Carolyn R. Hodges, BA, MA, PhD, Vice Provost and Dean
Joy T. DeSensi, BA, MEd, EdD, Associate Dean
Ernest L. Brothers, BS, MS, MPPA, PhD, Assistant Dean
, Assistant Dean
Yvonne Kilpatrick, BS, MBA, Director, Graduate Admissions
Sarah Stone, Thesis/Dissertation Consultant
Catherine Cox, Graduate Catalog Editor and Curriculum Coordinator
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 University of Tennessee 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, 592 Tenth Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318-5790, (404) 875-9211, FAX (404) 872-1477, http://www.sreb.org; or Norma Harrington, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, (865) 974-2184.
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 3.0 in a subsequent semester. 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 3.0 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. 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.
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
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.
Upon completion of 9 hours of graduate course work, a graduate student will be placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative GPA falls below 3.0. A student will be allowed to continue graduate study in subsequent semesters if each semester’s grade point average is 3.0 or greater. Upon achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.0, the student will be removed from probationary status.
Academic Standards and 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. For good standing, graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 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.
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.
There are three types of academic standing set at the end of every term of enrollment: good standing, academic probation, and academic dismissal.
See Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal for information on these types of academic standing.
Admission Policies and Application Procedures
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 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.
To apply for admission, the following materials must be submitted to Graduate Admissions through the on-line application submission process:
- The completed online Graduate Application for Admission (http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/).
- A $60 non-refundable application fee - paid by credit card or electronic check.
- One unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities attended submitted on-line at the time of application to the Graduate School. An unofficial transcript or university record is defined as a scanned version of the transcript or university record that would be sent by mail as an official transcript. The document must contain the institution name, course names, grade information, terms of attendance and any academic notations. Transcripts or academic records uploaded from the institution’s student information system portal will not be accepted. Transcripts or university records that are not in the English language must be submitted in both the original language and a certified English translation.
- The submission of official transcripts, degree certificates, and English translations to the Graduate Admissions Office is required following the offer of admission. In order for transcripts to be considered official, they must be sent directly from the institution. 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.
- Official scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if native language is not English (refer to section on English Certification).
Additional departmental/program requirements may include but are not limited to:
- Departmental application.
- Reference letters or rating forms.
- Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
To register for the IELTS, contact IELTS at http://www.ielts.org.
To register for the GMAT, go to the GMAT website at http://www.mba.com/.
To register for the GRE and TOEFL, contact
Educational Testing Service
Princeton, New Jersey 08450
The ETS UT code is 1843. Test results reach the university in approximately three weeks.
All documents submitted become the property of the university and will not be returned. For international graduate student application procedures, see Admission of International Students.
Admission to a degree program requires that a person meet the minimum admission requirements and any additional program requirements (see Admission Requirements/Policies). Refer to the appropriate department for specific requirements for admission to the degree program.
In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, applicants at the doctoral level must have demonstrated a potential for superior academic performance. Criteria considered are 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.
A student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to continue enrollment in a degree program (see Academic Standards and Academic Standing).
An applicant may not be admitted simultaneously to more than one degree program. Two or more applications cannot be considered concurrently, except in the case of dual programs.
Applicants may apply for non-degree status who, for example
- Need additional time to fulfill application 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. Some departments do not permit non-degree students to register for graduate courses.
A major must be declared if the intent is to seek an advanced degree. If no degree is desired, a major need not be declared. Students anticipating long-term enrollment as non-degree students are advised to apply as undergraduate students in non-degree status. Students holding a degree who are taking additional work as undergraduate non-degree students may be allowed to take 600-level courses for undergraduate credit with the approval of the instructor.
Before accumulating 15 hours of course work 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, submit an on-line application through the application portal (see Change of Graduate Program).
A maximum of 15 graduate hours may be taken in graduate non-degree status. If admitted into a degree program, no more than 15 non-degree graduate hours may be applied toward a graduate degree, if approved by the student’s committee. Courses applied toward any graduate degree must fall within the time limit specified for the degree.
Non-degree graduate students do not have academic advisors since they are not affiliated with an academic unit and faculty. Non-degree graduate students may consult the director of graduate studies in the appropriate academic unit(s) for course options.
A student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to continue enrollment in non-degree status (see Academic Standards).
Admission to non-degree status does not constitute admission to a degree program. The student who seeks to enter a degree program will be directed to the appropriate department.
An international student on a student visa may not enroll as a non-degree student, except for students admitted through a reciprocal exchange program. International exchange graduate students who seek admission to UTK as non-degree students are subject to Graduate School policies affecting non-degree students. Additional information about exchange student status is found in these policies under the heading of International Exchange Graduate Students.
Admission Requirements/Policies for Domestic 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 regional accrediting agency or foreign equivalent.
The Graduate Council requires a minimum grade point average of 2.7 out of a possible 4.0, or a 3.0 during the senior year of undergraduate study. Applicants with previous graduate work must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent on all graduate work. Many programs require a higher average. 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 whose undergraduate GPA falls between 2.5 and 2.7 may be admitted on probation, upon recommendation of an academic unit. The probationary status will be removed after completion of 9 or more hours of graduate credit with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Failure to maintain a 3.0 while in this status will result in dismissal. An international student may not be admitted on probation.
The stated criteria are the minimums. The actual averages required for admission may be higher, depending on the number and the qualifications of applicants.
When a student is admitted to graduate study prior to having received the baccalaureate degree, that degree must be awarded before the date of first registration in graduate courses.
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 which 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.
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.
Faculty members of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or the Institute of Agriculture at the rank of assistant professor or above and members of the administrative staff at the university and the Institute of Agriculture will not normally be admitted to a PhD degree program at UT Knoxville. 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 academic or administrative 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 doctoral degrees are to be pursued.
Admission for Graduate Certificate Programs
Admission to a graduate certificate program requires that a person meet the minimum admission requirements and any additional program requirements (see Admission Requirements/Policies). Refer to the appropriate department for specific requirements for admission to the certificate program.
Admission to a graduate certificate program does not constitute admission to a degree program. To receive a graduate certificate, students must be admitted to a certificate program or a degree program (see Graduate Certificate Programs).
Admission for International Students
For admission to a graduate program, an international student must have an equivalent 4-year bachelor’s degree with at least a B average on all previous course work and a B+ on all previous graduate work. On various grading scales, this corresponds to
- 14 on a 20-point scale.
- 80.0 from Taiwanese institutions.
- 1st Class or Division from Indian institutions.
- Upper 2nd Class Honors on various British systems.
If graduating from a U.S. institution, the minimum is the same as that for domestic students (see Admission Requirements). Other grading systems are evaluated, upon receipt of transcripts, in accordance with standard recommendations. Many departments require a higher average than the minimum.
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. The deadlines for submission of applications to the Office of Graduate Admissions are:
The Office of Graduate Admissions must be notified of any change in entering date after admission has been granted.
Individuals should apply online and must pay the application fee by credit card or electronic check.
The following items must be received before admission will be considered.
- A completed online Graduate Application for Admission.
- A $60.00 non-refundable application fee.
- One unofficial transcript or academic record and degree certificate from all colleges and universities attended submitted on-line at the time of application to the Graduate School. An unofficial transcript or university record is defined as a scanned version of the transcript or university record that would be sent by mail as an official transcript. The document must contain the institution name, course names, grade information, terms of attendance and any academic notations. Transcripts or academic records uploaded from the institution’s student information system portal will not be accepted. Transcripts or university records that are not in the English language must be submitted in both the original language and a certified English translation.
- Confirmation of degree(s). Confirmation must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions at least 2 months prior to term of first enrollment. Registration is prohibited after the first semester of enrollment until students have submitted the official copy of transcripts. The submission of official transcripts, degree certificates, and English translations must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office only following the offer of admission. In order for transcripts to be considered official, they must be sent directly from the institution. 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 from all institutions previously attended.
- Certification of English proficiency. Refer to section on English Certification.
- Documented evidence of financial resources sufficient to support the student, as stated on the financial statement form supplied to the applicant. This form is available at the Center for International Education website: http://international.utk.edu/forms/#common or will be sent to the applicant after notification of admission.
- Additional departmental/program requirements.
- Departmental application.
- Reference letters or rating forms.
- Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
Admission must be granted, and financial documentation, copy of passport, and degree confirmation must be received prior to issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 form needed to obtain a visa. The university will not issue these forms after the following dates.
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.
