It’s easy to see the school spirit on the University of Tennessee’s campus – everyone’s wearing orange! The Volunteer Navy is a fleet of yachts on which students can ‘sailgate’ before football games – UT is one of only three colleges in the US in which the football stadium backs up to a body of water (*trivia question! What are the other two? See below the photo gallery for answer!).
As we waited for our tour to start in the office of admission, we ran into a fourth-year student from the LA area who told us that the University of Tennessee has been “the best place to get homesick,” because of the welcoming community and Southern hospitality. Despite Tennessee’s large size, she told us that she had consistently been invited to professors’ and classmates’ homes for holidays, dinner and for no reason at all. When we asked her why she came all the way to Knoxville, she said that she looked for the best marketing, public relations and business programs, and at the time UT was #7 on the list (it’s #5 now). A graduating senior, she said she was looking for a job back in California after she graduates. But she appreciated the experience of getting out of her comfort zone and going away to college. (She also recommended bookmarking Google Flights, and signing up for price alerts.)
University of Tennessee has nine undergraduate colleges and over 130 programs of study. Nursing is direct-admit and extremely competitive. Engineering is also strong, and boasts 10 astronaut alumni. The College of Social Work has just the one major, and the student-to-faculty ratio is an impressive 5:1. UT’s 5-year architecture program is also direct-admit, with their strong preference that you start as a freshman. The College of Education has a five-year program in which you’ll spend your fifth year in the classroom doing hands on student teaching.
The Center for Career Development is in that brand-new student union and students are strongly encouraged to visit frequently! 600+ companies and organizations recruit UT students through job fairs and other recruitment activities each year. UT’s campus is basically right in downtown Knoxville – you can get pretty much anywhere in downtown in a 5-20 minute walk. There’s definitely a campus feel, but it’s nicely integrated with the downtown area.
Before our tour started, Fabrizio D’Aloisio, the Director of Admission, escorted us to UT’s beautiful new Student Union, a 400,000 square foot facility that’s home to the Visitors’ Center, and had lunch with us after our tour. He could not have been more inviting – come visit! Send us your California students! Here’s the perfect example of students having the opportunity to have a true college experience – you’ll get the rah-rah, the Greek life if you want it (but only 18% of students participate), the campus feel and access to all of the academic opportunities a full research university can offer.
Additionally, University of Tennessee is generous with merit scholarships for out of state students – so it could end up costing you about the same as you’d pay for a UC school! As long as you submit your application by December 15th, you’ll be invited to apply for competitive scholarships.
Evelyn, Lesa and Debbie visited the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in fall, 2019. You can scroll through all of their photos below.