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Applying to the Chemistry Doctoral Program

 

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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 26 faculty members representing all the traditional sub-disciplines 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).

The research achievements of the UT Chemistry faculty have been recognized nationally and internationally. Three members of the department are fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Our faculty also boasts several winners of the NSF CAREER award and its predecessor, the National Young Investigator award. Members of the faculty have been commended for innovative research and teaching by the Dreyfus Foundation, the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, and the Department of Energy.

We offer PhD and MS degrees in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and polymer chemistry. PhD students may also specialize in theoretical chemistry or may, in cooperation with the Department of Physics, pursue a degree in chemical physics. The University’s graduate catalog outlines the requirements for both PhD and MS degrees.

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 August-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.

For further information regarding our program, please visit our website. You may apply to our program by visiting the Office of Graduate Admissions. Please feel free to request an information packet or email me if you have any more questions.

The following links and information should get you started. 

Please email Kayla Benson at Kayla@utk.edu with any questions regarding the program or if you would like to schedule an in person or virtual meeting.

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:

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.

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 August-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.

Before You Begin the Admission Application

Before you start the application process, please take a moment to read through the following information to help you prepare. If you would like to know more about the costs of graduate school before applying, read about costs and funding and how residency classification can affect tuition.

Admission Requirements

Please review the requirements for admission as well as the descriptions of the admission types for graduate study.

Deadlines

Visit our application deadlines page for more information about deadlines. Since application deadlines vary by program, you will also need to check with your program of interest for its specific deadline.

Application Deadlines

Admission is for a specific semester. If you do not enter that semester, your application and materials will remain on file for one year. After that time, you must repeat the application process. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions if you want to change the entry term. Some programs may have restrictions on entry terms.

Departmental Deadlines

All applicants, both domestic and international, should consult with their program regarding department application deadlines and start dates. Department application deadlines may supersede Graduate School admission deadlines. Students seeking to earn a graduate certificate must be admitted to the program prior to completing 6 credit hours toward the certificate.

Domestic Applicants

Domestic applicants may apply up to two weeks prior to the beginning of the desired term of entry, unless the program to which you are applying has an earlier deadline. However, application materials must be complete to be considered for admission. 

International Applicants

All international applicants intending to enroll with VISA types F and J must follow the deadlines below. International applicants intending to enroll with other VISA types may be eligible to apply after the deadlines noted below and should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information.

Term

Deadline

File Completion Deadline

Fall

February 1

May 15

Spring

June 15

October 1

Summer

October 15

February 15

There are two deadlines for each term. The first deadline is when the initial application must be submitted online, provided the department has no earlier deadline. By the file completion deadline, admission must be granted and all documents required to obtain a student visa must be submitted to the Center for Global Engagement.

Supporting Documents

In order to apply to the Graduate School, you will need to obtain copies of your transcripts to scan for uploading into the online admission application. In addition to transcripts, test scores, references/recommendations, and other supplemental documents may be required by your program of interest. Please check with your program about any additional requirements to be submitted with your online application. Once received, all application materials become the property of the university and will not be returned.

Application Fee

When you submit your application, all applicants will be asked to provide credit card information to pay the nonrefundable application fee. This fee must be paid online, and your application will not be received until it’s paid. If you have a U.S. bank account, you may choose to pay the fee by electronic check.

If you are making changes to an existing application, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to make the change. Do not submit another application.

An applicant may not be admitted simultaneously to more than one degree program. Two or more applications cannot be considered concurrently, except in the case of dual programs.

Start Your Application

If you are applying and have never been a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, apply as a New Applicant.

If you are applying and have been previously enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, apply as a Readmission.
This information pertains to applicants who were previously enrolled as graduate students at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville:
Application Steps

  1. Please confirm the correct name of your graduate degree or certificate program by viewing our list of programs. This will ensure that you apply for the right program when you submit your application.
  2. If you do not already have one, create an account on Slate, our online application system, and begin completing the readmission application.
  3. Scan and upload copies of transcripts from each institution you have attended since the last term of graduate enrollment at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  4. Upload degree certificates (if applicable).
  5. Upload departmental/program requirements as indicated in the online application system.
  6. Pay the $30 non-refundable application fee by credit/debit card or electronic check.

Application Procedure

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

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.  Once you click on submit and pay the application fee, you may upload additional materials in the applicant status portal.

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.

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.

Making Corrections to Your Application

To make corrections or changes to an existing Graduate School application, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. DO NOT submit another online application.

