This section provides information pertaining to academic life at UT. It covers issues related to enrollment and withdrawal, attendance, advising, academic policies, preparation, grade appeal, and uTrack. It is not a comprehensive resource but a collection of basic information.
For complete information, consult these sources:
A-Z Index: Academics List of links to academic sites on the UT website.
Catalogs The official source for information on academic programs, courses, policies, and procedures. Includes both current and archived editions of the Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog.
Graduate School Assistance for graduate students who experience difficulties or have concerns related to their programs.
MyUTK Access to personalized resources including your registration, Vol Card balance, schedule, and a summary of announcements targeted to your university status.
Office of the University Registrar Academic information and resources from enrollment through commencement.
One Stop Express Student Services Information on enrollment, academic records, financial aid, and payment.
The Office of Dean of Students assists students who are unable to attend class due to an extenuating circumstance or circumstances.
When a student is unable to attend class due to emergency situations/extenuating circumstances (i.e., medical illness, hospitalization, death/bereavement, etc.), students may contact the Office of the Dean of Students to request notification be sent to their instructors. If a student is physically unable to contact the office, a family member or appropriate campus official may submit the notification request on their behalf. Formal documentation/verification of emergency must be submitted with the request.
Once the request and documentation have been submitted, the office will send a notification to instructors via e-mail. Notification of absence does not excuse students from classes and/or course requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to contact their instructors and determine a mutually agreed-upon arrangement for all missed work. The Office of the Dean of Students categorizes absences based on the following: An absence lasting no longer than two days is considered a short-term absence; one lasting longer than three days is considered a long-term absence.
Final approval of all absences and missed work is determined by the instructor.
The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to grant or reject notification requests at any time.
Academic advising serves to develop and enrich students’ educational plans in ways that are consistent with their personal values, goals, and career plans—preparing them for a life of learning and leadership in a global society.
Students are assigned to advisors based on their major or exploratory track. Advising centers and designated offices in each college advise most freshmen and sophomores. Faculty advisors, working closely with the advising centers, guide most advanced students.
The student, not the advisor, bears the ultimate responsibility for educational planning, selecting courses, meeting course prerequisites, and adhering to policies and procedures. Assistance to students with academic problems or questions is provided by professors, advisors, department heads, and college deans or advising centers.
Detailed information for undergraduate students is available on the Undergraduate Academic Advising website. Graduate students should consult their program or the Graduate School for advising resources.
Students may expect their performance to be evaluated solely on an academic basis and not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students are responsible for each course in which they are enrolled. A student alleging unfair evaluation should follow the applicable process for academic appeal. Teachers are expected to make honest, professional judgments on the academic performance of students and to make clear to them the basis for academic evaluation used in their classes. For additional information, see the undergraduate appeals policy.
Study, preparation, and presentation should involve at all times the student’s own work, unless it has been clearly specified that work is to be a team effort. Academic honesty requires that the student present their own work in all academic projects, including tests, papers, homework, and class presentation. When incorporating the work of other scholars and writers into a project, the student must accurately cite the source of that work. For additional information see the applicable catalog or the UT Libraries site. See also Honor Statement.
Academic Second Opportunity
Academic Second Opportunity is designed to assist students who were not successful in progressing toward a degree during a previous attendance at UT Knoxville but are now performing satisfactory work.
An undergraduate student may petition for Academic Second Opportunity upon meeting the following requirements: the student has re-enrolled following an absence from UT Knoxville of at least three full calendar years; the student’s previous academic record at the university was unsatisfactory (normally, below a C average); since readmission, the student has completed 15 or more graded hours, earning a 2.5 GPA or above.
See the Office of the University Registrar website for complete information.
Academic Standing, Probation & Dismissal
The university reviews student academic records at the end of each term to determine each student’s academic standing. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement for good standing at the undergraduate or graduate level receive a standing of academic probation or academic dismissal.
