the stipend, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants and Graduate Research Associates are entitled to a waiver of some fees for the period of appointment in accordance with university policy. University fees include a maintenance fee (required of all students), tuition (additional for out-of-state students), and various other fees (some of which are mandatory). The waiver of fees for assistantships applies to maintenance and tuition fees only; it does not include any other fees (see information about fees in Finances of Graduate Education). Graduate assistants must pay the University Programs and Services Fee and all other mandatory fees, even if they have a waiver of fees (tuition and/or maintenance). For Graduate Research Assistants the maintenance fee is paid by institutional funds or a granting agency and is in addition to the stipend paid. For a list of all fees, see information provided at One Stop Student Services website.

Maintenance fees and tuition waivers apply to appointments at a 25 percent FTE or higher. Additionally, all graduate assistants are provided student Health Insurance.

Types of Assistantships

All departments are obligated to follow university guidelines for graduate assistants.

Graduate Assistant

Graduate Assistants are appointed to perform various types of duties other than those related directly to teaching or research. Most commonly, these duties relate to administrative functions of the university. Whenever possible Graduate Assistant positions should relate to the student’s academic program and contribute to their education and professional development.

Graduate Research Assistant and Associate

Graduate Research Assistants /Associates perform duties in support of university research, which may or may not relate directly to the students’ thesis/dissertation. A student appointed as a GRA works under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor. Research assistantships may be financed through funds from gifts, grants, contracts, state appropriations designated for research, or the university’s internally sponsored programs. Department heads are responsible for assuring that GRAs receive ample opportunities to make continuing progress toward their degrees. Some departments provide a path for promotion to Graduate Research Associate.

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Graduate teaching assistants work under the direct supervision of faculty members and may be assigned only to duties related directly to instruction. These include such activities as assisting in the preparation of lectures, leading discussion sections, conducting laboratory exercises, grading papers and keeping class records. Assistants may not be given primary teaching and/or evaluation responsibilities nor should they be given duties to support faculty research or those basically clerical in nature.

In consultation with the supervisor, the graduate teaching assistant works to gain teaching skills and an increased understanding of the discipline.

Graduate Teaching Associate

Graduate Teaching Associates are advanced graduate students who have been given primary responsibility for teaching undergraduate courses, including the assignment of final grades. No other category of graduate assistant may be so charged. Associates may not be assigned primary responsibilities for teaching and student assessment in courses approved for graduate credit. Associates must have met the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 18-credit hour guideline for teaching undergraduate courses. See the section Qualifications of Graduate Teaching Associates.

Work Assignments and Related Factors

Work assignments for each type of assistantship should be as specific as possible and should be developed to reflect both the needs of the department and each graduate assistant’s obligation to make satisfactory progress in the program. Therefore, to the extent possible the work assignment should appropriately reflect teaching hours, office hours, hours to be spent performing research or other specified tasks. Such specifications should be provided in writing at the time the offer is made.

In situations where the work assignment cannot be specifically described or must be changed from an initial assignment, the graduate assistant should clearly be informed in writing before agreeing to, or continuing in, the assignment. The normal number of hours for conducting an assignment should be mutually understood by the graduate assistant and immediate supervisor.

An important part of each graduate assistant’s work assignment is the fostering of professional development. Such development plus variations in departmental needs may result in differences in number of hours per week for carrying out assignments.

Thus, weekly work assignments, when specified, are done so in terms of averages. For a one-fourth (25 percent FTE) appointment, the graduate assistant’s average work time should not exceed 10 hours per week. For a one-half (50 percent FTE) appointment, the average number of hours should not exceed 20 hours per week. Appointments exceeding 50 percent FTE must have prior approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, excluding summer term. For percentage efforts not covered by those appointments above, the normal work time per week will be prorated.

Students holding a one-half (50 percent FTE) time assistantship normally should enroll in at least 6 credit hours during the semesters of the assistantship. A one-fourth (25 percent FTE) time graduate assistant normally should take at least 9 credit hours during the semesters of the assistantship. A student must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours to be considered full-time for federal financial aid purposes, even if the student has an assistantship.

The student’s academic home unit is responsible for implementing these policies, regardless of the assignment or responsible account. It is therefore essential that the home unit be notified by any other unit employing the student of any assistantship awarded at the time of its initiation or renewal.

