The East Tennessee regional competition of the Academic Decathlon program began operation on the UT campus in 1996. This national program involves teams of nine high school students who spend a day taking a battery of competitive tests that cover the high school curriculum broadly and comprehensively. In the state competition, the winning team advances to the national competition. Each team of nine students must include three students with a grade average of A, three with a grade average of B, and three with a grade average of C.
The program remained on UT Knoxville’s campus for a decade and then was transferred to Pellissippi State.