Admission in the postdoctoral status does not constitute admission to a degree program. The student who seeks to enter a degree program must meet all admission requirements and be recommended by the program.
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 10 days prior to registration. Only one semester, or a maximum of 12 hours, of course work can be taken in transient status.
Every graduate student must have an advisor from the major department. This professor advises the student about courses, program requirements, supervises the student’s research, and facilitates communication within the major department, to other departments and with the Dean of the Graduate School. Continuous evaluation of the student must be maintained. The advisor must review and approve the student’s program each semester. This includes objective evaluation each semester after grades are posted to determine (good standing, probation, or dismissal), continuation in the program, and performance on comprehensive examinations.
Many departments assign a temporary advisor to direct the entering student’s work during the period in which the student is becoming acquainted with the institution and determining the focus of research interests, and in which the department is forming a judgment concerning the student’s promise as a scholar. As early as appropriate, the student requests a professor in the major department to serve as the advisor. This major professor and the student together select a graduate committee. The student is expected to maintain close consultation with the major professor and other members of the graduate committee with regard to progress in the program. Other responsibilities of the advisor/major professor are explained under individual programs.
The Graduate Council Appeal Procedure can be obtained at the Graduate School or at http://gradschool.utk.edu/GraduateCouncil/AppeComm/AppealProcedureApproved2009. Normally, grievances 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.
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 “Disciplinary Regulations and Procedures.” 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.
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 graduate 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.
Change of Program
Graduate students at UT Knoxville with no interruption in enrollment must file a Change of Program Application to Graduate Admissions if the change of program they are requesting fits one of the following scenarios:
- A currently enrolled graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is seeking a change of graduate major, concentration, or degree objective.
- A currently enrolled graduate student at UT Knoxville who requests moving from non-degree to degree seeking (or vice-versa).
- A student requesting admission to another graduate program immediately following the completion of his/her current graduate degree program at UT Knoxville so that there will be no interruption of enrollment (summer excluded) between finishing one graduate program at UT Knoxville and entering another.
- A student who is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at UT Knoxville has decided to NOT complete the doctoral program but instead requests admission to a master’s degree program within the same major and concentration if the following condition applies: 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 Application must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions at least two weeks prior to the first day of class of the desired term of entry. The application is located on the Graduate Admissions website http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/forms.shtml. A non-refundable application fee in the amount of $30.00 will be assessed upon each submission of the Change of program Application.
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 prior to submitting a Change of Program in order to explore whether visa regulations that are specific to their status at UTK allow such a change of program, and in order to discuss in which way the desired change of program would affect their immigration status. A non-refundable application fee in the amount of $30.00 will be assessed upon each submission of the Change of Program Application.
Concurrent Master’s Degree Program
Currently enrolled UTK 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 to the Graduate School graduation office 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.
Conditional Admission Based on English Proficiency
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 proficiency requirement, yet are being considered for full admission by a graduate program.
This policy supplements the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) Graduate School’s policies specifying minimum qualifications for admission of applicants to degree-seeking status at the master’s and doctoral levels (see International Students Admission in the Graduate Catalog). Individual graduate programs may in addition have more stringent conditions beyond these standards (see the specific graduate program for details in the Graduate Catalog).
This conditional admission policy shifts the timing for the applicant to fulfill the English proficiency requirement to a date after arriving at UTK for intensive English language study and provides the student with the guarantee of admission to a graduate program when the English proficiency condition and, where required by a program, other qualifying standardized tests for admission have been completed within the allotted timeframe of three semesters, including summer term.
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.
Graduate degree applicants must be recommended by a graduate program for admission to UTK with English proficiency conditional admission.
English proficiency conditional admission to a graduate program may be granted by the UTK Graduate School for a period of one year (three semesters, including summer term). 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 in the following year to the student meeting the requirement(s).
A student admitted conditionally under this policy will receive the appropriate documentation for entering the U.S. for English language study only. Upon entry into the U.S., this student will enroll in the University of Tennessee English Language Institute (UT ELI), with the intent of achieving the Graduate School required TOEFL score of 80 iBT (or 550 paper-based) or IELTS score of 6.5. 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. If the student passes this language threshold, he/she will be expected to enroll as a degree-seeking student in the admitting program starting with the semester immediately following, which cannot be later than the third semester after the student enrolls in the intensive English language program.
The applicant must submit an online application for admission to the UTK Office of Graduate Admissions.
- Graduate programs will need to petition the Office of Graduate Admissions to conditionally admit a student based on English language proficiency. Furthermore, conditional admission can be granted only by the UTK 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 UTK 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 and indicate the English proficiency conditional admission and other requirements to be met within the specified timeframe.
- The Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student) will be issued by the English Language Institute (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 UTK CIE for the intended graduate degree program.
- The student may not enroll in any other UTK course while enrolled in the ELI.
An offer of conditional admission for English proficiency will be in effect for three semesters, including summer term, from the term of enrollment in the UT 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 institute.
Funding for enrollment in the intensive English language program at ELI is the student’s or his/her sponsor’s responsibility.
Non-satisfaction of condition for full admission
If a student is unable to fulfill the English proficiency condition within the required timeframe, 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.
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 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, etc.
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 or for three graduate credit hours of Course 600 (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.
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.
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) must maintain a minimum of three credit hours per semester during all semesters, including the summer, as stipulated in the policy on “Registration for Course 600 (Doctoral Research and Dissertation)” in order to comply with the Continuous Enrollment requirement (see under Doctoral Programs for details).
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.
No graduate credit is accepted at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for work done by correspondence study at any university.
The maximum load for a graduate student is 15 hours and 9 to 12 hours are considered a full load. For the summer term, graduate students may register for a maximum of 12 hours in an entire summer term or for a maximum of 6 hours in a five-week summer session. Students may enroll in only one course during a mini-term session.
Students holding a one-half time assistantship normally should enroll for 6-11 hours. A one-fourth time graduate assistant normally should take 9-13 hours. A student on a one-half time assistantship who takes 6 hours will be considered full time. Refer to the Policy for the Administration of Graduate Assistantships for additional information.
Students receiving financial aid should consult with the department/program head concerning appropriate course loads. Courses audited do not count toward minimum graduate hours required for financial assistance.
Registration for more than 15 hours during any semester, or for more than 12 hours in the summer term, is not permissible without prior approval. The academic advisor may allow registration of up to 18 hours during a semester if the student has achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or better in at least 9 hours of graduate work with no outstanding incompletes. No more than 12 hours are permissible in the summer term without prior approval.
Courses in Non-Standard Format
The university offers a wide variety of short courses, workshops, and other courses in non-standard format for graduate credit. Minimum criteria acceptable for such credit are as follows.
- The number of contact hours should never be fewer than the equivalent of one hour per week during the term for each hour of credit awarded, i.e., 15 hours per semester hour.
- For every contact hour, there should be at least 2 hours of student preparation.
- For each hour of graduate credit under the semester system, there should be a minimum elapsed time of one week.
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.
Credit Hour Definition
The unit of credit is the semester credit hour. One semester credit hour represents an amount of instruction that 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 over a fall or spring semester. Normally, each semester 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 one semester 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 two or three hours of work in a laboratory, field, studio, or seminar-based setting is considered the equivalent of 50 minutes of classroom-based direct instruction. Semester credit hours earned in courses such as internships, research, theses, dissertation, etc. are based on outcome expectations established by the academic program.
DEGREE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
A complete list of programs is found under the Graduate Degrees, Majors, and Certificate Programs Chart. For specific degree requirements, consult individual program descriptions. Department policies and procedures, which are specific to degree programs and exceed those in the Graduate Catalog, are provided in the Graduate Student Handbook available in each academic department.
The following are the Graduate Council’s minimum requirements for degree programs. Refer to the college and academic department for additional program requirements.
The master’s degree is evidence of successful completion of a body of course work, advanced understanding, and the ability to apply knowledge within a major field. As part of a master’s degree, and in addition to a final comprehensive examination, a culminating (capstone) experience is expected. Examples of culminating experiences include an advanced seminar, 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.
Master’s degree programs are available with thesis and non-thesis options. These programs require 30 or more graduate hours of course work. In addition to the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees, other degrees are offered, including the Master of Accountancy, Master of Architecture, Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture, Master of Business Administration, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Mathematics, Master of Music, Master of Public Policy and Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Landscape Architecture, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Science in Social Work.
- A candidate for a master’s degree must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit in courses approved by the student’s master’s committee.
