Graduate School Requirements
An applicant for admission to The Graduate School must: (1) hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent and (2) have a minimum grade point average of 2.70 (based on a 4.0 scale) on all undergraduate work taken prior to receiving the baccalaureate degree or a 3.0 in the senior year. Students who do not meet this admission requirement should contact the staff of The Graduate School to discuss alternative requirements. Applicants who are seeking admission to a degree program must submit scores on the appropriate standardized test as required by the proposed major department.
Applicants for the Education Specialist degree with a concentration in Instructional Leadership, Principal Licensure or School Psychology must have earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Applicants for Doctoral degrees often must have earned a master’s degree.
An applicant who graduated from an unaccredited institution may be considered for admission with a 3.0 cumulative average. Scores must be submitted from the appropriate admissions test if the applicant is seeking admission to a degree program.
To ensure adequate consideration, the applicant should submit the completed application and supporting credentials to The Graduate School office at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester or summer term for which admission is desired. In addition, some departments and programs have established application deadlines. Please refer to the appropriate college or department for this information. Those filing applications after the established submission dates cannot be assured their credentials will be processed in sufficient time to secure admission for that term. Financial aid may also be delayed. An applicant for admission must furnish the following materials to The Graduate School office:
- A completed application form available on the Web site at www.utc.edu/graduateschool.
- Payment of the $30 nonrefundable application fee for domestic applicants or $35 for international applicants.
- An official transcript from each college or university previously attended. These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to The Graduate School office.
- An official report of the applicant’s score on the prescribed test(s) for admission. Note that in addition to any general and/or subject test(s) that may be required for a particular program, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. (Refer below for a description of circumstances that may allow applicants to apply for an exemption to the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.)
- Supplemental application materials as required by program.
WARNING: Misrepresentation of academic credentials constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, under Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-7-133.
Degree Program Requirements
An applicant for admission to a degree program should refer to the appropriate college or department for specific admission requirements since some degree programs require a higher academic average, and additional admission requirements or utilize a formula for determining admission.
If an applicant does not enter UTC in the semester or summer term for which application was made, the applicant’s file will be destroyed after one year unless he or she requests and is granted permission to enter at a future date.
All application credentials become the property of the University and are not returnable nor forwardable to other institutions.
The University wishes to encourage qualified graduate applicants from other countries. Accordingly, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will accept as equivalent in level, structure, scope, and intent the new European degrees, adopted under the Bologna Process.
The University will also consider three-year bachelor’s degrees earned in Division I and II institutions in India and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) as comparable to four-year U.S. bachelor’s degrees. UTC will consider other three-year degrees on a case by case basis.
The foreign applicant must submit the following materials to The Graduate School office:
- An application for admission on the form provided by the University.
- A draft drawn on a U.S. bank or money order for the $35 U.S. nonrefundable application fee.
- Copies of authorized school or university records with certified translations if the records are in a language other than English. Translations must include descriptive titles of courses studied and grades gained in final examinations.
- Official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An official TOEFL score of 550 or above is required. (A score of 213 or above on the computer-based test, or a score of 79 or above on the Internet-based test, is considered equivalent to a score of 550 or above on the paper-based test.) IELTS scores must be 6.0 or higher. Individual programs may have additional English proficiency requirements and/or may require higher scores on the TOEFL/IELTS.
- Official scores on the admission test required by the major department. International students seeking admission to the M.B.A. program must submit minimum scores of 450 on the GMAT or alternatively a GRE score of 1,000 or above with a minimum 400 on the verbal section and a minimum 500 on the quantitative section.
- Evidence of financial resources sufficient to provide adequate support (as determined by the University) during the applicant’s period of residence as a student.
- International students may be required to take an English proficiency examination after arriving at the University and must successfully complete all English courses recommended as a result of his/her score on this test or the TOEFL/IELTS.
- All international students are required to purchase health insurance through UTC.
WARNING: Misrepresentation of academic credentials constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, under Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-7-133.
All materials must be received by The Graduate School office approximately three months prior to the semester in which the applicant hopes to enroll. An accepted applicant will receive a certificate of acceptance and an I-20 form, which must be shown to the consular officer of the United States to whom the student applies for a student visa. By fee payment, each international student must purchase health insurance through UTC.
UTC Students Eligible for Graduate Credit
Students who are within 30 semester hours of completing requirements for the bachelor’s degree at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga may apply for admission to graduate courses if they have an overall grade point average of 3.00 or higher and are recommended by the head of his or her major department. Subject to the approval of the dean of The Graduate School, students may earn up to nine semester hours of graduate credit prior to completing the bachelor’s degree. These graduate hours do not count toward completion of an undergraduate degree. Approval must be obtained each semester by completing the special application form which is available from The Graduate School web site. The approved application must be submitted to the Registration Office at the time of registration.
