orientation-studAfter arrival in Knoxville, all new international students must participate in an International Student Orientation session as soon as possible. Aside from the required orientation sessions, there will be other educational and cultural programs offered during the Passport to UT programs, including the International Student Conference, that will help make your transition to UT and Knoxville easier.

Below you will find more information about the Passport to UT events, as well as links to the schedule and the orientation registration form. If you do not attend Orientation with CIE your program will be terminated.

Passport to UT, Student Orientation and Conference

Passport to UT

Paspport to UT is a series of programs designed to help new international students settle into their new home in Knoxville, TN. Students are encouraged to participate in these educational and cultural programs that take place over a period of days, prior to the beginning of classes.

The two required programs are the International Student Orientation and the International Student Conference. All events take place at the I-House, unless otherwise indicated in the schedule. Students must ensure they arrive in Knoxville before Passport to UT begins.

Passport to UT events will take place from July 29 to August 22.

View/download the >> Passport to UT Schedule (coming soon!) <<

View/download the >>Fall 2015 Orientation Schedule – Calendar Format<<


First-Year and Transfer undergraduate students must also attend Academic Orientation. Click the link for more information and access to the registration page.

Mandatory Student Orientation

Student Orientation is mandatory for all newly admitted international students. The program provides essential information about immigration regulations, taxes, health insurance, transportation, registering for classes and more. Students only need to participate in one mandatory orientation session and must sign up before they arrive at UT.

For Summer Orientation, click on the registration form below to register for the session.

Thursday, May 28, from 9:00am to 12:00pm

The summer orientation date is ONLY for new students who will be starting classes during the Summer 2015 semester, or those students who missed Spring 2015 orientation. Any new student who will be starting classes in the Fall 2015 semester must register for one of the Fall Orientation sessions below.

For Fall Orientation, click on one of the dates below to register for a session.

Wednseday, July 29, from 8:30am to 12:00pm

Tuesday, August 3, from 8:30am to 12:00pm
Thursday, August 6, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm
Friday, August 7, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm

Monday, August 10, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm
Tuesday, August 11, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm
Wednesday, August 12, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm
Thursday, August 13, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm
Friday, August 14, from 8:30 am to 12:00pm


During Passport to UT and before classes begin, students may also choose to stay in a hotel or in off-campus housing. In the Fall semester, temporary housing may be available in the UT Knoxville residence halls. This is subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis. The CIE does not arrange housing for individual students. Visit the housing and the resources pages for information on housing.

English Course Placement for International Students

Three courses—English 121, 131, and 132—focus on teaching advanced English academic literacy to UT students whose first or strongest language is not English. Incoming international students will be placed into one of these courses by the ESL Writing Program based on their TOEFL (or equivalent)  scores used for University admissions.

More information about UT’s English proficiency admissions policy can be found here.

Fall 2015 Placement Guide: Undergraduate Students

English 131 Required:

TOEFL iBT 90 and above, OR
IELTS 6.5 and above, OR
TOEFL CBT 233 and above, OR
TOEFL PBT 577 and above

English 121 Required:

TOEFL iBT 89-70, OR
TOEFL CBT 230-193, OR
TOEFL PBT 573-523

Fall 2015 Placement Guide: Graduate Students

No English Required:

TOEFL iBT 100 and above, OR
IELTS 7.5 and above, OR
TOEFL CBT 250 and above, OR
TOEFL PBT 600 and above

English 121 Required:

TOEFL 99-80, OR
IELTS 7.0 or 6.5, OR
TOEFL CBT 247-213, OR
TOEFL PBT 597-550

Fall 2015 Placement Guide: Exchange Students

Exchange students are not required to take English courses. However, if you would like to take English, please refer to the placement guidelines for undergraduate students above. Please also send an email to esl@utk.edu telling us (1) your full name (2) your student ID #, and  (3) which English class and section you would like to take. If you do not have official scores (TOELF or IELTS) and would like to take English, please read the descriptions below and choose the course best suited to your English proficiency level.

SPEAK Test for Graduate Teaching Assistants

It is mandatory for all prospective Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates whose native language is NOT English to take the SPEAK test during international student orientation. If you are required to take the SPEAK test, your department will need to register you.The SPEAK Test is administered through the Graduate School and you can find more information about the test on their website.