- In thesis programs, 6 semester hours of credit in the major (9-12 in some approved programs) must be earned in course 500 while the student is preparing the thesis.
- Hours applied to the master’s degree may be entirely from one major subject or may be distributed to include one or two minor areas.
- In a 30-hour program, the major subject must include at least 12 hours of graduate course work, exclusive of course 500.
- A minor must include not fewer than 6, nor more than 12 hours of graduate credit.
- At least two-thirds of the minimum required hours in a master’s degree program must be taken in courses numbered at or above the 500 level. Only 6 thesis hours may be counted toward this requirement.
- For course work taken at other institutions, refer to section on Transfer Credits.
A committee composed of the major professor and at least two other faculty members, all at the rank of assistant professor or above, 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 (refer to Advisor/Major Professor). The responsibility of this committee is to assist the student in planning a program of study and carrying out research, and to assure fulfillment of the degree requirements. If the student has a minor, one member of the committee must be from the minor department.
Admission to Candidacy Application
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 candidacy application for the master’s degree is made as soon as possible after the student has completed any prerequisite courses and 9 hours of graduate course work with a 3.0 average or higher in all graduate work. The Admission to Candidacy application must be signed by the student’s committee and all courses to be used for the degree must be listed, including transfer course work. The student must submit the candidacy application (with original signatures) to the Graduate School (111 Student Services Building) no later than the last day of classes of the semester preceding the semester in which he/she plans to graduate.
A student must be registered for course 500 each semester during work on the thesis, including a minimum of 3 hours the semester in which the thesis is accepted by the Graduate School. Six hours of 500 are required for the thesis option. After receiving the master’s degree, a student is no longer permitted to register for Thesis 500.
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, free of technical errors in format. It must be prepared according to the most recent Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations, available at http://web.utk.edu/~thesis/Guide.shtml. An electronic copy of the thesis must be accompanied by one original approval sheet (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, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material.
Final Examination for Thesis and Problems in Lieu of Thesis
A candidate presenting a thesis or problems 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 thesis or problems, measures the candidate’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields, including the work presented in the thesis or problems. 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. Except with prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School, the examination must be given in university-approved facilities. 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 Deadline Dates) by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. 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.
Final Examination for Non-Thesis Students
Each non-thesis student must pass a final comprehensive written examination. A department may require an additional oral examination. The examination is not merely a test over course work, but a measure of the student’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields. Except with prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School, the examination must be given in university-approved facilities. It should be scheduled through the academic department at least two weeks prior to the examination. Students taking the final examination but not otherwise using university facilities may pay a fee equal to one hour of graduate credit instead of registering. 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 Deadline Dates. In case of failure, the candidate may not apply for reexamination until the following semester. The result of the second examination is final.
Candidates have six calendar years to complete the 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 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.
Second Master’s Degree
For a second master’s degree, the student must have fulfilled all major requirements applicable to the first master’s degree, including the thesis, if appropriate. Course work applied to one master’s degree program may not be applied toward a second.
Specialist in Education Degree
The Specialist in Education (EdS) degree is offered with a major 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 admission requirements can be obtained from academic units offering the degree.
- The student’s program involves a minimum of four semesters of study totaling not fewer than 60 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the baccalaureate degree.
- A minimum of 6 hours is required outside the concentration.
- A student admitted to the program with a master’s degree, or with acceptable work beyond the master’s degree, may have program requirements modified upon recommendation of the student’s committee. However, no modifications will be permitted in examination and research requirements or in the minimum 6 graduate hours required outside the concentration.
- All prior course work accepted toward the degree must be related to the student’s program objectives.
- A maximum of 6 hours beyond the master’s degree may be transferred from another institution to a Specialist in Education program (refer to section on Transfer Credits).
- Courses numbered at the 400 level required for certification through the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, may not be taken for graduate credit and used as course work in the major.
- At least one-half of the last 30 semester hours of work, exclusive of thesis courses, must be in 500- or 600-level courses.
A committee of at least three faculty members is assigned to each student. A minimum of two members of this committee must represent the unit or major area. Its responsibilities include formulating the student’s program of course work, supervising progress, recommending admission to candidacy, directing research, and coordinating the qualifying and final examinations.
Admission To Candidacy Application
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 must have original signatures of the student’s committee and all courses to be used for the degree must be listed, including transfer course work. This form is submitted to the Graduate School before the student has completed 15 hours of course work in the Specialist in Education program. A qualifying examination may be required for admission to candidacy if the student has a master’s degree earned six years or more prior to admission to the program. This examination may be written and/or oral.
See the program descriptions of individual departments for list of thesis, problems in lieu of thesis, and non-thesis options. Some departments offer only a thesis program.
In the non-thesis program, a candidate will study research methods and findings and will demonstrate skill in adapting them to professional needs as defined by the major department.
In the thesis program, or problems in lieu of thesis, 6 hours of research credit (518 or 503) must be earned in preparation of an acceptable piece of work. The student must continue to register for thesis or problems while working on the project, including the semester it is accepted by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. The thesis must be prepared according to the most recent Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations (http://web.utk.edu/~thesis/Guide.shtml), and approved by the student’s committee prior to submission to the Graduate School for final approval and acceptance.
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, free of technical errors in format. It must be prepared according to the most recent Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations, available at http://web.utk.edu/~thesis/Guide.shtml. An electronic copy of the thesis must be accompanied by one original approval sheet (not a photocopy). 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.
A candidate presenting a thesis or problems 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 thesis or problems, measures the candidate’s ability to integrate material in the major and related fields, including the work presented in the thesis or problems. 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. Except with prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School, the examination must be given in university-approved facilities. 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 Deadline Dates) by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. The major professor must submit the results of the 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.
Candidates have six calendar years from the time of entry into the last 30 hours of their degree programs to complete the Specialist in Education degree. 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.
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.
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 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 semester hours of graduate course work in a given area outside the student’s major field.
- A candidate for a doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 24 hours of graduate course work beyond the master’s degree, which is a prerequisite for entry into most doctoral programs.
- If the doctoral program does not require a master’s degree, the candidate must complete a minimum of 48 hours of graduate course work beyond the baccalaureate degree.
- A minimum of 12 of the 24 hours, or 30 of the 48 hours, must be graded A-F.
- A minimum of 6 hours of the student’s course work must be taken in University of Tennessee courses at the 600 level, exclusive of dissertation.
- In addition, 24 hours of course 600 Doctoral Research and Dissertation are required (see Registration for Course 600 and Continuous Registration).
For course work taken prior to admission to the doctoral program, refer to section on Transfer Credits.
Admission to Candidacy Application
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 B average in all graduate course work. Each student is responsible for filing the admission to candidacy application, which lists all courses to be used for the degree, including courses taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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 application must be submitted with original signatures.
The major professor directs the student’s dissertation research and chairs the dissertation committee. The student and the major professor identify a doctoral committee composed of at least four faculty members holding the rank of assistant professor or above, three of whom, including the chair, must be approved by the Graduate Council to direct doctoral research. At least one member must be from an academic unit other than that of the student’s major field. Students are encouraged where appropriate to seek a fifth member in the field of specialization from outside the university to serve on their dissertation committee. To officially establish the committee, the student will submit the Doctoral Committee Appointment form 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.
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.
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 UT Graduate School 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 is defined as full-time registration for a given semester on the campus where the program is located. The summer term is included in this period. During residence, it is expected that the student will be engaged in full-time on-campus study toward a graduate degree.
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.
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 along with signatures of approval from the major professor and the department head/program director.
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 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.
Director of Graduate Studies
Each academic department or program has designated a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who is the director of graduate studies. This individual, with the assistance of the other graduate faculty in the department, is responsible for the administration of the graduate program(s) in the department and also serves as the contact person with the Graduate School.
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 is required for all doctoral degrees. Registration is required the term in which examinations are taken.
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 the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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.
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.
DEFENSE OF DISSERTATION EXAMINATION
A doctoral 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. Except with prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School, the examination must be given in university-approved facilities. 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 (indicated on the Graduate Student Deadline Dates) by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. The major professor must submit the results of the defense (Pass/Fail form with original signatures) 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. Guiding principle for resolving such ad-hoc emergency situations will be to guard the integrity of the process.
The dissertation 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, free of technical errors in format. It must be prepared according to the most recent Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations, available at http://web.utk.edu/~thesis/Guide.shtml. An electronic copy of the dissertation must be accompanied by one original approval sheet (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, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material.
