Admission requirements
International Students

We’re thrilled about your interest in studying at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville! We are ready to assist you and cannot wait to review your application.

An international first-year student is any applicant that is not a US citizen or a permanent resident applying to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville who has or will soon complete their secondary school education. Any applicant that has attended a college or university must apply as a transfer student.

Spring 2021 Haslam College of Business Commencement Ceremony
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Why UT?

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is among the top-ranked public universities in the United States and is a place where leadership and service are a way of life. As a premier research institution, UT emphasizes research and service-learning to prepare students for life after university.

UT offers exceptional academics in over 360 undergraduate programs and an exciting student life on and off campus, 450+ student-led clubs and organizations, and a global network of over 250,000 alumni who open doors for our students’ first internships and jobs

Since then, we’ve made it our mission to embody excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. We have a seat for every student who is curious about the world around them and passionate about making an impact.

International fall admissions
Important Dates

Nov. 1

Early Action Application Submission Deadline

Nov. 15

Early Action Application Completion Deadline

Feb. 1

Regular Decision Application Submission Deadline

Feb. 10

Regular Decision Application Completion Deadline

Decision Release Dates: Early Action: Mid-December* | Regular Decision: Late February.

Fall Confirmation Deadline: May 15

*Students interested in studying Nursing or Architecture at UT should follow early-action deadlines to be reviewed for program admission.

International First-Year Application Process

An international first-year student is any applicant that is not a US citizen or a permanent resident applying to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville who has or will soon complete their secondary school education.

Any applicant that has attended a college or university must apply as a transfer student.

For our exchange programs (J-1 visa), the application process is different from the steps below. Please visit the Programs Abroad website for the requirements.

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Step 1: Submit your Application for Admission 

  • You can apply via our Go Vols application or on the Common App 
    • The updated application for spring, summer, and fall is available in early August each year.
  •  Complete one required essay chosen from one of seven prompts.
  • Optional: Submit recommendation letters (academic, professional, or personal) and a Personal Statement.

Step 2: Pay the $50 Application Fee 

  • The $50 application fee can be paid online when you submit your application.  
    • The application fee cannot be waived for international applicants.  If the waiver is selected while applying through the Common App it will be removed during the review process which could delay your application.

Step 3: Upload Secondary School Transcripts, Diplomas, Certificates, or Examination Results

  • For students attending a high school in the US, our admissions team uses your self-reported grades to calculate your UT core GPA. For more information, visit
  • For students attending secondary school outside the US, our admissions team will need official copies of your transcript, diploma, or certificate prior to enrollment. 
  • Request your secondary school or counselor to send your official transcripts. Transcripts, certificates, or diplomas must come directly from the issuing school or issuing ministry or body. Official transcripts are certified copies sent directly from the authorized school official.  These can be sent electronically to with the subject line “Transcript” or by mail to:

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

Your submitted transcript must also have a certified literal translation into English for any documents submitted in other languages.

Step 4: Submit Proof of English Proficiency

Applicants must submit proof of English language proficiency by submitting one of the approved exams from the table below unless they meet one of our exceptions. Please have your results sent directly from the exam company or testing center to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. UT’s ACT code is 4026 and SAT code is 1843. 

Learn more about submitting proof of English proficiency.

Step 5: Submit Additional Application Requirements for Certain Programs

ACT or SAT scores and other additional Application Requirements are necessary in order to review your application if you are interested in the following programs:

  • College of Architecture and Design 
  • College of Nursing
  • Pre–Pharmacy Direct Admit Program
  • School of Music 
  • Tickle College of Engineering (Includes Computer Science)

To view individual requirements, please visit the application requirements page.

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Admissions Dates for International Students

Fall Entry

November 1Early Action Application Submission Deadline
November 15Early Action Application Completion Deadline
Mid-DecemberEarly Action Decision Release Date
February 1Regular Decision Application Submission Deadline
February 10Regular Decision Application Completion Deadline
Late FebruaryRegular Decision Release Date
May 15Confirmation Deadline

Spring Entry

October 15Application Submission Deadline
November 1Enrollment Confirmation Deadline

Summer Entry

March 15Application Submission Deadline
April 1Enrollment Confirmation Deadline

Official Transcript

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Request your high school or college to send us official transcripts electronically (PDF) or by mail to:

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

Demonstrate English Proficiency

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All applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents must show proof of English proficiency by meeting the minimum requirements of one of our approved exams in the table below or meeting one of these exceptions:

  • Are a citizen of a country on the approved list of official English language nations.
  • Are attending an International Baccalaureate or Cambridge program. For other programs or international schools, students can provide an official high school transcript validating English was the language of instruction for our team to review.
  • Graduated from a high school in the United States
  • Completing the UT English Language Institute’s (ELI) core intensive curriculum with a recommendation from the ELI faculty.
ExamMinimum Score
ACT21, English
ELSLevel 12
IELTS Indicator6.5
Pearson PTE Academic53*

*Use for academic purposes but not placement. ELI 110 placement with English Placement Exam (EPE) option.