Several admission classifications are utilized by The Graduate School. Applicants should apply for admission according to the one classification which applies to their educational objectives. International students, however, must apply for admission as degree students only.
Admission as a degree student to a master’s, specialist or doctoral program is by departmental recommendation and graduate school approval only. Thus, an applicant who wishes to be admitted as a degree graduate must file an application, transcripts, specified test scores and supplemental application materials far enough in advance to allow for evaluation by the department or school. The evaluation will include a review of the applicant’s undergraduate program and the specification of any prerequisite courses needed to ensure adequate background for the graduate program. In addition to the above requirements, students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants may ask The Graduate School for an exemption from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement if they: 1) have received a degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States (or a similarly accredited institution in a country/region where the predominant spoken language is English) within the last two years, or 2) have worked full time in the United States or a predominantly English-speaking country/region for at least two of the preceding four years. Applicants who wish to apply for such an exemption should check with The Graduate School office for appropriate instructions and/or forms.
Some degree programs may require that international applicants also demonstrate the ability to speak English effectively. Programs with this requirement will list the specific assessment procedures that will indicate proficiency in English oral communication. For more information on English proficiency requirements, see “International Students” above.”
An applicant who meets admission requirements and wishes to enroll in graduate or undergraduate courses and earn credit without reference to a degree program may be admitted as a nondegree graduate student. Students holding non-degree status are not eligible for financial aid.
A student classified as nondegree who subsequently wishes to be admitted to a degree program must file a formal request for this change with The Graduate School office by completing a degree objective change form. In addition, the student must submit supplemental application materials as required for the proposed degree program. A maximum of nine semester hours earned as a nondegree student may be accepted toward degree requirements. The Graduate School cannot assure a student classified as nondegree that all or any work completed in this status will apply toward a degree.
The UTC Graduate School uses the following classifications to distinguish among the types of non-degree graduate students.
An applicant who has a master’s or terminal degree from an accredited institution and who is not working toward a degree may be admitted as a non-degree graduate student. A graduate application, application fee and transcripts from the university which awarded the master’s or terminal degree are required.
Adults who wish to attend classes without earning credit or receiving grades may be admitted as auditors. A graduate application and transcripts are required. (Elder scholars do not need to submit transcripts.) Individuals may register as auditors provided space is available in the class desired and the instructor accepts auditors. Fees for audit are the same as for credit registration.
Auditors are under no obligation of regular attendance, preparation, recitation, or examination, and academic records are maintained only for audited courses in which the student attends at least 75 percent of the class sessions. They receive no grades and no credit. The degree of their participation in class discussion, laboratory, or field work shall be determined by the instructor of the class. (For fee schedule please see “Student Fees and Expenses ” section.)
Admission to a graduate certificate program requires that a person meet the minimum admission requirements and any additional program requirements (see Admission Requirements). Refer to the appropriate department for specific requirements for admission to the certificate program.
Admission to a graduate certificate program does not constitute admission to a degree program. To receive a graduate certificate, students must be admitted to a certificate program or a degree program.
An applicant who has been admitted to a graduate program at another institution and wishes to take UTC courses for transfer to that institution may be admitted as a transient student. A graduate application, application fee, and letter of good standing or certificate of transient admission are required. The letter of good standing or certificate of transient admission must be signed by the graduate dean or major adviser at the institution where the student is pursuing his or her graduate degree.
Upon completion of approved courses, the student should request that the UTC Records Office forward a copy of his or her transcript to the appropriate institution.
Post-baccalaureate is an undergraduate admission classification which indicates that the applicant has a baccalaureate degree. A student in this category may take only undergraduate classes.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
A student who has received one bachelor’s degree may receive a second bachelor’s degree provided that all specific requirements for both degrees are met, that the curriculum for the second degree includes at least 30 hours (with a 2.0 average) not offered for the first degree, and that an additional year is spent in residence. Application for admission as a non-degree graduate student should be made through The Graduate School; but application for post-baccalaureate admission should be made through the Undergraduate Admissions office.
Individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree may enter the master’s program in elementary or secondary education and complete course work leading to licensure at the same time.
Students seeking only endorsement or renewal of certification may be classified as post-baccalaureate or non-degree students. The post-baccalaureate classification restricts the student to undergraduate coursework and application should be made through Undergraduate Admission Office. The non-degree classification permits a qualified student to take both undergraduate and graduate classes and application should be made through The Graduate School.
