Degrees Offered at the Vanderbilt University
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The Vanderbilt University (Vandy or VU) is a private research university located in Nashville, TN. The university began operations in 1873 with a $1 million donation from shipping and rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. The campus occupies 330 acres with the core consisting of 75 acres of spacious lawns, majestic trees, and classically designed buildings. Today, Vandy is rated as one of the finest educational institutions in the country, with over 13,100 students evenly divided between undergraduates and graduates. Undergraduates choose between 69 possible degree paths while masters-level students have the opportunity to explore 68 degrees, and doctoral-level students enjoy 58 different programs from which to choose.
To organize this extraordinary accumulation of degree programs, Vanderbilt University is divided into 10 schools or colleges:
- College of Arts and Sciences
- 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 of Education and Human Development
Of all its degree programs, only two are offered entirely online—Master of Education in Human Development Counseling and Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning in Organizations. The student enrollment in these two degrees includes only 95 students out of the 13,100 students that make up the Vandy student body.
VU offers baccalaureate degrees in a diverse array of subjects. Some areas of study include art, history, English, education, all sciences, foreign languages and cultures, cognitive studies, psychology, philosophy, literature, communication, computer science, engineering, education, child development, sociology, music, and political studies. The music degrees at Vandy are amongst the most desired in the country. Vanderbilt University grounds its music degrees with a healthy dose of liberal arts to ensure a full understanding of the effects of music on cultures, the mind, and the well-being of everyone with which the student comes into contact. The school offers concentrations in 18 different musical instruments, such as the harp, flute, and voice.
Vanderbilt University’s 68 master’s-level degree programs cover fields every bit as diverse as the programs offered at the undergraduate level. With an excellent faculty and upgraded facilities, Vandy’s graduate programs are considered some of the finest country. One additional degree program unavailable at the baccalaureate level is the Master of Science in Nursing. These programs are accessible from multiple levels including every degree level from an Associates in Nursing, holders of LPN status, and holders of RN degrees. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing are encouraged to participate in the master’s-level nursing programs at Vandy through an accelerated program that includes pre-nursing courses to bring them up to speed. Courses are offered in a combination of on campus, online, and through other distance technologies. The school supports dual degree programs as well with a Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Divinity or the Master of Theological Studies degrees for students interested in working in a faith-based nursing environment or missionary/medical work.
The doctoral programs at VU are among the most impressive in the country. Each department runs its doctoral programs, which suggests the reason why there are a total of 56 doctoral degrees available from which to choose. The intensity of these programs demands that the student attend classes at the university. Most doctoral students work as Teaching Assistants for professors to augment their income while studying for the degree. One of the most diverse degree programs lies in the subject field of biology. These degrees include:
- Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry
- Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
- Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
- Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Informatics
- Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics
The doctoral programs at VU require the completion of a minimum of 72 credit hours of study with a GPA of 3.00. Each of the doctoral degrees requires a relevant dissertation which the student defends before a panel of qualified experts.
About Vanderbilt University
Since its inception in 1873, Vanderbilt University has embraced the concept of continual education. The school’s belief in the value of knowledge and critical thought to the issues of the day has born fruit on many occasions to which its list of prominent graduates attests. As a major private research institution, Vandy contributes to advances in science, engineering, cancer research, and epidemiology, to mention a few areas of concentration. The university is recognized as one of the premier educational institutions in the country.
Vanderbilt University is ranked as the 27th Best University in the Nation by Forbes Magazine, 17th best by Times/WSJ, 15th by US News & World Report. US News & World Report also ranks Vandy first in the areas of audiology, educational administration, and special education.
Vanderbilt University Accreditation Details
Vanderbilt University is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Individual specialization accreditations for educational programs include:
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
- Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME)
- American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (ABA)
- American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation (ADA)
- American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation (APA)
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (ASA)
- Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (CAATS)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
- Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
- National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation (NASM)
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
- Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Vanderbilt University Application Requirements
The acceptance rate at Vanderbilt University is 11%, making it one of the most selective schools in the nation. VU uses a holistic approach toward the selection of candidates, something that has worked well for them through the years which the 97 percent freshman retention rate demonstrates. The university does not base its decision on test scores or student need. Most successful candidates demonstrate their academic determination by accomplishing:
- Four years of English
- Four years of mathematics (Algebra one and above)
- Two years of social studies
- Two years of a single foreign language
- Four years of natural science
- Four years of additional studies in these areas
Vanderbilt University pays close attention to the rigors of the courses that the student has accomplished, the degree to which the student goes beyond the classwork, and the extracurricular activities that each applicant has pursued while in high school. Each year the school admits only 1,600 students as freshmen. Only the most accomplished students make the cut.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Vanderbilt University has one of the highest tuition rates in the country, yet also has one of the lowest rates of graduate debt. The $6.3 billion endowments that the school enjoys allows it to reduce tuition costs that run $52,070 per year generously. Since the school does not offer online degrees at the undergraduate level, most students must live on the campus, which adds another $16,910 to the cost.
The Princeton Review ranks Vanderbilt as having the second-best financial aid package in the country. VU offers over $41.2 million in scholarships to its first-year students. These scholarships include need-based awards and merit-based awards. Over 65 percent of the incoming class will receive one of these scholarships. The university also monitors the financial obligations of its students and offers employment, grants, or other financial aid when the need for assistance begins to overwhelm a student’s studies.
Students who qualify to attend Vanderbilt gain more than a degree; they are the recipients of a prestigious degree that is recognized throughout the country. Employers seek graduates from Vanderbilt University as prospective leaders who think creatively and critically.