Established in 1873, Vanderbilt University (also known as VU or Vandy) is a private research institution in Nashville, Tennessee. It was administered by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South for the first 40 years of its existence. However, in June 1914, the Vanderbilt Board of Trust cut its links with the church amid a disagreement with the bishops regarding who would appoint members to the university’s board of trustees. 

In 1949, VU was elected to membership in the exclusive Association of American Universities bringing national attention to the university’s position. Following this, the university began flourishing regionally, all the while assessing its accomplishments by national standards. Eventually, Vandy made its first appearance among the top 20 private institutions in the country by the time it celebrated its 90th anniversary in 1963.

VU is categorised among the ‘R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity’ in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’, a classification granted only to institutions that consistently conduct research in different fields and allocate significant resources to research activities. In 2019 alone, the university invested US $249 million in research and development. The university was ranked 14th among ‘National Universities’ in the US News and World Report 2022

Vandy has 147,396 alumni residing in different parts of the world. Among its notable alumni are José Ramón Guizado, 17th President of Panama; Chung Won-shik, 21st Prime Minister of South Korea; Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Father of Microfinance;  Robert Penn Warren, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner; Ralph McGill, Pulitzer Prize winner; Duncan Jones, BAFTA winning-director; and Michael L. Gernhardt, NASA astronaut, among others.

Programs Offered

Vanderbilt University offers programs in Economics, Social Science, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Political Sciences, and various other domains. These courses are imparted through its ten schools and colleges. They are: 

  • College of Arts and Science
  • Blair School of Music
  • Divinity School
  • School of Engineering
  • Graduate School
  • Law School
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing
  • Owen Graduate School of Management
  • Peabody College

Some of the major programs offered by Vandy are mentioned in the table below

Bachelor’s ProgramsMaster’s Programs
Bachelor of Science in Biological SciencesMaster of Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Computer EngineeringMaster of Science in Computer Science
Bachelor of Science in MathematicsMaster of Science in Finance
Bachelor of Arts in HistoryMaster of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Arts in PsychologyMaster of Science in Electrical Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringMaster of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Bachelor of Arts in EconomicsMaster of Science in Biological Sciences
Bachelor of Arts in Musical ArtsMaster of Arts in History
Bachelor of Arts in AnthropologyMaster of Science in Environmental Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Civil EngineeringMaster of Science in Mathematics
Bachelor of Science in NeuroscienceMaster of Science in Nursing
Bachelor of Arts in Political ScienceMaster of Education in Clinical Psychological Assessment 
Bachelor of Arts in SociologyMaster of Arts in Economics
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical EngineeringMaster of Science in Data Science

Admission Process

The acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University is 11.6%. In the academic year 2020-21, 12,309 full-time and 1,228 part-time students enrolled in the university, and 8.8% of the total acceptees were international students. The admission process at Vandy varies based on the program you choose to pursue. Each course demands a different set of skills; thereby, having different sets of eligibility criteria. However, in the table below, we have mentioned the admission requirements common to all programs.

Tests Required Score
TOEFL (Internet-Based Test)100
TOEFL (Computer-Based Test)230

You can find the program-specific admission criteria on the university’s official website. 

Fees Structure and Financial Aid

The table below illustrates the cost of attendance for students applying for undergraduate programs.

Types of CostsAmount
Books and supplies$1,194
Student services fee$1,430
Student health fee$696
Personal expenses$3,002
Estimated Total$79,538

The tuition fees for graduate courses at VU vary as they are program-specific. You can visit Vandy’s official website to learn about the fee structure of your chosen program.

Vanderbilt University assists students in paying for their education through financial aid programs such as scholarships, education loans, grants, fee waivers, and work-study. Some of the scholarships provided by this university include:

  • Ingram Scholars Program: Candidates are chosen for their commitment to civic-minded service, entrepreneurial spirit, personal character strength, and leadership potential. Each year, Ingram Scholars are granted full tuition support in addition to a stipend for a special summer service project. If a beneficiary of an Ingram Scholarship has a demonstrated financial need that exceeds the cost of the full tuition, the university will offer them extra need-based financial aid. 
  • The Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship: Here, candidates are selected on the basis of academic achievement, intellectual promise, leadership, and contribution outside the classroom. They receive the complete tuition cost along with a one-time summer stipend. The institution also grants additional need-based financial aid to the scholars whose demonstrated need surpasses the sum of full tuition. As long as the recipients maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, scholarships are continued each year.
  • Chancellor’s Scholarship: Recipients are selected based on their commitment to diversity, leadership, personal integrity, and academic excellence. They receive full tuition as well as a one-time summer stipend. Vandy also grants additional need-based financial aid to the scholars whose demonstrated need surpasses the sum of full tuition. As long as the recipients maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, scholarships are continued to be provided each year.

So, if you aspire to study at an institution that is ranked among the top universities in the US, then Vanderbilt University is the place to be. We hope that this article has helped you to learn crucial information about this university.  All the best!


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