The maximum number of years that a graduate student can be appointed to a graduate assistantship is three years as a master’s student, five years as a doctoral student, or eight years in doctoral programs in which students enter with a baccalaureate degree only. Departments or programs may impose stricter limits. Requests for an extension beyond the maximum periods of time here specified must be made in writing by the academic unit to the Dean of the Graduate School. Established time limits for completion of graduate programs – six years for a master’s program and eight years for a doctoral program – also apply to all graduate assistants.

Qualifications of Graduate Teaching Associates

UT is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This accreditation requires an institution to justify and document the qualifications of its faculty members (see Section 6, Faculty of the Principles of Accreditation, December 2017). In the Faculty Credentials Guidelines published by SACSCOC, they provide guidance on minimum educational experience required to teach undergraduate, graduate and professional level courses.

  • For those who teach general education and other courses in baccalaureate studies, the instructor must have a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours in the teaching discipline. Therefore, those graduate students appointed as Graduate Teaching Associates should be able to meet this guideline.
  • SACSCOC also stipulates that these graduate students should have direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.
  • SACSCOC also requires those teaching graduate and post-baccalaureate coursework to have the earned doctorate/terminal degree in the teaching discipline or related discipline.

The above requirements do not apply to graduate teaching assistants engaged in assignments such as assisting in laboratory sessions, teaching physical education activities, attending or helping prepare lectures, grading papers, keeping class records, and conducting discussion groups.

Implementation of the SACSCOC 18 Credit Hour Guideline at UT

For those graduate teaching associates who will be the instructor of record, the appropriate department head / school director must ask the student to complete the Graduate Student Transcript Authorization form and submit to the Office of the Provost. This provides the Office of the Provost permission to obtain transcripts supplied during application to Graduate Admissions and the UT transcript. The official transcript should show the 18 graduate credit hours or other documentation must be submitted that supports exceptions (i.e., licensure, CV with experiences outlined, etc.) of Graduate Teaching Associates. For other teaching personnel (non-tenure-track and tenured/tenure-track faculty), the credentials will be collected at the time the person joins the university.

Accepting or Declining an Assistantship

The UT adheres to the following Resolution by the Council of Graduate Schools.

Acceptance of an offer of financial support (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.

Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

Evaluation and Supervision of Graduate Assistants

Departments employing graduate assistants will conduct an annual evaluation of each assistant. The results of the evaluation are made available to the assistant and placed in the student’s departmental record. Appropriate follow-up also should occur. The evaluation, review with the assistant, and follow-up should focus not only on assistant-related work being done but should be preparatory for future employment, thus providing professional growth. In most cases, a graduate assistant’s supervisor shares results of the evaluation with the assistant and takes appropriate follow-up action.

In cases where corrective measures must be taken to remediate deficiencies, the graduate assistant should be notified in writing of the issues and recommended action to solve the problem(s). Situations leading to dismissal for cause must be described in writing to the assistant being dismissed. This letter should be written by the supervisor with a copy to the department head. In cases where the graduate assistant feels that university-related factors (facilities, working conditions, improper supervision, etc.) have had negative effects on specific aspects of job performance, a letter to the supervisor would be appropriate.

The immediate supervisor for each graduate assistant is to be identified as early as possible, usually no later than four weeks prior to the commencement of the assistantship. If there will be more than one supervisor per graduate assistant, the specific tasks to be performed for each and the role each supervisor will play (e.g., which one will initiate the evaluation process) should be identified.

The reporting lines within each department should be clearly indicated to graduate assistants. Thus, each graduate assistant should know that the immediate supervisor is the person to whom first contact is to be made in job related questions/directions; followed in turn by a general departmental/school/college supervisor of graduate assistants (where one exists), the Director of Graduate Studies, department head, dean of the college, and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Orientation and Training of Graduate Assistants

A systematic plan of orientation and training of all graduate assistants, regardless of their appointment, is a must. Such orientation and training may be done at the department, college, and/or university level. All supervisors should provide orientation and training specific to the responsibilities of the assistantship. Assistance is available through Teaching and Learning Innovation, the Graduate School, the Office of Research and Engagement, University Libraries, Office of Information Technology, and the Center for International Education.

