How does academic course advising work at Vanderbilt?
Students in the College of Arts and Science and School of Engineering are assigned a pre-major adviser who helps them determine their major. Engineers must declare a major at the end of their freshman year; A&S students must declare by the end of their sophomore year. Students then select or are assigned faculty members in their departments to serve as their major advisers. Students in the Blair School of Music and Peabody College of Education and Human Development are assigned advisers in the majors to which they were admitted freshman year, though students do have the option to change advisers.
Is career counseling available to help with finding a job?
Yes, Vanderbilt’s Center for Student Professional Development offers resources such as individual career advising, career exploration tools, and the career resource library. Last year, nearly 120 employers were on campus at career fairs, allowing Vanderbilt students to meet with potential employers about internships or full-time positions.
Is it easy to change majors or colleges at Vanderbilt?
Yes, you may change your major up until the fifth day of classes during your senior year as long as you complete the necessary requirements. Students who wish to move to another undergraduate school must wait until they have completed two semesters in the Vanderbilt school to which they were admitted.
Is it possible to double major? How can I minor in a field?
Yes, Vanderbilt strongly encourages students to pursue double majors and minors, especially in unrelated academic fields. The ease with which students complete double majors and minors depends heavily on the structure of each area of study and the timing of that decision. Students interested in pursuing double majors and minors do not indicate this on their applications. Instead, the declaration of such plans is made after matriculation.
The feasibility of adding a second or third area of study for a transfer student will depend on several factors, such as when you enter the Vanderbilt curriculum and what classes you have already taken; students are encouraged to work with their academic advisers in making these decisions.
What do Vanderbilt students do after they graduate?
A Vanderbilt education leads to a degree with distinction. Most recently, 34% of our graduating seniors entered graduate or professional school and 46% went directly into the workforce. Another 20% volunteered, entered the military, or had other plans. In addition, of those seniors applying to graduate school, 64% were admitted to their first-choice school.
What percentage of students graduate in four years?
Eighty-three percent of students who graduate from Vanderbilt complete their requirements in four years or less. Of course, there are students who do not graduate in four years. Many students choose to take additional course work, change majors, study abroad, participate in internships or cooperative programs, or simply leave the University.
What resources and facilities are available for academic assistance?
Vanderbilt encourages students seeking help regarding their academic performance to meet with their professors or consult with their academic advisers right away. Other options for assistance include: The Writing Studio, Tutoring Services, and the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department.
Where can I get information on pre-med, pre-law, or pre-business?
Information on Pre-Professional Programs is available online. Vanderbilt offers pre-professional advising for students interested in pre-health, pre-law, and pre-architecture. While we do not offer a business major, students interested in business are encouraged to explore our Economics, Managerial Studies, and Human and Organizational Development programs.
Will Vanderbilt award credit for Advanced Placement (AP) scores?
Yes, Vanderbilt generally awards college credit for a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement exam.
Are interviews required for prospective students?
Vanderbilt admissions officers do not conduct interviews and interviews are not a required part of the admissions process. We do offer interviews with local alumni as an optional component of the application for admissions. Through our CoRPs (Commodore Recruitment Programs) Interviewing program, applicants are invited to request an interview from an alumnus/a in their local area. After a student applies, s/he will be sent information via email about how to request a local interview with an alumnus/a. Alumni interviews are completely optional and Vanderbilt cannot guarantee the availability of alumni to interview all students, particularly those living outside major metropolitan areas. In no way will it reflect poorly on students who cannot arrange an interview. Visit our CoRPs Interviewing page for more information.
How important are the SAT and/or ACT in the admissions process?
Standardized test results are part of the academic profile for an applicant. The other components of the academic profile include the student’s rigor of curriculum, grades, relative position in class, and teacher letters of recommendation. The academic profile is one part of the holistic review applied to every student. It is important to remember that admissions outcomes cannot be predicted on the basis of test scores alone. Test scores are important, but they are used in conjunction with other parts of the application.
Does Vanderbilt recognize Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program?
Yes, Vanderbilt generally awards college credit for a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement exam or 6 or 7 on an International Baccalaureate exam, though required scores vary slightly depending on the exam.
Does Vanderbilt require SAT II exams?
Vanderbilt does not require students to submit scores from the SAT Subject Tests. If included with the application, these scores will be considered during the application process. For students who enroll at Vanderbilt, SAT Subject Tests are used for placement in first year courses. SAT Subject Tests are strongly recommended for home schooled applicants. Applicants to the School of Engineering who choose to take Subject Tests should strongly consider taking either of the two mathematics exams (Level 1 or Level 2).
Does Vanderbilt require SAT II Subject Test scores?
No, SAT Subject Tests are optional. These exams can be very helpful in evaluating applicants but are not required. A student with no SAT II scores is not at a disadvantage in the admissions process.
How does the waitlist work at Vanderbilt?
Because Vanderbilt receives so many more applications from highly qualified and capable students than there are available positions in the class, some students in whom the admission committee is very interested will receive an offer to join the Wait List. Once it is known how many students have accepted Vanderbilt‘s initial offer of admission, the admissions office will use the Wait List to fill the remaining spots in the entering class. The Wait List is not ranked; the selection of Wait List students will be based on a variety of factors and remaining needs for the class. For instance, the admissions staff may turn to the Wait List in search of specific attributes, such as Vanderbilt school choice or gender, in order to balance and complete the class.
