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International Students

Diverse, global, multicultural—that’s UT! Be a Vol. Apply today.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is one of the top public institutions and research universities in the US. We are known as “the Volunteers” (or Vols for short) and we are committed to leadership and service to our community. Our beautiful campus is perfectly situated on the Tennessee River, minutes away from downtown Knoxville, and within a short drive from the Smoky Mountains National Park. We affectionately refer to our campus and town as “Rocky Top” or “Big Orange Country,” and our school colors are orange, white, and smokey grey.

Each year, students from more than one hundred countries enroll at UT and make Rocky Top their home. Our student body represents the Bahamas, Canada, China, Denmark, India, Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few.

We provide you with an outstanding academic experience, and our campus offices help you succeed as a student. Students find that UT’s campus and the city of Knoxville are both safe, hospitable, and cosmopolitan.

UT’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.

International Students

Application Process

An international student is someone who will attend college in the United States on a visa (including F-1, J-1, H-4).

NOTE: If you are an international student coming to UT on an exchange program, your application process is different from the steps below. Please visit our incoming exchange student page for the forms you need to submit.

Complete and submit an application for admission.

Apply to UT beginning August 1 by becoming a VIP (Vol in Progress) or through the Common Application.

  • When you create a VIP (“Vol in Progress”) account, you will receive important information from UT about our university, the admission process, and will be able to see your status once you apply.
  • You can pay the $50 application fee online by credit card or electronic check. We also accept international money order payments (drawn on a US bank, in US dollars).

Have your high school/or college send us official transcripts electronically (PDF) or mail them to:

The University of Tennessee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
320 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0230

If you have completed any high school course work outside the United States, it might be necessary to have an evaluation of your transcript by one of the companies listed below. In some cases, we can evaluate your high school transcript here at UT. Contact Thomas Broadhead at for questions concerning transcript evaluation.

Companies offering evaluation services include:

If you have completed any college course work outside the United States, you must have a course-by-course evaluation of your transcript by one of these companies. UT will only be able to process an application after receiving the necessary report from the evaluation company.

If you were previously enrolled at UT, but you left campus and enrolled in college coursework at a school in another country, you must submit a detailed or course-by-course evaluation through one of the evaluation agencies previously mentioned in order to receive credit toward graduation from UT.

  • Freshman applicants to the Tickle College of Engineering must also submit an official SAT I score or ACT score to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. A minimum SAT I mathematics score of 590, minimum ACT mathematics score of 25, or a minimum Level 3 achievement on the online Math Placement Exam is required. Applicants with a GPA below 3.5 may require higher than minimum scores. Additional information is available from the Tickle College of Engineering.
  • Transfer applicants to the Tickle College of Engineering must meet the minimum requirements listed below. The final admission decision, including admission to your intended major resides with the academic department. The overall record will be evaluated for quality and seriousness of purpose. An excessive number of withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses, or failures may result in denial.
    • Applicants must have earned a grade of C or better in each of these specific courses or their equivalent:
      • English I
      • Chemistry or computer science (computer science applicants only)
      • Calculus
      • Any physics course, if taken
  • Transfer students who are denied admission to the Tickle 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. Exploratory students will be academically advised by the College of Arts and Sciences until they select an arts and sciences major or another major at UT that is outside the College of Engineering.

Demonstrate English proficiency.

Applicants must demonstrate English proficiency unless you are a US citizen or a permanent resident. You can do this by:

  • Proof of citizenship of a country from the approved list of official English language nations.
  • Official high school, college, or university transcript validating English was the language of instruction.
  • Receiving a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 523 on the paper-based test, or 70 on the Internet-based (iBT). UT’s code is 1843.
  • Receiving an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum score of 6.5.
  • Taking the ACT (English score of 21 is required) or SAT (evidence-based reading and writing score of 540 is required). Scores must be received from ACT or the Educational Testing Service. Copies are not acceptable.
  • Completing the ELS 112 intensive program.
  • Completing the UT English Language Institute’s (ELI) core intensive curriculum with a recommendation from the ELI faculty.

Note: The ACT or SAT I is required of all US citizens and permanent residents.

Prospective freshmen or transfer undergraduate students who meet all admission requirements except for English proficiency will be offered conditional admission to UT. Students who receive this type of admission will be issued an I-20 form for an F-1 visa or change of status by the UT English Language Institute. Students who are offered 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 United States using UT’s I-20 must enroll in UT’s English Language Institute.

Freshman applicants to the College of Engineering who meet admission requirements except for English and math (ACT math 25 minimum or SAT I math 590) will be offered Double Conditional Admission to UT. Students offered this type of admission will be issued an I-20 form for an F-1 visa or change of status by the UT English Language Institute (ELI). Students must meet English proficiency requirements during enrollment at ELI and must also fulfill the math requirement by taking the Placement Exam of the Department of Mathematics, earning a minimum score of Level 3, before they can begin taking classes in their degree programs.


Freshman applicants to the Tickle College of Engineering who meet admission requirements, including a 3.5 GPA, except for math (minimum SAT I math 590, ACT math 25, or Online Math Placement Exam Level 3) will be offered Conditional Admission to UT. Before receiving full admission, students must meet one of the math exam requirements.

Submit financial documentation (F-1 or J-1 visa status).

After you are offered admission, the Center for International Education (CIE) will provide you with information concerning the submission of the International Student Financial Statement Form. This must be completed by every international student who needs an I-20. You can get the form on the CIE website.

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 UT. Please consult the CIE website for a list of sponsored student services.

Submit a copy of the photo page of your international passport.

This copy must be submitted along with your financial documentation if it was not submitted with your application for admission.

Apply for an appropriate US visa.

Read tips on student visas from the US State Department.

Learn about an additional visa resource

International Student Application Deadlines
Entry Admission Deadline Confirmation Deadline
Spring Entry October 15 N/A
Summer Entry March 15 April 15
Fall Entry June 15 July 1

Questions about the International application process? Contact us at

Applying for Scholarships

Our One Stop Student Services team can guide you on how to apply for scholarships. Your completed application for admission must be received and you must be admitted before you can apply for competitive scholarships.

Students interested in applying for competitive scholarships must apply for admission by November 1 for fall entry term. If interested in the International Undergraduate Merit Scholarship (IUMS), you must apply for admission by June 1. Learn more about scholarships available to international students.

Applying for Honors Programs

UT offers four Honors and Scholars programs:

  • Haslam Scholars
  • Chancellor’s Honors
  • Honors Leadership, and
  • 1794 Scholars

Students interested in applying for Honors and Scholars Programs must apply for admission by November 1 for Haslam Scholars Program and Honors Leadership Program, and by June 1 for the Chancellor’s Honors Program and the 1704 Scholars Program. Once admitted, if you meet the criteria, you will receive an invitation to apply for a program.

Learn more about each program at

If you took classes or exams in Advanced Placement (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge AS and A Level, you may be able to receive credit for coursework at UT. Check out more information about course credit on our website and be advised that the information changes often.

AP, CLEP, IB, and Cambridge

Admission Decision and Next Steps

After you submit your application, you can check your application status in your VIP account. It’s important to check your VIP account often to see any important communication from UT, along with a list of any documents such as official transcript(s) or test scores that we still need in order to make our admission decision. Keep in mind that transcripts and other documents might take a while to be received and registered in our system.