Supervisors of graduate assistants are responsible for notifying graduate assistants about departmental and college policies on attendance at the various professional development and training programs. Specific required training (e.g., sexual harassment, FERPA, IRB) will be associated with job responsibilities.

Rights of Graduate Assistants

As specified in the HR0105 Employment Status, a student is, “One viewed by the university as being at the university primarily to be enrolled in academic courses.” Thus, first priority of all graduate assistants must be satisfactory progress in their scholastic  academic program. At the same time, acceptance of an assistantship is predicated on the belief that satisfactory progress can be concurrently achieved in work assignments and scholastic academic programs. Collaborative efforts between graduate assistants and their supervisors should be focused on the goal of satisfactory performance in both these areas.

Graduate assistants are classified as student employees. As stated in HR0105 Employment Status, in addition to fee waivers, graduate assistants are entitled to workers’ compensation (see HR0397 Worker’s Compensation).

Graduate student assistantship appointments (Graduate Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Teaching Associates and Graduate Research Assistants) are of two types: academic year (9-month) and twelve month or other. On occasion, to meet the needs of the department / school, students may be placed on an assistantship for one semester.

Academic Year Appointments

Students on academic year appointments for the fall and spring terms semesters receive 12 equal monthly payments for the nine months of service and a waiver of fees for three terms semesters (including the summer). Students appointed to an academic year appointment beginning in the spring term semester have the option of receiving seven equal monthly payments for the January-July period or six equal payments for the February-July period. In both cases a fee waiver is provided for spring and summer semesters. Graduate students on academic year appointments have no assistantship responsibilities in the summer termsemester.

Twelve-month Appointments

Students appointed to 12-month or other appointments receive equal monthly payments for the months of the appointments and have assistantship responsibilities for the full period of the appointment. For these appointments a waiver of fees is provided only for those semesters included within the appointments (i.e., a waiver of fees for the summer semester requires an appointment which encompasses the summer semester in its entirety.) In some situations, a graduate assistant may be appointed for a period shorter than a year (e.g., a semester).

Graduate assistants who are performing satisfactorily may be reappointed up to the maximum time limit as stated above under Work Assignments and Related Factors. In situations where the demands of the department do not call for a job to be continued, reappointment may not be made. In cases where a department has a rotational plan for assistantships, graduate assistants likewise may not be reappointed. Students should consult with the department concerning the maximal length of the appointment.

In all cases of appointment and reappointment, the supervisor is responsible for notifying the graduate assistant as early as possible. When an assistantship is not to be renewed, the graduate student should be notified in advance. In most cases, this notice must be given no later than one month prior to the end of the appointment. Specific reasons for not renewing the contract should be given (e.g., discontinuation of the program or grant, significant neglect of duty, unsatisfactory academic performance or progress toward a degree, non-compliance with university policies, etc.). In cases where an assistantship is for one year only, the student should be told this at the time of appointment. In some circumstances, graduate assistants may be given a conditional appointment such as an appointment in which funding of a grant is pending.

As students, graduate assistants’ rights and responsibilities as students are defined in the Student Code of Conduct. In cases where graduate assistants feel that they have a legitimate complaint about any aspect of carrying out their assignments (work hours, duties assigned, pay, work conditions, etc.), they have a right to pursue all established channels to resolve the conflict. In the order that follows, students should speak to their immediate supervisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, the appropriate department head / school director, the appeals committees in the home unit or college, and the dean of the college involved. If the student feels that a resolution should be sought beyond the department/school/college level, the Dean of the Graduate School should be contacted.

University and Administrative Policies

Students need to be familiar with a number of university and administrative policies. These policies are in place to ensure individual and public safety. Important areas of policy are discussed here. More information is available in Hilltopics, https://hilltopics.utk.edu/, the Student Handbook, and at Policy Central, https://policycentral.utk.edu/.

Immunization Requirements and Student Health Center

The Student Health Center website provides specific information regarding required and recommended immunizations and how to demonstrate proof of receiving the immunizations..

