Nashville, Tennessee, offers a rich mosaic of cultures and recreational opportunities, as well as vibrant arts, tech, business, health, and education sectors. Known as Music City, U.S.A., Nashville hosts thousands of concerts each year in every genre and is recognized as one of the top college cities in America. Nashville’s many personalities and striking natural beauty attract people from around the world.
Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt has a long history of academic excellence, a strong tradition of community, a dedication to research, and a commitment to diversity.
The University’s progressive financial aid policies assure that it is often cited as one of the country’s best values among national universities. Vanderbilt students engage in interdisciplinary academic pursuits that produce life-changing moments, intricate questions with complex solutions, and remarkable opportunities to make a difference.
Vanderbilt’s four undergraduate schools (College of Arts and Science, Blair School of Music, School of Engineering, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development) offer a distinct yet close-knit environment, allowing students countless opportunities to pursue their academic passions, including new avenues for growth via undergraduate research.
Known both for excellent academic programs and an outstanding quality of student life, Vanderbilt is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the country by U.S.News & World Report, and the Schools of Medicine and Nursing rank in the top 15. Vanderbilt provides multiple options to enroll in the School of Nursing, including the opportunity to complete a joint B.A./B.S. and M.S. in nursing (Senior-in-Absentia) in five years through either the College of Arts and Science or Peabody College.
Vanderbilt students and faculty believe that great ideas require more than one school of thought. While pre-medical students must complete prerequisite courses for medical and/or nursing school, they will also select any of the University’s nearly 70 named majors. These majors include traditional fields of study such as biology, chemistry, and neuroscience, as well as medicine, health, and society (MHS), a major unique to Vanderbilt. This interdisciplinary major explores the cross-section between medical practice and health care policy within various social and cultural frameworks. Learn about MHS and more through the Health Professions Advisory Office (vanderbilt.edu/hpao), which offers pre-professional advising to aspiring medical professionals.
Our 8:1 student-faculty ratio gives students access to faculty members of prominence across academic disciplines. Through Immersion Vanderbilt, students work with faculty mentors to develop and conduct projects that provide opportunities to engage, to question, and to forge change. These immersion projects might involve a senior thesis, an internship, an experience abroad, a creative performance, a design project, or a research project.
Opportunity Vanderbilt: affordability and accessibility
Vanderbilt makes three important commitments to ensure that students from many different economic circumstances can enroll at Vanderbilt: the admission process is need-blind for U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens (financial circumstances are not considered in the admission decision); aid packages meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students; and financial aid packages do not include loans that must be repaid—instead, packages include grant assistance and a reasonable work expectation. Known as Opportunity Vanderbilt, these three commitments combined place Vanderbilt among a small number of universities to adopt such progressive policies.
Using a holistic application review process and with these financial aid policies, Vanderbilt admits talented students from diverse backgrounds who challenge each other both inside and outside the classroom and together form a community of scholars.
Life at Vanderbilt includes rigorous academics combined with a noticeable sense of balance and respect. Vanderbilt is committed to fostering inquiry, dialogue, and a greater appreciation of the racial, cultural, geographic, and political perspectives that make up the Vanderbilt mosaic.
Whether helping to organize a Dance Marathon event to raise necessary funding for surgeries at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, volunteering to lead elementary students in a science lab with Vanderbilt Students Volunteering for Science (VSVS), or assisting with Doctors Without Borders initiatives, students are deeply engaged in activities and opportunities both on campus and within the Nashville community. And with 16 men’s and women’s Division I athletic teams, Vanderbilt is the smallest and only private school in the legendary Southeastern Conference.
Your first year at Vanderbilt will be a chance to experience life at The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. This freshman living/learning community, based on the Oxford-Cambridge model, consists of 10 residence halls, or “houses,” surrounding a main dining and student center. Faculty, including the Dean of The Ingram Commons and her family, live at The Ingram Commons, facilitating easy and meaningful interactions between students and professors.
The Vanderbilt community
Vanderbilt is located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, home to a diverse population of 1.7 million and marked by its unique blend of cosmopolitan flair and small-town charm.
