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Graduate Admission

Please note that completion of a Master’s Degree is expected prior to full admission into a Ph.D. program. To apply for admission to a graduate degree program in geography is a two-stage process. First, you must be admitted into the Graduate School of the University. After the Graduate School certifies that you meet its requirements, you may then be considered for admission to a graduate degree program in geography. Normally these processes occur simultaneously, but to get them underway you should finish documentation as follows:

Submit to the Graduate Admissions Office through the online application submission process:

  1. Complete the on-line Graduate Application for Admission.
  2. $60 non-refundable application fee.
  3. One unofficial transcript (official transcripts required after being admitted) from all colleges and universities attended, except The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  4. For applicants whose native language is not English: self-reported TOEFL or IELTS scores (official scores required prior to admission).
  5. Reference letters or rating forms.
  6. Note: The department has removed the GRE requirement permanently for graduate admissions.

Submit Department Application for Admission to a Graduate Degree Program in Geography (online)

  1. The direct link to the UTK Graduate School’s on-line application is:
  2. Geography Department’s application form: included in the UTK Graduate School’s on-line application.

Admission Deadlines:

Applicants are advised to consult the admission deadlines published by the Office of Graduate and International Admissions ( Spring Semester: application packages for domestic and international applicants must be complete and submitted to the Office of Graduate and International Admissions by June 15th. Summer Semester: The Department of Geography does not normally admit new graduate students for Summer Semester. Fall Semester: To be assured consideration for first-round departmental funding offers (Graduate Teaching Assistantships) for Fall Semester, all application materials for domestic and international applicants must be received by December 15th (please note that this date precedes the deadline for the Office of Graduate and International Admissions of February 1st). Applications submitted after December 15th will be considered for departmental funding in early February.

The absolute deadline for receiving completed application packages is April 15th. Applications for funding received after that date will be considered as opportunities become available. Because funding offers are made on an annual basis, we do not normally offer initial funding to students who wish to enter the program in Spring or Summer Semesters.

Information for International Applicants:

International applicants are required to submit additional documentation for issuance of the I-20. As a result the following deadlines are required.

Term Application Deadline File Completion Deadline*
Fall February 1 May 15
Spring June 15 October 1
Summer November 1 March 15

* File Completion Deadline means that by the date listed, all application materials must be received, the department must make a decision, and any conditions placed on an offer of admission must be satisfied by this date.

Note to All Applicants:

If there is no record of your matriculation within approximately six months of the date for which you have been admitted to a graduate degree program, or if your application remains incomplete following the date of intent to matriculate, the Graduate Admissions Office is likely to destroy your file. If you decide to change your matriculation date, therefore, you should inform the Office of Graduate Admissions, in writing, prior to the date originally noted on your application form.

Accepting/Declining An Assistantship:

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville adheres to the following resolution by the Council of Graduate Schools:

Acceptance of an offer of financial aid (such as graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by an actual or prospective graduate student completes an agreement which both the student and graduate school expect to honor.  In those instances in which the student accepts the offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15.  However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made.  Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer.   It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

Housing Options for Graduate Students:

Please check UTK Graduate School’s housing page for housing information.

For further information about our graduate program in Geography write to:

Hyun Kim, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Geography
304 Burchfiel Geography Building
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0925