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Performing Arts Profile

Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt has a long history of academic excellence, a strong tradition of community, and a commitment to diversity. 

The University’s progressive financial aid policies assure 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. 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.

As an internationally renowned university within the vibrant cultural scene of Nashville, Vanderbilt offers students pursuing a visual or performing arts–related field a wealth of opportunities for expression combined with an outstanding liberal arts foundation.
Vanderbilt students take full advantage of student life by immersing themselves in over 420 student organizations, a full range of study abroad programs, Division I athletics, and a
variety of internship opportunities.

Vanderbilt students and faculty believe great ideas require more than one school of thought. At Vanderbilt you can pursue an undergraduate degree in the arts while also studying science, the humanities, engineering,
social science, or education and human development. This innovative approach to education transcends singular subject matter and fosters an interdisciplinary perspective.

Our 8:1 student-faculty ratio gives each student access to faculty members of prominence in every area of academic study. More than 50% of undergraduates participate in research, including research in the arts, and some students pursue research opportunities outside of their major field of study.

Through Immersion Vanderbilt, students go beyond the classroom to integrate knowledge with experience. By pursuing their passions, students learn how to transform ideas into action, hone skills, and make a difference. Immersion experiences 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 students
from many different economic circumstances can enroll at Vanderbilt:  the admissions process is need-blind for US citizens and eligible non-citizens (financial circumstances are not considered in the admissions decision); aid packages meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students; and financial aid packages do not include loans. This initiative does not involve income bands or income cutoffs that limit eligibility.  

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.

The arts at Vanderbilt
The visual and performing arts flourish at Vanderbilt both in and out of the classroom. Related majors
(and minors) in the College of Arts and Science include Art, History of Art, Cinema and Media Arts, and Theater. The Blair School of Music, an undergraduate-only school, offers conservatory-level training in performance (in 18 different areas), musical arts, musical arts/teacher education, and composition, within the context of a strong liberal arts curriculum. Students may also pursue a five-year program to earn a Bachelor of Music and MBA through the Blair-to-Owen program. Blair students enjoy access to world-class facilities, including superb acoustical spaces, performance halls, and sound-insulated studios.

Students perform at Vanderbilt’s Neely Auditorium while studying acting, directing, dramatic literature, playwriting, theatre history and criticism, and theatre design and technology. The Vanderbilt Dance Program promotes dance education, artistic development, and cultural enrichment for Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff, and community members. Vanderbilt hosts the International Lens Film Series each year, as well as faculty-led film discussions at the Belcourt Theatre. For students studying visual arts, the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center boasts state-of-the-art lighting and an experimental gallery, as well as several exhibition halls and informal meeting space. Cohen Memorial Hall is home to Vanderbilt’s Fine Arts Gallery, which hosts both permanent and traveling exhibitions.

Live music performances are a daily occurrence on and off campus; Nashville hosts more than 20,000 live performances yearly, mostly within a mile or two of campus. On campus, students are treated to music performances by artists of every genre, which have recently included Kendrick Lamar, The Band Perry, and Steve Aoki.

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, health care, and technology, Nashville is consistently ranked as one of America’s friendliest cities and was honored by Business Insider  as one of
“The 13 Hottest American Cities for 2016.” Nashville is home to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, which stages Broadway and Off-Broadway productions; the Frist Center for the Visual Arts; the Schermerhorn Symphony Center; Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art; and the Fisk University Art Museum, among others.

Vanderbilt attracts students from across the country and around the world and sits on a 330-acre campus designated an arboretum. An active campus life, stellar academics, and an urban setting contribute to the exceptionally high retention rate, as 97% of first-year students return for 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.


Estimated Cost of Attendance 
Tuition: $
Housing: $9,772
Meals: $
Books and Supplies: $
Activities/Rec Center Fee: $
Personal Expenses: $
First-Year Experience Fee: $732
New Student Transcript Fee: $30
Estimated Total: $
Engineering Lab Fee*: $
Engineering Laptop Allowance*: $1,500

* 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.