Requirements described in this Catalog are minimum requirements for consideration and do not guarantee acceptance into a specific graduate degree program or the Graduate School. The Office of the Graduate School is responsible for the administration of the University graduate admission policy. The decision to admit an applicant to pursue graduate study at UTC is based upon evaluations of both qualitative and quantitative information. To ensure adequate consideration, the applicant should submit the completed application and supporting credentials to The Graduate School office by the application dates noted in this publication. 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.
- A Statement of Purpose/Intent (part of the online application package).
- 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 UTC Graduate School office.
- An official report of the applicant’s score on the prescribed test(s) for admission, such as the GRE or GMAT. Note: Students whose native language is not English are required to provide scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants. (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.
To be eligible for Degree Regular Admission an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent and be in good academic standing at the last institution attended. In addition to the previous two requirements, an applicant for regular admission must meet one of the following requirements from a regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent. All GPAs are based on a 4.0 point scale; the last two years of undergraduate coursework are equivalent to approximately 60-70 semester hours or 90-100 quarter hours.
- 2.70 minimum GPA for all undergraduate work taken for the baccalaureate degree or
- 3.00 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate academic coursework or
- 3.00 GPA for 30 or more semester hours undergraduate credit after earning the first bachelor’s degree or
- 2.70 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate academic coursework and a 3.00 GPA on fewer than 24 hours graduate coursework or
- 3.00 GPA for 24 or more graduate hours or
- An earned master’s degree or higher-level degree with at least a 3.00 GPA.
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 msut 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 or higher level degree, e.g., a JD. Applicants who have received a master’s degree from UTC must reapply for admission as a doctoral degree student.
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.
Application and screening dates
Applicants should pay special attention to the early screening dates that some programs have established for priority consideration for admission and financial aid. Applications to be screened must provide all information requested, unless otherwise noted. Below are listed the general Graduate School screening dates (see note at bottom of table). Applicants applying after The Graduate School or specific degree program early screening dates should contact the program to verify that there is still space available for new students.
Some departments and programs have established application deadlins that differ from the University application deadlines. Please refer to the appropriate college or department for this information.
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 Statement of Purpose/Intent (part of the application package).
- 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. 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.
- 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, i.e., May 15th for fall semester admission, October 15th for spring semester admission and February 15th for summer semester admission. 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.
Some graduate degree programs have identified additonal 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.
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 Records Office at the time of registration.
Students who want to start course work for a graduate degree 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.
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 master’s or doctoral degree under this designation. Full-time faculty and staff employed by The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga may be admitted 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.
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 Regular Graduate students only.
Degree Regular Graduate
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, statement of purpose/intent, 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.”
Degree Conditional Graduate
The University offers conditional admission status to degree programs to students who do not meet one of the academic standards of the University. Some graduate degree programs do not admit students with conditional status; therefore, a student must check the specific program requirements. A student admitted in conditional status must advance to the next academic semester as prescribed below.
A full time student admitted to conditional status is eligible (not guaranteed) for advancement to the next academic semester after earning a cumulative 3.00 GPA or better on the first six hours of regular graduate level courses taken during the first semester at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A student admitted in conditional status must take six hours in the first semester enrolled. Graduate programs will specify for each student admitted in conditional status the academic requirements that must be met to advance to the next academic semester. Once the required six hours is met an admission decision will be made. Neither transfer credits nor credits earned while in Non-degree status can be used to satisfy this six-hour requirement. A student in conditional status will be dismissed from the graduate program if the student does not attain the required cumulative 3.00 GPA or better on all courses taken while in conditional status. Students attaining the 3.00 GPA or better on the six hours of graduate coursework will be considered for regular admission status. Students not attaining the minimum 3.00 GPA will be ineligible for regular admission and continuation in the particular degree program. These students may pursue admission to another degree program or to non-degree admission status. Academic departments may set higher standards for students admitted conditionally into their programs. While in the conditional status, a student is not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship but is eligible to receive financial aid if admitted conditionally into a graduate degree program.
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.
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.
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 “Fees, Expenses and Financial Aid ” 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.
Certificate programs require the student to complete 9 - 18 hours. Students should check programs for specific hour requirements. Students must file an Application for Graduation, Certificate Award and Candidacy form the semester prior to the semester they will complete the certificate course requirements. Students receiving certificates do not participate in commencement.
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. Applications for post-baccalaureate admission should be made through the Undergraduate Admissions office.
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 gpa or better) 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.
Second Master’s Degree
A student who has received one master’s degree may receive a second master’s degree provided that all specific requirements for both degrees are met, that the curriculum for the second degree includes at least two-thirds of the hours (with a 3.0 GPA or better) not offered for the first degree.
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 an initial license, an added 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.
Degree Program Admission 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.
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 from the date of application for admission. Admission tests are administered computerized 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, electrical engineering, 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.
Academic Standards for Graduate Students
Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student. All graduate degree programs (master’s and doctoral) have developed a policy for student evaluation. The Program of Study Form (or ILLP for Ed.D. students with evaluation checkpoints) 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 a graduate degree program. This evaluation may include written and oral formal examinations, professional portfolios, or supervised practicum. 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 graduate degree 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 Program of Study and Application for Candidacy Forms.
Additional Program Requirements
Some master’s and doctoral programs 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 master’s or doctoral degree. The faculty of the program will list these requirements as a part of the student’s 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 who have registered for thesis or dissertation research hours must 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 a graduate program. 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 grades, 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 specific graduate degree program.