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Graduate Student Life

While studying at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as a graduate student, there are a number of resources available to support you in successfully completing your program. This section of the Graduate School website is devoted to helping you find those resources.

The Big Picture

If you are a new graduate student, or just looking to refresh your view of the graduate education process, the Graduate School provides an overview of the entire process. This “big picture” can help you navigate your way through your time at UT. The Graduate Catalog is also available as the definitive guide to course offerings and requirements. Each fall term, the Graduate School organizes orientations for new graduate students and new graduate teaching assistants and associates.

Pursuing Your Degree

Particularly at the beginning of your program, your coursework will comprise the bulk of your work. UT’s One Stop service can help you in registering for classes, and the Graduate School can help you understand the requirements of your program. If, during the course of your work, you find it necessary to change to a different program, learn about the process for changing your program.

Engaging in Research

While engaging in research as a graduate student at UT, you are a representative of the university. Be sure you understand the rights and obligations involved in conducting research and publishing your work. The Office of Research Engagement is more than happy to assist you in ensuring that your research is in compliance with UT policy and federal regulations. The University of Tennessee Libraries has created a toolkit for graduate students that can help with publishing your work. If you’re beginning your thesis or dissertation research, visit the Theses and Dissertations area for some things to consider.

Costs and Funding Opportunities

The reality is that graduate education can incur costs, such as tuition (which depends upon your residency classification) and research funding. The Graduate School can help you locate funding for your graduate student career through various means, such as teaching or research assistantships and fellowships, both within and without the University of Tennessee. Find out more about Costs and Funding.

Understanding Your Rights and Obligations

The Graduate School and UT have developed a set of policies that are designed for administration and to protect the rights of students and staff. Be sure to understand and abide by these policies. We hope that you do not have any difficulties that add to the challenges inherent in graduate education, but if you do, the appeals process and the complaint procedures can help you protect yourself.


Spotlight on Graduate Students

Graduate Student Finds Her Passion at Intersection of Politics and Nuclear Energy - Graduate student Alyssa Hayes found an interest in state and federal politics in her first year of high school, long before she discovered her interest in nuclear engineering, spending a year as an intern for Illinois State Senator Melinda Bush when she was only 15. Then, while studying at the University of Illinois as an undergraduate student, she used the power of grassroots organizing to help garner support for legislation that ended up saving two nuclear plants from premature decommissioning.
Student Spotlight: Nuveen M. Barwari - Nuveen M. Barwari, graduate student in the School of Art, is using her work to create an entirely new space—one that allows her to connect her homeland and her host land.
Student Spotlight: Robby Kile - Doctoral student Robby Kile, studying under NE Associate Professor Nick Brown, conducted research to verify the performance of the TCR designs under both normal operating conditions and accident scenarios. His findings were recently published in Nuclear Engineering and Design.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Grace Sarabia - Searching for chemicals that indicate the presence of life is at the heart of the research being done by Grace Sarabia, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry.
Nuclear Engineering Grad Student Wins Prestigious GATE Fellowship - Department of Nuclear Engineering doctoral student Devon Drey received a 2021 fellowship from the Graduate Advancement Training and Education (GATE) program hosted by The Science Alliance.