Diversity Statement

Policy Statement:

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center recognizes the value of having an inclusive environment in which individuals from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, races and ethnicities, physical and mental abilities, ages, creeds, cultures, and prior work/life experiences can learn and work together in an environment that values differences. To foster this environment, UTHSC has developed a series of guidelines for the selection of students for its academic programs. These guidelines are designed both to promote campus diversity and to assure campus adherence to all federal and state laws related to discrimination and equal opportunity, including Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Guidelines for Admissions to Academic Programs:

Diversity provides important benefits for the educational enterprise, enriching experiences in the classroom and in clinical settings and facilitating the preparation of students for the different types of environments in which they may be asked to serve – rural/ urban, affluent/underserved, multi-cultural/traditional, etc. Thus, the campus actively encourages applications from individuals who bring unique perspectives to its programs. Admission criteria for academic programs will continue to emphasize academic excellence. However, additional non-academic factors will also be considered and some additional consideration given to applications from qualified individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the health care professions or from counties in Tennessee that are traditionally underserved by the health care professions, from veterans, from other non-traditional students and from students who represent the first in their families to pursue higher education.

Admissions officers and members of admissions committees from within each college will develop and use metrics designed to address both the academic qualifications of each applicant as well as the nonacademic factors listed above. Scholarship allocation will take into account both need and merit, with some additional consideration given to the individuals targeted above as feasible given existing restrictions or criteria for a given scholarship, in order to increase the access for the broadest possible range of students across the state.