Each year, the University of Tennessee enrolls undergraduate and graduate students who are citizens of more than 100 countries. We provide them with a high quality academic experience and campus offices to assist them in achieving success as a student on our campus. In addition, students find the city of Knoxville a safe, pleasant, and comfortable community—where they can live in a friendly environment while obtaining their educational goals.
The University of Tennessee’s “Ready for the World” initiative is our commitment to provide programs that contribute to each person’s understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural and intellectual traditions of peoples of all nations.
General Admissions Policies and Procedures for International Students
An international student is someone who will be attending college in the United States on on a visa (including F-1, J-1, H-4). If that describes you, please read on!
STEP 1: Complete and submit an application.
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Use your name as it will appear on your passport. If you will need a non-immigrant (F-1) visa to enter the U.S., you must include an international address on the application.
You must also include a valid email address in your application for future communication from UT Admissions.
STEP 2: Submit the non-refundable application fee.
Please refer to the online or printable application for current fee amounts. Credit card or electronic check payment is required for the online application. An international money order payment (payable on a US bank) can be made only if the applicant is submitting a paper application.
STEP 3: Applicants are required to have official copies of their academic transcripts evaluated.
You must submit your official transcripts to an evaluation agency that is a member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services). The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will be able to process an application only after receiving the necessary report from the evaluation company.
Companies offering these evaluation services include:
- Academic Evaluation Services
- Educational Credential Evaluators
- Josef Silny & Associates
- World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
Note: Students applying for admission to the UT College of Engineering must also submit an official SAT I score or ACT score to The University of Tennessee, Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Beginning with the Fall 2012 term, a minimum SAT I mathematics score of 570 or minimum ACT mathematics score of 25 is required. Additional information is available from the College of Engineering website.
Entering First Year Students: An evaluation of the secondary degree earned, with a statement of equivalency to study in the United States, and a calculated Grade Point Average (GPA) are required.
Transfer Students: A "detailed" or "course-by-course" evaluation" including a calculated college Grade Point Average (GPA) is required for all college work completed in a country other than the United States. Applicants who have completed fewer than 30 transferable college credit hours will also be required to submit an evaluation listed above for entering freshman students that interprets all secondary or high school work.
Applicants must meet the minimum requirements stated below to be considered for admission to a major within the College of Engineering. These minimum standards do not guarantee admission to the intended major. The final admission decision for the major resides with the academic department.
Applicants must have earned a C or better in each of these specific courses, or their equivalent:
- English I
- Chemistry, or computer science (computer science applicants, only)
- Any physics course, if taken.
External transfer students who are denied admission to the College of Engineering will still be considered for admission as "university exploratory" students. Admission as a university exploratory student does not allow admission into engineering or the study of engineering classes. As a university undecided student, students will be academically advised by the College of Arts and Sciences until they either select an Arts and Sciences major, or select another major within the university outside of the College of Engineering.
Readmission Students: A student who has previously been enrolled at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and has subsequently left campus and enrolled in college coursework at a college or university in a country other than the United States must submit a “detailed” or “course-by-course” evaluation” through one of the organizations previously mentioned on this page in order to receive credit toward graduation at UT Knoxville.
STEP 4: Demonstrate English proficiency.
If your native language is not English, you must demonstrate English proficiency unless you are a US citizen or a Permanent Resident. This can be done in one of the following ways:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 523 on the paper-based test, 193 on the computer-based test, or 70 on the internet-based (iBT). UT's code is 1843.
- Completion of the University of Tennessee English Language Institute's (ELI) core intensive curriculum with recommendation from the ELI faculty.
- Two semesters or three quarters of college-level English composition with a grade of C or better at an accredited college or university in the United States.
- ACT (English score of 21 is required) or SAT (critical reading score of 510 is required). Scores must be received from the Educational Testing Service (copies are not acceptable).
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - a minimum score of 6.5
- ELS - completion of the ELS 112 intensive program
Note: Prospective undergraduate students who meet all admission requirements except for English proficiency requirements will receive a CONDITIONAL ADMISSION to the University. Students who receive a conditional admission will be issued Form I-20 for an F-1 visa or change of status. Students who receive a CONDITIONAL ADMISSION must meet English proficiency requirements before being admitted to a degree program, and before being allowed to enroll in non-ESL courses. Conditionally admitted students who wish to enter the U.S. using UT’s I-20 must enroll in the University of Tennessee’s English Language Institute.
STEP 5: All F-1 and J-1 visa status students must submit financial documentation.
If your government is sponsoring you, you must submit an official letter from the government stating that they will cover all expenses during your academic studies at The University of Tennessee. Please consult the CIE website for a list of sponsored student services.
STEP 6: Applicants must submit a copy of the photo page of their international passport.
This copy must be submitted along with the applicant’s financial documentation, if it was not submitted with the application for admission.
STEP 7: Ensure that all documents are postmarked by the deadline dates indicated below:
|Entering Term||Spring 2013||Summer 2013||Fall 2013|
|Application submitted||September 15, 2012||February 15, 2013||April 15, 2013|
|All documents received||October 15, 2012||March 15, 2013||May 15, 2013|
STEP 8: Apply for an appropriate US visa.
» UT welcomes the world to our campus!
In 2012, UT welcomed undergraduate students enrolling from the Bahamas, Canada, China, Denmark, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
» Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
For a list of frequently asked questions about the international application process, please visit our International Application FAQ.
» Office of Graduate Admissions
If you wish to pursue graduate study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, please visit the web site of the Office of Graduate Admissions.
» The Center for International Education (CIE) at UT
The CIE provides important resources and information for international students and visiting scholars. After an international applicant has been formally admitted, the CIE Office of International Student Services assists international students with orientation and advising. All new international students must report to this office. The CIE issues the I-20 form required for international citizens to receive visas.
[Visit the CIE website]
» The English Language Institute (ELI) at UT
The ELI offers full-time, intensive English instruction to students and professionals who want to improve their English proficiency. ELI helps international students improve their English language skills, better understand American culture, and improve their TOEFL scores.
[Visit the ELI website]
» The International House (I-House)
The I-House is a place where all students can meet and learn about cultures and nationalities represented by students and faculty at UT. One of its primary purposes is to serve the unique needs of international students and provide a "home away from home" environment.
[Visit the I-House website]