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TigerLIFE Admissions

Application deadlines:

  • May 1 for Fall Semester
  • September 1 for Spring Semester

This is a comprehensive program of study for unique learners who are highly motivated young adults whose disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills.

In order to be sure that the TigerLIFE Program at the University of Memphis Institute on Disability is the best match for our applicants, we require an application packet be completed for each student.

An Application Screening Committee will review applications and select students for admission. Please do not call about the status of your application, as we will not be able to provide this information for you over the phone. You will receive an email or letter letting you know of your status.

The decision to offer or deny admission to the program will be made by the Screening Committee in their best judgment and in the best interest of the applicant. Admission will be based on the following criteria:

  • Enter the program at 18-29 years of age
  • Have a documented developmental or intellectual disability
  • Completed high school under an IEP
  • Demonstrate a third-grade reading level (if lower, may be considered for conditional admission)
  • Able to function independently without one-on-one assistance
  • Are independent in maintaining personal needs, including managing any required specialized dietary and/or medical needs
  • Can function independently for at least two hours
  • Able to communicate with others
  • Willing to follow reasonable rules and instructions
  • Have sufficient emotional stability to participate in all aspects of TigerLIFE coursework and campus activities
  • Have transportation to and from the campus 
  • Demonstrate the desire to attend TigerLIFE and adhere to the TigerLIFE policies regarding attendance and participation in the coursework and typical University of Memphis classes
  • Have the potential to successfully achieve his/her goals within the context of the TigerLIFE program content and setting.
  • Have a desire to be gainfully employed
  • NOT demonstrate any physical aggression or violence towards staff or students - physical violence of any kind is grounds for immediate termination from the program.
  • Able to walk two to four miles each school day – student must provide any mobility assistance needed

    Note:  There are no staff available to manage/administer medications.  The TigerLIFE staff cannot take responsibility for specialized diets or medical needs.

Please note that UofM courses taken while in the TigerLIFE program will count for audit credit only.

Applicants will have typically received extensive special education services in their secondary schools, graduating with a special education diploma or certificate of attendance, and would have considerable difficulty succeeding in a traditional college degree program.

This is a certificate program (not an accredited college degree program) and exiting students will receive a certificate of completion along with a personal portfolio, NOT a degree from the University of Memphis

Application Deadlines:

  • May 1 for Fall Semester
  • September 1 Spring Semester

All required documentation and fees must be recorded with TigerLIFE to complete admission into the program. If you miss the above deadlines on any documents or fee payments, your application will be kept for the next available semester.  Late processing of applications is not available.

In-Person Payments
The Cashiers are available for in person payments by check and money orders. Please visit Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding University holidays) at:

University of Memphis
University & Student Business Services Office
3675 Alumni Avenue
115 Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152-3520

Payments by Mail (payment must indicate this is for a TigerLIFE application)
The University of Memphis
P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 313
Memphis, TN 38148-0313

Note: Due to space limitations, not all applicants who complete the application and meet the "criteria for admission" can be accommodated in TigerLIFE; however, these students are welcome to reapply.

Please email Viki Poole at v.poole@memphis.edu or  vkschwrt@memphis.edu, or call (901) 678-4303 if you have other questions.

Please send application and admissions materials to:

University of Memphis Institute on Disability
C/o Dr. Chrisann Schiro-Geist
100 Ball Hall
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152