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Graduate Application

The GRE requirement has been waived for the Fall 2025 admission cycle.

We are delighted that you are preparing to pursue graduate opportunities with CFS. Please read through the application procedures and follow the appropriate links to application materials. The procedures detailed on this page are for students interested in the general MS (non-ECE) and PhD concentrations.


Application Procedure & Review

Graduate admissions for the fall cycle applications are due by December 1st before your intended year of entry to be considered for priority application. Students are strongly encourages to apply for the fall admission date, and they enter in August, with the start of the academic year.

Your application will be reviewed once we have received an online application to the Office of Graduate Admissions that contains both the Graduate School and Child and Family Studies-specific requirements:

Official academic transcripts. Submit official transcripts from all academic institutions you have attended. The graduate school requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7. However, our students generally have GPAs above 3.0.

3 References/Recommendation letters. Ideally all three (but at minimum two of the three) rating sheets or letters of recommendation should be academic references (e.g., professors, research lab managers) who speak to your academic performance and ability to be successful in a graduate program.

Curriculum vitae (CV). We created this template CV for you to consider using if you have not created a CV before. The CV is similar to a resume but is more detailed to include your achievements, awards and honors, publications and presentations, along with research, leadership, work, and other professional experiences.

Statement of intent. A high-quality letter of intent will discuss:

  1. how an applicant’s current career plans align with graduate study in CFS,
  2. how their education and other experiences (e.g., research, clinical, employment, volunteering) have prepared them for graduate study in CFS, and
  3. how their current research interests (essential for MS-PhD and PhD program applicants) and/or professional goals align with the faculty in the department.
    Identify and name 1-2 faculty with whom you would want to work, explaining how their work fits with your interests.

There is no page limit but high-quality letters of intent are typically 3-4, double spaced pages.

Please refer to our Faculty page to learn about each faculty member and their areas of research. We encourage applicants to contact Dr. Amy Rauer, the CFS Director of Graduate Studies, or any faculty member you are interested in working with ahead of submitting your application to discuss the program and your interests. We recommend that applicants receive feedback on their letter of intent (and CV) from academic references prior to submitting.

Non-refundable application fee. The Graduate School requires an application fee of $60. This fee is paid online at the end of the graduate school application process. The application fee for readmission is $30 (including “change of program”).

Access and Diversity Fee Waiver. A challenge for some Historically Underrepresented Minority (URM) applicants is paying the application fee for graduate admissions. The Graduate School is leveraging Access & Diversity Funds to assist URM applicants to overcome this potential barrier by providing a limited number of graduate application fee waivers. This is for the purpose of ensuring that potential URM graduate applicants are not lost in the process due to an inability to pay the graduate application fee. Download the instructions for eligibility, the submission process and the approval process.

If you intend to request a graduate application fee waiver and are eligible, please submit your request to the Director of Graduate Studies by November 1, 2024. This will allow us to submit a request to the graduate school on your behalf and permit you to receive full consideration for admission into our program. We are uncertain how long the graduate school will take to review and approve (or decline) such requests and having your request submitted to us by November 1 will allow for additional time for review and processing. Please email the Director of Graduate Studies if you have additional questions

Please 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” as the degree.

 

Graduate Contacts

Director of Graduate Studies
Amy Rauer, PhD
arauer@utk.edu

Administrative Program Specialist
Rachel Heston
rxb289@utk.edu

865-974-6382