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Diversity Profile

Nashville, Tennessee, offers a rich mosaic of cultures and recreational opportunities, as well as vibrant arts, business, tech, 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.

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 420 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. One of Vanderbilt’s hallmarks is an impressive repertoire of interdisciplinary major programs, including Human and Organizational Development and Medicine, Health, and Society. Vanderbilt affords students flexibility in designing their curriculum, allowing them to explore subject areas across all four undergraduate schools while making sure they delve deeply into at least one major area of study.

Vanderbilt faculty are committed to the undergraduate experience, earning Vanderbilt a top 10 ranking for Best Undergraduate Teaching Among National Universities for three consecutive years (U.S. News & World Report, 2014, 2015, and 2016). Our 8:1 student-faculty ratio gives students access to faculty members of prominence across academic disciplines. In addition to teaching, faculty work with undergraduates as academic advisors and research mentors. More than 50% of undergraduates participate in research, working alongside faculty in nearly every discipline.

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 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.

Through a holistic application review process and expanded financial aid, Vanderbilt admits talented students from diverse backgrounds who together form a community of scholars and challenge each other both inside and outside the classroom.

Campus life
The Vanderbilt community also thrives on interaction among students and professors who hold different views and interests.

Vanderbilt is home to eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council historically black fraternities and sororities and offers an array of exciting opportunities with students crossing more boundaries in their organizations than ever before. The University’s many student-led organizations regularly promote awareness and understanding of differences among cultural norms, values, and religious and political beliefs.

The Multicultural Leadership Council embodies Vanderbilt’s vision to find the common bonds among students with diverse backgrounds by drawing attention to local and global politics, issues, and cultures.

Organizations as varied as the Black Student Alliance (BSA), Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students (VAHS), Masala-SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange), the Asian American Student Association (AASA), and Vanderbilt Hillel increase awareness of students’ unique heritages by attracting participants and observers of all backgrounds to annual cultural events. Vanderbilt’s international student community is increasing steadily, comprising 7.6% of the most recently enrolled class.

The Vanderbilt community
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.

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.”

Vanderbilt attracts students from across the country and around the world and sits on a 330-acre campus designated an 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 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 School: 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 an arboretum in midtown Nashville

Enrollment (Fall 2016): Undergraduate: 6,871; graduate and professional: 5,716; total enrollment: 12,587

First-Year Class Profile (Fall 2016):
Black/African American: 10.7%;
Hispanic of any race: 10.4%; Asian or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 14.1%; two or more races: 5.3%; American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.6%; total minorities: 41.2%
International students: 7.6%
High schools attended: public: 66%; private: 33%; other: 1%

Middle 50%–range test scores:
ACT: 32–35; SAT (CR+M): 1420-1590

Estimated Cost of Attendance 2016–2017:
Tuition   $44,496
Housing  $9,772
Meals   $5,190
Books and Supplies  $1,294
Activities/Rec Center Fee  $1,114
New Student Transcript Fee   $30
First-Year Experience Fee  $732
Personal Expenses  $2,788
Estimated Total (plus travel)  $65,416
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:

Freshman Retention Rate: 97%

Four-Year Graduation Rate: 87%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 8:1

Classes with Fewer Than 50 Students: 91%

Majors at Vanderbilt
College of Arts & Science
• African American and Diaspora Studies
• American Studies
• Anthropology
• Art
• Asian Studies
• Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
• Biological Sciences
• Chemistry
• Cinema and Media Arts
• Classical Civilizations
• Classical Languages
• Classics
• Communication of Science and Technology
• Communication Studies
• Earth and Environmental Sciences
• Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
• Economics
• Economics and History
• English
• Environmental Sociology
• European Studies
• French
• French and European Studies
• German
• German and European Studies
• History
• History of Art
• Italian and European Studies
• Jewish Studies
• Latin American Studies
• Latino and Latina Studies
• Mathematics
• Medicine, Health, and Society
• Molecular and Cellular Biology
• Neuroscience
• Philosophy
• Physics
• Political Science
• Psychology
• Public Policy Studies
• Religious Studies
• Russian
• Russian and European Studies
• Sociology
• Spanish
• Spanish and European Studies
• Spanish and Portuguese
• Spanish, Portuguese, and European Studies
• Theatre
• Women’s and Gender Studies

Blair School of Music
• Composition
• Musical Arts
• Musical Arts/Teacher Education
• Performance

School of Engineering
• Biomedical Engineering
• Chemical Engineering
• Civil Engineering
• Computer Engineering
• Computer Science
• Electrical Engineering
• Engineering Science
• Mechanical Engineering

Peabody College
• 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
• 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.