Register for TOEFL iBT

UT Knoxville is a partner of ETS. If you plan to participate in the TOEFL test to complete your English Proficiency Requirement, please register below.

Conditional Admission Information

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Conditional Admission

If an international applicant meets all the academic and general admissions requirements except for the English language proficiency, they could be offered conditional admission.

What does conditional admission mean?

It means that you are ready academically, but you need to improve your English language skills to be successful in your studies at UT. It also means that you can start your studies at UT when you provide proof of meeting the required English proficiency.

How can I improve my English language skills?

If you receive a conditional admission offer, we will refer you to the ESL program at our English Language Institute (ELI) where you would improve your English language proficiency and join your degree program when you are ready.

You may also attempt to improve your English language skills on your own and provide proof of reaching the required English proficiency to be granted full admission.

How do I join the ESL program at the ELI?

ELI and undergraduate admissions have two separate applications and separate payment systems. Below is an outline of the process:


  • Submit your application for admission to the undergraduate degree program. 
  • Select that you wish to be considered for conditional admission on the application
  • Pay the $50 undergraduate application fee


We will review your undergraduate application for admission and determine whether you meet the admissions requirements. If so, you would receive a conditional admission offer and we will refer you to the English Language Institute.


Complete the ELI application and proceed to the payment system where you should choose the $50 “Conditional Admission Application Fee” option.

Conditional Admission for the Tickle College of Engineering

First-year international applicants to the Tickle College of Engineering who are offered conditional admission will also need to submit math scores before being fully admitted to the program. To meet this requirements applicants can submit one of these exams with the minimum math score:

F1 Student Visas

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For admitted students intending to study at UT on an F1 Student visa it is important to secure your I-20 and your visa appointment early.  Please be sure to review the student visa information provided by our International Student and Scholar Services office.

I’d say Knoxville is the perfect place for you. You’re going to be able to anything you are interested in here.

Makenna Reilly
Nashville, TN

Additional Admissions Requirements

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Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR)

All first-year students who attend high school in the United States are required to self-report high school grades and standardized ACT/SAT scores through the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) after submitting their application for admission. If you did not attend a high school in the United States, you are not required to complete a SRAR.

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Prior Learning Credits

Did you know that you could already have college credit? Good scores on college placement exams are not required for admission to UT—but they can earn you college credit and a head start on your academic career!

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International Core GPA

UT calculates a weighted International core GPA based on your grades in the courses listed below. Completion of all sixteen core courses is not required for admission but strongly encouraged.

In the core academic subjects, your GPA will be weighted by UT to reflect honors courses (0.5 quality points added), Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge AS and A Level, International Baccalaureate (IB), and dual enrollment courses (1.0 quality points added). UT calculates your GPA on a 4-point scale. UT will use unweighted high school course grades as the basis for adding these weightings for the UT core GPA calculation. If you attend a high school that does not weigh courses, UT will also not weigh them. However, the academic rigor of your curriculum is important and will be valued by our admissions review team.

Core Academic Subjects

4 – English/Native Language
3 – Math (Algebra I or higher)
2 – Natural/Physical Science
1 – Additional (English/native language, math, or natural/physical science)
2 – Social Science
3 – Additional Courses (foreign language, comparative religion/philosophy, or any area listed above)
1 – Visual or performing arts

International Admissions FAQs

We understand applying for admission can be confusing—but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you along the way.

How do I know if I am an international student?

You are an international student if you meet one of the following:

  • You will require an F-1 visa to enter and study in the United States.
  • You are not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident status ( “green card”)
  • If you are in the process of obtaining your US permanent residency you will be classified as an international student until you submit proof of your permanent residency.

How much does it cost international students to attend UT?

We’ve provided a breakdown of cost for international students on our Undergraduate Budget Breakdown page.

How do international students apply? Is there a separate application?

No, there is not a separate application for international applicants. All first-year applicants can apply using the Common Application or register for a Go Vols account—your choice!

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Ready to Apply?

We can’t wait to review your application for admission! Create a Go Vols account to start your application, or choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on your Common Application!

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Find My Counselor

Your admissions counselor will be with you every step of the way on your journey to Rocky Top! They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have and help you through the application process.