The primary mission of UT is to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate the citizens of the state of Tennessee, the nation, and the world. As the preeminent research-based, land-grant university in the state, UT embodies the spirit of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and engagement attained by the nation’s finest public research institutions.
UT’s Carnegie Classification is Research University (very high research activity). Most undergraduates are full-time, and admission is selective with a fairly low transfer-in rate. Admission to graduate and professional programs is also competitive. Graduate offerings include master’s, doctoral, and professional programs that focus both on research and practice. Nationally ranked programs, as well as our partnerships with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are among UT’s unique characteristics.
UT embraces a three-part vision: Value Creation, Original Ideas, Leadership.
- Value creation through economic, social, and environmental development targeted to an increasingly global and multicultural world.
UT leads an increasing number of academic and public service activities that involve and benefit the local community, the state of Tennessee, the United States, and ultimately, the world. This continuing commitment to the public good, through a variety of outreach activities, is grounded in our tradition as a land-grant institution.
- Original ideas that advance society through discovery, inquiry, innovation, research, scholarship, and creative activities.
Our ability to create value is dependent on discovering new knowledge and generating new ideas and expressions. The complex concerns of the 21st century cannot be addressed with existing knowledge and systems. Our aim is a dramatic increase in these activities, requiring the interaction between committed, diverse faculty, staff, and students.
- Leadership through the preparation of capable and ethical leaders.
UT’s diverse graduates have unique and enriched learning opportunities accruing from the comprehensive mission of UT. We expect a large proportion of graduates will take their places as leaders in the state of Tennessee and beyond.
Values — The Volunteer Spirit
The following values support our mission and vision and comprise our definition of the Volunteer Spirit. While our strategic focus may evolve over time, these enduring principles continue to permeate who we are, what we do, and how we accomplish our goals.
At UT we value:
- broad diversity, including people of all races, creeds, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientations, gender identities, physical abilities, and socioeconomic groups;
- a culture that appreciates and respects faculty, staff, and students and that acknowledges their interdependence and the vital role of every member of the Volunteer family;
- engagement with our local and extended communities, embracing intercultural and global perspectives;
- high standards of ethical and professional behavior;
- intellectual curiosity, pursuit of knowledge, free exchange of ideas, and academic freedom and integrity;
- transparent and data-informed decision making;
- wise management of resources and infrastructure; and
- our campus, our people, and our work.