Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Referring to the Institution

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

When referring to the university for the first time, use the full name of the university. Note that the comma is required. In running text, set Knoxville off with a pair of commas (or other punctuation as the context dictates). Always include the as part of the university name. In running text (as opposed to headlines and other display text) the should be lowercase unless it begins a sentence.


  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the state’s flagship institution.
  • Welcome to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • He is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


On second and subsequent references to the university, use only UT.


  • UT offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees.
  • If you have questions about the event, contact the UT Office of Media and Internal Relations.


  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is not required to refer to the university on first reference in major, well-branded university publications, such as magazines and annual reports. Simply using UT is acceptable.
  • Omit the second comma in the possessive: the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s brand standards.
  • Using only UT on second and subsequent references can often become cumbersome or repetitive for the reader. Using the university (always lowercase in running text) is acceptable to avoid repetition.
  • If required for clarity in contexts that include the UT System or other campuses, UT Knoxville is acceptable.

Unacceptable Treatments

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
University of Tennessee—Knoxville
UT, Knoxville

*Note that the abbreviation UTK is acceptable only in URLs and email addresses and must be lowercased. For example, and are acceptable.

The University of Tennessee System

References to the system follow the same basic principles: Use the University of Tennessee System on first reference in most settings, and the UT System and the system as you would use UT and the university.