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. 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.
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.
Vanderbilt students take full advantage of student life by immersing themselves in over 430 student organizations, a full range of study abroad programs, Division I athletics, and a variety of internship opportunities.
Vanderbilt students and faculty believe that great ideas require more than one school of thought. This interdisciplinary approach is found in the impressive repertoire of interdisciplinary majors, research across disciplines, and the flexibility that students have to explore subject areas across all four undergraduate schools while delving deeply into at least one major area of study.
Vanderbilt faculty are committed to the undergraduate experience, earning Vanderbilt a top 15 ranking for “Best Undergraduate Teaching Among National Universities” for four consecutive years (U.S. News & World Report, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). Vanderbilt’s 8:1 student-faculty ratio gives students access to faculty members across academic disciplines, and more than 50% of undergraduates participate in research alongside faculty.
New academic initiatives at Vanderbilt include an undergraduate Business minor and Immersion Vanderbilt, an initiative that calls for each undergraduate to participate in an intensive learning experience in and beyond the classroom with choices in the following pathways: civic and professional, creative expression, international, and research.
New buildings at Vanderbilt include a 230,000-sq. ft. Engineering and Science Building, which contains state-of-the-art facilities designed for interdisciplinary problem solving, and the Wond’ry, the new campus epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurship.
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 US 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. 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.
Life at Vanderbilt includes rigorous academics combined with deep engagement outside the classroom. 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 organizing a Schools for Schools event with Invisible Children, indulging in an Indian food dinner and dance celebration at the annual Diwali festival, or interning at one of Nashville’s 200+ recording studios, Vanderbilt students are deeply engaged in activities and opportunities both on campus and in the surrounding community. 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 on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. This 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 on The Ingram Commons, facilitating easy and meaningful interactions between students and professors. Frequent educational and social programming at The Ingram Commons invites students and faculty to explore current events and social issues.
The Vanderbilt community
Vanderbilt is located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, home to a diverse population of 1.8 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 Forbes as the #4 “Best Big Cities for Jobs” (2016).
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 work to maintain a high retention rate, as 97% of first-year students return 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.
offers a rich mosaic of cultures and recreational opportunities, as well as vibrant arts, tech, business, health, and education sectors. Known as Music City, USA, 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.
Majors at Vanderbilt
College of Arts & Science
• African American and Diaspora Studies
• American Studies
• Asian Studies
• Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
• Biological Sciences
• Cinema and Media Arts
• Classical and Mediterranean Studies
• 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 Studies
• German and European Studies
• History of Art
• Italian and European Studies
• Jewish Studies
• Latin American Studies
• Latino and Latina Studies
• Law, History, and Society
• 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 and 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
Graduate/Professional Schools & Programs
• Divinity School
• Graduate School
• Law School
• Owen Graduate School of Management
• Peabody College of Education and Human Development
• School of Engineering
• 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 68 majors. All students have access to faculty members designated to provide advice regarding appropriate pre-professional curricula and the post-baccalaureate application process.
At A Glance
Type of School: Private research university comprising 10 schools and colleges, four of which enroll undergraduates.
Size of Campus: 330 contiguous acres designated an arboretum in midtown Nashville
Enrollment (Fall 2017): Undergraduate: 6,885; graduate and professional: 5,707; total enrollment: 12,592
First-Year Class Profile (Fall 2017):
• Black/African American: 12.4%; Hispanic of any race: 10.8%; Asian or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 15.3%; two or more races: 5.8%; American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.6%; total minorities: 45.0%
• International students: 8.2%
• High schools attended: public: 66%; private: 33%; other: 1%
Estimated Cost of Attendance 2017–2018:
Books and Supplies: $1,294
Activities/Rec Center Fee: $1,164
New Student Transcript Fee: $100
First-Year Experience Fee: $765
Personal Expenses: $2,850
Estimated Total (plus travel): $68,257
First-Year Engineering Laptop Allowance*.$1,600
Laboratory Fee* $650
* The Engineering Laptop Allowance and Laboratory Fee apply to Engineering students only. First-year Engineering students are required to either purchase a laptop form Vanderbilt or provide their own computer that meets published requirements.
Average Financial Aid Package: $49,242
Freshman Retention Rate: 97%
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 87%
Student-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Classes With Fewer Than 50 Students: 91%