How important are extracurricular activities?
One goal of the admissions process is to create a dynamic and active campus community, thus it is important that we evaluate how applicants‘ have enriched and enlivened their high school communities through extracurricular activities. What matters most is not the volume of involvement or the number of leadership positions held, but rather the steady commitment to a handful of meaningful activities beyond your required academic coursework. We do make particular note of significant local, regional, and national achievements.
Extracurricular activities are also an important way that we can tell what is important to you and what you value, and to see more clearly how you might bring those values to the Vanderbilt community. The most effective applications are those that clearly and concisely communicate which activities have had the most meaning to a student and also those that explain organizations and achievements with which the admissions officer might not be familiar.
How will my application be evaluated?
Vanderbilt‘s admissions process is a based on a holistic review in which a student‘s academic record, standardized test results, personal essays, recommendations, and extracurricular involvement are all taken into consideration in making admissions decision. Of these factors, a student‘s academic achievement in high school always plays the biggest role in our decision-making. However, a holistic review ensures that no one factor along leads to admission or keeps a student from admission. It is also important to note the Office of Undergraduate Admissions‘ proud tradition of positive advocacy, meaning we take seriously the notion of reading an application file looking for the reasons to admit the student, rather than looking for the reason not to admit. The difference is subtle, yet significant. Because we evaluate applications looking for what is good about a student, simple mistakes such word misspellings or grammatical errors will not be what cause an applicant to not be offered admission.
Is the high school I attend taken into consideration?
Academic achievement can only be measured meaningfully when considered in conjunction with a student‘s context and environment. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions makes every effort to gather academic information about applicants‘ high schools in order to better understand their performance, course selection, and access to intellectual opportunities. Our process recognizes that traits such as grading and course offerings are by no means standard across all secondary schools. Vanderbilt expects students to have distinguished themselves academically whatever their environment, and to have sampled extensively the most rigorous coursework offered by their high school in most core academic areas.
Is there a limit to the number of students who can be accepted from a particular high school?
No. Vanderbilt considers every student individually and within the application pool as a whole, not simply in comparison to the other students applying from the same secondary school. Keep in mind that within one school‘s applicant group students may be applying to different Vanderbilt colleges or under different decision plans, and therefore will not be in direct competition with one another in any sense. The number of students Vanderbilt will accept from any given school will be consistent with the quality and liveliness of the school‘s applicants for that particular year.
What can I do in high school to prepare for Vanderbilt?
By far the best method of preparing for admission to Vanderbilt, or to any selective university, is to take as many rigorous courses as you can healthily manage while working hard to make the best grades possible. Remember that learning is worthwhile for its own sake, not merely as a vehicle for getting into a "good" college. The most compelling applications will demonstrate a genuine love of learning as opposed to the mechanical pursuit of good grades. Participate in extracurricular activities because they have meaning to you, not merely because they will be needed for your college application. Preparing for a selective university begins when you first enter high school, not sometime in the middle of your junior year. By following these guidelines and your own internal compass, you will arrive at the college admissions process as prepared and self-aware as you can possibly be.
What essays does Vanderbilt require? How should I answer the questions?
Vanderbilt requires writing samples from the Common Application or the Universal College Application. These writing samples allow us to gain a more complete understanding of a candidate for admission to Vanderbilt. We use these writing samples to assess not only effectiveness in written communication, but also to learn more fully who the student is and what he or she values. There is no secret method to writing an effective personal essay. The best essays are those written in a student‘s authentic voice and that convey the sense that, in formulating and composing the essay, the student achieved a greater sense of self-awareness and self-knowledge.
What financial aid is available to international students and non-U.S. citizens?
International students may compete for academic/merit-based scholarships, which can provide awards ranging from $8,000 per year to the full cost of tuition. The remaining costs not covered by scholarship would need to be covered by personal funds or private sponsorship. Students with a strong academic record and greater ability to finance their expenses will have a higher chance for admission. For more information, please go to our Merit-Based Financing site.
Vanderbilt has a limited amount of need-based financial assistance for international students and financial need will be considered when making admissions decisions. International students with demonstrated need who are admitted will have 100% of their demonstrated need met with grant and/or scholarship assistance along with a modest work expectation. Vanderbilt merit scholarship recipients with demonstrated need will have 100% of their need met with grant and/or scholarship assistance.
What is the difference between Early Decision I and II?
Vanderbilt offers two Early Decision plans, commonly referred to as Early Decision I and II. These rounds are functionally the same except for the application deadlines. Early Decision I has an application deadline of November 1, with student notification in mid-December. The deadline for Early Decision II is January 1, with student notification in mid-February.
What is the latest date I can take the SAT and/or ACT?
For students applying to Vanderbilt under Early Decision I (postmark deadline November 1), the October administrations of the SAT or ACT represent the final opportunity to take the exams. Students applying under Early Decision II or Regular Decision (postmark deadline January 1) can sit for the exams through the December administrations.