Remote Participation in Oral Defenses
It is expected that all members of graduate committees should be physically present at all required oral thesis or dissertation 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 in with two way audio and video connections; audio only connections must be approved by the major professor if the video connection is not possible. When the student is the remote participant, his or her connection must be an audio and video connection;
- Any visual aids or other materials have 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 is responsible for making the scheduling arrangements, and 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 UTK 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.
Dual Doctoral Degrees
Dual domestic and international doctoral degrees may be earned at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), 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 UTK 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 UTK 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 UTK Graduate School. Admission is required prior to participation in the program. When enrolled at UTK, 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 UTK 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 UTK.
The doctoral committee for the dual degree must meet the requirements of UTK 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. UTK Graduate School policies regarding comprehensive examinations will be followed.
All oral examinations and defenses conducted at UTK are expected to be in English. Dissertations must meet the requirements for submission at the UTK Graduate School. The dissertation will fulfill the requirements for both institutions.
Any person whose native language is not English must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum score of 550 on the paper test or 80 on the Internet-based test typically with a score of 20 on each of the sections of the test (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) is required for admission consideration. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required. Some programs require higher scores. The score must be no more than two years old from the requested date of entry. Applicants who have received a degree from an accredited U.S. institution within the past two years are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.
All students whose native language is not English must take an English proficiency examination after arrival at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Refer to section on English Proficiency.
Applicants whose native language is not English must pass an English proficiency examination (English Placement Exam), given by the university prior to initial registration. Students whose performance on the examination indicates a need for additional English study must enroll immediately for English 121 or another course assigned by the English Department for undergraduate credit and pass with a grade of C or better. A student may not take more than 9 additional hours of course work while enrolled in English 121. Students whose scores indicate that they are not prepared to enter English 121 will be referred to a program of intensive English study prior to enrolling in an academic program.
All prospective teaching assistants or associates whose native language is not English are required to take and pass the ITA-OPIc Test before they can be assigned classroom related duties in connection with their assistantships. The ITA-OPIc is administered on campus through the Graduate School, and students need to consult the ITA-OPIc website for more specific details on the ITA-OPIc, including test dates (http://gradschool.utk.edu/speaktest.shtml.
FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS AND UNIVERSITY POLICIES
EEO/Title IX/AA/Section 504 Statement
All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.
Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee 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.
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 University of Tennessee 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.
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. Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This act, also known as the Buckley Amendment, gives four basic rights to students.
- The right to review their education records.
- The right to seek to amend their education records.
- The right to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information (directory information).
- The right to notify the Department of Education concerning an academic institution’s failure to comply with FERPA regulations.
FERPA provides for confidentiality of student records; however, it also provides for basic identification of people at the University of Tennessee without the consent of the individual. Release of information to third parties includes directory information, such as contained in the campus telephone book, in the online web-based people directory, and in sports brochures. Directory information includes, but is not limited to, student name, local and permanent address, Net ID, university e-mail address, telephone number, classification, graduate or undergraduate levels, full time or part-time students, college, major, dates of attendance, degrees and awards, the most recent previously attended educational institution, participation in school activities and sports, and height and weight (for special activities). Students are notified of their FERPA rights and the procedures for limiting disclosure of directory information in Hilltopics, at Orientation for new students, and on the FERPA website, maintained by the Office of the University Registrar http://ferpa.utk.edu/.
Immunization Requirements and Student Health Center
The Student Health Center provides outpatient medical care for all currently enrolled students who have paid their full 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 hours, paying the optional health fee). These outpatient services are available continually throughout every term. The health center located at 1800 Volunteer Blvd., is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (Wednesday – 9:00 am to 4:30 pm). While urgent-care 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 family physicians in ensuring the continuity of quality health care during the university career.
The State of Tennessee has four immunization requirements for students attending state colleges and universities.
- Measles, mumps and rubella – all students born after January 1, 1957, must provide proof of immunization with two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.
- Hepatitis – New incoming students must be vaccinated against Hepatitis B or complete a waiver form acknowledging that they have elected not to be vaccinated.
- Meningitis – New incoming students under the age of 21 and/or who live in on-campus housing, must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease or complete a waiver form acknowledging that they have elected not to be vaccinated.
- Varicella “Chickenpox” – All students born on or after January 1, 1980, must provide proof of immunization with two doses of varicella vaccine or serology showing immunity to varicella or documentation from a medical facility showing verification of previously being diagnosed with the illness.
- Tuberculosis Screening – All freshmen or transfer students attending the University of Tennessee MUST provide documentation of Tuberculosis screening within 6 months immediately preceding their enrollment.
This documentation must be provided to the Student Health Center. In addition, Student Health Center recommends that entering college students assure immunity to tetanus/diphtheria, and polio.
|Important Notice: Students who are not in compliance will 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.
Inclement Weather Policy
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will remain open except in the most severe weather conditions.
The Chancellor (or appointed representative) may officially close or suspend selected activities of the university because of extreme 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 front page at http://www.utk.edu/. Those who have signed up for UTAlert will be notified via text message.
If the university is officially closed, certain essential activities such as dining services, facilities services, UT police, and information technology will continue to operate. Some facilities such as Hodges Library and University Center will, if possible, continue to function as a service to students and faculty. When the university is officially closed, its policy of “Days of Administrative Closing” will apply for staff exempt and staff nonexempt employees.
In the event of inclement weather when the university remains open, all faculty, administrators, and staff will be expected to make every reasonable effort to maintain their regular work schedules, but are advised to avoid undue risks in traveling. Employees who anticipate arriving late or not arriving at all should notify their immediate supervisor. Employees have the option of charging their time off to annual leave or leave without pay; or, with approval, they may make up their lost work hours.
In the event of a delayed opening, the Chancellor (or appointed representative) will determine a specific time of opening and that information will be distributed to the campus community through the local media and via the front page of utk.edu.
All faculty and staff are expected to report to their specific work location by the set opening time. Students are expected to report to their regularly scheduled class only if there are 30 or more minutes remaining in the session. For example, if a delayed opening is set for 10:00 a.m., students who have classes from 9:40 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. should report to that class at 10:00 a.m. Students who have classes from 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. should not report to class. In a delayed opening, all classes scheduled prior to the set time of opening and those that have less than 30 minutes remaining after the set opening time are cancelled for the day.
Students will be responsible for any academic work they miss due to absences caused by severe weather conditions. It is the individual student’s responsibility to take the initiative to make up any missed class work, and it is the instructors’ responsibility to provide a reasonable opportunity for students to complete assignments or examinations missed due to such absences. Faculty members have discretion in determining whether an additional session will be added for the class or if additional work is assigned due to the closure or delayed opening.
Policy on a Drug-Free Campus and Workplace
In support of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701 et seq.) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the University of Tennessee is notifying all students, faculty, and staff of the following university policy approved by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on 21 June 1990.
It is the policy of the University of Tennessee to maintain 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.
Violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action-up to and including immediate discharge for an employee and permanent dismissal for a student. Federal and state laws provide additional penalties for such unlawful activities, including fines and imprisonment (21 U.S. C. 841 et seq.; T.C.A. 39-17-401 et seq.). Local ordinances also provide various penalties for drug and alcohol-related offenses. The university is bound to take all appropriate actions against violators, which may include referral for legal prosecution or requiring the individual to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug use/alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.
Aside from any university policy considerations, the use of illicit drugs and/or the abuse of alcohol may be harmful to your health. Some of the health risks associated with such use/abuse is described below.
As a condition of employment, individuals who are paid by the University of Tennessee from federal grants or contracts must abide by the terms of this policy and notify the university in writing of any criminal drug statute conviction, which includes a finding of guilt, a plea of nolo contendere, or imposition of a sentence by any state or federal judicial body; for a violation occurring in the workplace within five (5) days after such conviction. The university is, in turn, required to inform the granting or contracting agency of the violation/conviction within ten (10) days of the university’s receipt of notification.
Employees and their families needing treatment information should call their local Human Resources Office, Employee Assistance Program, or the State of Tennessee Employee Assistance Program (1-800-308-4934). Students needing treatment information should contact their campus Student Affairs Office, Student Health Center, or Counseling Center.
Alcohol Abuse Health Risks
- Liver damage – cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis.
- Heart disease – enlarged heart, congestive heart failure.
- Ulcers and gastritis.
- Cancer – of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver.
- Brain damage – memory loss, hallucinations, psychosis.
