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Adult Student FAQs

As an adult student, we recognize that you may have a different experience from many of the students you share our campus with. We want to help you be successful throughout your UT experience and have worked with current adult students on campus to compile a list of frequently asked questions to assist in your transition to and through the University.

As an adult student, you are bringing with you a range of skills from previous employment opportunities and life experiences that your traditional-aged peers likely aren’t bringing with them. These skills can range from time management and organization to improved communication and leadership skills. While adjusting to being in the classroom can take some time in many cases you are bringing with you a foundation that your peers are not.

Never forget your motivations for coming back to school. Whether you are doing this for your family, potential employment opportunities, or just because of a passion for learning, these goals are what drove you to get here and will help to drive you to be successful as a student at the University of Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee is committed to helping ensure the success of all students who are enrolled, and that includes you. Three great resources for you as you complete your degree at the University of Tennessee are your academic advisor, the Student Success Center, and Student Disability Resources.

Your advisor is here to help you plan for your degree and can work with you to find the right balance of classes to meet your academic goals while also keep the demands of life in mind.

College of Architecture and Design
103C Art + Architecture Building
(p) (865) 974-3232
(w) Architecture and Design Academic Advising

College of Arts and Sciences
313 Ayres Hall
(p) (865) 974-4481
(w) Arts and Sciences Academic Advising

College of Communication and Information
202 Communications Building
(p) (865) 974-3603
(w) Communication and Information Academic Advising

College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
332 Bailey Education Complex
(p) (865) 974-8194
(w) Education, Health, and Human Sciences Academic Advising

College of Nursing
203 College of Nursing Building
(p) (865) 974-7606
(w) Nursing Academic Advising

College of Social Work
401 Henson Hall
(p) (865) 974-3352
(w) Social Work Academic Advising

Haslam College of Business
342 Haslam Business Building
(p) (865) 974-5096
(w) Business Academic Advising

Herbert College of Agriculture
126 Morgan Hall
(p) (865) 974-7303
(e) Varies by Major/Department
(w) Agriculture Academic Advising

Tickle College of Engineering
316A Perkins Hall
(p) (865) 974-4008
(w) Engineering Academic Advising

The Student Success Center provides students with support through tutoring, supplemental instruction, and academic coaching. Academic coaching is a great resource for students who need a little help honing academic skills ranging from test taking to notetaking and a number of things in between.

Student Success Center
324 Greve Hall
(p) (865) 974-6641
(w) Student Success Center website

Student Disability Services is here to create an equal playing field for all students and help all Vols be successful. If you have test anxiety, need to take tests in a quiet environment, need a notetaker for classes, Student Disability Services can help pair you with resources that will ensure your success on Rocky Top.

Student Disability Services
100 Dunford Hall
(p) (865) 974-6087
(w) Student Disability Services website

In order to be considered full-time for a given semester, students must be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours. For summer, 12 hours must be taken during the full summer term to be considered full-time during the summer. If only looking at summer term, six hours for each separate term of the summer session are required for full-time classification.

Part-time can mean a couple of different things at the University of Tennessee:

  1. A student who takes 9-11 credit hours in a given semester is considered a three-quarter time student.
  2. A student is considered half-time when taking anywhere from 6-8 credit hours in a semester.
  3. A student who takes 1-5 credit hours is considered less than half-time.

Full-time students are eligible for more financial aid than part-time students are, so be sure to talk to One Stop about which student status makes the most sense for you, and never drop from full-time to part-time without talking to your academic advisor and One Stop first!

If you are taking classes and working full-time, talk to your advisor about programs that they have to support you! Some employers may offer fee waivers or tuition reimbursement.

The decision is completely up to you and your daily schedule! A general guideline is that for every “hour” of a class, expect to spend 3 hours preparing outside of class (i.e. reading, homework, projects, etc).

For example, a 3-hour class (like an English or math class) would have 3 hours in the classroom per week. For this same, you would expect to need to devote approximately 9 hours of time to prepare for the next class session.