UT requires the following four immunizations:

  1. Hepatitis B Vaccine – Proof of immunization with a three dose regimen or a (+) antibody titer is required for health services majors only.
  2. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine – Proof of immunization with two doses at least 28 days apart or (+) antibody titers for any student born after January 1, 1957, is required.
  3. Meningococcal Serogroup A, C, W, and Y Vaccine – Proof of immunization on or after the 16th birthday for any student less than 22 years of age who will be residing in on-campus housing is required.
  4. Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine – Proof of immunization with two doses at least 28 days apart or a (+) antibody titer is required.

Additionally, a Tuberculosis screening is required of all new students. A Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Questionnaire and, if subsequently required, a Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment must be submitted. These forms are available from the Health Center at http://studenthealth.utk.edu/immunization-requirements-forms/.

Other currently recommended, but not required, vaccines include:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
  • Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine
  • Primary Polio series
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap)

Important Notice: Students who are not in compliance may not be allowed to move into University Housing and will have a “hold” placed on their enrollment until they have either met the immunization requirements or have initiated and/or continued the immunization process for the multi-injection immunizations.

The Student Health Center provides non-emergent, outpatient medical care for all currently enrolled students who have paid the Health Fee portion of the University Programs and Services Fee (either through paying the full University Programs and Services Fee or, if taking fewer than 9 but at least 3 credit hours, paying the optional health fee). These outpatient services are available throughout each semester. The health center located at 1800 Volunteer Blvd. Hours of operation are available on their website, http://studenthealth.utk.edu/. While some acute health needs may be handled on a walk-in basis, appointments should be made in most instances. The Student Health Center will cooperate with students and their primary care providers in ensuring the continuity of quality health care during their university career.

Inclement Weather Policy

UT will remain open except in the most severe weather conditions. When a decision to close is reached, campus and local radio and TV stations will be notified and the notice will be posted on the university’s home page, http://www.utk.edu/. Those who register their cell phone with UTAlert, https://www.utk.edu/utalert/, will be notified via text message.

In the event of a delayed opening, a specific time of opening will be distributed to the campus community through the local media and via the university’s home page, http://www.utk.edu/.

Students should become familiar with their department and program inclement weather practices. Some students employed in critical campus operations, such as clinics, may be required to report to their work station.

Review the Inclement Weather Policy, http://safety.utk.edu/emergency-management/inclement-weather-policy/, for more detailed information including student responsibilities during inclement weather.

Drug-Free Campus and Workplace

UT works towards maintaining a safe and healthful environment for its students and employees. Therefore, university policy prohibits the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S. C. 812) and alcohol on university property or during university activities. See the full UT System policy HR0720, http://policy.tennessee.edu/hr_policy/hr0720/, Drug Free Campus and Workplace, also referenced by Hilltopics.

Public Safety

Information relating to public safety, campus security policies and procedures, data on campus crimes and other related information is available from the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Safety and Chief of Police website, http://safety.utk.edu/, with the following subpages.

  • The Police Department
  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Clery Compliance
  • Surveillance Oversight
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones)

The UT Police Department, https://utpolice.utk.edu/services/weapons-storage/, offers secure, free weapons storage for students, staff, and faculty living in university housing. Weapons which are brought to campus by students, staff, and faculty for sporting purposes must be checked in and stored with the UTPD. The Student Code of Conduct, https://hilltopics.utk.edu/student-code-of-conduct/, prohibits students from “possessing, carrying, using, storing, or manufacturing any weapon on University controlled property or in connection with a University affiliated activity.” (Section 4.17).

Student Identification Numbers and FERPA

UT requires the assignment of a unique student number for internal identification of each student’s record. Student identification numbers are used for university business only.

The university complies with FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act; also known as the Buckley Amendment) guidelines when releasing student identification numbers. For more detailed information on FERPA, including limiting directory information, see the FERPA, http://ferpa.utk.edu/, webpage that is maintained by the Office of the University Registrar. For more information on Student Records and Personal Information, see the One-Stop Student Services, http://onestop.utk.edu/class-registration/, website.

Students requiring a correction or change to their student identification numbers or to their Social Security Numbers should contact Kathy Abbott in the Office of The University Registrar at kcooper@utk.edu or (865) 974-1507.

Office of Title IX

In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The UT affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University.