Any student whose attendance has been interrupted one or more semesters (excluding the summer session) must apply for readmission to the University. An application must be submitted prior to the beginning of the semester or summer term in which readmission is desired.
Due to the competitive nature of some degree programs, readmission as a degree graduate may require departmental recommendation. In addition, students who have not been admitted to candidacy must follow the regulations in effect at the time of readmission.
Graduate Admission Tests
All applicants who request admission to a specific degree program must submit scores on the appropriate admission test. Scores must be no more than five years old. Admission tests are administered online several times each year. (TOEFL still has paper versions of the test.) Applicants should schedule all examinations well in advance of the date on which they wish to begin graduate study. Information about the tests is available in the UTC Testing Center, 258 Hooper Hall, 423-425-4288 as well as in The Graduate School office.
The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required for applicants to the master’s programs in counseling: community and school (or GRE), criminal justice (or GRE), and nursing (or GRE). Students may schedule this test by group or individual appointment with the Testing Center at 423-425-4288. Additional information is available from the Psychological Corporation, 555 Academic Court, San Antonio, Texas 78204. Phone: 210-921-8802.
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for applicants to the master’s in criminal justice (or MAT), English, counseling: community and school (or MAT), health and human performance, Learning and Leadership, nursing (or MAT), psychology, public administration programs and the Education Specialist degree. In Chattanooga, call Prometric Testing Center at 423-894-6249.
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for applicants for graduate study in accountancy and business administration. A GMAT score of 450, or a GRE score of 1,000 with a minimum score of 400 on the verbal section and 500 on the quantitative section, is required for students seeking admission to the master’s of accountancy program and the M.B.A. program. Information about this test and application forms are available upon request from the Testing Center or at MBA.com.
The Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or Computer Based Test (CBT) also known as PRAXIS I is required of applicants for the master’s in elementary, secondary, and special education.* Prospective students must take the reading, writing and math sections. Information and applications for the Praxis are available from the testing supervisor located in 258 Hooper Hall, 423-425-4288, or in Chattanooga call Prometric Testing Center at 423-894-6249.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. A TOEFL score of 550 or higher (213 on the computer-based test; 79 on the Internet-based test) or 6.0 or higher on the IELTS must be submitted before action can be taken on the application. Applicants may ask The Graduate School for an exemption from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement if they: 1) have received a degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States (or a similarly accredited institution in a country/region where the predominant spoken language is English) within the last two years, or 2) have worked full time in the United States or a predominantly English-speaking country/region for at least two of the preceding four years. (Applicants who wish to apply for such an exemption should check with The Graduate School office for appropriate instructions and/or forms.)
Please note that TOEFL/IELTS scores more than two years old will not be accepted. Information about these tests and application forms are available at these Web sites: www.toefl.org (TOEFL) or www.ielts.org (IELTS). Some degree programs may require that international applicants also demonstrate the ability to speak English effectively. Programs with this requirement will list the specific assessment procedures that will indicate proficiency in English oral communication.
*The GRE may be substituted for the PPST/CBT in Special Education.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Policies and Procedures
This section of the Graduate Catalog describes the policies and procedures for students who wish to earn a doctoral degree. Unless this section states otherwise, students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree shall abide by all policies and procedures established for graduate students enrolled at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Currently, the University offers four doctoral programs: a D.P.T. in Physical Therapy, an Ed. D. in Learning and Leadership, a D.N.P. in Nursing, and a Ph.D. in Computational Engineering. For complete descriptions of the programs and their respective admission criteria, review the program descriptions provided in this catalog.
The doctoral degree indicates superior academic achievement and professional competence. Consequently, the doctoral degree program includes a course of study, examination procedures, and other requirements that ensure students achieve the highest level of proficiency for the discipline. In many cases, the policies and procedures governing the doctoral degree are different from those governing the master’s degree. These differences reflect the scope and expectation of the two degrees.
The following sections describe the general application procedures and minimum application requirements for admission to all doctoral programs offered by the University. Applicants should recognize that a graduate program may specify additional procedures and requirements for admission to the program.
Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree as Prerequisite
Admission to all doctoral degree programs requires at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent. Applicants admitted to a doctoral program before receiving the baccalaureate degree must complete the bachelor’s degree and have met all other admission requirements before they may register for graduate courses.
Some degree programs may also require a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent as a requirement for admission. Applicants who have received a master’s degree from UTC must reapply for admission as a doctoral degree student.
Grade Point Average
The applicant must have a baccalaureate cumulative grade point average (GPA) no less than 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or a 3.0 cumulative GPA earned during the applicant’s senior year, for admission to The UTC Graduate School. The minimum cumulative GPA for specific programs may be greater; therefore, applicants should consult the description of the doctoral program for specific information.
