Founded as Blount College in 1794, and acquiring its current moniker in 1879, the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of the oldest universities in the US and is the largest in the state of Tennessee.
Today, the institution, based in the southern US city of Knoxville, employs more than 9,800 faculty and staff in its 11 colleges, and offers more than 300 degree programmes.
While the University of Tennessee Knoxville does have an international student cohort, hailing from more than 90 countries, the majority of its undergraduates are from the US southern states of Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Many of its 25,000 graduates and undergraduates are attracted to the university by its lush campus – it has more than 230 buildings set in 560 acres – as well as its close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is about a 45-minute drive away.
The university is also a major research hub, overseeing (in partnership with the Battelle Memorial Institute) one of the biggest government laboratories in the US, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The ORNL’s scientific programmes focus on energy, systems biology, materials, neutron science and national security. The laboratory also houses one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
Meanwhile the School of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is the base for the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Initiative, which is considered by the US Department of Energy to be America’s “best local clean fuels programme”.
Notable alumni include James Buchanan, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, and Charles Scott Abbott, inventor of the board game Trivial Pursuit.