Frequently Asked Questions

 

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FRESHMAN

Can I work with faculty on research projects?

Yes, over 50 percent of undergraduates participate in research while at Vanderbilt. Opportunities include generous university-funded summer research stipends and departmental honors programs. Most undergraduates get involved in research by actively reaching out to professors whose current research interests them. Students conduct research across all academic disciplines regardless of their major field of study. Learn more at vu.edu/undergrad-research.

Yes, classes are available for Vanderbilt students during May Session and Summer Session.

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.

Vanderbilt’s 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio gives students access to faculty across academic disciplines. Ninety-one percent of classes have fewer than 50 students and over half of Vanderbilt undergraduates conduct research in close collaboration with faculty, doing innovative work across academic disciplines.

Opportunities to interact with faculty outside of the classroom begin day one at Vanderbilt. All first-year students live on The Martha River Ingram Commons, a living and learning residential community. A faculty member serves as head of house for each of the 10 houses and lives side-by-side with students, acting as both teacher and mentor. Beyond the first year, student-faculty interaction outside the classroom continues as a hallmark of the Vanderbilt experience.

All Vanderbilt students have a faculty adviser, and typically students meet with their adviser at least once a semester. There are slight differences in the advising programs of the four undergraduate schools, as explained below.

Students in the College of Arts and Science are assigned a pre–major adviser the summer before their first year. After students declare a major (by the end of sophomore year), students work with a faculty adviser within the department of their chosen major. Students in the Blair School of Music and the Peabody College of Education and Human Development are assigned a faculty adviser in the major into which they are admitted, but they have the option to change advisers or majors after the first year. Students in the School of Engineering are assigned a faculty adviser from their selected major upon entry or from any department if they have not chosen a major. Engineering students select their major by the end of their first year, at which point they may change their adviser. 

The Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services provides resources and support for students with learning differences.  Students may also reach out to the Psychological and Counseling Center, which serves the entire Vanderbilt community.

Yes, Vanderbilt’s Career Center offers resources such as individual career coaching, career exploration tools, and on-campus recruiting events. Please visit the Career Center website for more information.

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 at Vanderbilt can do so after they have completed two semesters and as long as they are in good academic standing.

Yes, it is possible to pursue double majors and minors, even in unrelated academic fields and across undergraduate schools. 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.

One year after graduation, approximately 65 percent of Vanderbilt graduates are employed, 25 percent are attending graduate or professional school, and about 10 percent are traveling, doing internships, or engaged in some other activity. In recent years, about 70 percent of graduating seniors who are admitted to graduate or professional school are admitted to their first-choice school. For more information, please visit the Career Center website.

There are seemingly endless opportunities to get involved. Vanderbilt hosts 460+ student organizations, including a student-run media, 38 club sports, over 40 intramural sports, musical ensembles including a 200-member marching band, fraternities, sororities, and Division I-SEC sports with enthusiastic student cheering sections. In addition, Nashville is located in a major metropolitan area with about 1.6 million people. Our campus is in Midtown Nashville, located just minutes from a lively downtown scene and within close distance of much of what Music City has to offer.

A student earns credits for the successful completion of each course for each academic term. The average Vanderbilt student takes 12 - 15 credit hours (4 - 5 courses) per semester.

Most recently, eighty-six percent of Vanderbilt students graduated in four years.  Ninety-two percent of students graduated in six years. 

Vanderbilt offers 69 majors within four undergraduate schools and colleges.

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 StudioTutoring Services, and the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department.

Students in the School of Engineering declare a major at the end of freshman year. Students in the College of Arts and Science declare a major at the end of sophomore year. Students applying to Blair School of Music and Peabody College of Education and Human Development must declare a major when they apply but have opportunities to change majors, double major, or add minors, as do students in all four undergraduate schools and colleges.

Information on Pre-Professional Programs is available online. Vanderbilt offers pre-professional advising for students interested in pre-health, pre-law, pre-business, and pre-architecture.  While we do not offer a business major, students interested in business are encouraged to explore our Economics and Human and Organizational Development majors, and to work with their academic adviser and the Career Center to plan an appropriate curriculum.

Entering first-year students who have taken college work during their junior or senior year in high school through dual enrollment or concurrent enrollment programs, or during summers prior to their offer of admission to Vanderbilt, must report such work via the Application for Pre-Freshman Credit.

The question of credit at Vanderbilt must be settled in advance of the student’s final registration.

Credit will be awarded only if:
1. A course is regularly offered by an accredited two-year or four-year college or university;
2. The teacher was a regular faculty member of that college or university;
3. A majority of the students in the course were candidates for a degree at that college or university; and
4.  for the School of Engineering, if the student traveled to the college campus to take the course.

The College of Arts and Science and Peabody College usually do not award credit for work at other colleges in the summer immediately preceding the student’s first semester at Vanderbilt. Summer work elsewhere will be accepted for credit only if an unusual educational opportunity can be demonstrated and if the courses sought are as rigorous as courses offered at Vanderbilt. Approval for work to be taken elsewhere must be obtained in advance from the appropriate dean.

College of Arts and Science. In no case may credits completed elsewhere after the student has been offered admission by the College of Arts and Science satisfy AXLE requirements.

School of Engineering. We do not limit pre-freshman credit  (or AP/IB credit) in any way so long as students earn 60 hours at Vanderbilt and meet other residency requirements.

Vanderbilt does not offer dual enrollment credit under most circumstances. If the course in question appears on both the high school transcript and a college transcript, the student will receive credit only one time for completion of that course.