If an applicant has earned a master’s degree, then the applicant’s graduate-level GPA and not the baccalaureate cumulative GPA will serve as evidence for minimum GPA. Applicants who have earned a master’s degree must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for graduate level coursework. This rule may not apply for doctoral programs that use different criteria for determining the cumulative GPA. Applicants should refer to the admission requirements for the program they wish to enter to determine whether the program requires the master’s degree or other specific minimum requirements.
Applicants who do not meet minimum admission standards may petition the faculty of the doctoral degree program for temporary admission under the conditional admission status. Some departments may automatically refuse such petitions as a part of their program policies and procedures. International applicants must seek regular admission as a graduate student and may not receive temporary admission status.
Admission to all doctoral programs reflects the academic credentials of the applicants to the program, the number of applicants, and the resources of the program. Consequently, meeting the minimum admission requirements for the University or a doctoral program does not ensure admission to a doctoral program.
Each doctoral program has identified the appropriate admission examination process required for admission. Please consult the program description for a list of these requirements.
Applicants may ask The Graduate School for an exemption from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement if they: 1) have received a degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States (or a similarly accredited institution in a country/region where the predominant spoken language is English) within the last two years, or 2) have worked full time in the United States or a predominantly English-speaking country/ region for at least two of the preceding four years. Applicants who wish to apply for such an exemption should check with The Graduate School office for appropriate instructions and/or forms.
Some degree programs may require that international applicants also demonstrate the ability to speak English effectively. Programs with this requirement will list the specific assessment procedures that will indicate proficiency in English oral communication.
TOEFL or IELTS Exam (International Applicants)
Applicants who are not native English speakers must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
TOEFL: Applicants must have a score of 550 or greater for admission. (The Doctorate of Physical Therapy program requires a score of 560.) Applicants completing the computer version of the test must earn a score of 213 or greater. Applicants completing the Internet version of the test must earn a score of 79 or higher. The applicant must complete the TOEFL or IELTS test no more than two years before the application for admission.
IELTS: Applicants must have a score of 6.0 or higher on the IELTS. Some degree programs may require a higher TOEFL or IELTS score for admission into the program. Please consult the program description for specific requirements.
Each doctoral program has identified additional application materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, portfolios, departmental interviews, or other evidence of academic achievement) that the applicant must submit. The purpose of these materials is to provide evidence that the applicant has the potential to succeed in the program and that the applicant’s professional and research interests are compatible with those of the faculty. Please refer to the program for a list of the specific requirements.
Students who want to start course work for a doctoral program after the normal matriculation date must notify the UTC Graduate School and the coordinator of the doctoral program of his or her intent. Some departments may require that all new students begin their course work during a specific semester and may not allow students to delay their entry into the program. Students who wish to delay the start of their course work for more than one year must reapply for admission to the program unless exempted by the faculty of the doctoral program.
Admission of Faculty and Staff Members
Faculty and staff employed by The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga may apply for admission to graduate study in order to enroll in graduate level courses. Because of the demands required of graduate level courses and potential for conflict of interest, faculty and staff must demonstrate that their enrollment in graduate courses will not adversely affect their job responsibilities or create a conflict of interest. The employee’s supervisor, the dean of The UTC Graduate School, and the provost shall approve all applications for full-time faculty and staff to enroll in graduate courses while employed by the University. Faculty and staff will be classified as non-degree graduate students and may complete no more than nine (9) hours of graduate work toward the doctoral degree under this designation. Under extraordinary circumstances, full-time faculty and staff employed by The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga may apply for admission into a doctoral degree program with the approval of the employee’s supervisor, the dean of The UTC Graduate School, and the provost of the University.
All applicants, regardless of doctoral program, must use the following application procedures. Applicants should contact a representative of the doctoral program for details regarding critical dates and procedures.
The UTC Graduate School receives all application materials for all doctoral programs. (Some programs may have additional application materials specific to their respective programs.) Send all materials to:
The UTC Graduate School
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue.
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Application for admission to UTC Graduate School. Forms are available at www.utc.edu/graduateschool or by contacting The UTC Graduate School.
Application fee: Submit a $30 (domestic) non-refundable application fee with the application form and $35 (international) non-refundable application fee.
Request that the registrar of each institution of higher education (colleges and universities) attended, send an official transcript directly to The UTC Graduate School.
The UTC Graduate School uses the following classifications to distinguish among the types of doctoral graduate students.
Doctoral Degree Student
This classification includes students in good standing who have been admitted by the UTC Graduate School upon the recommendation of the faculty of the doctoral program. Admission to a degree program requires that the student meet the minimum admission requirements of the UTC Graduate School and the doctoral program and be prepared to complete the degree requirements in a timely manner. In addition, students admitted to the degree program must continually meet the minimum academic standards described in the Academic Standards for Graduate Students section of this catalog.
