Graduate School: New Graduate Student Orientation & Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation

The Graduate School will be hosting its New Graduate Student Orientation on Monday, August 10 (8:30 am) and the Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation on Tuesday, August 11 (8:30 am). Both events will be held live online, and will last into the afternoon.

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thesis/dissertation: the second deadline,

If you are in a thesis/dissertation program planning to apply for the second deadline, please be aware that the final deadline for submitting thesis/dissertation approval sheet and pass/fail form is May 27 by 5:00pm. Please visit get more information on all graduation deadlines.

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English 122: A Course for Multilingual Scholars

English 122: A Course for Multilingual Scholars will be offered in fall 2020 on Wednesdays and Fridays 8:00-9:55am. This course is appropriate for graduate students in any year of their master’s or doctoral programs. For more information, see the attached flyer or contact the instructor, Laurie Knox, at, or the Interim Director, Hooman Saeli, at

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Important message to Graduate Students

TO:                  Graduate students working on campus during Phase 1

FROM:             Dixie Thompson, Dean of the Graduate School

RE:                   Message to GRA/GTA/GAs returning to campus during Phase 1

DATE:              May 11, 2020


As we begin the slow and measured return to campus activity, more people are going to be coming to campus to work starting on May 11 (see the university’s return-to-work plan). This includes SOME graduate students. Please note that only those graduate student employees who have been notified by their supervisors that they are part of the exception plans for working on campus should return during Phase 1. Most graduate students and other employees will continue to work remotely during Phase 1.

As noted in the guidance for supervisors, all employees, including graduate student employees, must self-screen before coming to work and confirm to their supervisors that they are clear to be on campus. Everyone must perform a self-check for COVID-19 symptoms daily before coming to campus. Graduate students are responsible for confirming with supervisors that all their answers to the below questions are “no” before reporting to work. Please confirm to your supervisor the completion of your self-check using your preferred method of communication (screening app, email, text, or phone call). Although various approaches may be used to communicate with your supervisor, the preferred method of communicating your answers is through a self-screening app ( developed by the Office of Information Technology. You can log in and submit your responses to the daily health check questions. Your supervisor will be notified automatically. If the person who is your daily supervisor is not listed on your health screen form, please enter that person’s email address under the section labeled “(Optional) Additional Email Address.” Specific answers to your health questions are not needed; you must simple reply yes or no. You should stay away from campus if the answer is “yes” to one or more questions. These self-screening questions are subject to change based on health department guidelines, but for now the questions are:

  • Have you been told to quarantine/isolate by a medical provider or the health department?
  • In the last 14 days, have you had face-to-face contact for 10 minutes or more with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19 or traveled to a location with a CDC COVID-19 warning?
  • Are you experiencing a new cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?
  • Have you had at least two of the following new symptoms: Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, Vomiting, Diarrhea or Loss of taste or smell in the last 48 hours?
  • Was your temperature 100.4 or above this morning?

When you do return to campus, it is imperative that you practice social distancing and good hygiene. You should limit your contact with others and the spaces you visit on campus to only those necessary to complete your job functions. See for more information and to answer questions that you may have.

Following these guidelines is essential for us to have a safe return to campus.

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Virtual Graduate Hooding: Class of Spring 2020

Yesterday would have been the day of your Graduate Hooding Ceremony and tomorrow, May 9, 2020 is your Official Graduation Date.

In German, there is a saying, “aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben.” It roughly means that just because you had to postpone something doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. Please know that the Graduate School will welcome you to a future Graduate Hooding Ceremony to celebrate your accomplishments in person.

For now, we have a short video greeting from Dr. Bassett, our department chair, and Dr. Dzikus, Director of Graduate Studies:

Please also visit the virtual graduate hooding page for our graduate students, which you can find here:

We would like to encourage everyone (students, faculty, staff, family) to share on social media during that time using #UTGrad2020. We’d love to see graduation pictures, family celebrations, and words of encouragement and congratulations. We may not be able to celebrate in person, but let’s make sure to celebrate your accomplishments.

We are so proud of you and can’t wait how you will change the world for the better!

Your KRSS family.

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In spring semester because of the extraordinary circumstances we faced with the sudden transfer to online delivery for all classes, students were given the opportunity to change grade mode until April 22. Some students missed this deadline, so the University Registrar has created a process for exceptions to be considered. The memo below outlines the process. Please note – this is NOT for instructors to make new grading modes available. This is only for students to switch between grading modes already available for a course


May 6, 2020


Given the unprecedented circumstances related to COVID19 during Spring semester 2020, it is the recommendation of the University Registrar that the following Request for Exceptions protocol be put in place to support students given what can be considered a catastrophic event. This recommendation is in alignment with related relief being given through various state and federal agencies for Spring 2020.

Request for Exception to Grade Mode Change Protocol

  • Students who wish to be considered for a grade mode change (past the April 22, 2020 deadline) from A-F to S/CR/NC or from S/CR/NC to A-F may contact their Academic Advisor, Coach, Instructor, Major Advisor, etc. and request an exception to the grade mode change.
  • UTK faculty/staff will review student situations and send a completed “Request for Exception” form outlining student situations involving extenuating circumstances for consideration to the University Registrar’s office via GradeMode.RequestForm
  • Additional supporting documentation (student email attachment, etc.) may be emailed to in support of the submission. Submissions will be limited to one course per student. Students requesting multiple courses are required to have one submission per course.
  • The University Registrar’s office will accept Requests for Exceptions to grade mode change from UTK faculty/staff beginning May 6 through 12:00 noon (EST), Thursday, May 14, 2020.
  • The Exceptions Review Team will review all Requests for Exceptions to grade mode change on a daily basis beginning Friday, May 8, 2020 and make decisions on all student situations no later than 5pm, Friday, May 15, 2020.
  • The Exceptions Review Team will notify the student and UTK faculty/staff responsible for the original submission of final decision via email communication.
  • The University Registrar’s office will be responsible for making any approved grade mode changes and will work with instructors when a grade change as a result of an approved grade mode change is needed.

    Exceptions Review Team

  • The Exceptions Review Team will be comprised of a representative from the following areas: o 1 University Registrar representative
    o 1 Academic Advising representative
    o 2 Faculty member representatives

    o 1 Student Life representative
    o 1 Student Success representative (for undergraduate submissions) o 1 Graduate School representative (for graduate level submissions)

  • Each representative will have one vote per student request for review.
  • Four votes in support of the approval must be made in order for a request for the grade mode change

    to be approved. One of the four votes for approval must include a faculty representative vote.

  • Graduate level submission review must include a representative from the Graduate School and an

    approval for a change to a graduate or professional level student grade mode change will require the approval from the Graduate School representative.

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Considerations for Requests for Exceptions

  • Technology issues
  • Communication delays
  • Student decision-making in uncertain environment
  • Student success lens – Ensuring students are supported with prioritization on retention & completion


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Residency classification

Your residency classification has an impact on your tuition and fees. Your initial classification is determined by the information you have provided on your application for admission to the Graduate School. If you believe that your initial residency classification is incorrect, you may appeal the classification. If you are choosing to appeal your residency application, be sure to submit your appeal to the Office of Graduate Admissions prior to May 27, which is the deadline for paying your fees for summer 2020. If you submit your appeal after May 27, your registration may be cancelled for non-payment of any outstanding fees. The final deadline for submitting a residency appeal for summer 2020 is June 5. Any appeals received after that date will be reviewed for fall 2020.

Those participating in the Work Rule Program must submit their Work Rule Application and verification of employment letter(s) from in-state employer(s) to the Office of Graduate Admissions May 27.

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