This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in Tennessee  

Tennessee state policy leaves local education agencies (LEA) to determine whether and to what extent acceleration is permitted.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy leaves LEA to determine. In general, children must be 5 years old by August 15 in order to enter kindergarten.

Early entrance to 1st gradeState policy says that "No child shall be eligible to enter first grade . . . without having attended an approved kindergarten program; provided, that a child meeting the requirements of the state board of education for transfer and/or admission, as determined by the commissioner, may be admitted by an LEA, notwithstanding any other provision or act to the contrary."
Whole-grade accelerationThe Tennessee Department of Education  Special Education - Intellectually Gifted Page appears to permit.
Early high school graduationThe Tennessee Graduation Requirements are located here.  Students interested in early graduation can also find information on this page.
Early entrance to collegeIf you know where to find this information, please e-mail us.

Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or universityState policy specifically permits dual enrollment in high school and college beginning in grade 11. Each LEA determines whether high school credit is given for college courses. Some Governors Schools may offer college credit. Additional information on Dual Enrollment can be found here.
Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy leaves LEA to determine.
Advanced Placement®State policy permits. Information on Advanced Placement for Tennessee can be found here.
Talent SearchThere is no in-state Talent Search in Tennessee, but gifted students in TN can participate in regional and national talent search programs, including those offered by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center and the Duke University Talent Identification Program.
Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy leaves LEA to determine.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

Typically left to LEAs to determine. If you know of state-level code, please e-mail us.

Additional Information

Tennessee Department of Education Intellectually Gifted
Tennessee Department of Education
Tennessee Association for the Gifted

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2018-2019 (a report by the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and the National Association for Gifted Children), Websites, professional literature, and personal communication. The Acceleration Institute has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not warrant its accuracy or fitness of use for any purpose. Users should verify information prior to taking any action. Furthermore, the appearance of selected programs and/or resources does not imply an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only.