The University of Tennessee is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment free from sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking, and retaliation. The Office of Title IX, located at 1817 Melrose Avenue, was established to help educate the campus community, prevent incidents, support those in need, and address concerns related to Title IX. The Office of Title IX, https://titleix.utk.edu/, provides a comprehensive community approach to the institution’s Title IX responsibility. Under the direction of the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX team members, housed in critical areas across campus, work collaboratively to educate the campus community, prevent incidents, support those in need, and address Title IX-related complaints.

Office of Equity and Diversity

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at the UT are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498 (dial 711 for telecommunications relay services). Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Operational Information for Faculty

Auditing Graduate Level Courses

Graduate students paying regular fees also are entitled to audit courses. Courses audited do not count toward minimum graduate credit hours required for financial assistance. Others who wish to attend certain classes regularly, without taking examinations or receiving grades or credit, may do so by completing a graduate admissions application as a non-degree student, paying the application fee, registering as an auditor, and paying regular fees.

The names of all auditors properly registered will appear on the electronic grade rolls, but will be removed from the final grade report. Auditors receive no credit and the audited course will not be recorded on the transcript and/or the permanent record.

No person may attend class without being properly admitted to the university and registered in the class.

Graduate Credit

Courses numbered at the 500-level, as well as those 400-level courses approved for graduate credit, must be taught by faculty members who (1) meet the criteria of an assistant professor or above as defined in the Faculty Handbook and (2) have been designated by the department head as being appropriate. Graduate teaching associates are ineligible to teach courses approved for graduate credit, unless they are in a post-professional degree program where the terminal degree is a Master’s degree and has been approved by the Graduate Council as an exception.

Consistent with the accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) that Graduate curricula must be substantially different from undergraduate curricula, classes at the 400-level in which both graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled must be structured so as to reflect this distinction. That is, course requirements for graduate credit will be more rigorous and will exceed expectations for undergraduates. Graduate and undergraduate completion of the same course will not be considered equivalent. Petitions for retroactive changing of undergraduate to graduate credit will not be accepted.

Courses at the 600-level are taught by faculty who have been approved by the college or by departments, where the college has given them that responsibility. All departments/colleges have a statement of criteria used in eligibility to teach at the 600-level.

Courses in Non-Standard Format

The university may offer short courses, workshops, and other courses in non-standard format for graduate credit. Minimum criteria acceptable for such credit are as follows.

  • Per the definition of a credit hour, 1 credit hour reasonably approximates both 50 minutes per week of classroom-based direct instruction and a minimum of two hours per week of student work outside the classroom.
  • Under the semester system, every credit hour of coursework offered at the graduate level requires a minimum elapsed time of one week.
  • The number of contact credit hours should never be fewer than the equivalent of one credit contact hour per week during the term semester for each hour of credit awarded, i.e., 15 credit contact hours per credit hour.

The workload in a short course of several weeks’ duration need not be distributed evenly. However, substantive and meaningful interaction between the faculty member and student should be maintained throughout. Graduate credit should not be awarded for courses considered inappropriate as part of a graduate degree program.

The Curriculum Committee of the Graduate Council monitors the policy. Each new course or change in a current course must be approved in both content and format.

Guidelines for Ph.D. Committee Service

The chair/major professor directs the student’s dissertation research and chairs the dissertation committee.

Ph.D. committees at the University of Tennessee must be composed of at least four people. At least two committee members must be tenured or tenure track UT faculty. The chair of the committee is typically from the student’s department/intercollegiate program. At least one member must be from an academic unit other than that of the student’s department; in interdisciplinary programs, one member shall be from outside that program. Committee members outside the student’s home department/program are referred to below as external members. External members may be from outside of the University of Tennessee, but must be approved in accordance with the procedures below.

The Dean of the Graduate school must approve every PhD student committee; however, the primary responsibility for approving individuals to serve on those committees is held at the department/interdisciplinary unit level, according to their bylaws. As a rule, the faculty member’s graduate unit/department submits the Doctoral Committee form with any necessary attachments to the Graduate School immediately upon formation of the dissertation committee.

Those who may chair and/or serve on committees fall under one of the following categories. However, the Dean of the Graduate School may grant one-time approval outside the parameters of these categories, in specific cases as supported by the department and deemed in the best interest of the student.

