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Kristina Kravchenko is one of the two top graduates of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at UT—but that’s not even her most amazing feat.

A Knoxville native, Kravchenko is graduating with her bachelor’s degree at 17 years old. Records indicate she’s one of the youngest UT graduates ever.

Kristina Kravchenko
Kristina Kravchenko

More than 4,000 students, including 3,038 undergraduates, 805 graduate students, 96 in law, and 82 in veterinary medicine, are participating in UT commencement ceremonies this week. For full details concerning security, parking, ceremonies and speakers, see the Spring Commencement 2017 website.

Kravchenko has been able to complete her college studies early because she homeschooled until age 13 and then attended Roane State Community College. She transferred to UT at age 15 to finish her bachelor’s degree.

She majored in animal science and has gained additional hands-on experience with animals through her job as a kennel technician at Ideal Veterinary Hospital in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“I would like to work with large animals,” she said. “Engaging in something active that involves physical activity and hands-on learning has also always interested me.”

Despite being younger than her fellow students, Kravchenko doesn’t think her college experience was much different than theirs.

“The most challenging part of being in college at such a young age was not being able to drive or have a job until I was 16 years old,” she said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t know if I missed out on anything because I have nothing to compare it to.”

Kravchenko is now applying to veterinary schools with hopes of beginning those studies in the fall of 2018.

“If anything, getting a jumpstart on my career will allow me to retire at an earlier age,” she said.

Kravchenko’s older brother, Mikhail, an electrical engineering major, is graduating from UT on the same day she is—one ceremony later.

Kravchenko was recently featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,