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International Graduate Students

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.

International students concerned about how COVID-19 impacts study at UT may wish to visit the Center for Global Engagement as they have Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19.

Getting Admitted

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, English language certification, 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 Global Engagement’s International Student and Scholar Services can help you learn more about these and other programs.

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 Global Engagement
The CGE is the premiere organization on the UT campus for engaging internationally. The CGE 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.

Health and Finance

Health Insurance
The Student Health Center can help you with requirements for health insurance and deadlines.
Estimates of Expenses
The CGE can help with estimates for the costs of graduate education for an international student

English Language Support

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.
Department of English
Graduate students are encouraged to register for English 122, Academic English for Graduate Students, particularly if their TOEFL score is less than 100 (or IELTS less than 7.5).