Application Status
You can review the status of your application on the application status portal. The portal allows you to:

  • Track your application progress
  • Review the status of checklist items that are required by your program
  • Satisfy checklist items by uploading required documents and materials to complete your application
  • View your application decision letter after receiving notification
  • If admitted, confirm your attendance

Residency

Your residency classification has an impact on your tuition and fees. Your initial classification is determined by the information you have provided on your application for admission to the Graduate School. Learn how to appeal your residency classification, how to apply for the Work Rule Program, and how status in the U.S. Armed Forces can impact your classification, how to determine tuition for out-of-state distance education students, and how status in the U.S. Armed Forces can impact your tuition and fees.

Appealing Your Residency Classification

You must have an application for admission on file to begin the residency appeal process. If you believe that your initial residency classification is incorrect, you may appeal the classification. Please review the Residency Classification Guide before you begin the appeal process.

You must submit a complete, notarized residency appeal form with supporting documentation to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Required documents may be sent via the UT Vault to graduateadmissions@utk.edu.

Your residency appeal will be reviewed by the residency classifier and you will be notified by email if additional information or documentation is needed, or when a decision has been made. In the event your appeal is denied at the first level of the appeal process, instructions on how to carry forward your appeal to the second level will be included in the email.

You may begin the appeal process at any time after you have submitted your online application for admission, although many students prefer to receive their official Graduate School letter of admission before submitting a residency appeal. After you submit your residency appeal and supporting documentation, the review and decision process make take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the beginning of the upcoming semester. After the residency appeal is submitted, please periodically check the subject line of your emails for “UT Graduate Admissions: Status of Your Residency Appeal,” as the residency classifier may need additional information/documentation from you. If you have not received a decision within a couple of weeks, you may want to contact the residency classifier in the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Please note that review of your residency appeal may take longer if you submit it close to the beginning of the semester, so it is to your advantage to start the appeal process early. To avoid having your schedule cancelled and late fees incurred, please submit your appeal by noon on the last day of priority registration for the semester you wish reclassification to become effective.  The final deadline to submit an appeal for any semester is by the late registration deadline. These deadlines are published each semester by the Registrar in the Timetable Calendar.

After Admission

If you have received official notification from the Graduate Admissions Office that you have been admitted to the Graduate School, congratulations! Now you should begin to prepare for completing admission requirements and enrolling. The following list will assist you.

  1. Submit Official Transcripts
  2. Set Up NetID and Password
  3. Check for EVEA Requirement
  4. Confirm Financial Resources
  5. ITA Testing Program
  6. Contact Your Department
  7. Get Oriented

Submit Official Transcripts

When you applied, you were asked to upload copies of your transcripts into the application. Now that you have been admitted, you must submit official transcripts if this is requested in your admission letter. Your official transcript(s) will need to be received before you may enroll for your second term. If you previously attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, you will not need to request an official UT transcript. Our office can access your UT transcript.

Set Up NetID and Password

In order to get access to MyUTK and other applications and services at UT, you will need to look up your NetID and set a password. The Office of Information Technology can help you with that online, but if you have any questions, contact the OIT Helpdesk.

Check for EVEA Requirement

If you have the Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA) requirement, you will need to submit documentation that proves US Citizenship or lawful presence as required by state law. To find out if you have this requirement, access your MyUTK account with your NetID and password. Check “All Messages” for the EVEA Citizen Verification Required notice. For information on EVEA and how to submit documentation please visit OneStop or contact Carla Poore in the Office of Graduate Admissions at eveagrad@utk.edu. Required documents may be sent via the UT Vault to eveagrad@utk.edu.

Confirmation of Financial Resources

If you are an international student on a F or J visa, submit financial information to the Center for Global Engagement confirming that you have sufficient funds to cover a full year of expenses at UT. 

ITA Testing Program

All prospective teaching assistants and associates whose native language is not English must take and pass the oral proficiency test, OPIc, before assuming teaching responsibilities. This test is scheduled and administered by the ITA Testing Program. The English Placement requirement does not serve as a waiver for the OPIc.

Contact Your Department

Contact your program’s department for details on advising and registration. Your program will also provide program orientation information.

Get Oriented

The Graduate School works with the Graduate Student Senate to develop an orientation for new graduate students, as well as an orientation for new graduate teaching assistants. Check with the Graduate School for dates and times for these orientations. Visit our Graduate Student Life section for information and resources about life as a graduate student at UT.