Students may not simultaneously enroll in two doctoral degree programs. Students wishing to change doctoral degree programs must apply for admission to the new degree program.
International students should review the TOEFL or IELTS Exam Requirements.
Non-Degree Graduate Student
This classification represents students who may wish to enroll in graduate level courses but do not intend to complete the doctoral degree. Faculty and staff working for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will receive this classification unless they are admitted into a degree program as a doctoral degree student.
Admission to The UTC Graduate School does not automatically allow students to enroll in graduate courses. All students must comply with the prerequisites and corequisites of all courses in which they wish to enroll. In some cases, graduate courses are open only to students admitted to the doctoral program. In these cases, the non-degree graduate student must receive the permission of the instructor to enroll in the course.
Students admitted under this classification must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to maintain their non-degree status. Non-degree graduate students may not complete more than nine (9) semester hours of course work toward a doctoral degree unless they receive an exemption from the doctoral program. The department head and/or program coordinator will forward the exemption to the UTC Graduate School as an information item.
After completing nine semester hours of coursework in a degree program, the non-degree graduate student must request reclassification as a doctoral degree student or petition the doctoral program for permission to retain the classification as a non-degree graduate student and enroll in additional courses. The department head and/or program coordinator will forward the petition to The UTC Graduate School.
International students on a F-1 visa may not be classified as non-degree students.
Transient Graduate Student
This classification includes students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program at another regionally accredited institution, who are in good standing at that institution, and who wish to enroll in courses offered by the University.
Transient graduate students who wish to be reclassified as doctoral degree students and complete their degree work at UTC must apply for admission to The UTC Graduate School and the doctoral program. A transient graduate student who is reclassified as a doctoral degree student must complete a majority of the required degree work at UTC.
This classification includes persons who have earned a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent and who wish to enroll in graduate courses offered by the University. The policies and procedures for a non-degree admission shall apply for the post-doctoral admission.
Any student whose attendance has been interrupted one or more semesters (excluding the summer session) must reapply for readmission to the University. An application for readmission must be submitted prior to the beginning of the semester or summer term in which admission is desired.
Due to the competitive nature of some degree programs, readmission as a doctoral degree graduate may require departmental approval. In addition, students who have not been admitted to candidacy must follow the regulations in effect at the time of readmission.
Academic Standards for Graduate Students
Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student. Each doctoral program has developed a policy for student evaluation. The Doctoral Program of Study Form (or ILLP for Ed.D. students) will list the criteria the faculty will use to determine the student’s progress and potential for success. This evaluation includes periodic review of performance in required and elective courses, the institutional cumulative GPA, and performance on other evaluation procedures required of students enrolled in the doctoral program. This evaluation may include written and oral formal examinations, professional portfolios, or supervised practica. The evaluation may also include the program faculty’s evaluation of the student’s progress and potential for success as a professional working in the discipline. Therefore, a student’s continuation in a doctoral program depends upon maintenance of satisfactory academic performance and a positive faculty evaluation of the student’s progress.
Institutional Cumulative GPA
The faculty of the program and The Graduate School dean review the academic records of all graduate students at the end of each semester, including the summer terms. Graduate students must maintain an institutional cumulative GPA in the doctoral program of at least 3.0 for all courses evaluated with a letter grade of A-F. Grades of S/NC, SP/NP, IP, and I, which have no numerical equivalent, are excluded from this computation. Students may not use grades less than C or evaluations of NC or NP to fulfill the requirements listed on their Doctoral Program of Study Form.
A doctoral program may require students enrolled in the program to meet additional requirements as evidence of satisfactory progress. These requirements may include research; completion of coursework and other specific projects within an identified time frame; demonstration of specific professional competencies; and other objectives germane to the doctoral degree. The faculty of the program will list these requirements as a part of the student’s Doctoral Program of Study Form. It is the student’s responsibility to understand these requirements. If the student does not fulfill the program’s additional requirements, he or she will be placed on academic probation, regardless of his or her institutional cumulative GPA.
Students shall be continuously enrolled in the fall and spring semesters for no fewer than two (2) credit hours upon their matriculation until their graduation. Students do not have to be enrolled during the summer term unless they are completing degree requirements in that term. Students may petition the UTC Graduate School for an exception to this rule. (See individual programs for specific enrollment requirements.)
Academic Probation Institutional Cumulative GPA
A student will be placed on academic probation when his or her institutional cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 in the doctoral programs. While on academic probation the student may continue his or her graduate study so long as each semester’s GPA is 3.0 or greater. Upon achieving an institutional cumulative GPA of 3.0, the student will be removed from probationary status.
