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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 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.

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.

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. 

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Master of Science in Finance

To earn a Vanderbilt MSF in conjunction with a BS in Computer Science, a student spends four undergraduate years as a computer science major at the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and one year at the Owen Graduate School of Management. Acceptance into the five-year program is extremely competitive. Students apply to the Owen Graduate School of Management during their junior or senior year.

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.

Combined Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering & Masters in Construction Management

Vanderbilt's five-year combined undergraduate and graduate degree program allows students to fast track their professional career, gaining both a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a M. Eng. in Construction Management. 

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.

Teacher Education

Students who are interested in preparing for licensure as secondary school teachers should plan their programs in consultation with the associate dean in the School of Engineering. The School of Engineering and Peabody College offer a teacher education program leading to secondary school licensure in physics (grades 9 through 12) and computer technology. Students major in engineering science and complete a second major in education at Peabody College.

Three-Two Program

The School of Engineering recognizes a Three-Two program with certain liberal arts colleges. This plan allows students to attend a liberal arts college for three years, usually majoring in mathematics or science, then transfer to the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering for two years of technical work in an engineering curriculum.

Dual Degree Program with Fisk University

A coordinated dual degree program between the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering and Fisk University is especially designed to permit students to obtain an A.B. degree in biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, or mathematics from Fisk and a B.E. or B.S. degree in engineering from Vanderbilt, generally within five years.