The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Reviews

  • 129 Reviews
  • Knoxville (TN)
  • Annual Tuition: $31,664
92% of 129 students said this degree improved their career prospects
88% of 129 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 10/20/2021
  • Degree: Biology
"I earned my PhD in the XYZ department (not disclosing which department or exactly during which years to maintain my anonymity and protect myself). I will also say that I am writing this review with a level head and calm attitude at a certain period of time after I earned my degree. I learned a few things along the way. For one, the undergrads seem to have a decent thing going for them. Unfortunately, the grad students are generally swept under the rug and have to fend for themselves. Very few of the faculty seem be concerned with the success of the grad students. This is not to say that the faculty members are not contributing scientists or decent folks. Some of them are well-respected or otherwise well-known (or used to be) scientists in their field of study. Some are "famous" scientists. Coursework: there are only 2 or 3 relevant upper-level courses offered in the XYZ department for the grad students. Only one of these courses has any sort of analytical or critical thinking component. The other few are essentially worthless and commonly known as a joke of a course. Even the faculty will admit that the courses are a joke. There is a common trend for the faculty to spend most of the class time palling around with the grad students, casually and infrequently mentioning a "neat paper" (and then not bothering to dive into how and why it is so "neat"). Many times the grad students are expected to lead the class or teach a lesson. This is actually a good thing in practice. However, due to the complete lack of rigor in the department the grad students often don't know exactly what they are talking about. Again, this can be a good learning experience. BUT, there is never a point where the professor in charge chimes in to correct a mistake or to highlight something important that should be discussed more deeply. Important analyses are never explained in the slightest detail. They are casually mentioned and breezed over. There is no instruction whatsoever at any point. As long as the student-instructor does not completely butcher every aspect of their lecture they often earn full points. This invites endless opportunities to confuse the other students. There is a palpable sense of apathy in the classroom. It is bizarre. This is especially frustrating as someone who is desperate to learn as much as possible. There is no structure in the department. Each academic advisor essentially makes up some arbitrary way to say that, "yes, this person can have an M.S. or Ph.D", and they give their nod to whatever almighty power that prints the diplomas. There are no standards for preliminary or final exams or any specific qualifications or abilities you need to display. Essentially, any student that stubbornly survives the process gets their advanced degree. It doesn't matter how poorly they perform. Some branches are worse than others. I will not divulge exactly which specific branch of study in the department - but many of these advanced degrees are essentially given away. Some faculty will openly admit to this academic sin or refer to it casually. Ultimately (especially for PhD - level studies), the student should display an ability to teach themselves complex analyses and to learn how and why the scientific method is best applied their field of study. However, there is still massive gaping hole in the educational process. It is rather frightening and depressing to watch this hole expand. Part of my project suffered immensely because some folks over my head "lost" or "misplaced" tens of thousands of dollars that were specifically delegated to my research project. The issue was discussed and shrugged off in a matter of seconds at a meeting. This was federal funding that required a lot of work to acquire - completely dismissed and forgotten. How does this compare to other Universities? In the USA or internationally? The educational process seems to be incredibly diluted. I sincerely hope that these are isolated issues. If not, "advanced degrees" are simply a product of an automated factory process."
  • Reviewed: 12/19/2019
  • Degree: Military Science
"The University of Tennessee has all of the resources of public university and the staff of a private university. While UTK can seem overwhelmingly large, professors and staff are committed to helping students succeed. Even after graduation, my professors went above and beyond to write letters of recommendation that helped me get into one of the most competitive masters programs in the country and went a step further to write a second letter to help me secure a scholarship. While I was at UT, I was in a sorority, a foreign language club, helped create a Minor in Leadership Studies, went on an alternative spring break, participated in endless volunteer opportunities and spent every Saturday of fall in Neyland Stadium."
  • Reviewed: 10/11/2019
  • Degree: Business Analytics
"My experience at UTK was pretty good. I enjoyed the friendships, the many opportunities to volunteer, and living in a college town. I loved the atmosphere of being around people who wanted to learn and better their lives. I'm sure I probably wouldn't recognize the school because of all of the construction going on, which was a negative for me. Also, I did not receive financial aid as an out-of-state student. However, I have heard they were doing a better job of that. As far as my program, I would say it was challenging, but that the software taught is not what jobs, at least the ones I applied for cared about (with the exception of SPSS). So, make sure you take the time to learn others. Most people I knew who were in the program had to continue to graduate school to be able to get jobs they wanted- mainly because you really do have to know what you are doing. I believe what could make the program better is if they make it a requirement to have internships with partner companies (in areas other than southern states) to give students that real world connection, so that grad school can be seen as a choice and not a necessity. Overall, though, I loved my teachers as they cared about my success."
