University of Tennessee Offers Students A Dolly Parton-Inspired Degree And We Want In

Work '9 to 5' on the undergraduate degree you wish you'd done the first time round.


There's a Harry Potter module in Education Studies at Durham University with one of the lectures reportedly titled, 'Hermione Granger: Feminist Icon?'.

Head over to Plumpton College in East Sussex and you can get yourself a 'Viticulture and Oenology' degree.

And, what the flip does that entail? Oh yeah, just your average three years honing the craft of wine-making.

And now to add to the list of degrees we're ridiculously jealous of and would totally be willing to dig ourselves into even more debt for, is the University of Tennessee's brand course, 'Dolly's America: From Sevierville to the World.'


Ashley WILLIAMS AW17 Looks 22. 23. 24.

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We know the fashion world is having a true 'Country and Western' moment, right now (see Henry Holland and Ashley Williams' AW17 collections), but the thought of a Dolly Parton degree is taking our love for tassel denim jackets and rhinestones to a whole other level.

And, let's just say we're more than willing to jump on the Dolly bandwagon.

Perhaps it's the strange and vague affirmation to 'make America great again' or, as our resident cowgirl, fashion assistant Billie Bhatia has pointed out, the fact we unconsciously pledge our allegiance to Houston, Texas every time we sing along to Beyoncé, but we're unashamedly loving the chance of celebrating old school American musicians like Dolly in the classroom.


It's common knowledge Parton perpetually drinks from the fountain of wisdom (and youth, just look at the woman), and comes up with aphorisms so good she photoshops them into fabulous Instagram posts.


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Yeah, that's right – she calls them 'Dollyisms' and we couldn't love her more for it.


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Hand up who wants a Dollyism tattoed on their bum?


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Her particular brand of feminism is so on point we can't handle it.


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With regards to the 'Dolly degree', Dr. Lynn Sacco, an assistant professor in the Department of History, and the instructor who has been considering the Dolly Parton-dedicated syllabus for a while now, admits she found inspiration to start the course following a speech made by the Tennessee native during the commencement address for the College of Arts and Sciences class in 2009.

Sacco told WBIR: 'They gave her an honorary degree. And tears streamed down and she said, 'I was voted the least likely to succeed at my high school' took the bus the next day and headed to Nashville...I don't think there could be a better goodwill ambassador for Tennessee.'

The course reportedly uses Dolly Parton's life as a prism through which to look at Appalachian history, popular culture and important historical events in Tennessee and worldwide.

Not only does the course seem totally fabulous, it sounds like it'll be pretty interesting too.


The use of her autobiography, music and films mean during the course will enable students of Tennessee University to gain an insight into the icon's life.

Students are already raving about the course – which has now been running one term – with student, Williams Oaks, telling the publication: 'I saw this (class) and thought 'this will help me do research', then I saw it was about Dolly Parton, and thought, 'yeah, this is going to be great'.'

'We are looking at Dolly and different historical events as they relate to Dolly,' added classmate, Charlotte Sandercock. 'She's a cultural phenomenon.'

Meanwhile, Austin Burnett admitted: 'I like to think of using Dolly Parton as a lens to history. How has she changed history … how has she been changed by it.'

Sacco loves Dolly's idiosyncratic way of being almost oxymoronic, saying the singer, 'tells off-colour jokes. Then [is] proud to talk about Jesus the next minute.'

Cussing and Jesus talk, sounds like Dolly alright.

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