- Damage to fetus if pregnant mother drinks.
- Death – 50% of fatal auto accidents involve alcohol; 31% of suicides are alcoholics.
Drug Use Health Risks
- Overdosing – psychosis, convulsions, coma, death.
- Long-term use – organ damage, mental illness, malnutrition, death.
- Casual use – heart attack, stroke, brain damage, death.
- Needles – infections, hepatitis, AIDS, death.
- If a pregnant mother uses drugs, her baby can be born addicted or dead.
In accordance with the Tennessee College and University Security Information Act of 1989 and the Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act (1999 Clery Act), the University of Tennessee has prepared a report containing campus security policies and procedures, data on campus crimes and other related information. The UT Security Brochure for the Knoxville campus is available on the Office of the Dean of Students webpage at http://dos.utk.edu, where you may print the entire document for your use. In addition, a free printed copy of this report may be obtained by any student, employee, or applicant for admission or employment from the Office of the Dean of Students, 413 Student Services Building or at the UT Police Department, 1101 Cumberland Avenue.
Social Security Number Use
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, requires the assignment of a unique student number for internal identification of each student’s record. In December 2004, the university began assigning individual student identification numbers to newly admitted students. Students will no longer use their SSNs to conduct business or access their records.
Student identification numbers are used for university business only. The university complies with FERPA guidelines when releasing student identification numbers.
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 (865) 974-1507.
FEES AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
|For the most current listing of tuition and fees at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, see http://onestop.utk.edu
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.
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 university 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 may elect to pay fees computed by semester hour credit (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, Distance Education, 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.
Admissions Application Fee
A non-refundable $60.00 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 VOLXpress account will be established. A non-refundable $30.00 Graduate School Readmission Application Fee must be submitted for students who are re-applying after being absent for one term or more, not including summer term.
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 term charges plus a $30.00 service charge on or before the published due date of each term. Students who do not pay 100% of the charges by the payment due date are required to enroll in the Deferred Payment Plan. 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 term charges on or before the published due date of each term 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.
The Facilities Fee is a mandatory fee assessed to all students enrolled in credit and audit courses. The fee will be used to provide students with upgraded classroom facilities, expand information technology into the classroom, and fund campus infrastructure improvements. These revenues will be targeted to assist in funding a backlog of campus and classroom projects that will enhance the University’s facilities. The fee will be pro-rated for part-time students.
Fees for Courses Not Taken for Credit
Fees for courses audited are the same as for courses taken for credit. For fee purposes, courses listed for 0 credit hours are considered as 1-hour courses.
Graduation Application Fee
||Master’s Degree Candidates
||Specialist in Education Degree Candidates
||Doctoral Degree Candidates
When a graduate student applies for graduation for a term, a non-refundable graduation fee is charged for each pending degree in that term. If a student does not graduate that term, a new Graduation Application must be submitted for the next anticipated term. A graduation fee will be assessed each term a Graduation Application is submitted.
There are no additional charges for the diploma. Additional or duplicate diplomas may be ordered through the Office of the University Registrar, Graduation office. Contact the Office of the University Registrar for the application and cost of ordering an additional or duplicate diploma.
VOLXpress (fee) accounts which have a balance one month prior to the end of a term will be assessed a late fee. The account balance must be paid in order to access registration services, receive a transcript, grades, or a diploma.
Late Registration Fee
A late registration fee will be assessed to students who register during Late Registration (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 website. The Late Registration Fee is non-refundable.
See the One Stop website for the dates and fees to be assessed during Late Registration.
The Library Student Fee is a mandatory fee for all students (excluding Vet Med) enrolled in credit and audit courses. Beginning fall 2012, the Library Student Fee is $10 per semester. The Library Student Fee will be used to fund student services (including library hours), the acquisition of books and electronic resources, and other services, programs, and upgrades in support of learning and research and for the advancement of the UTK Libraries.
Program and Services Fees
Students registered for classes at UTK must pay the Programs and Services Fee. The fee is used to pay for costs related to several UTK facilities including the Aquatics Center, Student Health Service, and the University Center as well as student activities and publications, and the Student Government Association. The fee is assessed in two parts, the Programs and Services Fee – Primary and the Programs and Services Fee – Health. On the first official day of classes and beyond, the Program and Services Fee becomes a non-refundable fee. Questions should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office.
Programs and Services Fee – Primary
Students registered for classes at UTK must pay the Programs and Services Fee – Primary portion. Students may not purchase student athletic tickets unless they have paid the maximum. Students enrolled for fewer than 9 semester hours but with a minimum of 6 hours, may elect to add the difference between the amount of the fee they have already paid and full Program and Services Fee. On the first official day of classes and beyond, the Program and Services Fee becomes a non-refundable fee. Questions should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office.
Programs and Services Fee – Health
Students registered for 9 or more hours at UTK must pay the Programs and Services Fee – Health portion. Students enrolled for fewer than 9 semester hours but with a minimum of 3 hours, may elect to add the fee. Use of the Student Health Center is limited to students who have paid this portion of the Programs and Services Fee. Students may not purchase student athletic tickets unless they have paid this portion of the Programs and Services Fee. On the first official day of classes and beyond, the Programs and Services Fee becomes a non-refundable fee. Questions should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office
Graduate teaching, research assistants, teaching associates, and fellowship students must pay the University Programs and Services Fee, even if they have a waiver of fees (tuition and/or maintenance).
Any part-time student (minimum of 3 hours) may elect to pay the health portion of the UPSF in addition to the standard prorated assessment. Part-time students enrolled in 6 or more hours may elect to pay the full-time UPSF instead of the standard prorated assessment.
Residency Classification for the Purpose of Paying University Fees and for Admission Purposes
Initial residency classification is determined by a designated staff member from information included on the University of Tennessee Graduate Application for Admission. Notice of residency classification is included in the email acknowledging receipt of the application for admission. Students who would like their residency classification reviewed may submit a Graduate Application for In-State Classification appeal form to the graduate residency classifier listed on the Office of the University Registrar’s website at http://registrar.tennessee.edu/residency/residency.shtml. 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. Classification will be determined and 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 at http://registrar.tennessee.edu/residency/residency.shtml.
Returned Check Service Fee
All checks are deposited the day they are received. A $30 service charge will be assessed when checks fail to clear the bank on which they are drawn. Returned checks will not be redeposited. Certified funds are required for payment of the returned check and service charges.
Any student who does not respond within two weeks from the date of the first notice may be assessed an additional $10 Service Charge.
Failure to clear returned checks will result in the forfeiture of all university services, including the receipt of grades, transcripts, schedule of classes and check writing. Failure to pay may also result in additional late fees, collection costs, and reasonable attorney fees.
Special Course and Program Fees
Academic areas, such as art, biology, chemistry, engineering, music, nursing, business, architecture, and physical education, charge fees for certain courses. Refunds on these fees are on the same percentage as maintenance and tuition.
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.
The Technology Fee is assessed to every student. Revenues will provide improved technical resources and services and will be administered by the Office of Information Technology (OIT). Questions may be addressed to the website http://web.utk.edu/~techfee. Email may be sent to email@example.com.
Graduate teaching, research assistants, teaching associates, and fellowship students, who may have a waiver of fees (tuition and/or maintenance), must pay the appropriate Technology Fee.
The Technology Fee is mandatory and may be refunded on the same percentage scale as maintenance and tuition charges.
The Transportation Fee is a mandatory fee assessed to all students enrolled in credit and audit courses. The fee is used to provide students with a convenient method of movement around campus. The fee subsidizes the costs associated with the comprehensive campus transit system.
The University of Tennessee offers several types of financial assistance for which graduate students may apply.
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. A student must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours to be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, even if the student has an assistantship.
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). A wide range of jobs is available in academic units, administrative offices, and non-profit agencies.
The Graduate School offers and administers six fellowships (J. Wallace and Katie Dean Fellowships, Graduate School Fellowships, Diversity Enhancement Fellowships, Yates Dissertation Fellowships, Lori Mayer Re-Entry Women’s Graduate Fellowship, and the Herman E. Spivey Graduate Fellowships). These awards are for full-time study at the University of Tennessee 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 website http://gradschool.utk.edu/gradfund.shtml.