Angela R. Walton
  • Reviewed: 9/17/2019
  • Degree: Computer Engineering
"The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) is a wonderful school with many majors of study for undergraduate and graduate degrees. The campus is beautiful and the athletics department is full of spirit. Knoxville has really grown since the 1990's and there are so many things to do on and off campus. However, you may not need to leave campus for amazing fun and you will certainly receive an extraordinary education! My experience at the UTK was in the late 80's/early 90's. As a minority student studying Electrical Engineering, there was an amazing support for students in what was then called the Minority Engineering Scholarship Program (MESP). It has since been renamed as a Diversity Program. The staff, professors and administration of UTK are par excellence. There are many opportunities to be involved in the UTK community. Whether you are interested in intramural sports, music, debate, theatre--there is something for you to be involved in at UT! Go Vols! You'll say that a lot! Our Big Orange colors and are school spirit are second to NONE! AT UT--camaraderie ABOUNDS! As a student on scholarship, I appreciated the financial services. As an out-of-state student, my scholarship did not cover all expenses, however, there are so many opportunities for work-study on campus to supplement financial assistance as a student. I enjoyed my experience and my education at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I have life-long friends that I love and cherish today. We still speak of the wonderful times we had on campus. I wouldn't trade it for the world! Go Vols!!"
Kristen Curry
  • Reviewed: 9/3/2019
  • Degree: Accounting
"I attended the flagship school of the state of Tennessee. One thing that really made my experience amazing was my involvement. I was in marching band as well as the treasurer of an academic honor society. I was a part of every game day experience and participated in the induction of the bright minds of very focused students. With school itself, it is always great to see new improvements being made. However, it would have been amazing to have something that lasts like the old university center when I started in 2012. It felt like I wasn't able to enjoy what made a great memory for more than 2 years. The professors were amazing and challenging. I will always remember how my first math professor helped me work through my work because he knew what I had the potential to do. I had a great start, got challenged in the middle, and had an even greater finish. The accounting and finance department is what I can comment on specifically. It was one of the most challenging yet rewarding moments I have experienced. It created a certain grit when you reach the end that made me thankful later down the line in my career path."
April Boyd
  • Reviewed: 6/26/2019
  • Degree: English
"My time at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville was the best four years of my life to date! The professors are not only committed to providing their students with quality education, but they are also extremely accessible. Their doors were always open and I felt comfortable coming to them with any questions or concerns I had. The campus itself is beautiful and creates a wonderful working environment and to top it all off they are constantly activities, program, and organizations that will make you proud to be a VOL. The campus is constantly working on providing safe spaces to students and they are open to suggestions if any arise. "Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me!""
Kaelyn Barker
  • Reviewed: 3/29/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"My undergraduate experience was great. There were definitely ups and downs with professors and really tough courses, but as a whole, I would not go back and change any of it. I feel like things happen no matter what school you go to, so keep that in mind. The services at UTK are pretty spectacular. They have all the typical departments that are necessary to grow as an undergraduate. The Career Center is a vital tool for exploring options and resume building; the financial aid office (while usually very busy) still very helpful for understanding scholarship and loan requirements; the writing center is fantastic for building up your writing skills for numerous reasons; lastly, free tutoring through the tutoring center can help with difficult classes. Now currently at a graduate degree under a different university, I do see areas of improvement for my alma mater like a money education center and more professional development courses. However, it fits me well for what I needed during my time there."
Alexandra Pitzer
  • Reviewed: 3/20/2019
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"I attended UT from 2012-2015 as a transfer student from a private college. i majored in French Language and World Business with a minor in Business Administration. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UT and never regretted my decision to transfer. It's true that you can make a big school feel small but you can't make a small school feel big. I made UT feel small by becoming involved in student groups, which totally enhanced my experience. You must be comfortable advocating for yourself and investigating opportunities for scholarships and involvement, because class sizes can be big. Professors care, but you will have to work to make them remember you in a sea of faces, especially in lower level classes. Overall, if you like the challenge and opportunity of finding your path in a big crowd of people, I would highly recommend UT."
