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Students walk to class on UT campus on a sunny day.

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Friday voted to guarantee admissions for Tennessee’s top high school students to all UT System campuses, including Knoxville. The enhanced admissions policy is an effort to further the university’s land-grant mission and recruit the brightest Tennessee students. The board also approved renaming the building that houses the Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs.

Guaranteed Admissions Policy

Specific to the flagship campus in Knoxville, the new undergraduate admissions policy would guarantee admission to the university to all Tennessee high school students who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Finish in the top 10% of their high school graduating class or
  • Achieve a 4.0 or higher core grade-point average (GPA).

The UT System has information about how the new admissions policy impacts other campuses in the system.

UT Knoxville calculates a core GPA based on an applicant’s grades in core subject areas including, English, math, science, history and foreign language.

All applicants will be required to submit ACT or SAT test scores and must meet campus application deadlines for admission.

Current Tennessee high school seniors will be eligible to apply under the guaranteed admissions policy for fall 2024. The policy does not guarantee admission into a particular college, school, department, major or program within the university.

The enhanced policy will expand access, recruit more of Tennessee’s top performing students to the university and promote greater geographic representation from across the state.

The Board of Trustees will review the policy annually.

Baker School Building

The board also approved renaming the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy Building as the Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs Building.

The change reflects the recent establishment of the Baker School and continues to honor the legacy of the late Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. and his many contributions to the nation, the state of Tennessee, public leadership and civil discourse.

The Baker School is the first school of public policy and public affairs at any public university in Tennessee and houses the bipartisan Institute of American Civics.


Lisa Leko (865-974-8698,