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Applying to the Chemistry Doctoral Program

UT is the flagship educational institution in the state and the Department of Chemistry is the oldest PhD granting department therein. The department currently has approximately thirty faculty representing all the traditional sub-disciplines (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical) as well as strengths in several new and exciting interdisciplinary areas of research such as polymer and materials chemistry, chemical physics, bio-organic chemistry, and neutron science. The department also enjoys a strong collaborative research relationship with the scientific community at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

 Unfortunately, the committee will not pre-review applications and the only applications they will review are the online applications sent to them from Graduate Admissions.  

We encourage each student, international or domestic to begin applying as soon as the application is open, time may vary between September-November. Apply as early as possible to be considered for fellowships and scholarships. The review process will begin in November for Fall semester entry. Decisions on applications are typically made by April 15th for Fall semester entry. We do not typically admit students during the spring.

You may apply to our program by visiting the Office of Graduate Admissions. Please feel free to request an information packet.

Contact Kayla Benson at Kayla@utk.edu if you have additional questions or would like to schedule an in person or virtual meeting.

The following links and information should get you started and the rest of the information on this page will explain the application process in full detail.

Departmental Application Requirements

  • The GRE test is recommended, but not required. This score must be less than 3 years old for the date of admission you are requesting. (University Code: 1843)
  • Chemistry subject test is optional but recommended
  • TOEFL or iBT is required for International students (we accept IELTS, but it is not preferred). This score must be less than 2 years old for the date of admission you are requesting. (University Code: 1843)
  • 3 Letters of Recommendations
  • Official Transcript(s) from All Universities Attended
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
  • Must meet the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. These are the base requirements for admission into the UT graduate program. Though generally, requirements for applicants to the Department of Chemistry are more competitive.

For more information:

Application Deadline

Domestic Applicants

  • The department accepts applications on a rolling admissions basis until the incoming class is full.
  • Early applicants will be considered for fellowships and scholarships.

International Applicants

  • While all of the above apply to international applicants, you do have a firm deadline of February 1st.

Tips

We encourage each student, international or domestic to begin applying as soon as the application is open, time may vary between September-November. Apply as early as possible to be considered for fellowships and scholarships. The review process will begin in November for Fall semester entry. Decisions on applications are typically made by April 15th for Fall semester entry.

Application Procedure

Read the graduate admission page then click Apply Now to create your account and start your application.

Your application will first be submitted to the graduate school before it is submitted to be reviewed by the Department of Chemistry. Technical issues or questions about application requirements should be forwarded to Graduate School Admissions at 865-974-2475 or gradschool@utk.edu.

You will need to have all the requested application items in *.pdf format ready for uploading when you start your application.  If you are unable to complete your application in one sitting, you may save the application and return to it later.  However, once you click on submit and pay the application fee, you won’t be able to upload additional materials.

Important Notice

  • There is no longer an option to mail in application materials. All documents must be uploaded into the online application system as requested. If you are having trouble uploading any document, please email our graduate program assistant Jennifer Fleming.
  • Please request ETS to send your GRE and iBT/TOEFL scores electronically using the 1843 university code.
  • The Department will not defer admissions from one semester to another.
  • You must be accepted by both the Graduate Admissions Office and the Chemistry Department. Where you find two different requirements, you will be expected to meet the higher requirement.

International Students

International students must submit iBT/TOEFL scores for your Chemistry Departmental Application. English speaking ability is judged from iBT. The Chemistry Department prefers you to have a minimum total of 98 with a sub-speak score of 22.

Note: All applicants both domestic and international are in competition for the same positions. There are no specific number of international students the department will admit each year.

The Graduate School at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Admission Requirements

The following are the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. When applying, you must meet these requirements for admission to the Graduate School. Your application will not be forwarded to the program if you do not meet these requirements.

  • Applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency. A non-U.S. degree must be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from the United States and must be accredited by its regional or national accreditation agency.
  • United States degree holders must have earned a minimum of 2.7 out of a possible 4.0 GPA or a minimum of 3.0 during the senior year of undergraduate study. If you have completed previous graduate coursework, you must have earned a minimum of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 GPA.
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees must have earned a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or other equivalent to a ‘B’ average. If you have completed previous graduate coursework, you must have earned a minimum of 3.3 out of a possible 4.0 GPA or other equivalent to a ‘B+’ average.
  • Applicants may be required to submit standardized test scores, depending upon their program requirements.
  • Applicants may be required to submit English language certification test scores.

