Diversity + Inclusion

As one of our strategic priorities, enhancing diversity and inclusion benefits our students, college and campus. To us, diversity goes beyond race and gender, because we know a diverse group of students, those who bring varying perspectives because of their roots or life experiences, yields richer ideas and design.

In 2019, about 22% of the incoming class were minority students, using the traditional definition of race and ethnicity. And our student body is made up of about 39% male and 61% female.

Our students represent a variety of economic levels, regional differences, physical challenges, family dynamics, ages, military backgrounds, high school or undergraduate experiences and more.

Our 2019 incoming class was composed of 32% out-of-state students.

Many of our students are First Gen, the first in their families to go to college, yet many follow generations of scholars.  Some have families of their own, and for many, this is their first time away from home.

One of our student organizations, National Organization of Minority Architects Students (NOMAS), is dedicated to cultural pluralism and seeks to provide a collective voice for underrepresented students by building a sense of community.

And through our active student exchange program, we host close to 20 international students each year, adding another layer of diversity to the studios.

Learn about diversity across the University of Tennessee.


By continually reinforcing values of civility and collaboration, we will support and learn from each other and move this college forward together.

Scott Poole, Dean

Gensler Diversity
Scholarship Winners

In 2010, 2013 and 2017, three of our students earned the Gensler Diversity Scholarship, Asia Dixon, Tabitha Darko and Mustapha Williams, respectively. Founded by Gensler to cultivate a more diverse professional culture, the scholarship empowers African-American students to make a vivid impression on the architectural profession. Candidates are evaluated on their creative rigor, compelling designs and commitment to user-driven innovation.


We’re better together.

They are not just words we say. It’s not about bullet points on a report.

When we talk about diversity and inclusion, we mean it. We know a more diverse college enriches our legendary creative culture, which means you expand your design capabilities.

Here are some of the initiatives we practice to strengthen our culture of respect…to stand for diversity and inclusion in our college:

  • Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, led by Ronda Wright and composed of faculty, staff and students, who are committed to actionable change
  • Dean’s Student Forum, a monthly gathering for students hosted by Dean Poole to discuss issues important to students
  • Coffee + Conversation, a monthly session for faculty hosted by Dean Poole to discuss diversity and other important topics
  • Open Faculty Discussion, a monthly session hosted by Assoc. Dean Katherine Ambroziak for faculty to learn from each other
  • sketchbook, our college’s bimonthly e-newsletter that shares news and opportunities about diversity and inclusion in every issue

Plus our well established lecture series brings a diverse group of renowned lecturers to our campus each year.