  • Reviewed: 3/8/2018
  • Degree: Business Administration
"The University of Tennessee is an outstanding school. I completed my undergraduate degree there and returned a few years later at the graduate level. In my undergrad career, I experienced incredibly dedicated and helpful professors. The University's commitments to diversity and social justice, the environment, mental health and safety, and outstanding education are evident. In addition to being an outstanding institution, campus has a great location, and Knoxville is a wonderful place to be."
  • Reviewed: 11/28/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"Honestly, UT is a great school overall. There're plenty of activities that the university hosts weekly, besides you're literally a five minute walk from the bars/restaurants around campus. The only thing that is horrible about UT has to be the parking. Most of the time there's no parking, and when you find a spot, your class is going to be a 20 min walk from you, so you better walk up early. Though, if you live near campus, you could just walk to class."
Former TN Vol
  • Reviewed: 11/16/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"The experience of getting my MA in Experimental Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville was a mixed bag. I'll begin with the pros: * I felt like I had the skills to start up my own lab as a faculty member after just 3 years in the program. There are 1-4 grad students per lab, and they are in charge of running the entire lab. They go out into the community and recruit participants, run them within the lab, analyze data, write papers, present at a variety of conferences yearly, troubleshoot within the lab, manage a team of undergrads... The responsibility is huge, but it was a great learning experience for development both of my hard and soft skills. * It is easy to develop great relationships with the other grad students because you work together every day in the lab setting from at least 9 am - 5 pm. * There are a lot of opportunities for professional development, such as taking part in Diversity Council, and it is incredibly easy to join. * All students are fully funded. Don't have to pay for classes and you receive a small but livable stipend. Some of the cons: * Since you do have a lot of responsibilities as a grad student, it is inevitable that you will get the point of chronically unhealthy. Too much is expected of you, and complaints are met with little sympathy from mentors and faculty. It's a hazing process and there's a lot of burnout among the students. * There is little research freedom. Your research is only exactly what your mentor wants to research. There can be some issues with micromanaging and constantly trying to guess what it is your mentor wants you to say/write. * Some faculty like to "punch down" and say/do unsupportive things to grad students. * There can be a lot of drama in the department. The best way I can summarize my experience was the grad program is that it was a pressure cooker. Everyone was stressed and overworked but in the end you come out a very strong academic. I am very glad to no longer be in the program, but I am also very glad that I went through it. Keep in mind that the program's priorities, and your work as a grad student, is almost entirely about lab work. Classes are last priority."
Drew Grimes
  • Reviewed: 10/18/2017
  • Degree: Business Administration
"The University of Tennessee was a great choice for me to take my collegiate career. The various challenges I faced over previous four years groomed both my character and my strength my confidence within myself to know that I can accomplished anything I put the effort towards. Specially the Haslam College of Business was extremely helpful with their students, by providing resources, job fairs, internships, free goods, and advising for when ever I faced a problem. I experimented with three different degrees while at UT but I found my home within the college of business."
PhD Student
  • Reviewed: 10/10/2017
  • Degree: Nutrition
"The PhD program in community nutrition is a rigorous program with an emphasis on public health nutrition. The faculty are very knowledgeable, approachable, and truly care for your success. Although the program does not have specific PhD classes within the department, various other departments help to fill these voids. The flexibility in the later years of the program allow students to explore more specific coursework in other departments."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Biomedical Sciences
"Its a great opportunity. Please use all the resources available."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Engineering
"It is excellent. The professors were all incredibly helpful, and my advisor was wonderful with helping me once I graduated. I highly recommend UTK!"
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Public Health
"Grad school was an excellent experience at UT. The instructors were thought-provoking, challenging and caring. Highly recommend!"
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Engineering
"the funding is enough, but the place is not good"
S Gardner
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Social Work
"The staff there are top notch and encourage learning and critical thinking. The internships are developed thoughtfully and well supervised. The buildings were old in the social work buildings but they have done a lot of updates since I went through the program."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Business
"Worth it! The confidence and skills you learn will apply to much more than just your chosen career."
Emily Massengill
  • Reviewed: 6/13/2017
  • Degree: Political Science
"The University of Tennessee provided me with an exceptional education. I had many professors that were willing to go above and beyond in order to provide additional insight or review of the material. Not only did I feel that the faculty was highly accessible when I needed additional help with school work, but that they were also invested in my future success. They would provide career advice and graduate school advice whenever I asked. I believe my time at the University of Tennessee has sufficiently prepared me for my next step in life, which is attending law school."