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Graduate Application

CFS M.S. and Ph.D. Graduate Application

We are delighted that you have chosen to pursue graduate opportunities with CFS. Please read through the application procedures and follow the appropriate links to download the appropriate application materials. The application procedures are the same for MS and PhD applicants.

Students interested in the general MS (non-ECE) or PhD concentrations should follow the procedures detailed on this page. To have a packet of application materials mailed to you, e-mail Sonja Spell or call her at 865-974-1713. Please note that you must apply both to the Department of Child and Family Studies and the Office of Graduate Admissions at the University of Tennessee.

Application Deadline

The priority application deadline is February 1. Applications submitted by February 1 are given priority consideration for assistantships and campus visit invitations. Efforts will be made to consider applications after this date; however, late applicants may miss funding opportunities.

Initial Considerations

Students coming from the Early Childhood Education (ECE) PreK–3 undergraduate concentration who would like to pursue graduate studies for this program should contact their faculty advisor.

Application Procedures

1. Complete and submit an application to the Office of Graduate Admissions. You may apply online.

2. Send official college transcripts and GRE scores. International students must submit TOEFL scores.

• The graduate school requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7. However, our students generally have above a 3.0.
• We do not take any other test forms as substitutes for the GRE.

3. To finalize the application, the Graduate School requires an application fee of $60.

• This fee can be paid online at the end of the graduate school application process.
• NOTE: In the section of the graduate application form labeled “Type of Admission,” you will be asked to identify a major and the degree you seek. Enter “Child and Family Studies” as the major and either “MS,” “PhD,” or “MS-PhD” (forthcoming) as the degree.

4. Upload a letter of intent and your curriculum vitae to the “Materials” section of the online application.

Application Review

1. Your application will be reviewed once we have received the following:

• three rating sheets
• updated CV or resume
• letter of intent
• $60 application fee owed to the graduate school (or $30 for readmission)
• graduate school application (including the departmental application)
• official transcripts from academic institutions
• official GRE and/or TOEFL

Transcripts and test scores will be forwarded from the graduate school to CFS once the graduate school has approved admission. All materials must be in the department prior to the date of review (February 1).

2. GRE scores are a required component of the application package.

Preference in admission will be given to applicants whose combined verbal and quantitative scores are at least 1000 (297 on the new GRE). In exceptional circumstances, admission will be considered for students whose GRE scores are below this score provided their other credentials are outstanding.

3. TOEFL scores are a required component for international applicants.

A demonstration of English proficiency is essential for admission to the program. English proficiency must be sufficient to allow a student to work with the necessary creativity of thought and intellectual initiative required for thesis and dissertation work. A student’s English language expression must allow for active participation in and contribution to seminar discussions. Proficiency in spoken English must be such that advanced doctoral students can take on independent teaching. Preference in admission will be given to applicants whose individual component TOEFL scores on the i-bt test are greater than or equal to 24; alternative forms of the TOEFL test should show similar levels of proficiency on the test components. In exceptional circumstances, admission will be considered for students whose TOEFL component scores are below these scores, provided their other credentials are outstanding.

Quick information:

1. Applications are due by February 1 of intended year of entry. Students generally enter during the fall semester.
2. The application fee for new applicants is $60. The application fee for readmission is $30 (including “change of program”).
3. There are two applications that must be completed: the graduate admissions online application and the CFS department application (included in the main online application).
4. The link to the Graduate Admissions website is:
5. The easiest way to retrieve more information about the CFS graduate program is through our website. Any specific questions about this process can be directed to the contacts listed below.

Graduate Contacts

Associate Professor
Hillary Fouts, PhD

Graduate Secretary
Sonja Spell

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