University of Tennessee at Knoxville Nursing School Review

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UT, UTK) is one of the oldest public universities in the nation. It was founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state, as Blount College. It moved to its current location in 1826, and became the University of Tennessee in 1879.

UT is located in Knoxville, which is Tennessee’s third largest city and has a population of over 180,000. UT has the benefits of being in a city, but is also close to nature. The Knoxville area has over 80 parks, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just an hour away.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This program allows students to earn their BSN degree and become eligible to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam.

Students may be admitted directly into the program as freshmen. Admission is based on high school GPA, ACT or SAT scores, personal statements, interest and commitment to nursing, and other factors such as the applicant’s high school curriculum, leadership and extracurricular activities, and difficulty of senior level courses.

If admitted to the program as freshmen, students will be eligible for upper level nursing courses when they are full time students, finish their general education courses, have a 3.2 GPA, and have at least a C grade in all classes.

Accelerated BSN

This program is for students with a baccalaureate degree in a subject other than nursing. Students will be able to complete their BSN degree in 12 months with this intense, accelerated program. After graduation, they will be allowed to take the RN licensing exam.

Students are selected for the program based on their cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, course withdrawals and repetitions, grade improvement, interest and commitment to nursing, probability of completing prerequisites before the beginning of the program, and space availability.

The prerequisites for this program are Chemistry I and II, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology, Statistics, Human Development or Psychology, Nutrition, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, and Introduction to Nursing.


RNs that graduated from a diploma or associate degree program in nursing may enroll in this program to earn their BSN. The classes for this program are offered online, so that working RNs can continue their career while they further their education. Students can complete the program full time in three semesters, or they can take it part time.

Students will receive credit for their nursing proficiency, and for prior nursing courses, provided they are equivalent to UT courses.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program offers concentrations in Administration, Adult Health, Family Nurse Practitioner, Global Disaster Nursing, Mental Health, Nurse Anesthesia, and Women and Children. Students may opt for thesis or non-thesis program.

To be eligible for admission, students must submit their GRE scores, have a BSN degree or other bachelor’s degree, and have at least a 3.0 GPA. If students don’t have a BSN, they must take the prerequisites of Chemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition, Social Science, General Psychology, undergraduate Research, and Statistics.


Students with a diploma or associate degree in nursing, an RN license, a 3.0 GPA, letters of reference, a personal statement, and completed prerequisites may apply to the MSN program. Once the student completes all 300 and 400 level courses, they will be awarded a BSN degree.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program is for students who want a clinical doctorate degree in nursing. Students need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing, a 3.0 GPA, submit their GRE scores, submit an essay, rating forms from instructors or supervising nurses, and schedule an interview.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing

The PhD in Nursing program is for nurses who specialize in research or education. Students must have an MSN degree, or have a BSN and be an outstanding applicant. They must also have at least a 3.3 GPA, an RN license, complete a basic statistics course and graduate nursing theory, submit their GRE scores, a sample of scholarly writing, an essay about personal and professional goals, and have an interview.

Students that are interested in becoming nursing faculty may pursue the certificate in Nursing Education option.

University of Tennessee – Knoxville
320 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0230