How does that fit with your current schedule? Reading on your lunch break, in the morning with coffee, maybe homework after dinner or on weekends?

Transfer and Adult Students are required to attend a one-day orientation session through New Student and Family Programs. During these one-day sessions, you will hear from a variety of campus partners and learn more about housing, dining, parking, and safety, and will hear more about what it means to be a Volunteer. You will also meet with your academic advisor, register for classes, and get your student ID, known as a VolCard.

For more information on one-day orientation sessions and the Office of New Student and Family Programs, visit

UT does accept some outside credits from external tests. This includes CLEP, but not DANTES. When transferring in these credits, you will work with your academic advisor and the Office of the Registrar to find out how they fit into your transcript. You can learn more about prior credits by visiting

Office of the Registrar
209 Student Services Building
(p) (865) 946-3864 or (865) 974-1111

As an adult student, you may find yourself wondering where you can call home on Rocky Top. If you don’t already have a place to call your home sweet home, you might consider looking at the on-campus residence halls at the University of Tennessee by checking out, or maybe check out the off-campus housing options around UT by going to

University Housing
Magnolia Hall (2107 Andy Holt Avenue)
(p) (865) 974-2571
(w) Housing website

Commuter Student Engagement
Student Union, Suite 368
(p) (865) 974-4656
(w) Commuter Student Engagement website

If you are an undergraduate student who is enrolled in six or more credit hours, you will be automatically enrolled in the $300 Flex Plan. If you would rather have a meal plan, you are certainly allowed to sign up for one. Unsure of which option will be the best for you? Head to for more information on dining at the University of Tennessee.

Volunteer Dining
Presidential Courtyard Building (PCB), Suite 108
(p) (865) 974-4111
(w) Volunteer Dining website

If you are parking a car on campus for any length of time, you will need to purchase a parking permit! Click here to purchase your parking permit online. Remember to print your temporary permit at the end of the transaction. Please note that you will have to wait until 24 hours after you register for classes to purchase your parking permit.

Parking and Transit
2121 Stephenson Drive
(p) (865) 974-6031
(w) Parking and Transit website

No way! Each year, more than 200 adult students enroll at the University of Tennessee. We cannot wait to welcome you to Rocky Top and have you join our Big Orange Family.

In fact, many faculty members report that they enjoy having adults in the classroom. Adult students often engage with faculty more than traditional-aged students do by asking questions, starting discussions, and keeping interactions flowing. Adult students also have real-world experiences that can give depth to class discussions. Adult students also tend to be very conscientious about homework and readings, setting a high standard for other students to follow.

Check out the interactive UT map at, where you can even search for the building you are looking for.

If you are looking for a walking tour of campus, during Fall Welcome Week, we offer class schedule tours before classes begin. You also have the option of booking a tour with Undergraduate Admissions through the Visitors Center to get a better feel for campus.

Undergraduate Admissions (Campus Tours)
Student Union, Suite 282
(p) (865) 974-1111
(w) Undergraduate Admissions website

The Early Learning Center is on-campus and is a great option for many families; however, there is a waiting list. We recommend checking out the ELC at and checking out local daycare centers across the Knoxville community to find a place that meets your needs.

Early Learning Center
1206 White Avenue
(p) (865) 974-0843
(w) Early Learning Center website

We recommend that you first reach out to your professor directly to explain the situation and begin the conversation. Start the semester by introducing yourself to your faculty members and help them to understand your specific situation as it pertains to work, family, and life in general. This will help them to be more prepared when things come up.

Additionally, you can go to to fill out an absence notification request, which allows you to submit formal documentation or verification of the emergency to the Office of the Dean of Students, who in turn contact your professor.

Office of the Dean of Students
Student Union, Suite 383
(p) (865) 974-3179
(w) Dean of Students website

Did we leave something out? If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to, email us at and we can help you find the answer! Welcome to Rocky Top and Go Vols!