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Admissions Criteria

Applicants must fulfill the general admission criteria for the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee.

Please note that The Bredesen Center has a Fall Entrance Only admission cycle. In order to insure that your application gets reviewed, you must select the Fall term on your application. See the Apply Page for more details regarding our application process and timeline. All supplementary materials must be received by January 15.

Minimum Application Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree from accredited institution
  2. US degree holders: 2.7 out of possible 4.0 GPA; graduate coursework must have earned 3.3 GPA or higher.
  3. Non-US degree holders: 3.0 out of 4.0 GPA or higher; graduate coursework must have earned 3.3 GPA or higher.
  4. Applicants may be required to submit English language certification test scores
  5. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a field of science or engineering.
    • Applicants with other undergraduate degrees may also be admitted on a case-by-case basis, determined by the Bredesen Center Admissions Committee. Dependent on the student’s background, additional coursework may be required to satisfy co-requisites and pre-requisites.
  6. Intention to pursue interdisciplinary research (i.e. research combining strategies and resources from multiple fields of research towards the purpose of finding new solutions).

Applicants must complete the graduate school application for The University of Tennessee, Knoxville to be considered for admission. In order to complete your application, you are required to submit the following supplementary materials through graduate admissions before your application will be considered complete.

Required Application Materials:

  1. A two-page statement of research interest and its relevance to leadership and innovation and interdisciplinary research in the field of either Energy or Data Science. Questions to ask yourself as you reflect on your intention may include the following:
    1. What is the purpose of a Doctoral degree and what am I hoping to do with or get out of the degree?
    2. How do I see myself as a leader, and how might I apply that within this program or my research?
    3. What makes me want to apply to the Bredesen Center, as opposed to other programs at UT or elsewhere?
    4. What are areas of growth that I’m hoping to address during my program? (i.e. strengths and weaknesses)
  2. A copy of your resume or CV
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Official Academic Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)
  5. Official GRE scores The Admissions Committee is not taking new requests at this time
    1. In rare cases, the Admissions Committee may waive the GRE requirement. In lieu of GRE scores, applicants must present evidence of extensive prior graduate study and/or professional practice. If a waiver is desired, we encourage you to make your request early by emailing a one-page justification letter addressed to the committee, as well as a CV or resume. See details below.
    2. If the request is denied, it is possible that you will not be able to schedule the GRE in time to be admitted in the current cycle. Taking the GRE is the safest option, but the Admissions Committee will consider waiver requests.

All supplementary materials must be received by January 15. Please instruct those writing recommendations on your behalf to attach their letter in PDF or Word format on letterhead.


GRE Waiver Requests

  1. Strong requests will provide clear evidence of substantial grad school (more than just working on or even finishing a Master’s degree) or deep​ professional experience.  Professional experience that is largely administrative or lacking technical depth is not persuasive.
  2. The committee faces challenges when they aren’t that familiar with an undergraduate institution, as is the case with most schools outside of the US.  The committee encourages students who have studied overseas to include GRE scores with their program applications to insure most thorough understanding of your strengths.
  3. Although a few waivers have been granted for a foreign national student in a country where the GRE is still not offered due to Covid concerns. The committee cannot guarantee the application will provide substantial evidence for review upon final submission.
  4. NOTE: Receiving a GRE Waiver does not suggest that the application will be offered admission. Instead, it means the committee believes the student’s application can be fairly judged without GRE scores OR that taking the GRE is a burden that the student cannot meet through no fault of their own (see point 3 above).