A student will be placed on academic probation for failing to meet the degree program’s requirements for satisfactory progress. Evidence of failure to meet the requirement for satisfactory progress may include earning a semester grade point average less than 3.0, receiving an excessive number of I, NC, or NP course evaluations, or failure to pass a required evaluation procedure. Should a student be placed on academic probation for failure to meet the program’s requirements for satisfactory progress, the student shall receive, in writing, the requirements he or she must meet in order to be removed from academic probation. Unless otherwise stated, the student shall meet these requirements before the end of the following semester. Failure to meet these objectives will lead to the student’s dismissal from the UTC Graduate School and the doctoral program.
Institutional Cumulative GPA
A student will be dismissed by The Graduate School dean if he or she earns a semester GPA below 3.0 while on academic probation for low institutional cumulative GPA.
Failure to Make Timely Progress
A student may also be dismissed should the program faculty find that the student has failed to complete degree requirements in a timely manner, received an excessive number of I, NC or NP course evaluations, or failed to pass examinations required by the doctoral program. The criteria for timely progress shall be defined by each doctoral program and will be listed in the student’s Doctoral Program of Study Form.
A student may also be dismissed should the program faculty find that the student’s behavior directly violates the ethical code of conduct governing members of the professional organization for the program’s discipline, or whose personal conduct leads the faculty to conclude that the student is unfit to assume a role as a professional in the discipline. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as basis for dismissal if the student violates the guidelines for ethical conduct.
A student may also be dismissed for cause if found to have violated UTC’s code of conduct. Refer to the Student Handbook for a review of these expectations.
All students conducting research with human participants or animal subjects must comply with the policies and procedures of the University’s Institutional Review Board or the Animal Review Board. Violation of these regulations shall be considered a violation of ethical behavior.
Failure to Achieve Professional Skills/Behavior
A student, regardless of academic performance, may be dismissed should he or she fail to demonstrate mastery of essential professional behaviors, which include those skills essential for work in the profession. These skills shall be defined by each doctoral program and will be listed in the student’s Doctoral Program of Study Form. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as basis for dismissal if the student fails to demonstrate proficiency of professional achievement.
The dean of The UTC Graduate School, upon the recommendation of the doctoral program faculty, shall notify the student in writing of the dismissal. Students who are dismissed may appeal the action in accordance with the general rules defined in the Graduate Catalog and UTC Student Handbook. Students who wish to appeal their dismissal should contact the UTC Graduate School office for the necessary forms and to review the procedures of the appeal.
Each doctoral degree student will have a doctoral committee. For those programs not requiring a dissertation, the doctoral committee shall be the doctoral graduate faculty of the program. Subject to Graduate Council policies and individual program requirements, the doctoral committee must approve all coursework applied toward the degree, certify the student’s mastery of the necessary skills and knowledge of the profession, and assist the student in completing the requirements of the program. The department head and/or program coordinator, dean of the College, and the dean of the UTC Graduate School shall approve each doctoral committee for each student.
Doctoral Program of Study Form
Each doctoral degree student shall prepare a program of study that will be described in writing using the Doctoral Program of Study Form. The Doctoral Program of Study Form must be approved by the student’s doctoral committee and the Dean of the UTC Graduate School. The Doctoral Program of Study Form will list all courses and other academic experiences (e.g., extracurricular or qualifying exams, internships, practica, or dissertation) the student must complete to fulfill the requirements of the doctoral degree. The student will submit the Doctoral Program of Study Form to the UTC Graduate School office before completing 18 semester credit hours in residence as a doctoral graduate student at UTC.
Students With Master’s Degrees
Students admitted to a doctoral program who have completed a master’s degree, or its equivalent, may petition the faculty of the doctoral degree program to accept all or parts of the relevant graduate course work to count as fulfilling a portion of the doctoral degree requirements. A student with a master’s degree may substitute no more than 50% of the doctoral degree requirements with graduate work completed at another institution or within another degree program offered by UTC unless the course work is included in the Doctoral Program of Study Form. Students submitting such a petition must understand that the professional accreditation guidelines governing a doctoral program may limit the number of transfer courses.
Students entering a doctoral degree program that requires the master’s degree as a condition of acceptance may not apply the master’s degree course work toward the completion of the doctorate.
Although previously completed graduate courses may be used to satisfy a portion of the requirements for the degree listed on the student’s Doctoral Program of Study Form, those courses will not be officially transferred to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and will not be placed on the student’s UTC transcript.
