Special Degree Programs

More information about special degree programs can be found on the four schools’ websites or in the Undergraduate Catalog. When considering such degree programs, students benefit from advanced planning and careful counsel with their academic advisers. 


  • College of Arts and Science

    College Scholars Program

    All first-year students in the College of Arts and Science are invited to apply to the College’s honors program after their first semester on campus. The College Scholars Program is designed to offer the most promising undergraduates opportunities for intellectual community and close contact with faculty, and to develop students’ skills in critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, and communication. To achieve these goals and complete the program, students take a combination of honors seminars and must engage in independent research. Students who are accepted as College Scholars, and who complete the program by earning 15 honors points, graduate with the distinction of “Honors in the College of Arts & Science” on their diploma.

    Departmental Honors

    Nearly every major in the College of Arts and Science offers an honors option for their most select students. Candidates are nominated by their department in their junior year and must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.300 and a minimum major GPA of 3.300 (departments may raise these GPA minimums as their discretion). Beyond the major requirements, students conduct independent honors research and are required to demonstrate some degree of originality and maturity in the methods of independent investigation, analysis, and criticism, and skill in the written presentation of independent work. To earn departmental honors, students write a thesis and present an oral defense to the faculty in second semester of their senior year. Students that successfully complete the program can graduate with the distinction of “Honors” or “Highest Honors” in their major.

    Combined BA/MA (4+1) Programs

    The Combined BA/MA (4+1) option is currently available in eleven departments and programs:

    • English
    • French
    • German Studies
    • History
    • History of Art
    • Latin American Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Medicine, Health, and Society
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Psychology


    Undergraduates with strong academic records may apply for admission to the program through the department after the first semester of their junior year.

    Five-Year Baccalaureate-MBA Program with the Owen Graduate School of Management

    By combining graduate-level courses at Owen with an undergraduate program through Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science, students may obtain both the baccalaureate degree and the MBA degree in five years. Acceptance into the five-year program is extremely competitive. Students should meet with the Owen Academic Programs Director in the spring of their sophomore year and then apply to Owen for admission during their junior year.

    Teacher Licensure

    College of Arts and Science students may combine their academic majors with appropriate education programs through Vanderbilt’s Peabody College to satisfy various licensure requirements for teaching.

  • Blair School of Music

    Five-Year B.M. in Musical Arts/Master of Business Administration


    The five-year joint program between the Blair School of Music and the Owen Graduate School of Management allows interested musical arts degree students to overlap their undergraduate course work with work toward the MBA. By combining three and one-half years in Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music with one and one-half years of study in the Owen School, students may obtain both the bachelor of musical arts degree and the master of business administration in five years. Students must apply to the Owen School for admission to the five-year program during their junior year.

  • Peabody College of Education and Human Development

    Fifth-Year Early Enrollment Master’s Program


    In as few as 12 additional months of study, current Vanderbilt undergraduate students can earn a career-enhancing master’s degree. Students may apply to several of Peabody’s master’s programs in the spring of junior year.

    Early Start Program


    As a Vanderbilt University senior in a bachelor's program you may qualify to enroll in courses approved for master's-level credit and get an early start on your Peabody master’s degree. You will need to apply for admission should you decide to continue a master's program at Peabody College after graduation, but if you have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher when you graduate the GRE requirement will be waived. Ten Peabody master’s programs participate in the Early Start Program.

    Peabody Scholars Program


    Peabody Scholars is the college-wide honors program for Peabody. The program is designed to attract Peabody’s brightest and most intellectually engaged students across all Peabody departments, to provide them with a community of like-minded scholars and numerous opportunities for academic and social enrichment.  Students apply to Peabody Scholars in the fall of their first year and, if accepted, begin the program in the spring semester. 

  • School of Engineering

    Integrated Bachelor and Master of Engineering

    On the basis of recommendations containing favorable appraisals of professional promise, undergraduate students in the School of Engineering who have completed at least 75 hours with at least a B average may be accepted into an integrated Bachelor of Engineering-Master of Engineering program. This program is currently available in chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering.

    Bachelor’s and Master’s in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Construction Management

    Undergraduates in civil engineering who want to fast track their professional career may choose to spend a fifth year to earn a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering with a concentration in construction management. Students should meet with the director of graduate studies in the department for more information.

    Accelerated Graduate Program in Engineering

    Students who enter Vanderbilt with a significant number of credits (20 to 30 hours), earned either through Advanced Placement tests or in college courses taken during high school, may be eligible for the Accelerated Graduate Program in Engineering. Through this program, a student is able to earn both a bachelor’s degree and an M.S. degree in about the same time required for the bachelor’s degree or slightly longer.