A thriving center of music, publishing, and health care, Nashville is home to major national health care providers and a number of hospitals in the immediate metro area, many within walking distance of campus.
Vanderbilt attracts students from across the country and around the world and sits on a 330-acre campus designated a national arboretum. Our active campus life, renowned academics, and urban setting work to maintain a high retention rate, as 97% of first-year students return for their sophomore year. Vanderbilt offers students unique and meaningful opportunities within the structure of an academically rigorous institution to discover who they are, who they may become, and how they might contribute to their communities in the future.
Type of University: Private research university comprising four undergraduate and six graduate schools, more than 100 interdisciplinary centers and institutes, and a distinguished medical center
Size of Campus: 330 contiguous acres designated a national arboretum in midtown Nashville
Enrollment (Fall 2015): Undergraduate: 6,883; graduate and professional: 5,684; total enrollment: 12,567
First-Year Class Profile (Fall 2015):
Black/African American: 9.6%;
Hispanic of any race: 10.1%; Asian or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 13.7%; two or more races: 5.0%; American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.4%; total minorities: 38.8%
International students: 7.5%
High schools attended: public: 64%; private: 35%; other: 1%
Middle 50%-range test scores:
ACT: 32–35; SAT (CR+M): 1430–1590
Estimated Cost of Attendance 2015–2016:
Books and Supplies $1,370
Activities/Rec Center Fee $1,092
New Student Transcript Fee $30
First-Year Experience Fee $718
Personal Expenses $2,780
Estimated Total (plus travel) $ 64,280
First-Year Engineering Laboratory
Fee and Laptop Allowance. $1,500*
Upperclass Laboratory Fee
(engineering students only) $ 650*
* The engineering laptop allowance and laboratory fee (for engineering students only) are listed in the student activities fee listed on the financial aid award notification letter. First-year engineering students are required to provide their own computer that meets published requirements. First-year engineering students who have been offered a Vanderbilt need-based grant as part of their package will have additional dollars added to the fall portion of their grant award to assist with the requirement to provide or purchase their own computer.
Average Financial Aid Package: $46,002
Research Funding: $656.7 million
Freshman Retention Rate: 97%
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 87%
Student-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Percent of Classes with Fewer Than 50 Students: 91%
Majors at Vanderbilt
College of Arts & Science
• African American and Diaspora Studies
• American Studies
• Asian Studies
• Biological Sciences
• Cinema and Media Arts
• Classical Civilizations
• Classical Languages
• Communication of Science and Technology
• Communication Studies
• Earth and Environmental Sciences
• Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
• Economics and History
• Environmental Sociology
• European Studies
• French and European Studies
• German and European Studies
• History of Art
• Italian and European Studies
• Jewish Studies
• Latin American Studies
• Latino and Latina Studies
• Medicine, Health, and Society
• Molecular and Cellular Biology
• Political Science
• Public Policy Studies
• Religious Studies
• Russian and European Studies
• Spanish and European Studies
• Spanish and Portuguese
• Spanish, Portuguese, and European Studies
• Women’s and Gender Studies
Blair School of Music
• Musical Arts
• Musical Arts/Teacher Education
School of Engineering
• Biomedical Engineering
• Chemical Engineering
• Civil Engineering
• Computer Engineering
• Computer Science
• Electrical Engineering
• Engineering Science
• Mechanical Engineering
• Child Development
• Child Studies
• Cognitive Studies
• Early Childhood Education
• Elementary Education
• Human and Organizational Development with tracks in:
– Community Leadership and Development
– Education Policy
– Health and Human Services
– International Leadership and Development
– Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness
• Secondary Education
• Special Education
• The Divinity School
• The Graduate School
• Law School
• Owen Graduate School of Management
• School of Medicine
• School of Nursing
Students interested in pre-architecture, pre-business, pre-law, or pre-medicine may pursue study in any of Vanderbilt’s 69 majors. All students have access to faculty members designated to provide advice regarding appropriate pre-professional curricula and the post-baccalaureate application process.