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Graduation Recognition

The University of Tennessee would like to recognize students who participant in undergraduate research. Through the Office of Undergraduate Research, students may apply to receive a cord or a medallion to be worn during graduation.

There are two levels of recognition: Excellence in Undergraduate Research, receives a cord and Distinction in Undergraduate Research, receives a medallion. A student may earn both recognitions.

Three items from either list will qualify you for the Excellence in Undergraduate Research cord.

Excellence in Undergraduate Research

  • EURēCA presentation*
  • Discovery Day presentation*
  • URSA Symposium Presenter*
  • Annual Student Art Competition participant*
  • Celebration of Excellence Music Competition participant*
  • UTK discipline specific conference presentation of research
  • Applicant/Candidate for a national research-focused award*
  • ORNL Research Internship*
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Award*
  • URSA Leadership Position
  • Reviewer, Pursuit Journal of Undergraduate Research
  • Undergraduate Research Peer Mentor (in office)
  • 3 Minutes to Win It valid submission
  • Completion of Honors or Scholars Thesis (or planned
    completion by graduation)

Two additional items from this list (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

  • Award winner EURēCA
  • Award Winner Annual Student Art Competition
  • Award Winner Celebration of Excellence Music Competition
  • Research Abroad (minimum of 8 weeks)
  • Author, Pursuit Journal of Undergraduate Research (or article accepted for next issue)*
  • Non-UTK discipline specific conference presentation of your research
  • Recipient of a national research-focused award*
  • NSF or NIH Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Research participant off-campus & non-UTK related experience (excluding ORNL, min 8 weeks)
  • Award Winner Undergraduate Awards, Ireland (commended and higher)*
  • NCUR Presenter*
  • Presenter at Posters at the Capitol, Nashville*
  • Presenter at Posters on the Hill, DC*
  • Author, Peer Reviewed Publication (or article under review with mentor verification)*
  • Recipient of Chancellor’s Award for Undergraduate Research
  • 3 Minutes to Win It award winner

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

All information will be verified.


Students may verify what activities have been registered with the Office of Undergraduate Research by previewing their Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT) via myUTK. Under “My Services” there is a “Preview My Co-Curricular Transcript” option.

Report missing or incorrect Undergraduate Research information.

Application deadline for December 2020 graduates is Tuesday, December 1st.
*Criteria must be completed by this 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.