The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, fosters graduate education not only among domestic applicants, but across the world. While our international graduate students are an integral part of our diverse graduate student community, there are some specific requirements and resources to be aware of when applying to a program, negotiating your first days at UT, and living as a graduate student.
If you are applying to a program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, from outside the United States, the Office of Graduate Admissions has provided an instructional guide for international applicants that can help with deadlines, required English-proficiency tests, and declarations of funding.
The First Days
The first days of your career as a graduate student begin well before classes start and are filled with getting acquainted with your colleagues, faculty, and staff and learning more about the university. You are encouraged to attend the orientation sessions set up by the Graduate Student Senate. This will give you an opportunity to meet other graduate students across the campus.
The Passport to UT is a series of programs to help new international students settle into their new home in Knoxville, TN. International students are required to attend the International Student Orientation and the International Student Conference, both of which take place prior to the beginning of classes. There are other programs in this series that you are encouraged to attend. The Center for International Education’s International Student and Scholar Services can help you learn more about these and other programs.
International graduate students may be required to take English 122, a 3-hour course focusing on intensive English reading and writing instruction, focusing on academic writing. There will also be strategies for improving professional oral communication. Whether or not you will be required to register for this course depends upon your English-proficiency testing scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). If you do not have test scores, or are not satisfied with your scores, the English as a Second Language program offers the opportunity to take an English Placement Exam about a week before classes begin.
If you have been awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, and you are a nonnative speaker of English, you must take the Oral Proficiency Interview by computer (OPIc). Please see the ITA Testing Program page for more information about the test.
Life as a Graduate Student
Being part of the graduate student community at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers you the chance to interact with a very diverse and vibrant student population. You are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with and engage with many graduate students, both domestic and international. The university provides many resources for graduate students, and the Graduate Student Life area of the Graduate School website can help you find what you need.
As an international graduate student, you may find the following resources of special interest.
- Center for International Education
- The CIE is the premiere organization on the UT campus for engaging internationally. The CIE can help find student organizations and events to feel part of your own culture and to discover others.
- The International House
- The International House aspires to educate and engage all students in order to help them participate as members of a global society.
- The English Language Institute
- The mission of the ELI is to offer a sound program of ESL instruction and be a language-learning resource for Tennessee’s non-English speaking public.