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Undergraduate Research & Fellowships Graduation Recognition

The University of Tennessee would like to recognize students who participant in undergraduate research and fellowships programs/experiences. Through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, students may apply to receive a cord or the cord & Medallion to be worn during graduation.

There are two levels of recognition:

  • Excellence in Undergraduate Research – receives a cord
  • Distinction in Undergraduate Research – receives a medallion & cord

The application period for December 2022 Graduation will close on December 1, 2022.


If you have any questions on your application or criteria met, please feel free to request a 1-on-1 research advising appointment or attend a Graduation Recognition Workshop:

Nov 15: Graduation Recognition Virtual Workshop, 4-5pm Register Here

Nov 22: Graduation Recognition Virtual Workshop, 4-5pm Register Here

Nov 29: Graduation Recognition Virtual Workshop, 4-5pm Register Here

Three items from either list will qualify you for the Excellence in Undergraduate Research cord. Starred items are repeatable through multiple event participation.

Excellence in Undergraduate Research & Fellowships

  • Discovery Day – Presenter*
  • EURēCA – Presenter*
  • Annual Student Art Competition – Participant*
  • Celebration of Excellence Music Competition – Participant*
  • DRA (Departmental Research Assistantship) – Recipient
  • FRAF (Faculty Research Assistants Funding) – Recipient*
  • SURGE (Summer Undergraduate Research Group Experience) – Participant*
  • AURA (Advanced Undergraduate Research Activity) – Recipient*
  • URSA (Undergraduate Research Students’ Association ) – Symposium Presenter*
  • URSA (Undergraduate Research Students’ Association) – Leadership Position
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowship – Applicant*
  • Pursuit Journal of Undergraduate Research – Reviewer
  • Pursuit Journal of Undergraduate Research – Leadership Position
  • TEDxUTK – Leadership Position
  • Completion of Honors or Senior Thesis (or planned completion by graduation date)
  • ORNL Research Internship*
  • UTK discipline specific conference presentation of your research

Two additional items from the list below (after obtaining the level of Excellence) will qualify you for a Distinction in Undergraduate Research medallion. Starred items are repeatable through multiple event participation.

Distinction in Undergraduate Research & Fellowships

Complete the form below to submit your request to receive the cord or the cord & medallion.

Each activity listed need to come with proof so that we can complete verification in a timely manner. For each activity you must provide a link or pdf to proof of your participation.
Criteria must be completed by the application date to be valid. To allow for verification time and ordering of materials, applications received after the deadlines posted may not be awarded the cord or medallion in time for commencement ceremonies.

Applicants will receive an email once criteria has been verified with further pickup instructions. The verification window will occur after the application deadline, but may occur sooner if applications are submitted earlier than the deadline. Additional information may be requested if needed.

The application for May 2023 graduates will be available in January.