Graduate Student Travel Award
The Student Programs and Services Fee (SPSF) Graduate Student Travel Award is administered by the Office of the Dean of Students in cooperation with the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) and the Dean of the Graduate School. Allocations from this fund are utilized to provide travel awards for University of Tennessee graduate students attending 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 SPSF Graduate Student Travel Fund application. Visit the Graduate Student Senate website at http://gss.utk.edu/travel-awards/ to review the process, application, and deadline dates. Applications must be submitted via the form. Please visit http://gss.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/GSS_TravelAwardApp_14-15.pdf for deadline dates and to download the application.
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 subsidized/unsubsidized 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 student loans.
Five types of loan programs are administered by the Financial Aid office.
- Federal Perkins Loan (FAFSA must be on file).
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan (FAFSA must be on file).
- 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 on the ground floor of John C. Hodges Library or online at onestop.utk.edu.
Veteran’s Education Benefits
Veterans, reservists and widows or children of certain deceased or disabled veterans, who have been admitted to a degree program, may apply for benefits by contacting the Veterans Affairs Office in Room 209, Student Services Building.
Basic military placement credit may be given on the basis of previous honorable active duty to students who are eligible for the Montgomery G.I. Bill Education Benefits. For more information, contact the Veterans Administration Assistant in 209 Student Services Building, Monday through Friday, or visit the website for more information.
Students who are called to active military duty during a term of enrollment should contact the Office of the University Registrar for assistance with withdrawal and readmission procedures.
Refunds are defined as the portion of maintenance and/or tuition and University 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 to the credit card charged, or via ACH direct deposit or mailed to the student’s billing address. Set up your refund profile at MyUTK, view/pay fees, profiles.
Refund/Charge of Fees for Withdrawal (Drop All Classes)
After payment of fees and/or the Confirmation of Attendance Form has been set by the student, withdrawal for the semester must be by official notification via MyUTK or to the One Stop.
Failure to attend class does not automatically withdraw or drop a student from college or class.
The effective date of the withdrawal is the date the withdrawal office is notified by completion of the official withdrawal request form.
The appropriate percentage of fees (maintenance and tuition, facility, transportation, and technology fees only) will be charged unless this action is completed by the close of the day before the first official day of classes for the semester. Failure to notify the withdrawal office promptly when withdrawing 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 the One Stop website 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 semester-hour rate for the hours continued, plus the percentage assessed for the 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. Any refund due for dropped courses will be made after the drop deadline. See the One Stop website 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 University direct charges 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 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.
Waiver of Fees
Graduate assistants, teaching assistants and associates, research assistants, staff and others whose fees are billed, prepaid, waived, or partially waived must make a payment, if fees are due, by the due date as published on the One Stop website or their schedule will be canceled. If an appointment terminates during the term, the student owes the appropriate fees from the termination date until the end of the term.
Graduate students are not eligible for the University of Tennessee employee spouse/dependent discounts.
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 terms for the removal of the I, including the time limit for removal of the I, is decided by the instructor.
- It is the responsibility of the student receiving an I (Incomplete) to arrange with the 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.
Grades, Credit Hours, and Grade Point Average
The basic unit of credit at UT Knoxville is the semester credit hour. This normally represents one hour of lecture or recitation or 2 hours of laboratory work per week.
Each course at the university carries a number of credit hours 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 Knoxville by the number of hours the student has attempted at UT Knoxville, not including hours for which grades of I, N, NC, NR, P, S, and W have been received.
A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required on all graduate course work taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to remain in good standing and to receive any graduate degree or certificate from the university. All course work 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.
- 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.
- Law courses are numeric except where noted otherwise.
- There are restrictions regarding the use of Satisfactory/No Credit graded courses, including the number of hours that may be used toward any degree program.
- No graduate student may repeat a course for the purpose of raising a grade already received.
- 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.
||(4 quality points per semester hour) superior performance.
||(3.5 quality points per semester hour) better than satisfactory performance.
||(3 quality points per semester hour) satisfactory performance.
||(2.5 quality points per semester hour) less than satisfactory performance.
||(2 quality points per semester hour) performance well below the standard expected of graduate students.
||(1 quality point per semester hour) clearly unsatisfactory performance and cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
||(no quality points) extremely unsatisfactory performance and cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
||(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.
||(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 of the total credit hours required.
||(carries credit hours, but no quality points) P indicates progress toward completion of a thesis or dissertation. NP indicates no progress or inadequate progress.
||(carries no credit hours or quality points) indicates that the student officially withdrew from the course.
Graduate Certificate Programs
A graduate certificate may be earned by successful completion of a series of specific courses. A candidate for a graduate certificate program must be a fully admitted graduate student who has satisfactorily completed (minimum 3.0 grade point average) the minimum requirements for a certificate as described in the Graduate Catalog. The minimum requirements for the certificate programs are listed under the academic department offering the certificate. A candidate must be a graduate student in good standing and comply with all other applicable policies. Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 semester credit hours taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Use of credits to fulfill requirements for a graduate degree will be at the discretion of the academic department.
To receive the certificate, students must submit a Completion of Certificate Program Form endorsed by the academic department to the Graduate School. Only those certificate programs that are officially approved by the Graduate Council will be posted on student transcripts. To receive a graduate certificate, students must be admitted to a certificate program or a degree program (see Admission for Graduate Certificate Students).
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.
Course work taken in any other status is unacceptable for graduate credit and cannot be changed retroactively to graduate credit. Special privileges are accorded University of Tennessee seniors and professional students, as stated in the section on Undergraduates and Professional Students.
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.
Graduate Hooding Ceremony
Graduate Hooding ceremonies are held in fall and spring semesters. There is no ceremony in summer term.
For eligibility to participate in the Hooding Ceremony:
- Be a candidate for the degree by submitting the online Application for Graduation form for that term or for the summer. Students who need 12 or fewer hours to complete a non-thesis program may participate in the spring Graduate Hooding ceremony.
- Register to participate (RSVP) at (http://gradschool.utk.edu/CurrentStudents.shtml).
- For PhD candidates to participate, all degree requirements must be met by the deadlines for that term.
- Regalia is required for participation and is available for purchase through the UT Book and Supply Store at the graduation counter.
Participation in the 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 or to order additional copies should be addressed to The Office of the University Registrar.
Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance
All graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants or associates, and/or graduate research assistants who are employed at least 25% FTE will automatically be enrolled in the Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance Program. These students will have 100% 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 Clinic will manage the Graduate Student Employee Health Insurance Program.
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. Deadline Dates and steps to graduation are available on the Graduate School website (http://gradschool.utk.edu/CurrentStudents.shtml). 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. Doctoral students would also submit Doctoral Committee Appointment form.
- Submit an online Application for Graduation form on MyUTK no later than the last day of classes of the term prior to the term he/she intends to graduate.
- Pay the non-refundable graduation fee ($30.00 masters, $45.00 specialist, $75.00 doctoral) which is charged to the student account on MyUTK at the time the application is submitted.
- A graduation fee is charged each term for each degree when an application is submitted.
- For non-thesis, thesis, or doctoral candidates, review and plan to meet deadline dates for graduation for the intended term. Deadline dates can be found at (http://gradschool.utk.edu/CurrentStudents.shtml).
- For thesis or PhD candidate, submit draft online of thesis/dissertation or meet with thesis/dissertation consultant for preliminary review of document.
- If PhD candidate, submit Scheduling of Defense of Dissertation form to the Graduate School by the deadline.
- Submit Report of Final Examination (Pass/Fail) form, with original signatures, to the Graduate School prior to the deadline date.
- If thesis or PhD 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.
- Verify removal of Incomplete grades and NR grades by deadline.
If you do not graduate as anticipated, the following steps must be repeated.
- Submit new online Application for Graduation for next expected term of graduation.
- Pay non-refundable graduation fee which is charged to the student account on MyUTK.
- Review deadline dates for new expected term of graduation.
- Submit Report of Final Examination (Pass/Fail) form, with original signatures, to the Graduate School.
- If thesis or PhD 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.
International Exchange Graduate Students
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 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 UTK in collaboration with academic units establishes and maintains formal agreements between UTK 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, UTK 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.
A graduate student may take up to 6 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 2.0 or better, an S will be recorded on the transcript. Below 2.0, 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 and JD-MPA 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 sections on business administration, political science, and law under Departments and Courses of Instruction for grades acceptable to meet degree requirements.
A student enrolled in the PhD in Business Administration program may use 8 semester hours or more of law courses for the supporting area via the arrangement described under Business Administration.
Leave of Absence (LOA) and Reinstatement Following an 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 2 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 policy on “Reinstatement” 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, however, 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 term 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 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 the graduate policy on “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.