Many programs also require departmental applications and may have additional requirements that are specific to the program. Please contact the department directly for any additional program requirements. Documents required by the program must be uploaded into the application in the designated areas. Documents required by the department and submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by mail or email will not be forwarded to the department.

For additional information, refer to the statement on Admission Requirements and Application Procedures in the Graduate Catalog.

Standardized Testing

The program to which you are applying may require test scores, such as the GRE or the GMAT. Please check with your desired program to see if they require any standardized test scores. Registration information for the GRE is available at Educational Testing Service (ETS). Registration for the GMAT is available at mba.com.

There is no minimum score for the GRE or the GMAT, but you may wish to check with your desired program to see if your score is competitive.

After taking your exam, have your scores sent to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. For the GRE, you will be asked for an institution code (1843 for UT). For the GMAT, simply select UT as a recipient.

English Language Certification

An applicant requesting admission to the Graduate School may be required to submit results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum score requirements for admission to the Graduate School are:

  • a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT),
  • a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

The scores will be considered valid if submitted with the application within two (2) years of the test date. An applicant may be exempted from the English Certification requirement if:

  • English is an official language in the applicant’s country of citizenship, according to standards published by the Graduate School.
    Applicant is exempted when indicating citizenship is in a country in which English is an official language.
    Or
  • English is the primary language of instruction at the institution in which the applicant received an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree.
    Applicant submits evidence of qualifying for exemption by uploading a transcript in the online application with conferred equivalent to U.S. bachelor’s master’s doctorate, or professional degree from an accredited college or university where English is the language of instruction in higher education.

Some graduate programs may have more rigorous requirements. Applicants are responsible for meeting the requirements of the graduate programs when the standards exceed those of the Graduate School.

After taking your exam, have your scores sent to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. If you have taken the TOEFL, please use the institution code of 1843. For the IELTS, you will need to provide the mailing address for the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Find out how to register for the TOEFL or the IELTS.

When Submitting your Application

In order for us to process your application, you must upload copies of your transcripts to your application prior to submitting the application. A transcript acceptable for uploading is one that you obtain from your institution’s registrar or recorder of records. Documents that are not acceptable are noted below. Transcripts that are in a language other than English must be accompanied with English translations. Copies of transcripts from all undergraduate and/or graduate institutions you have attended are required.

If you are a current or former student at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, you do not need to upload a copy of your transcript. Our office will be able to access your transcript. However, you must include The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the colleges/universities you list on your application.

All required transcripts must be uploaded to the online application, even if you didn’t receive a degree. Do not email your transcripts to the Graduate Admissions office unless instructed to do so by that office.

A transcript acceptable for uploading is one that you obtain from your institution’s registrar or recorder of records. Transcripts that are in a language other than English must be accompanied by English translations.

Do not upload into the online application any of the following:

  • DARS reports or advising transcripts
  • An evaluation provided by a credential service, for example, Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE) OR World Education Services (WES)
  • Institutional web-based transcript/academic record

 

Documents uploaded with your application are not considered official. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville does not consider transcripts that come from applicants or that have been in the applicant’s possession as official.

 

Applicants have the ability to check your status online by logging back into our online application system. Go to the ApplyWeb application portal, click “Online Application,” and enter the same user name and password you created when submitting your application. Click “View Checklist” to see the status of your admission application. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the Office of Graduate Admissions has received all materials. Please review the Unofficial Transcript status for all institutions that are listed. If an institution has a status of “Awaiting” or “Must Resend,” please upload copies of these transcripts into the checklist

You will be notified by email once a decision has been made on your application. A letter from the Dean of the Graduate School will be placed in the application portal.  You can then log in to the online application system to view and print your admission decision letter.

To make corrections or changes to an existing application, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

If admitted, the letter constitutes your official admission to the Graduate School and entitles you to access the student portal and enroll in courses at the time registration becomes available. Notification sent to you by the program to which you applied does not constitute admission unless you have, also, received the admission letter in the application portal from the Dean of the Graduate School.

After Admission

If you are admitted to a program, and accept the admission offer, you will be required to submit official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Your official transcript(s) will need to be received before you may enroll for your second term.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process and to rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between unofficial and official transcripts are found.