Academics

students walking through a residential college

At Vanderbilt, learning happens all the time – in classrooms and labs, at internships and during study abroad, and even in your campus residence. Is the academic environment intense? Sure. But you'll also find it collaborative and supportive.

Vanderbilt blends a top-tier research university with a teaching-focused liberal arts curriculum. With four undergraduate schools and colleges, 70 majors, and 72 minors, you’re never at a loss for ways to explore your interests or discover new passions.

Whether you’re participating in research with faculty, developing your Immersion Vanderbilt project, or even chatting over dinner with your faculty head of house, at Vanderbilt, you’re a part of a collaborative intellectual community.

Four Schools

At Vanderbilt, we offer world-class academic programs through four undergraduate schools:

Programs of Study

At Vanderbilt, we encourage students to study across disciplines to feed their passions and inspire new ways to address issues and impact the world. Over the years, we’ve learned that you can’t contain a neuroscientist’s love of dance any more than a mechanical engineer’s fascination with pre-Columbian tribes – that's why most Vanderbilt students take a variety of classes across our undergraduate schools. Use the find your major tool to explore our majors, minors, and pre-professional programs and discover your own academic path at Vanderbilt.

Engineering Science Building

Undergraduate Research

At Vanderbilt, you will have the chance not only to absorb and apply invaluable lessons from your professors, but also to take part in their innovations and create new avenues of knowledge for future generations. You’ll join a community of collaborative scholars often engaged in research that spans traditional disciplinary lines. The combination of Vanderbilt’s low 8:1 student-to faculty ratio and the culture of close faculty-student interactions means that undergraduates frequently work one-on-one with faculty engaged in cutting-edge research.

"Once I looked into all of the impressive work that Vanderbilt faculty were up to, I knew I wanted to get involved. Vanderbilt researchers have an impressive array of accolades and interests and I think that there’s something for everyone!"

Asia Miller Asia Miller
Asia is a rising Junior majoring in Biology and is involved in microbiome research in the Bordenstein lab.

Immersion Vanderbilt

Immersion Vanderbilt calls for each undergraduate student to participate in an intensive learning experience that takes place in and beyond the classroom. Students will have the opportunity to pursue these experiences along four different pathways:  civic and professional, creative expression, international, or research. Immersion Vanderbilt allows students to explore their passions and interests, transforming their ideas into action that makes a difference in the world.

Immersion Vanderbilt provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to pursue their passions and cultivate intellectual interests through experiential learning.

Study Abroad

Vanderbilt’s commitment to academic excellence, global engagement, and community service extends far beyond Nashville. With more than 120 Vanderbilt-approved programs offering study abroad for a semester, a summer, a Maymester, or an entire academic year, undergraduates enhance their studies with academic experiences and cultural, research, internship, and volunteer opportunities on seven continents. Vanderbilt’s Global Education Office offers programming for all Vanderbilt students, including those with the most demanding plans of study.

Studying abroad is an integral part of the undergraduate experience at Vanderbilt. About 50% of Vanderbilt undergraduates study abroad, from all schools and across most majors.

Living and Learning at Vanderbilt

Residential education is the heart of the Vanderbilt experience. Learning at Vanderbilt takes place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you’re in the classroom or a common room, a laboratory or the dining hall.
 
Your experience at Vanderbilt begins on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, where all first-year students live in 10 houses along with faculty heads of house and the dean of The Commons. The Commons is the center of your first-year universe, where you’ll find deep friendships, powerful ideas, and transformational faculty mentorships—all of which cultivate a true living and learning environment.

The Commons Center

After spending your first year on The Commons, you can apply to live in one of our distinctive residential colleges. With a faculty head of college as its intellectual leader, each college offers a robust array of programs, spaces, and relationships intentionally designed to meet students’ needs during their second, third, and fourth years of college.

Nicholas S. Zeppos College

Overall, Vanderbilt’s residential experience invites students, faculty, and staff to go beyond the boundaries of the lab and the lecture hall to encourage discovery across disciplines among a diverse community of talented scholars.