Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

University of Tennessee Overview

Founded in 1794 and headquartered in Knoxville, the University of Tennessee (UT) is the state’s land-grant, higher-education institution and flagship public university. The UT System is comprised of campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin, the Health Science Center at Memphis, the Space Institute at Tullahoma, and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service. The oldest and largest public university in the state, UT is ranked among the nation’s top 40 public universities, offering 300 academic programs to approximately 42,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.  UT is classified as a Research University with Very High Research Activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation.  In FY 2014, the UT System conducted approximately $261 million in research projects funded by federal agencies, state agencies, and private industry.

A key feature of UT is our history of strong and successful interactions with the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the nation’s largest multipurpose national laboratory.  Along with Battelle Memorial Institute, UT has co-managed ORNL since 2000.  UT’s relationship ORNL was established over 60 years ago and provides unparalleled research and learning opportunities for faculty and students through 75 joint faculty appointments, and five Joint Institutes  with research areas that include advanced materials, biological sciences, computational sciences, heavy ion research, and neutron sciences.  This unique partnership also includes an interdisciplinary graduate program in energy science and engineering (CIRE), and the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair (GC) program. The CIRE program seeks to explore the breadth and depth of twenty-first century scientific challenges by bringing together the best and brightest minds, offering competitive doctoral fellowships to attract the top tier graduate students from around the world.  At present the GC program includes 14 distinguished scientists with expertise in fields ranging from nuclear energy and nuclear security; to fuel cells, energy storage, and smart grid power technologies; to polymers, microbiology, and molecular biophysics; to advanced manufacturing and urban design. The GC program links faculty expertise with world-class facilities and strengthens the capacity to address the most pressing scientific questions.