Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee


#18 National Colleges

9.12% Admission Rate
Most Selective

6,871 Undergraduates Enrolled

  • Private nonprofit
  • Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity
  • Four-year, full-time, more selective, lower transfer-in
  • Four-year, large, highly residential

By Dansan4444 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Vanderbilt University (informally Vandy or VU) is a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1873, it was named in honor of shipping and rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided the school its initial $1-million endowment; Vanderbilt hoped that his gift and the greater work of the university would help to heal the sectional wounds inflicted by the Civil War.

Vanderbilt enrolls approximately 13,800 students from the US and over 100 foreign countries. It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". Several research centers and institutes are affiliated with the university, including the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, and Dyer Observatory. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, formerly part of the university, became a separate institution in 2016. With the exception of the off-campus observatory, all of the university's facilities are situated on its 330-acre (1.3 km2) campus in the heart of Nashville, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown.

The Fugitives and Southern Agrarians were based at the university in the first half of the 20th century and helped revive Southern literature among others. Vanderbilt is a founding member of the Southeastern Conference and has been the conference's only private school since 1966.Vanderbilt alumni, faculty, and staff have included 54 current and former members of the United States Congress, 18 U.S. Ambassadors, 13 governors, eleven billionaires, seven Nobel Prize laureates, two Vice Presidents of the United States, and two U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Other notable alumni include three Pulitzer Prize winners, 27 Rhodes Scholars, two Academy Award winners, one Grammy Award winner, six MacArthur Fellows, four foreign heads of state, and five Olympic medallists. Vanderbilt has more than 145,000 alumni, with 40 alumni clubs established worldwide.

"Vanderbilt University." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 February 2022,

Nashville, Tennessee

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City: Large (population of 250,000 or more)

Southeast (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)


Predominant Degree Awarded
Predominantly bachelor's-degree granting

Highest Degree Awarded
Graduate degree

Most Popular Fields

Field % Students
Social Sciences 31.9%
Engineering 15.7%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 11.8%
Biological And Biomedical Sciences 7.7%
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services 5.6%
Visual And Performing Arts 4.5%
Education 3.2%
Psychology 3.1%
History 2.9%
Physical Sciences 2.3%
English Language And Literature/Letters 2.3%
Mathematics And Statistics 2.2%
Public Administration And Social Service Professions 1.7%
Communication, Journalism, And Related Programs 1.5%
Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics 1.4%
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, And Group Studies 1.1%
Philosophy And Religious Studies 0.9%
Legal Professions And Studies 0.2%
Family And Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 0.2%



Percentage Students Receiving Aid

Average Net Cost After Aid


SAT Scores

1515 Composite Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 800 775 750
Verbal 760 735 710

ACT Scores

34 Cumulative Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 35 33 31
English 36 35 34