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From ever-increasing research dollars to affordability and value, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is recognized by many for its high-quality programs and initiatives that prepare students to thrive in a global economy.
As the state's flagship, research-intensive university, UT is the state's leader in promoting education, research and public service and continues to strengthen its impact on the citizens of Tennessee.
U.S. News and World Report ranks UT Knoxville 47th among all public universities for 2011, up five spots from the previous year, and 104th among all national universities in the list that includes 260 American universities offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
U.S. News and World Report also ranks UT graduate programs among the best in the nation for 2012. The College of Engineering's graduate program in nuclear engineering is ranked ninth nationally. The supply chain management and logistics program is ranked 10th among all national universities, and the College of Law's clinical training program is 12th nationally.
The magazine ranked UT's College of Business Administration undergraduate business program 34th in the nation among public institutions in 2011. The magazine also gives high rankings to the college's undergraduate program in supply chain management/logistics, which ranked ninth nationally and seventh among public universities. The College of Engineering undergraduate program ranked 37th among public institutions.
Several graduate programs are ranked on varying cycles but were featured in the 2012 report:
Forbes Magazine lists UT in its 2010 edition of "America's Best Colleges" based on quality of education and how much graduates achieve after receiving their degree. Forbes also cited UT Knoxville's College of Business Administration as 42nd out of 75 for its MBA program, on a list that contains both public and private institutions.
The Princeton Review lists UT in its 2011 edition of "The Best 373 Colleges," making the grade with just 15 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges and universities. UT also was cited for the third year in a row for its environmental efforts, scoring an 85 on the publication's "green rating."
The magazine also named the full-time MBA program one of the nation's "Best 300 Business Schools," and the College of Law one of the "Best 172 Law Schools" in its 2011 editions of those publications.
The Princeton Review also named UT a "Best Southeastern College" for its high standards and outstanding reputation among higher education institutions in the Southeast. The magazine in 2011 also ranked UT Knoxville among the 100 "Best Value Colleges" based on undergraduate academics, affordability and financial aid.
UT's student body is another sign of the university's strides in academic quality. The 2009 class of 3,723 entering freshmen had an average core GPA of 3.79 and a 26.5 average ACT score—the highest ever for an entering class.
Forty percent of the incoming freshmen had GPAs of 4.0 or higher. There are 40 National Merit scholarship winners in the incoming freshman class.
The HOPE Scholarship began in 2004, and UT Knoxville officials say the scholarship has impacted the flagship university more than any institution in the state by increasing applicants, bolstering incoming students' academic preparedness and allowing the university to increase access by creating need-based scholarship programs. About 99 percent of in-state freshmen qualified for the HOPE Scholarship.
Fifteen of the nation's top students recently accepted the invitation to attend UT Knoxville as the inaugural class of Haslam Scholars—a premier program that offers special opportunities for undergraduate research projects and study abroad.
Graduate students from UT Knoxville recently were awarded prestigious Fulbright and DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) external scholarship grants to study and research in Europe. A new Office of External Scholarships focuses on helping students compete for these and other top awards like the Rhodes, Marshall and Truman scholarships.
UT Knoxville is committed to the support and advancement of research as a way to enhance the lives of people across Tennessee, the nation and the world. The campus hires faculty with a commitment to world-class research and provides the support necessary for them to bring research dollars to Tennessee. From 2004 to 2009, sponsored research awards at UT Knoxville increased 55 percent, from $113 million to $179 million.
The University of Tennessee is classified as a research university with very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Commission. The Center for Measuring University Performance, formerly Lombardi, an organization that ranks the top 200 research universities, ranked UT 31st nationally, up from 47th.
UT is a key economic driver in the state and its partnership with Battelle Memorial Institute to manage Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) supplies the fuel for continued growth and diversification. This partnership formalizes the university's longstanding collaborative relationship with one of the nation's premier research facilities and the U.S. Department of Energy's largest national laboratory.
UT Knoxville's Center for Business and Economic Impact recently estimated the economic impact of the campus on the state of Tennessee at more than $800 million, which accounts not only for direct expenditures by the university, but also the multiplied impact of things like spending by employees, jobs created by research funding and more.
Funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to UT Knoxville is at an all-time high. New awards from NSF for 2009 totaled more than $24 million, and four major NSF awards since 2007 have vaulted UT Knoxville into the national spotlight with funding for world-leading science and research endeavors.
UT Knoxville is now home to the one of the world's most powerful academic computers. Called Kraken, the computer is funded by a $65 million NSF award—the largest in the history of the UT system. The computer will allow researchers from UT Knoxville and around the world to find answers to humankind's most pressing questions from climate change to drug design. Kraken is the world's sixth fastest computer.
Joining Kraken will be Nautilus, a $10 million supercomputer whose purpose will be to take the staggering amount of data created by computers like Kraken and interpret it in ways that are meaningful. Not only is UT Knoxville leading the way in big computing, but it is leading the way to ensure that computing research has a broader impact on the world.
NSF also recently awarded UT Knoxville $16 million to begin the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a first-of-its-kind center dedicated to finding creative solutions to major ecological and biological problems from animal disease to wildfire control. NIMBioS brings hundreds of scientists to UT Knoxville and puts millions of dollars into the local economy.
The NSF also has awarded $3 million Integrative Graduate Education Research and Training, or IGERT, awards to two UT Knoxville research groups studying sustainable technology and scalable computing. The centers will bring the nation's top graduate students to UT Knoxville.
UT's managing partnership with ORNL is enhancing the state's role as a growing hub for research in topics that will affect the lives of all people in the coming years, including alternative energy, national security and the creation of new materials. ORNL's crown jewel is the Spallation Neutron Source, which allows researchers from the United States and all over the world to use neutrons to understand the most fundamental structures and processes of matter, transforming it for uses that were unimaginable even a few short years ago.
UT and ORNL have created joint institutes in areas such as biological sciences, computational sciences, heavy ion research, nanophase materials sciences and neutron sciences. These joint institutes take advantage of the instructional and research strengths offered by the university and the national lab, and have already served as magnets for top researchers and major funding for centers housing resources like Kraken.
UT Knoxville is now home to five UT-ORNL Governor's Chairs. These faculty members, who hold a joint appointment with ORNL, are among the nation's best and brightest, and were recruited to UT Knoxville as part of the ambitious program that is supported by funding from the state of Tennessee. By providing resources for these faculty to conduct cutting-edge research in relevant topics, UT is establishing itself as a powerful hub for top scientists.
UT Knoxville's Center for Business and Economic Research measures the dollars the institution generates. Conservatively, UT Knoxville's impact approaches one billion dollars -- that's 24,000 jobs and $80 million in tax revenue.
UT Knoxville contributes to every aspect of life, from theater and music, science and technology, to law and athletics. The institution is moving forward in its mission to be the preeminent public research and teaching university linking the people of Tennessee to the nation and the world.