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  • Allison Grandits

GRAND Report: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

On paper, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a lot of features my families often want. It’s a large school in a city, with many of the traditional “college experiences” and isn’t too far from home. Last summer, I ventured up I-75 to learn more about the school myself. While the tour was cut short due to a severe thunderstorm, I still feel like I learned a lot about UTC. Keep reading the GRAND Report to see if UTC could be your GRAND Fit school.


As I mentioned above, UTC is in the heart of Chattanooga, just blocks from the Tennessee River. There are just over 11,000 students on campus, and while most come from Tennessee, UTC is seeing growth from neighboring states as well as California and Texas. About 25% of students identify as a person of color, and one of their strategic goals is to increase diversity on campus.


Admission to UTC is straightforward, and they are allowing students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher to apply test-optional. If a student has below a 3.0, but at least a 2.5, they can apply if they have at least a 21 ACT or an equivalent SAT score. Test-optional candidates must also submit one teacher recommendation. While the admission deadline is July 1, students must apply by December 1 for merit scholarships. Admissions release decisions on a rolling basis, typically within three weeks of a completed application. 

UTC is an excellent place for students looking for a blend of lectures and discussion courses due to the student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, and 82% of classes are under 30 students. UTC is home to 4 undergraduate colleges and an Honors College. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest school with 13 departments. The Environmental Science department is notable for its six concentrations, including Environmental Policy and Planning. Students can also earn BM in Music Therapy, which is uncommon at the undergraduate level. 

Speaking of STEM, the College of Engineering and Computer Science is home to 8 majors, including seven types of Engineering. Computer Science has four concentrations to choose from, including Data Science and Cyber Security. Students who want the more hands-on Engineering could earn a BAS in Mechatronics Engineering Technology or a BS in Engineering Technology Management. The College of Health and Professional Studies is also a popular place for STEM students, specifically Kinesiology and Exercise Science. Additionally, the college houses Education, Health and Human Performance, and Nursing.

Finally, the Gary W. Rollins College of Business is home to some of the most popular majors, including Entrepreneurship. All majors can take advantage of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which aims to engage, equip, and encourage student initiatives.


UTC students are proud of their Mocs and spend a lot of time cheering for one of the 14 NCAA Division 2 athletic teams. Students receive free tickets to every home sporting event, and Football and Basketball are the most popular. There is even a Superfan group called “Moc Maniacs.” If sports aren’t your thing, there are 160+ active student organizations in which to engage. Greek life is relatively widespread, with 14% of men and 16% of women joining one of the 24 chapters. The UTC Echo releases new issues every Tuesday, and the Fine Arts Center typically puts on four productions a year. Other popular events include Homecoming, Step Show, and the UTC Bonfire. Also, students take advantage of the urban setting surrounded by nature. Hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking are popular weekend activities.


UTC focuses on the three P’s: People, Partnerships, and Performance, to make sure students are engaged and inspired to enrich their community. First-year students are strongly encouraged to live on campus, and about 75% of them do. However, those students who live with a parent/guardian, or those who are married/have children, are exempt. A variety of residence halls are available, and Freshmen can live in the on-campus apartments if they so choose. There are also 8 Living Learning Communities, which are opportunities for students who take at least one course to live in the same residence hall. They include business majors, Honors program, teaching, engineering/computer science, STEM, entrepreneurship, first-generation, and international students. For more information, take a virtual tour or schedule a visit.


UTC has an estimated cost of attendance of $21,038 for in-state students and $39,056 for out-of-state students, depending on housing, meal plan, books, and personal expenses. However, students from the states that surround Tennessee, plus South Carolina are eligible for the Border State Rate, which drops tuition down to $8,958/semester. Fees, room/board, books, and personal expenses are extra. Merit scholarships are also available to students who submit test scores, and they do require a separate application. Students must be accepted before they can apply, and most scholarships have a deadline of December 1. About 15% of students receive a merit scholarship, and the average award is $4,145.  To find out your estimated cost of attendance, use the Net Price Calculator.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this GRAND Report for UTC. Need help finding your GRAND Fit school? Contact Allison or visit Grand Fit Educational Consulting.

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