See the applicable catalog for complete information on standards and processes. The Student Success Center also has an informational page on academic probation and dismissal.
Adds, Drops, Withdrawals
Policies governing adding a class, dropping a class, and withdrawal from the university are included in the applicable catalog.
The periods for adding a class, dropping a class, or changing a grading option for each session are determined based on a percentage of the equivalent deadline for the full term. Exact dates are available on the One Stop academic and financial calendar. The One Stop site also includes processes for adding, dropping, and withdrawal.
With regard to learning in his or her respective courses, the student has the responsibility to seek information (which should be readily available from the instructor) as to necessary preparation for participation in the classroom activity. The instructor should provide specific information about the course objectives, nature of testing, and course requirements. The learning and integration of the course material are the student’s responsibility. Accordingly, the student should accept responsibility for adequate preparation for each class meeting, arriving for class able and willing to interact through classroom participation, testing, writing, in-class exercises, and other methods provided by the teacher. Basic to these activities is the need for the student to employ appropriate resources, as assigned by the instructor, such as textbooks, other supplies, and outside reading materials.
Class Attendance & Eligibility
Academic success is built upon regular class attendance, and students are expected to attend all of their scheduled classes. A student who finds it necessary to miss class assumes responsibility for making up examinations, obtaining lecture notes, and otherwise compensating for what may have been missed.
It is the prerogative of the individual instructor to set the attendance requirements for a particular class. This means, for example, that an instructor in first-year composition may state in the syllabus how many absences are allowed before a student receives a grade of No Credit.
Only students who are properly registered for a course may attend it on a regular basis. Any other person in the classroom for special reasons must obtain the consent of the instructor.
See the Office of the University Registrar site for complete information on class attendance, including guidelines for extenuating circumstances such as military orders, legal obligations, religious observances, extended illnesses, and participation in university-sponsored activites.
Freedom of Expression
Free and pertinent discussion is welcome at the university. Students should feel free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion. They are responsible, however, for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
Undergraduate grade appeals begin with the Undergraduate Council and must be filed with 90 days of the final grade being issued. See the applicable catalog for a full description of the process and grounds for appeal.
The UT Honor Statement reads “An essential feature of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As a student of the university, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.” See the applicable catalog for student and faculty responsibilities under the Honor Statement. See also Academic Integrity.
Observation of Deadlines
It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and follow the enrollment and registration procedures provided by the university. It is also the student’s responsibility to file forms for graduation based on information provided by the Degree Audit Report System and to observe other university and college deadlines. A calendar of academic and financial deadlines is available on the One Stop site.
Problem Resolution for Issues Related to Academic Coursework
Issues related to grades or academic coursework should be addressed first with the course instructor, then the appropriate department head, and finally the dean of the college in which the course is offered. Undergraduate students should follow the grade appeals procedure in the undergraduate catalog. For graduate students, the staff of the Graduate School can offer assistance regarding the best next steps for problem resolution. Issues related to academic advising should be addressed first with the advisor, then the director of the appropriate advising center, then the dean of the appropriate college, and finally with the associate provost for student success.
Students who are struggling with a class should talk with their advisor before deciding whether to withdraw from and/or plan to repeat a class.
Generally, undergraduate courses can be repeated twice, for a total of three attempts per course, with grade replacement for up to three lower-division courses. For details and limits, see the applicable undergraduate catalog. Additional information is available on the Student Success Center site.
Universal Tracking, or uTrack, is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. uTrack requirements only affect full-time degree-seeking students who first entered in fall 2013 or later. uTrack does not apply to transfer students who enter prior to fall 2015.
In order to remain on track for a major or exploratory area, students must complete minimum requirements for each tracking semester known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. Students who are off track at the end of a tracking semester must meet with an advisor to develop a plan for getting back on track. Students who are off track for two consecutive semesters have a hold placed on their registration and must meet with a new advisor to select a new major that is better aligned with their abilities.
See the Office of the University Registrar website for details.