Each doctoral program requires its degree students to complete one or more examinations as a portion of the degree requirements. These evaluations may include various formats including standardized multiple-choice exams, essays or papers, oral presentations, clinical performance evaluation, or other methods of evaluation appropriate for the academic discipline or profession. Please refer to the program’s degree requirements for a complete description of these exams. Students must be registered for no fewer than two semester hours in the semester during which they complete these examinations. The student is responsible for paying the cost of extracurricular exams (e.g., professional certification exams) that the faculty of the doctoral department does not administer but requires as partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.
The faculty of the doctoral program, as a part of their doctoral program policies, may limit the number of times a student may retake an exam or a portion of an exam that he or she failed. Failure to pass these exams may be used as grounds for dismissal. The faculty of the doctoral program may also require that a student retake all or portions of a specific examination when the student has not completed the degree requirements within five (5) calendar years of completing the examination.
Completion of Doctoral Degree
All doctoral students shall complete the requirements for the degree within six years, unless their specific doctoral program provides for a longer time frame in the Graduate Catalog. If additional time is required to complete the degree requirements the student may submit a graduate petition. This time limit shall include the semesters set aside for the dissertation, if one is required of the student. Students may petition the faculty of the program for an extension. If the student receives the extension, the dissertation committee may require that the student enroll in previously completed courses to ensure that the student receives a timely review of specific content or conceptual topics.
Some doctoral programs require students to submit a dissertation as a requirement for completion of the degree. The dissertation represents a high quality scholarly project that allows the student to demonstrate his or her mastery of the research and analytic skills currently applied by scholars in the discipline. Consequently, the dissertation should represent the highest quality of intellectual endeavor expected of persons earning a doctoral degree in a particular field of study.
The chair of the degree candidate’s doctoral committee and at least three additional members of the faculty will evaluate the student’s progress on the research and the final dissertation. The committee chair must be a member of the doctoral graduate faculty. Typically, the committee chair supervises the student’s dissertation research. In addition, the committee chair ensures that the members of the committee abide by the policies and procedures of the UTC Graduate School and the academic program offering the degree and provides collegial assistance to the degree candidate. Under special circumstances, a member of the doctoral graduate faculty from another degree program may supervise the student’s research with the approval of the program faculty and Graduate Council.
The additional members of the committee may include members of the faculty from the student’s program and other programs, members whom the committee chair and student believe can make substantive contributions to the student’s dissertation.
At least one member of the committee must be from an academic unit other than that of the student’s major field and be a member of the doctoral graduate faculty. The department head and/or program coordinator and the dean of the UTC Graduate School shall approve the membership of the dissertation committee.
The coordinator of the doctoral program may petition the Graduate Council to allow a person who is not a member of the faculty and who, because of relevant professional experience and academic training, can serve on the dissertation committee. Such a person will receive temporary and honorific status as a member of the doctoral graduate faculty while serving on the student’s committee.
If, through unusual circumstances, the student cannot work continuously on the dissertation, he or she may request in writing a one-time stop-out. This request must be made no later than the end of the enrollment period of the succeeding semester. The stop-out is not to exceed four continuous fall and spring semesters. The stop-out request must be approved by the dissertation chair, the program coordinator and the dean of The Graduate School.
Defense of Dissertation Prospectus
The student must prepare and defend a prospectus for the dissertation research. The dissertation prospectus shall include a complete description of the proposed research project and the methods to be used to complete the project. The dissertation committee shall determine the extent to which a proposed project meets the standard for a high quality scholarly project. The student must be enrolled for at least two semester hours during the semester in which he or she defends the prospectus.
When the dissertation committee has approved the dissertation proposal and other requirements specified in the Doctoral Program of Study Form, the student will be reclassified as a doctoral degree candidate. The student will continually enroll in at least two semester hours during each semester until he or she has completed the research and is ready to defend the dissertation.
In the Ed.D. Learning and leadership program, the student must prepare and defend a proposal for the dissertation research. In the Ed.D. program, each student is required to prepare a dissertation abstract (primary advisor approval), a dissertation prospectus (dissertation committee approval), and a dissertation proposal (to be defended before the dissertation committee and approved by the committee). The Ed.D. Handbook guidelines specify that the dissertation proposal is defended before the dissertation committee. Once the dissertation committee has approved the dissertation proposal and other requirements as specified in The Graduate School Catalog, the student will be reclassified as a doctoral degree candidate.
Compliance with Institutional Review Board
All graduate students engaged in research that uses human participants or animal subjects must obtain approval from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Animal Subjects Review Board. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Graduate students engaged in any research, regardless of venue or academic requirement, must ensure that they comply with the policies and procedures established by the review boards. Students may not initiate any research that involves the use of human or animal participants without prior consent of the review board. Disregard of board policies and procedures may result in forfeiture of any data collected and disciplinary action.
