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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 in Social Work Studies the Use of VR Technology to Help Older Adults with Dementia - Joe Strong combined his frustration with the health insurance industry and a lifelong interest in neurology and is now a PhD candidate in the College of Social Work. The Office of Research and Engagement recently told his story, giving him the opportunity to discuss how he hopes to show the benefits of VR technology to assist older adults with early to moderate dementia.
Law Graduate Aspires to Improve Education for Nigerian Girls - Nigerian-born Chidimma Nwaneri will graduate from the UT College of Law this month. After Nwaneri completes her bar exam in July, she plans to return to Nigeria to begin planting seeds that she hopes will make a difference for other girls who want to pursue their education. Read more about Chidimma Nwaneri at the College of Law.
Graduate from the College of Law Prepares for a Military Career - Chase Moore, a native of Dallas, Georgia, will receive a law degree during spring commencement at noon Friday, May 10, and soon after will join the Navy as a JAG Corps officer. “Service to others is at the core of my upbringing and part of what drew me into the Volunteer family,” Moore said. “I see no more attractive way to use my legal education than to serve our country and the service members who work so hard to support it.” Read more about Chase's story in Tennessee Today.
First Graduate Assistant for the Adaptive Recreation Program Graduates in May - Nick Giecek graduates in May with a master’s degree in recreation and sport management with a concentration in therapeutic recreation. Giecek, who played ice hockey and lacrosse at Knoxville Catholic High School, wanted to work in sports when he came to UT for his bachelor’s degree in recreation and sport management. But it wasn’t until attending Camp Koinonia as a counselor during his sophomore year that he realized he wanted to make adaptive sports his career. Read more about Giecek future plans and his contributions as the Adaptive Recreation program’s first graduate assistant.
Nominees for Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence Honored at Reception - The nominees for the Jimmy and Ileen Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence were honored at a reception on April 10 at the Frieson Black Cultural Center. On hand to recognize the nominees were Dixie L. Thompson, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, along with Jimmy and Ileen Cheek. Learn more about this award and view images of the event.