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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, continues to celebrate a year of record achievements with recognition from the 2024 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, released today. UT rose two spots among all public universities to 51st and rose 10 spots among all public and private institutions nationally to 105th out of 426. UT is one of only two Southeastern Conference schools that improved in the public rankings. The annual rankings highlight and celebrate institutional excellence.

“I am proud of the momentum we’ve built in recent years, particularly our achievements in student success, research and academic excellence,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “It is always nice to see the hard work and success of our students, faculty and staff recognized by others. I’m especially proud of our reputation as a university on the forefront of innovation.”

Impressive Rankings for Faculty Research and Innovation

UT was highly ranked in a new category measuring faculty research and was recognized for the first time in the innovation category.

In faculty research, UT ranked 19th among public institutions and 41st nationally. The metric is based on research citations in partnership with Elsevier (a global leader in information and analytics) with data from 2018 to 2022.

In the innovation category, UT ranked 29th among public institutions and 58th nationally. The category is measured by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans who are asked to nominate up to 15 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

“These rankings in the categories of faculty research and innovation testify to our university’s growing reputation as a land-grant research institution, committed to making life and lives better through our discovery and engagement missions,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick. “I am constantly impressed by the impact that all our faculty and staff have every day on our students, our communities, and our partners everywhere.”

Supply Chain Number One in SEC, 3rd Among Public Institutions

The university’s supply chain management program, in the Haslam College of Business, ranked 3rd among public institutions and 4th nationally, and is still number one in the SEC.

High rankings were received in other areas of business:

  • The Haslam College of Business rose one spot to 25th among public institutions and 38th nationally.
  • Accounting rose three spots to 23rd among public institutions and rose 11 spots to 46th nationally.
  • Business analytics ranked 15th among public institutions and 29th nationally.

Tickle College of Engineering Rises

UT’s Tickle College of Engineering rose four spots to 34th among public institutions and rose seven spots to 61st nationally.

Rise in Retention and Graduation Rates

This year’s rankings had a greater emphasis on social mobility and outcomes for graduating college students. UT rose in the category of first-to second-year retention, increasing a percentage point to 89%.

U.S. News added a new metric measuring first-generation student graduation rates, with UT attaining 60%. UT also increased 1 percentage point to 73% for six-year graduation among all students.

“At the University of Tennessee, we’re delighted to see our unwavering focus and dedication toward retention and graduation rates reflected in the recent U.S. News and World Report rankings. Our unwavering commitment to nurturing and empowering our students has yielded outstanding results, especially in supporting first-generation students,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “These rankings reaffirm our tireless pursuit of excellence and our mission to provide every student with a transformative educational journey.”

UT also ranked 50th among public institutions as a best college for veterans. More than 1,400 student veterans and military-connected students are currently pursuing degrees on campus. UT has been consistently recognized as a military-friendly school.

Messages from Campus Leadership

John Bell, head of the Department of Supply Chain Management in the Haslam College of Business: ”Over the last several years, we have worked to implement a comprehensive integrated supply chain management curriculum that focuses on relevant current developments in the industry and equips students with a broad knowledge base and applicable skills. While this ranking indicates that our work is paying dividends, we will continually strive to make the program even better.”

Stephen Mangum, dean of the Haslam College of Business: “Students who choose the Haslam College of Business immerse themselves in a first-rate business learning environment and take advantage of multiple experiential learning opportunities. The college is always working to improve the undergraduate academic experience, and these rankings are a reflection of those efforts.”

Matthew Mench, dean of the Tickle College of Engineering: “The Tickle College of Engineering is thriving, and we are pleased to see that reflected in this ranking. We have recently set records in enrollment, diversity, intellectual property creations, and research expenditures, which is creating an increasingly strong foundation for both the future of the college and our students.”

About the Rankings

The information forming the basis for the 2024 U.S. News and World Report rankings was collected using a wide range of data sources. U.S. News analysts and editors calculated more than 80 Best Colleges rankings. The rankings highlight colleges that excel in such areas as value, social mobility, teaching and meeting veterans’ needs. They also highlight historically Black colleges and universities and six academic disciplines (business, computer science, engineering, nursing, and – new this year – economics and psychology.)


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,

Cindi King (865-974-0937,