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Graduate Admissions

Requirements

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.

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 We do not publish minimum scores, but admission to the program is competitive.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.

To Apply

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.

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.

Application Deadlines for Graduate School

  1. The deadline is December 15 for PhD applicants that would like to be considered for our internal fellowships (which provide a higher stipend).
  2. The general PhD application deadline for students desiring to receive offers of support is January 8.
  3. The deadline for MS applicants who would like to be considered for support offers is January 31.

Consideration of applications after these dates depends on funding availability. Students are encouraged to contact the Director of Graduate Studies Jason Hayward about late applications.

Additional Information

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 NE 433 and NE470 both of which may be taken for graduate credit. However, students in the radiological engineering concentration will take NE 551 in place of NE 433. Students electing the radiological engineering concentration must take NE 401, NE 551, NE 552 and NE 490 in their course of study. Contact the department for more information at utne@utk.edu.