Category One: University of Tennessee tenured or tenure-track faculty holding a doctoral degree or joint faculty holding a doctoral degree are automatically granted the approval to chair or be a member of any doctoral committee. University of Tennessee tenured or tenure-track faculty, without a doctoral degree, may serve on doctoral committees.

Category Two: Individuals who are not tenured/tenure track whose primary employer is the University of Tennessee and who hold the titles of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor can co-chair or be a member of dissertation committees. However, they may only co-chair committees if their appointment is within the student’s major.

Category Three: Tenured or tenure-track faculty at other institutions may serve as the external member on a dissertation committee. The individual’s CV must be attached to the Ph.D. committee form when it is submitted to the Graduate School.

Category Four: Others who are considered experts in the field may serve as an external member of the dissertation committee. The individual’s CV must be attached to the Ph.D. committee form when it is submitted to the Graduate School.

Category Five: Emeritus faculty may continue to chair, or serve as a member of, existing committees. They may not be appointed to any new committees once retired, but they may continue to serve out their previously approved committee roles. In the case that a Ph.D. committee chair leaves the University of Tennessee prior to a student completing the degree, the chair may (1) resign from the committee, (2) serve as a co-chair of the committee; or (3) serve as a member of the committee. The student must submit a change of committee form documenting the appointment of a new chair or co-chair and updating the appointment status of the previous chair.

In cases when a department head believes an exception to the above categories is needed, the department head may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.

For non-PhD degrees, information on formation of the doctoral committee can be found in the student’s respective program description.

To officially establish the committee, the student will submit the Doctoral Committee Appointment form, https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/, with original signatures. This committee is nominated by the department head or college dean and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

A doctoral student should begin to form the committee during the first year of study. Subject to Graduate Council policies and individual program requirements, the committee must approve all course work applied toward the degree, certify the student’s mastery of the major field and any cognate fields, assist the student in conducting research, and recommend the dissertation for approval and acceptance by the Graduate School.

The College of Social Work Doctor of Social Work program has specific requirements for the structure of the academic committee for the Capstone I and II projects. The formation of the committee occurs in the fourth semester of the program. Consult with the director of the DSW program to learn more about their requirements.

The College of Nursing has program specific criteria for the creation of the Scholarly Project Committee for the DNP. Consult the DNP Student Handbook; questions should be directed to the Director of the DNP Program.

The Department of Public Health has specific qualifications for the Dissertation Committee Chair. Questions should be directed to the coordinator for the Doctor of Public Health program.

Dual Doctoral Degrees

Dual domestic and international doctoral degrees may be earned at the UT through approved dual degree programs with other educational institutions offering doctoral degrees. Dual doctoral degrees are available only in fields where dual degree programs have been established between the UT and the collaborating institution(s). More information on currently available dual doctoral programs may be found within the individual program descriptions contained in the Graduate Catalog.

Each dual doctoral degree program is governed by a specific memorandum of agreement and must follow the UT policies and be approved by the UTK Chancellor. All requirements for dual doctoral degrees must be consistent with standard university procedures, including those for graduation.

In dual doctoral degree programs, specific tasks and requirements, such as coursework, preparation leading to the dissertation stage, needed resources, and mentoring and training for the dissertation, will be completed and degrees awarded as agreed between the partner institutions in the memorandum of agreement.

Any student participating in a dual doctoral program shall fulfill the admission standards of the UT Graduate School. Admission is required prior to participation in the program. When enrolled at UT, students must be on campus prior to the beginning of the first semester and must be registered within the deadlines for all students. Students must apply for admission to UT within one calendar year of matriculation into the program.

The academic departments at the partner institutions will together be responsible for developing a set of courses to fulfill graduation requirements and secure approval by the partner institutions. Students participating in dual doctoral degree programs must be admitted to candidacy at UT.

The doctoral committee for the dual degree must meet the requirements of UT and should include at least one faculty member from the partner institution. If qualifying examinations are required, the partner institutions should establish and agree upon the format (oral and/or written) and content. The comprehensive examination for the doctoral degree must be developed and administered by both institutions. UT Graduate School policies regarding comprehensive examinations will be followed.

All oral examinations and defenses conducted at UT are expected to be in English. Dissertations must meet the requirements for submission at the UT Graduate School. The dissertation will fulfill the requirements for both institutions.