For the master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a minor is defined as 6-12 semester hours in one field outside the major. Usually, the minor courses are within a single teaching discipline that also offers a major.
Four interdisciplinary minors are available: computational science, environmental policy, statistics, and watershed.
The minor area must be approved by the major and minor academic units and a member from the minor unit must serve on the graduate committee.
Students shall not plagiarize. 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
- Copying/using without proper documentation (quotation marks and a 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).
- Submitting work, either in whole or in part, 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 and the Dean of the Graduate School about the project. Plagiarism will be investigated when suspected and prosecuted if established.
Graduate work in any program must be preceded by 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 department before admission to a degree program is granted. Questions about program prerequisites should be addressed to the advisor.
A proficiency examination may be given in academic courses offered for graduate credit. Applications for proficiency examinations are available in the Office of the University Registrar, 209 Student Services Building. To be eligible, a student must be admitted to graduate study. The request for examination must be approved by the head of the department offering the course. A 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. Upon passing the examination with a minimum grade of B, the student will receive graduate credit. 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 fee of $7 per credit hour must be paid before each examination. 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.
Graduate students at UT Knoxville with an interruption in enrollment must seek readmission unless they qualify for reinstatement. An interruption in enrollment is defined as follows:
- Completion of a graduate degree without graduate enrollment in semester following graduation.
- Interruption of enrollment for at least one semester (excluding summer) when last enrolled as a graduate student.
- Withdrawal from the university when last enrolled as a graduate student.
- 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 those students in circumstances 2, 3, or 4 above, there is a charge for readmission (see Policy on “Consequences of Non-Enrollment without Leave of Absence (LOA)”).
To seek readmission, students must submit a Readmission Application to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The application is located on the Graduate Admissions website http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/forms.shtml. A non-refundable application fee in the amount of $30.00 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 term of entry.
- International students must note that all published deadline dates for new international graduate applications also apply for applications for readmission. (See Admission of International Students section in Graduate Catalog.)
Students who have attended another institution since their last graduate enrollment at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, must also submit one official transcript from each institution showing all course work 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
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 “Continuous Enrollment”) Only graduate students who are properly registered may use university facilities and/or faculty time.
The minimum number of hours for registration is one credit hour (however, for students who must register for Course 600, the minimum is three 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 on the web at http://onestop.utk.edu/your-classes/registering-for-classes/. Registration is accomplished via the web – MyUTK. During priority registration, the VolXpress statements are delivered electronically. Students will receive an email at their University of Tennessee 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 https://myutk.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 Service Center, (865) 974-1111.
Failure to pay tuition and fees before the deadline, as noted each semester on the bill (VolXpress statement), will result in cancellation of the schedule. Retroactive registration is not allowed.
Non-degree students in unrestricted programs may 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 courses in restricted fields.
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.
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 have been dropped. Otherwise, a grade of F may be received for the course.
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 https://myutk.edu.edu/.
- *From 11th through 42nd day of class – Add course with instructor’s and advisor’s online permission; change credit/grading with advisor’s online permission.
- *After the 84th day, no drops are permitted. From the 85th day to the last day of classes, a student will withdraw from the university. Drop all courses for the term with a W.
*These dates are separate from the Bursar’s refund deadlines. See Bursar’s website for “Drop/Withdrawal Dates and Percentage Charged.”
The periods for add, drop, change of credit/grading for sessions within the full term, summer, and mini term are determined based on a percentage of the equivalent deadline for the full term. See Timetable of Classes each term for exact dates on the MyUTK website at https://myutk.utk.edu/. Deadline dates may be adjusted if the deadline falls on a holiday, weekend day or fall/spring recess.
Within the change of registration period, a student may change registration on the MyUTK website at https://myutk.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.
Total withdrawal from registration for a semester must be processed online at https://myutk.utk.edu/ by the last day of class for the term/semester.
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 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 conditionally.
Registration for Use of Facilities
Students using university facilities, services or faculty time, including summer term, must be registered. Normally, students are registered for course work or thesis/dissertation credit. Students who are not taking course work and are not yet eligible to register for thesis or dissertation 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.
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.
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 Admission of International Students section in Graduate Catalog.)
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.
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 plan (or alternative coverage) is mandatory for international students. Students may obtain applications from the Student Health Center or on-line at the Student Health Center at http://studenthealth.utk.edu/. Except for international students, enrollment for insurance is not part of registration for classes.
NOTE: The family health insurance policy should be carefully reviewed, since most family policies do not cover a dependent child after a given age.
Theses and Dissertations
All theses and dissertations are submitted in electronic format (TRACE) 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 University of Tennessee, Knoxville. If the thesis or dissertation is not accepted, the student must make corrections and resubmit the material.
The student, major professor and committee share responsibility for the accuracy and professionalism of the final product of the student’s research. The student should confer with the Thesis/Dissertation Consultant regarding problems and questions in advance of preparing the final copy. The Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations (http://web.utk.edu/~thesis/Guide.shtml) provides the correct format for theses or dissertations. Workshops are held periodically throughout the academic year. The date for each workshop is announced on the Graduate School website (http://web.utk.edu/~thesis/Guide.shtml).
An electronic copy of the thesis/dissertation (prepared according to the regulations in the most recent Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations, must be submitted to TRACE and accepted by the Graduate School on behalf of the Graduate Council. Each thesis/dissertation must be accompanied by one original approval sheet (not a photocopy). The approval sheet must have the original signatures of all members of the masters 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.
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.
Doctoral students should be registered for the number of dissertation hours representing the fraction of effort devoted to this phase of the candidate’s program.
The Doctoral Dissertation Agreement Form, Survey of Earned Doctorates, and Abstract form are also submitted when the final copy and approval sheet are submitted. Students should check with the department head concerning additional required copies of the dissertation.
The thesis/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/dissertation abstract must be written in English.
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.
Dissemination of Theses and Dissertations
After conferral of the graduate degree, the final approved thesis/dissertation is available for downloading in the University Libraries’ TRACE, a University of Tennessee digital archive. 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. Copies approved for final submission will be catalogued and placed on Trace (http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk-grad/).
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 coordinator in the Graduate School no later than the thesis/dissertation submission deadline, using the Embargo Request form. On the form the student must indicate the reason for the embargo, and all requests must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Upon special request, this embargo may be extended for one additional 12-month period. The maximum embargo period is 24 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 original embargo period.
Courses taken at another institution may be considered for transfer into a master’s or EdS program as determined by the 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 course work 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 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a course must
- Be taken for graduate credit.
- Carry a grade of B or better.
- Be a part of a graduate program in which the student had a B average.
- 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 counted in determining the student’s grade point average. 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. Credit for extension courses taken from other institutions is not transferable, nor is credit for any course taken at an unaccredited institution.
- Master’s Degree: A majority of the total hours required for a master’s degree must be taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 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 university transcript only after admission to candidacy.
- Specialist in Education Degree: A maximum of 6 semester (9 quarter) hours of course work beyond the master’s degree may be transferred to an EdS program. Transferred courses in the most recent 30 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 university transcript only after admission to candidacy.
- Doctoral Degree: Course work 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 university transcript.
Undergraduate and Professional Students
University of Tennessee Seniors – Seniors Eligible for Graduate Credit
Subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who needs fewer than 30 semester hours to complete requirements for a bachelor’s degree and has at least a B average (3.0) may enroll in graduate courses for graduate credit, provided the combined total of undergraduate and graduate course work does not exceed 15 credit hours per semester.
- 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 is available online at http://gradschool.utk.edu/senior_interactive.pdf.
- A maximum of 9 hours of graduate credit at the 400 and 500 level can be obtained in this status.
- 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 dual bachelor’s/master’s programs.
University of Tennessee Veterinary Medicine Students
A student in good standing in the College of Veterinary Medicine may enroll in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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 semester 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 may not be used toward both the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a graduate degree.
University of Tennessee Law Students
Subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School and the College of Law, a law student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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.
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 http://webcardcenter.utk.edu and selecting the option to “Report Lost Card.” There is a minimum charge of $30.00 for replacement of a VolCard.
VOLXpress is the centralized accounting system of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students may pay their fees via the mail or on the web at MyUTK. Through VolXpress, students receive an e-mail at their University of Tennessee e-mail address indicating their e-VolXpress statement is available for viewing. The statement includes current tuition and fees, fee waiver information, and past-due amounts, pending financial aid that can be credited toward fees, and any excess funds from scholarships and/or loans.
