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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find online, hybrid and distance education (DE) courses offered by the university?
Visit the online or hybrid course directory to locate undergraduate online and hybrid courses.

Visit the distance education (DE) campus course directory to locate DE campus courses.

How do online classes work?
Online and hybrid courses and programs are offered by academic departments at UTK. Courses are delivered through Online@UT (Canvas)Zoom, and other digital teaching and learning tools as deemed appropriate by your instructor. Students enrolled in online programs and online and hybrid courses are held to the same high academic standards and have similar educational experiences as students taking on-campus courses.

Some online classes are synchronous, in which instructors and students meet online at the same time each week using Zoom. Other classes are asynchronous, meaning students complete coursework at their own schedule within the parameters of the instructor’s syllabus. Students still have to meet deadlines and may be required to submit assignments each week. When registering for an online course, be sure to pay attention to any date /time meetings listed, along with information posted in the comments section.

May I enroll in a Distance Education campus program if I live outside of Tennessee?
There are laws in each state that govern an institution of higher education’s ability to offer programs in that state. The University of TN, Knoxville operates in the state of Tennessee, and under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, commonly known as SARA.

UTK is permitted to deliver Distance Education programs to students living in other SARA member states. Please review the information about SARA member states before applying. 

Distance Education academic degree programs at UTK that require internships, field placements, clinical rotations or other practicum experiences, and that lead to professional licensure must also comply with state requirements as well as board regulations within the student’s home state. Current and perspective students should become familiar with their state’s regulations and professional licensing requirements with state boards where they reside or plan to reside as a practitioner. For additional details visit the Professional Licensure and State Authorization information page.

Distance Education programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville that lead to professional licensure and/or require an internship, practicum or other field placement cannot currently admit students from the state of California. This includes Distance Education programs in the College of Nursing.

If you are unsure whether or not your prospective program requires an internship or leads to professional licensure, contact the academic department offering the graduate or undergraduate program for additional information.

How do I apply to a Distance Education campus program?

Graduate Admissions
Students interested in enrolling in a Distance Education campus Graduate Program must apply to the Graduate School and must meet specific program requirements. Details can be found through departmental websites listed on the Online Programs page.

Non-degree Seeking and Visiting Students
A student who has been awarded a bachelor’s degree and does not want to earn another undergraduate degree may take classes, including those offered online, as a non-degree seeking student. Note: non-degree seeking students may not enroll as a distance education campus student.

A student who attends another college or university as a full-time student in good standing and who intends to return to that college may attend UT for one semester as a visiting student.

Undergraduate Admissions
Students interested in applying to the Online RN to BSN Program should visit the Admissions page for the Registered Nurse to BSN (RN to BSN) program for details. 

Students interested in applying to the Online BSSW Program should visit the Online BSSW Program page for additional information.

Transfer Students
Students who are interested in transferring to UT from another institution, should visit the Transfer Students page for detailed information on becoming a Vol.

Where can I find out more about costs?

One Stop Student Services provides detailed information about tuition and fees, including the Online Support fee. Beginning in fall 2018, Distance Education students enrolled in fully online (off-campus) programs will pay the following tuition and fees:

  • In-state maintenance fee per credit hour taken
  • Reduced out-of-state tuition (for non-residents)
  • Library fee
  • Distance Education fee of $56 per credit hour
  • Program fee, if applicable
  • Course fees, if applicable

The Distance Education fee is used to support the technology needed to deliver online courses to Distance Education students, as well as the creation of new courses and course material for future programs. You should also check with the department offering your DE program for additional information about program fees.

Please note: Students enrolled in Distance Education programs (aka fully online programs), pay fewer fees than students enrolled in on-campus programs/classes. Because of this reduction in fees, students enrolled in Distance Education programs do not qualify for the following services: University housing, Student Health Center access, student health insurance, Student Counseling Center access, RecSports access (e.g., Aquatics Center, TRECS), student tickets to athletic events, and commuter parking. Distance Education students do not have an option to pay the Student Programs and Services fee.

If your instructor requires online or face-to-face proctoring of tests and assessments, you should be notified of these requirements by the first day of the semester. In the event that a specific fee is established and charged to cover costs associated with proctored testing or verification of student identify, you will be notified upon registration.

I am a current UT employee and would like to go back to school. Where can I find out more about the Educational Assistance Program?

The Educational Assistance benefit is designed to assist regular employees with payment of undergraduate or graduate level tuition. This benefit also provides a student fee discount for regular employees’ spouses and dependent children who are classified as undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee.

Are these programs available through the Academic Common Market?

UT is a member of the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB). If you live in one of the 15 member states, you may be able to participate in the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus (ACM/EC) program. This program “allows students in selected distance-learning programs to pay in-state tuition rates when similar degree programs are not available at colleges and universities in the students’ home states.” For details, please visit The Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus Program page. If you need further assistance regarding a specific UT online program, send an email to

Can I get financial aid?

Degree-seeking online students are eligible to apply for financial aid. Please visit One Stop Student Services for more information about financial aid, scholarships and completing the FAFSA application.

How do I register for classes?

Details about registration can be found at One Stop.

When does an online class start?

Online classes are semester based and follow UT’s Academic Calendar.

How do I access online courses?

Online and hybrid courses are delivered through Online@UT (Canvas), LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), and other digital teaching and learning tools as deemed appropriate by your instructor. Students log into Online@UT and LiveOnline@UT using a secure NetID and password.

How do I take tests and quizzes?

Student assessment may be done online within Canvas using your secure NetID and password. If your instructor requires online or face-to-face proctoring, you should be notified of these requirements by the first day of the semester. In the event that a specific fee is established and charged to cover costs associated with proctored testing or verification of student identity, you will be notified upon registration.

What are the technology requirements for using Canvas?

System requirements can be found here.

What is my NetID?

Your NetID is the username associated with your accounts at UT. It allows you to access various systems such as your UT email, MyUTK, Online@UT (Canvas), LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), online pay statements, the computer labs on campus, and other UT maintained web portals. NetID passwords are required to be changed every 180 days. It is a violation of university policy to share your NetID.

How can I change my NetID password?

Find out more about managing your NetID and password.

How do I get my textbooks?

Textbooks may be ordered online through the VolShop.

How do I get my VolCard?

If you are an off campus student, your department will coordinate the steps for obtaining your student ID.

Where can I get help with technology or Canvas?

Visit the OIT Help Desk and submit a ticket online, or browse the OIT Knowledge Base for answers to FAQs about OIT’s supported technologies.

How can I get assistance with registration if I am in the military or a veteran? 

Veteran Student Services can help you.

What if I have special learning or access needs?

Students should contact Student Disability Services. The office assists students with documented disabilities by determining their eligibility for services and then working with students to determine reasonable accommodations and services which will, in turn, give the student equal access to the university.

How do I access printed library materials?

The University Libraries provide services for off campus students who are enrolled in in an online program. For details, visit the Information for Distance Education page.