Completion of the Dissertation
The dissertation is an important educational experience that allows the student to demonstrate his or her mastery of disciplinary scholarship. Consequently, the dissertation represents a lengthy and deliberate engagement with an intellectual problem germane to the academic discipline.
Each doctoral program has established the time limit in which the student must complete the dissertation once the dissertation committee has approved the prospectus. Students may petition the faculty of the program and the Graduate Council for an extension of the time limit. Students shall continually enroll in no fewer than two semester hours during each semester while completing the dissertation. All doctoral students in the Learning and Leadership program shall be continuously enrolled in no fewer than three (3) semester hours during each semester when completing the dissertation.
Defense of Dissertation
The student must prepare a written dissertation for examination by the dissertation committee. When the dissertation committee chair is satisfied with the quality of the written work, the committee will officiate an oral examination of the student. The dissertation must be distributed to the committee at least ten (10) working days before the dissertation defense. The dissertation defense must be scheduled through The UTC Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the defense and must be conducted in University-approved facilities unless extenuating circumstances require otherwise. The UTC Graduate School shall publicly announce the date, time, and location of the defense.
The typical defense consists of a public forum that is open to the entire University community. When extraordinary circumstances arise (e.g., the research represents classified work), the chair of the dissertation committee may request that the dean of the UTC Graduate School waive the public forum portion of the defense. Immediately following the public presentation, the members of the dissertation committee will conduct a private dissertation examination of the doctoral candidate. The members of the committee will then meet privately to evaluate the status of the dissertation. The chair of the committee will communicate the findings of the committee to the degree candidate.
The student must successfully defend his or her dissertation at least two weeks before the date of submission and acceptance of the dissertation by the UTC Graduate School office. The chair of the dissertation committee must submit the results of the defense by the dissertation deadline.
Each program has established the minimum standards for the format of the dissertation and for the editorial guidelines the student will follow in preparing the manuscript. Each program has also established standard procedures for the conduct of the defense. The dissertation committee chair will review these procedures with the student.
Evaluation of Dissertation
The evaluation of the dissertation will consist of one of three outcomes: Pass, Re-examination, and Failure. The evaluation of Pass indicates that a majority of members of the dissertation committee concluded that the student met or exceeded the requirements set forth in the dissertation prospectus, but may be required to make minor editorial modifications to the dissertation. The members of the dissertation committee will sign the final draft of the dissertation once the student has made the required changes to the dissertation.
An evaluation of Re-examination indicates that the majority of the members of the committee found substantive problems in the work or the defense of the dissertation. The members of the committee will prepare a list of modifications or improvements required of the student’s work before a second dissertation defense will be scheduled. The re-examination will occur in the subsequent semester unless the dissertation committee and the dean of the UTC Graduate School grant additional time for the student to effect the necessary changes.
An evaluation of Failure indicates that the majority of the dissertation committee judged the quality of the student’s dissertation and the defense of the dissertation to be below the standards expected of doctoral level scholarly performance. Failure of the dissertation shall be grounds for the student’s dismissal.
A basic principle in graduate education is that research and dissertations produced by graduate students will be published and made available to other researchers in the field. When a graduate student is involved in classified or proprietary research, and such research is intended to lead toward a dissertation, prior approval must be secured from the department head and/or program coordinator, and from the dean of the UTC Graduate School. Should the research become classified in the course of a project, the department head and/or program coordinator, and dean of the UTC Graduate School must be notified immediately so that proper procedures can be followed. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to rejection of a thesis or dissertation manuscript.
Dissemination of Final Copies of Dissertation
Paper copies approved for final submission will be sent to the Lupton Library for binding two weeks before conferral of the graduate degree. One of the bound copies will be placed on the shelf in Lupton Library for circulation; the second bound copy will be placed in Library Archives. The circulation copy will appear in the library catalog and on the shelf approximately one year after conferral of the graduate degree.
Students retain copyright privileges immediately upon creation of their work. Students are not required to register their copyright, but registration does establish a public record of the dissertation and ensure additional legal rights.
A student must, as a condition of a degree award, grant royalty-free permission to the University to reproduce and distribute copies of the thesis or dissertation within The University of Tennessee System, on a noncommercial basis including by electronic and digital technologies. The student may also elect to allow distribution outside the University of Tennessee System.
All students must submit their dissertations to ProQuest Information and Learning Company for publication in University Microfilms International (UMI). Procedures for this submission are published in the Graduate Catalog and are further explained in a separate letter sent to doctoral candidates upon initial enrollment in dissertation hours.