VOLXpress is a convenient method for students to take care of business from home. 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.
Withdrawing From The University
Graduate students who need to drop all of their courses and leave the university before a term is finished may withdraw by the deadline on the web. The word “withdrawn” will be posted on the transcript.
It is the responsibility of a student who has registered for classes to attend them or, if that is impossible, to apply for withdrawal. A student will receive final grades unless the student follows procedures for withdrawal from the university.
A student who stops participating in classes, or fails to attend class, without officially withdrawing will be assigned the grade of F in each course.
Students who officially withdraw must apply for readmission in advance of their next term of anticipated enrollment, except for withdrawal from summer term.
Enrolled students are liable for payment of fees. Any refunds that may be due upon a student’s withdrawal are issued by Office of the Bursar, 211 Student Services Building.
Students who are called to active military duty during a term of enrollment should contact the Office of the University Registrar for assistance with withdrawal and readmission procedures.
POLICY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS
Programs of graduate study are designed to transform the individual from student to knowledgeable practitioner or professional scholar. When a graduate assistantship is well conceived and executed, it serves as an ideal instrument to facilitate the desired transformation. The primary goal of an assistantship, then, is to facilitate progress toward the graduate degree. While the student assistant makes progress toward an advanced degree, he or she also receives work experience in a profession under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
The graduate assistant is both student and employee. As a student, the graduate assistant is expected to perform well academically to retain the assistantship. He or she is to be counseled and evaluated regularly by a faculty mentor so as to develop professional skills. As an employee, the graduate assistant is expected to meet teaching, research, and/or administrative obligations. He or she is to work under the supervision of experienced faculty and receive 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. The totality of responsibility may be greater than that required of other students or staff members, but the opportunities for professional development also are greater for the graduate assistant. – Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools.
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-fourth to one-half time basis, and the annual stipend is payable in either nine or twelve monthly installments. In addition to the stipend, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants, and Graduate Research Assistants are entitled to a waiver of 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), a program and services fee, and a technology fee. The waiver of fees for assistantships applies to maintenance and tuition fees only; it does not include the program and services fee, the technology fee, the facilities fee, or the transportation fee. For Graduate Research Assistants the maintenance fee is paid by the granting agency and is in addition to the stipend paid.
Maintenance fees and tuition waivers apply to appointments at a one-fourth time basis or higher.
In this document when graduate assistant is not capitalized (except in headings), reference is to all four types of assistantships at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Accepting/Declining An Assistantship
The University of Tennessee 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 should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.
Types of Assistantships
It is imperative that each department adheres to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, four categories of assistantships. All departmental guidelines should reflect the descriptions provided in the Handbook.
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 supervisory or administrative functions of the university.
Graduate Research Assistant
Graduate Research Assistants 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 his/her major professor. 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.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Graduate teaching assistants work under the direct supervision of regular 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 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-hour requirement.
Qualifications of Graduate Assistants
Graduate assistants must be currently enrolled in graduate study (as fully-admitted degree-seeking students, non-degree students, or transient graduate students). The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 18-hour requirement must also be met.
Work Assignments and Related Factors
Competency in English
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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. The results of this test 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 the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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, using the appropriate university form (APR FORM 1-89).
To utilize the four categories of assistantships, the following provisions should be observed.
- 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 his/her program. Therefore, to the extent possible an 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 before agreeing to, or continuing in, the assignment.
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 time appointment, the graduate assistant’s normal work time should not exceed 10 hours per week. For a one-half time appointment, the average number of hours should not exceed 20 hours per week. Appointments exceeding 50% must have prior approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, excluding summer term. The normal number of hours for conducting an assignment should be mutually understood by the graduate assistant and immediate supervisor. For percentage efforts not covered by those appointments above, the normal work time per week will be prorated.
- A one-half time graduate assistant in each of the four categories of assistantships normally should enroll for 6-11 semester hours of course work. A one-fourth time graduate assistant in each of the four categories of assistantships normally should take 9-13 semester hours. Exceptions to the above must have prior approval of the Head of the student’s academic home unit. A student on a one-half time assistantship who takes at least six semester hours will be considered full-time.
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 25% or more 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 terms 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.
Comprehensive Standard 3.5.4 of the Principles of Accreditation states “At least 25 percent of the course hours in each major at the baccalaureate level are taught by faculty members holding an appropriate terminal degree – usually the earned doctorate or the equivalent of the terminal degree” (Principles of Accreditation, pp. 29-30, 2012, www.sacscoc.org).
Furthermore, Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 of the Principles of Accreditation (p.30, 2012) emphasizes “The institution employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. When determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, an institution gives primary consideration to the highest earned degree in the discipline. The institution also considers competence, effectiveness, and capacity, including, as appropriate, undergraduate and graduate degrees, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, continuous documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning outcomes. For all cases, the institution is responsible for justifying and documenting the qualifications of its faculty.”
SACSCOC provides guidance to institutions for those who do not have the terminal degree in the discipline: those “teaching baccalaureate courses: doctorate or master’s degree in the teaching discipline or master’s degree with a concentration in the teaching discipline (minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline)” (SACSCOC, Faculty Credentials: Guidelines, December 2006, www.sacscoc.org). Therefore, any graduate teaching associate who is the instructor of record for a course at the baccalaureate level must have earned at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching 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-Hour Requirement at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
For those graduate teaching associates who will be the instructor of record, the appropriate department head must inform the student to send an official graduate transcript to Human Resources for their personnel file. The official transcript should show the 18 graduate 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.
Rights/Responsibilities of Graduate Assistants
As specified in the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual (Section 100 105-Pr3, p 2), “A student employee is one whose primary function is that of enrollment in an academic program.” Thus, first priority of all graduate assistants must be satisfactory progress in their scholastic 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 programs. Collaborative efforts between graduate assistants and their supervisors should be focused on the goal of satisfactory performance in both these areas.
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, the student should speak to his/her immediate supervisor, the appropriate department head, the appeals committees in the home unit or college, and the dean of the college/school involved. If the student feels that a resolution should be sought beyond the department/college level, the Dean of the Graduate School should be contacted. Established procedures outlined in the Graduate Council Appeals Procedure and/or Hilltopics will be followed.
Graduate assistants’ benefits as employees of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in addition to fee waivers as explained elsewhere, include workers’ compensation as defined in the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual under employees’ status. The specific wording reads, “Employees so designated [as student employees] receive no benefits other than statutorily required payments which include Workers’ Compensation” (Section 100 105-Pr2-3).
Graduate student assistantship appointments (Graduate Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Teaching Associates and Graduate Research Assistants) are of two types: academic year and twelve month or other. Students on academic year appointments for the fall and spring terms receive 12 equal monthly payments for the nine months of service and a waiver of fees for three terms (including the summer). Students appointed to an academic year appointment beginning in the spring term 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 terms. Graduate students on academic year appointments have no assistantship responsibilities in the summer term. 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 terms included within the appointments (i.e., a waiver of fees for the summer term requires an appointment which encompasses the summer term 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 are normally reappointed up to the maximum time limit as stated below. 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.
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 are defined in the Faculty Handbook section on Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of Hilltopics. Additional rights and responsibilities of graduate students are found on the student’s copy of the admission status form.
Evaluation/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 academic file. 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 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 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 chain of command 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 appropriate project director, department head, dean of the college, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
Orientation/Training of Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Teaching Associates
There must be a thorough, systematic plan of orientation and training of all graduate teaching assistants and graduate teaching associates. Such orientation and training may be done at the department, college, or university level. It is the responsibility of each supervisor to see that his/her graduate assistant is provided appropriate orientation/training.
There are several kinds of training that should occur beyond the initial orientation/training. Such training is usually specific to a particular job function. The Graduate School provides a seminar for Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Teaching Associates who will be teaching at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Special programs are offered for international GTAs. Supervisors of GTAs are responsible for notifying them about departmental and college policies on attendance at these programs.
Orientation/Training of Graduate Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants
Graduate Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants must also participate in a thorough, systematic orientation and training program. This training is usually at the department or college level, but the Office of Research at the university level is available to assist with programs designed to help train the Graduate Research Assistant in various aspects of the job to be done.
One type of specialized training is on-the-job. Graduate Assistants who work in laboratories may receive initial orientation, followed by work experiences which constitute training. In such instances, the on-the-job training period should be clearly known by the student assistant.