Application Process:
First-year

Application Checklist for First-Year Applicants

  • All required parts of the Common Application or Coalition, powered by Scoir, including the personal essay and short answer
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee, or fee waiver for qualified students
  • Official high school transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • Two academic teacher letters of recommendation
  • Optional for students applying for fall 2023 and fall 2024 entry: SAT or ACT scores (SAT code: 1871 / ACT code: 4036)

Additional Requirements

Blair Applicants

Additional Requirements:
All applicants to Blair must complete the Blair School of Music Application in addition to the Common Application, Coalition application (powered by Scoir), or QuestBridge application. Please visit blair.vanderbilt.edu/admissions/apply for all details and latest information regarding application requirements for Blair applicants.

Blair School of Music Application Required Materials:

  1. One artistic recommendation (with space for an additional, supplemental artistic recommendation)
  2. Headshot or photo (for identification purposes; does not need to be professional)
  3. Music resume
  4. Repertoire list
  5. Prescreening video

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Blair School of Music Application cannot be accessed until your Common Application, Coalition application (powered by Scoir), or QuestBridge application has been submitted and your MyAppVU portal has been created. Once your portal has been created, you can access the Blair School of Music Application through the “Application Checklist” section.

Homeschool Applicants

No additional requirements are needed for homeschool applicants.  

As long as a homeschooled student has submitted all required pieces of the application process, we will consider their candidacy as we would any other student. Homeschool students should use the appropriate sections of their chosen application platform to explain curricular, social, or philosophical circumstances concerning their academic preparedness. It is often helpful to the Admissions Committee to understand the reasoning behind the homeschool choice. 

The School Report should be used to upload the mandatory transcript, and any additional supporting academic documents, including a detailed curriculum guide, and/or school profile, if available. While a detailed curriculum guide is not required, it is often helpful in providing a fuller picture of the student’s academic background. 

Recommendations for Homeschool Applicants 

Individuals completing recommendations on behalf of homeschooled students applying through the Coalition Application should address the questions below in their recommendation (Used with permission of The Common Application®). Individuals completing recommendations on behalf of homeschooled students applying through the Common Application will be prompted to complete these questions through the Common Application. 

  1. Please provide any information about the applicant's homeschool experience and environment that you believe would be helpful to the reader (e.g. educational philosophy, motivation for homeschooling, instruction setting, etc.).
  2. Please explain the grading scale or other methods of evaluation.
  3. Optional: If the student has taken courses from a distance learning program, traditional secondary school, or institution of higher education, please list the course title and content, sponsoring institution, instruction setting and schedule, and frequency of interactions with instructors and fellow students (once per day, week, etc.). In addition, if the student has taken any standardized testing other than those listed on the application, please also describe below.
  4. Are you a member of a homeschooler's association?
  5. Association name

International Applicants

Additional Requirements:  

  • International applicants will be prompted to complete an international section of the Common Application
  • Official results of the TOEFL iBT (including Home and Paper Editions), TOEFL Essentials, IELTSPTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test, if applicable. See recommended minimum score chart below.
    • Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is English are not required to submit English proficiency exam scores.
    • Applicants who score above 33 on the SAT Reading Test or above 26 on the ACT English section are not required to submit English proficiency exam scores.
    • English proficiency exams must be sent from a testing agency or high school official directly.
    • English proficiency exams will not be superscored.
TestRecommended minimum score
TOEFL iBT100
TOEFL Essentials10.5
IELTS7.0
PTE Academic70
Duolingo English Test130
  • A completed College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, if applicable.
    • International applicants requesting consideration for need-based financial aid are required to submit the CSS Profile showing their sources of financial support or the ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application).

All application pieces must be provided in English. Transcripts and recommendation letters not originally in English must be officially translated by the high school or certified translator; applicants may not provide their own translation of materials. An EducationUSA advising office can assist students with translation.

QuestBridge Applicants

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • After I submit my application, how do I notify the admissions office if I have updated or additional information?

    After submitting your application, you will be instructed to create your MyAppVU portal. Through this portal, you can upload additional application materials, change your decision plan, update your email and mailing addresses, etc.

  • Are interviews required for applicants?

    No, interviews are not required for applicants to Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt admissions officers do not conduct interviews. For first-year applicants, we offer interviews with alumni as an optional component of the application process. Applicants can opt into the optional interviewing program through their MyAppVU portal. We do not offer alumni interviews to transfer applicants. Visit our CoRPs Interviewing page for more information.

  • Can first-year students defer admission to Vanderbilt to a later start date?