Administration of Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs provide a means for UT to respond to emerging needs. Graduate certificate programs provide focused areas of study for students 1) pursuing other academic programs at the master’s or doctoral levels, 2) who have already earned a graduate degree, or 3) who are post-baccalaureate and enrolled solely in a graduate certificate program.

Faculty may propose graduate certificate programs through the curriculum approval process. Graduate certificate programs are for-credit programs, based entirely on credit courses, and appear on the academic transcript. Graduate certificate programs are required to have student learning outcomes and an assessment plan reported annually through the University’s adopted process.

Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 semester credit hours. Graduate certificate programs require the same curricular approval process as majors and minors. Only those that appear in the Graduate Catalog will be posted to the student’s official transcript. Graduate certificate programs are comprised of approved graduate courses. For any graduate certificate programs, the student must earn all semester credit hours from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

At least three (3) credit hours for the certificate must be earned outside of the requirements of the degree(s) and other certificates.

Since graduate certificates are university credentials, a student must apply through Graduate Admissions to the graduate certificate program. Student must be admitted to the certificate program prior to completing six credit hours toward the certificate. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average once in the program and complete the requirements of the certificate program as stated in the Graduate Catalog to be awarded the graduate certificate.

For those students who are concurrently enrolled in a Master or doctorate program, the graduate certificate will be awarded the same semester as the degree. Certificates will be awarded at the normal times when degrees are awarded.

For independent, stand-alone graduate certificates (those when a student is not concurrently enrolled in a Master or doctorate program), the certificate is awarded upon completion of required courses and submission of application for graduation.

The Office of the University Registrar will issue all graduate certificates.

Non-Credit certificate programs may be established by any academic unit. The non-credit certificate is issued by the unit to those completing the program. These may be for professional development and continuing education of working professionals to maintain licensure. These may be offered online or non-traditional formats. They are not placed on an official university transcript. These are often offered through UT Conferences and Non-Credit Programs. formats. They are not placed on an official university transcript. These are often offered through UT Conferences and Non-Credit Programs.

Minors

Minors provide an opportunity for graduate students to demonstrate training in a field of study outside the major. For students pursuing a graduate degree, a minor consists of no fewer than 6 semester credit hours in a field of study outside the major.

The student’s graduate committee must approve the minor area of study, and at least one member of the student’s graduate committee must be selected from the minor area. Students declare a minor at the time of filing the Admission to Candidacy Application. The minor is awarded simultaneously with the degree conferral and is listed on the transcript.

Academic units request approval for minors through the curricular approval process. A complete list of approved graduate minors can be found at Majors/Minors A-Z.

International Exchange Graduate Students

The UT seeks to develop and continue relationships with institutions of higher education around the world in an effort to globalize the experiences of students. The Center for International Education at UT in collaboration with academic units establishes and maintains formal agreements between UT and these institutions, outlining the specific conditions of each reciprocal graduate student exchange program. The Center for International Education and the Graduate School monitor jointly the International Agreements to ensure current program status and approval of graduate level student participation. As a host institution, UT requires that all criteria for admission and enrollment for international students must be met.

An international exchange graduate student may register as a non-degree student for the period specified in the exchange agreement of up to one academic year (two full session semesters and one summer term) and must comply with all regulations (federal and university) with regard to course load. In addition, they must meet any other requirements affecting non-degree graduate students.

An international exchange graduate student must obtain the approval of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies in the academic discipline prior to enrolling in a course. The transferability of academic credit is determined by the student’s home institution.International exchange graduate students are required to submit official documents and meet the requirements of the Graduate School as listed in Admission of International Students. Incoming exchange graduate students will work with the Programs Abroad Office of the Center for International Education and the coordinators of the International Agreement at the home and host institution to submit the documentation as required by all parties in the exchange.

If an international exchange graduate student who was enrolled as a non-degree seeking student later applies for admission to the University as a degree-seeking graduate student, he or she must follow the normal procedures required for admission to a degree program, as described in Admission of International Students. The use of any graduate coursework completed as a non-degree exchange student toward degree requirements will be subject to approval of the student’s faculty committee. All requirements related to courses that may be counted toward graduate degrees apply, including rules concerning courses counted toward another degree.