Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

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 it is oftencited 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 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 (Blair School of Music, College of Arts and Science, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and School of Engineering) 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, and the University’s 7:1 student-faculty ratio gives students easy access to faculty members across academic disciplines. More than 50% of undergraduates participate in research alongside faculty, and a spirit of innovation has helped Vanderbilt earn a #10 ranking for “Most Innovative Universities” for two consecutive years (Reuters, 2017 and 2018).

New academic initiatives include an undergraduate Business minor andImmersion Vanderbilt, an initiative that calls for each undergraduate to pursue an intensive learning experience in and beyond the classroom with choices from four pathways: civic and professional, creative expression, international, and research. 

Vanderbilt’s 230,000-sq. ft. Engineering and Science Building includes classroom and laboratory spaces, a 15,000-sq. ft. clean room, and the University’s epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurship, the Wond’ry. Through collaborative work environments, makerspaces, and curricular programming, the Wond’ry is the place where abstract ideas are transformed into concrete realities that make differences in people’s lives.

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 cut offs 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 inside and outside the classroom.

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

Vanderbilt is home to seven 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 tofind 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 Association (BSA), Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), South Asian Cultural Exchange (SACE),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, now comprising 8.8% of the undergraduate student body.

The Vanderbilt community
Your first year at Vanderbilt will be a chance to experience life on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. Thisliving/learning community, based on the Oxford-Cambridge model, consists of 10 residence halls, or “houses,” surrounding a main dining and student center. Faculty 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 1.8 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 #3 for “Best Big Cities for Jobs” (2018). 

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, andurban 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 10 schools and colleges, four of which enroll undergraduates

Size of Campus: 330 contiguous acres designated an arboretum in midtown Nashville

Enrollment (Fall 2018):
Undergraduate: 6,861; graduate and professional: 5,963; total enrollment: 12,824

First-Year Class Profile (Fall 2018):
• Black/African American: 11.9%; Hispanic of any race: 10.1%; Asian or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 15.4%; American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.3%; two or more races: 5.6%; total minorities: 43.2% 

International students: 12.4%

High schools attended: Public: 64%; private/other: 36% 

Estimated Cost of Attendance 2019–2020:

Tuition $50,788

Housing $11,044

Meals $5,866

Books and Supplies $1,294

Activities/Rec Center Fee $1,272

New Student Transcript Fee $100

First-Year Experience Fee $836

Personal Expenses $2,874

Estimated Total $74,074

First-Year Engineering Laptop Allowance*.$1,600

Laboratory Fee*$800

The Engineering Laptop Allowance and Laboratory Fee apply to Engineering students only. First-year Engineering students are required to either purchase a laptop from Vanderbilt or provide their own computer that meets published requirements. 

Average Financial Aid Package: $51,787

Freshman Retention Rate: 97%

Four-Year Graduation Rate: 89%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7:1

Classes With Fewer Than 50 Students: 92%

Majors at Vanderbilt

College of Arts and Science

• African American and Diaspora Studies

• American Studies

• Anthropology

• Art

• Asian Studies

• Biochemistry and Chemical Biology

• Biological Sciences

• Chemistry

• 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

• Economics and History

• English

• Environmental Sociology

• European Studies

• French

• French and European Studies

• German and European Studies

• German Studies

• History

• History of Art

• Italian and European Studies 

• Jewish Studies

• Latin American Studies

• Latino and Latina Studies

• Law, History, and Society

• Mathematics

• Medicine, Health, and Society

• Molecular and Cellular Biology

• Neuroscience

• Philosophy

• Physics

• Political Science

• Psychology

• Public Policy Studies

• Religious Studies

• Russian

• Russian, East European, 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

• Integrated Studies

• Integrated Studies/Teacher Education

• Performance 

School of Engineering

• Biomedical Engineering

• Chemical Engineering

• Civil Engineering

• Computer Engineering

• Computer Science

• Electrical Engineering

• Engineering Science

• Mechanical Engineering

Peabody College of Education and Human Development

• 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

• 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 any of Vanderbilt’s 68 majors. All students have access to faculty members designated to provide advice regarding appropriate pre-professional curricula and the postbaccalaureate application process.

An Inside Look