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Graduate Admissions

Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency. A foreign degree must be equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree and must be accredited by its regional or national accreditation agency.

The decision for admission is based upon the applicant’s GPA, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (for applicants whose native language is not English), letters of recommendation, and research statement. We recommend that applicants explore our research focuses and our faculty to investigate research topics that may be of interest and fit with applicants’ career goals.

US degree holders must have earned a 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 GPA or a minimum of 3.0 during their senior year of undergraduate study. Foreign degree holders 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 course work, you must have a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent. The average GPA of admitted students in recent years is between 3.6 and 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.

Applicants must also take the GRE examination and submit test scores. GRE quantitative, verbal, and analytical scores are one measure used to evaluate student capacity to successfully complete the MS and PhD programs. We do not publish minimum scores, but admission to the program is competitive. Recent average GRE quantitative scores have been 162–163 (170 max), and average GRE verbal scores have been 158 (170 max). For students requesting graduate assistantships (GRA, GTA, or GA), GRE averages are typically higher than the averages for general admission into the program. A GRE analytical score of 4 or higher is recommended.

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores. To be fully admitted, applicants must submit a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 80 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on the IELTS. Applicants may be eligible for English Proficiency Conditional Admission.

Students must submit an application for admission through the Graduate School. Meeting minimum standards does not guarantee admission to the program, and the entire package of submitted materials—GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and research statement—is considered as a whole.

All entering students must have, as a minimum, competency in mathematics through ordinary differential equations, competency in atomic and nuclear physics, and competency consistent with an introductory course in nuclear engineering. If such competencies do not exist, the student must take appropriate courses for undergraduate credit. In addition, students without a BS degree in nuclear engineering, or the equivalent, must take 433 (Radiation Protection) and 470 (Nuclear Reactor Theory I), both of which may be taken for graduate credit. Contact the department for more information at utne@utk.edu.

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