    Yes, first-year applicants can defer admission to a later start date. One- or two-year deferrals of admission are granted on a case-by-case basis for entry into a subsequent fall term only. To request a deferral, you must send an email to deferrals@vanderbilt.edu  by July 1. State your full name and that you are requesting a deferral. Once we receive your email, we will send you a deferral request form to complete. Once you have submitted the deferral request form, we will notify you of our decision within two weeks.

    To be granted a deferral, you must have claimed your spot in your entering class by paying the $400 matriculation deposit (or having it waived.) Deferral requests are often approved for students seeking additional educational or personal enrichment opportunities such as travel, internships, or service, or for students who have religious reasons or military obligations. Deferral requests from students planning to enroll in degree-seeking, full-time programs at another college will not be approved.

  • Does Vanderbilt award credit for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores?

    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 depending on the exam. Details can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

  • Does Vanderbilt consider demonstrated interest in the admissions review process?

    For Early Decision I, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision, Vanderbilt does not consider demonstrated interest. While we welcome students to visit campus, participate in virtual visit programs, and contact our admissions team with questions, we do not track these interactions for the purpose of the admissions review. Waitlisted applicants will be asked to re-confirm their interest in attending Vanderbilt throughout the waitlist process.

  • Does Vanderbilt require SAT Subject Test scores?

    No, Vanderbilt does not require SAT Subject Test scores. 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.

  • How are applicants with alumni relatives or "legacies" handled in Vanderbilt‘s admissions process?

    Vanderbilt strives to honor family and legacy connections to the university whenever possible, and admissions officers are keenly aware of the powerful emotional connection that is often behind those applications. When a student’s record closely mirrors those of other students being offered admission, legacy status may be taken into consideration.

  • How can I contact an admissions counselor?

    Anyone on our admissions team will be happy to answer your questions.

  • 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 waitlist. Once it is known how many students have accepted Vanderbilt’s initial offer of admission, the admissions office will use the waitlist to fill the remaining spots in the entering class. The waitlist is not ranked; the selection of waitlist students will be based on a variety of factors and remaining needs for the class.

  • I am admitted but can’t afford the matriculation deposit, what do I do?

    Matriculation deposits may be waived based on the student’s financial need. Admitted students receiving a federal PELL grant as part of their need-based financial aid package automatically have their matriculation deposit waived.  Students admitted through the QuestBridge College Match and Posse organizations automatically have their matriculation deposit waived. International students receiving a need-based aid award automatically have their matriculation deposit waived. All students who have matriculation deposits waived MUST STILL claim their spot on their MyAppVU portal to secure their place in the class.

  • I can't afford the application fee, what do I do?

    For U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens, DACA, and undocumented students, Vanderbilt accepts all application fee waiver requests submitted through the Coalition Application and the Common Application. The application fee is automatically waived for all applicants applying through the QuestBridge Application.

  • I‘m applying for financial aid. Is Vanderbilt need-blind when reviewing applications?

    Yes, Vanderbilt is need-blind when reviewing applications for all U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens. Read more details about Vanderbilt‘s excellent financial aid, including how to apply.

  • What are the minimum high school coursework requirements for admission?

    Since Vanderbilt uses a holistic admissions review process, we do not have minimum coursework requirements. Most successful candidates will present a curriculum that includes the equivalent of five academic subjects each year for four years. Recommended course work includes 4 units of English, 4 units of mathematics, 4 units of natural science, 2 units of foreign language, 2 units of social science/humanities, and 4 units of additional course work in these areas, or other academic courses such as engineering science, computer science, social science or natural science research, or advanced work in the humanities. Close attention will be paid to the rigor of course work presented. It is highly recommended that candidates applying to the School of Engineering have taken calculus, calculus-based physics, and chemistry.

  • What financial aid is available to international students and non-U.S. citizens?

    International students may apply for need-based and for merit-based scholarships. International students with demonstrated need who are admitted will have 100% of their demonstrated need met with grants and/or scholarships. Merit scholarship recipients with demonstrated need beyond the amount of the scholarship will have 100% of their need met with grant and/or scholarship assistance.

    Note that Vanderbilt is need-aware in the admissions process for international students; we may take into consideration the student’s ability to finance a Vanderbilt education.

    Learn more about financial aid for international students.

  • What happens if my family (or my school) has been impacted by a natural disaster, and I can’t submit my materials on time?

    Students or counselors impacted by natural disasters should contact our admissions team with any concerns. We understand that during natural disasters, students may not be able to submit required materials by our published deadlines. We always try to offer as much flexibility as possible. There are times when students may need to apply Regular Decision because they are not able to submit required materials by Early Decision published deadlines. Most importantly, we will work with students and counselors on an individual basis during these times.