Applying to Vanderbilt

 
 

Admissions Philosophy

Vanderbilt uses a holistic admissions process — we do not employ cutoffs for standardized testing or grade point averages. Rather we look for students who have demonstrated strong academic skills and intellectual curiosity, and who have engaged in activities outside the classroom that have nurtured their growth as leaders. Most successful applicants have taken a very rigorous course load and have challenged themselves at the highest levels of the available curriculum. 

Four ways to apply.

You may apply through the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success; the Common Application; QuestBridge; or the Universal College Application. Do not submit an application through more than one system. Choose one application, and submit all required materials through that method. Please note:  applicants to Blair must also complete a music resume and submit forms for two music teacher recommendations via the Blair DecisionDesk application.

Decision Plans

You may apply through Early Decision I or II, or Regular Decision. Visit our decision plans page to learn more about these options. 

MyAppVU

Within two business days of submitting the Common Application or the Universal College Application to Vanderbilt, you should receive an email from our office explaining how to create your online MyAppVU account. If you do not receive this email, check through your Common Application or Universal College Application portal to be sure that you have actually submitted the application to Vanderbilt.


Requirements for First-Year Applicants

  • All required parts of the Coalition Application, the Common Application, or the Universal College Application 
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee, or fee waiver for qualified students
  • Official high school transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • Two academic teacher letters of recommendation
  • Official SAT or ACT scores (SAT code: 1871 / ACT code: 4036), and if applicable, TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson

Additional Requirements for Blair School of Music Applicants

(NOTE: Please visit blair.vanderbilt.edu/admissions/apply for all details and latest information regarding application requirements for Blair applicants)

  • Complete the "Requirements for First-Year Applicants." There are no additional requirements for home-schooled students. 
  • Visit our Homeshool page to learn more about applying to Vanderbilt as a home-schooled student.

*Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English are required to submit official scores of one of the following English language proficiency tests: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. Vanderbilt's recommended minimum scores are a 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, a 230 on the computer-based TOEFL, a 7.0 on the IELTS, and a 70 on the PTE Academic. The English language proficiency test requirement will be waived if a student has scored above a 600 on the Old SAT Critical Reading (administered prior to March 2016), above a 33 on the New SAT Reading Test (administered March 2016 and later), or above a 26 on the ACT English section.

**International applicants requesting consideration for need-based financial aid are required to submit the CSS Profile showing their sources of financial support. 

Please provide all documents in English. Learn more about the application requirements for international students.

Applicants through the QuestBridge program should follow all application instructions outlined on the Vanderbilt page of the QuestBridge web site


Optional CoRPs Alumni Interview Program — First-Year Applicants Only

Vanderbilt University alumni provide first-year applicants with optional informational interviews through Commodore Recruitment Programs (CoRPs). Through CoRPs, first-year applicants are welcome to contact alumni in their local areas to request an informational interview about life at Vanderbilt. Interviews are informational in nature and serve as a tool for students to evaluate their fit with Vanderbilt University. While the interview is informational in nature, CoRPs alumni interviewers will also provide an evaluative report to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that will be included in the applicant's admissions file.

After submitting the Common Application or the Universal College Application, first-year applicants will receive an email from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions inviting them to participate in the optional CoRPs interviewing program

Requirements for Transfer Applicants

  • All required parts of the Coalition Application Transfer Application, the Common Application Transfer Application, or the Universal College Application Transfer Application
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee, or fee waiver for qualified students
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official college transcript(s) (from each institution attended) 
  • Transfer College Report (from the institution you are transferring from)
  • Two academic teacher letters of recommendation (we prefer that at least one letter is from a college professor/instructor)
  • Official SAT or ACT scores (SAT code: 1871 / ACT code: 4036), and if applicable, TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson

Additional Requirements for Blair School of Music Applicants

(NOTE: Please visit blair.vanderbilt.edu/admissions/apply for all details and latest information regarding application requirements for Blair applicants)

  • International applicants will be prompted to complete an international section of the Common Application
  • Official results of the TOEFLIELTS, or PTE Academic if applicable*

*Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English are required to submit official scores of one of the following English language proficiency tests: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. Vanderbilt's recommended minimum scores are a 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, a 230 on the computer-based TOEFL, a 7.0 on the IELTS, and a 70 on the PTE Academic. The English language proficiency test requirement will be waived if a student has scored above a 600 on the Old SAT Critical Reading (administered prior to March 2016), above a 33 on the New SAT Reading Test (administered March 2016 and later), or above a 26 on the ACT English section.

Please provide all documents in English. Learn more about the application requirements for international students.

Relevant Links

Dates and Deadlines

The Selection Process

Financial Aid

Guide to Writing Letters of Recommendation


**Additional Information on Standardized Tests

In March 2016, College Board began administering the redesigned SAT. SAT administrations prior to March 2016 will be referred to as “Old SAT.” SAT administrations March 2016 and later will be referred to as “New SAT.”

  • Official SAT or ACT scores are required to complete your application.
  • An official ACT or SAT score report must be submitted directly from the testing agency.
  • The Writing section of the ACT and the Essay section of the New SAT are not required.
  • Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English are required to submit official scores of an English language proficiency test (either the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic) in addition to the SAT or the ACT.

In March 2016, College Board began administering the redesigned SAT. SAT administrations prior to March 2016 will be referred to as “Old SAT.” SAT administrations March 2016 and later will be referred to as “New SAT.”

The following will affect students entering Vanderbilt in fall 2017 or later:

  • Vanderbilt will accept the Old SAT or the New SAT.
  • Vanderbilt will super-score among Old SAT test dates and among New SAT test dates, but will not super-score between the Old SAT and the New SAT.
  • If you submit both the Old SAT and New SAT, we will use your highest score for your application review (using comparative data provided by the College Board).
  • SAT Subject Tests are optional. If official scores are sent to Vanderbilt, they may be considered during the application review process.
  • For students who enroll at Vanderbilt, some SAT Subject Test scores can be used to meet language proficiency requirements in the College of Arts and Science, and to meet mathematics requirements for some majors in Peabody College.

In March 2016, College Board began administering the redesigned SAT. SAT administrations prior to March 2016 will be referred to as “Old SAT.” SAT administrations March 2016 and later will be referred to as “New SAT.”

  • Vanderbilt strongly encourages students to submit scores each time they take the SAT.
  • Vanderbilt will super-score among Old SAT tests and among New SAT tests, but will not super-score between the Old SAT and the New SAT.
  • Only the highest section scores for either the Old SAT or the New SAT will be considered as part of the admissions review process.
  • Each time SAT scores are submitted, the student's record is updated with the new high section scores. 
  • Vanderbilt considers the highest ACT composite score and does not superscore between ACT tests.

ACT: 4036

Educational Testing Service (ETS): 1871

Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English are required to submit official scores of one of the following English language proficiency tests: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. Vanderbilt's recommended minimum scores are a 100 on the internet-based TOEFL, a 230 on the computer-based TOEFL, a 7.0 on the IELTS, and a 70 on the PTE Academic. The English language proficiency test requirement will be waived if a student has scored above a 600 on the Old SAT Critical Reading (administered prior to March 2016), above a 33 on the New SAT Reading Test (administered March 2016 and later), or above a 26 on the ACT English section.

The results of English language proficiency tests are used by the Admission Committee to better understand your written and spoken English ability. Because the SAT was originally written with U.S. domestic students in mind, we realize that many international students do not score as well on the SAT Critical Reading portion as do domestic students. Therefore, in most cases, a strong TOEFL score will enhance the strength of an international student's application.

Vanderbilt University's Institutional TOEFL Testing Code is 1871.