Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, Nashville - Admission

    Nashville, TennesseeLocation
    UniversitySchool type
    Estd 1873established year

    Vanderbilt University 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

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    Anam Shams

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    Vanderbilt University offers a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to both domestic as well as international students. The university is a renowned name in the US Education System and is ranked highly in both academics as well as financial aid. The total enrollment of students at the university is 13,131, out of which 11.8% of students come from foreign countries.

    The institute offers teaching through its 11 schools and colleges.Vanderbilt University programs in the liberal arts and sciences, music, engineering, education, and human development offer an immersive living and learning experience. The popular majors of the university include Economics, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, etc.

    The University has an acceptance rate of 10% only, which means getting admission is quite tough. Having a good academic record and a dynamic personal profile is the only way to get into it. The students have to apply online and following the dates is a must. The student-faculty ratio is quite small, i.e. 7:1. Furthermore, students who wish to Study in the USA and experience their dream college life can definitely look forward to the institute.

    • The university also offers a range of robust graduate degree programs through its globally recognized schools of education, law, business, nursing, medicine, and divinity.
    • The university follows a semester-based academic calendar and the intake of students takes place during the fall and spring seasons.
    • The acceptance rate of Vanderbilt University is 10% which indicates its high selectivity for students.
    • Due to the current ongoing COVID pandemic, all the undergraduate and graduate recruitment events of the university have been suspended through August 1.
    • The university offers financial aid to international students through a range of need-based scholarships and grants.


    Mode of Application Online
    Acceptance rate 10%
    Application Fee 50 USD (non-refundable) for UG Programs;
    95 USD (non-refundable) for PG Programs
    Accepted English Proficiency Exams for non-native speakers TOEFL, IELTS, DUOLINGO, PTE Academic
    Academic Calendar Semester based
    Intake Seasons Spring and Fall
    Student to faculty ratio 7:1
    Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships are available

    Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate

    In order to assemble a diverse community of talented and intelligent scholars and leaders, Vanderbilt is committed to enrolling a first-year class of approximately 1,600 students. Due to this, the university’s admission process is very selective. Vanderbilt uses a holistic approach towards granting admissions where an applicant’s past academic record, extra-curricular activities, application essay and letter of recommendation is considered while reviewing. In 2019, Vanderbilt had an acceptance rate of 9.6% while in 2020, it had an acceptance rate of 10% where only 3,298 out of 34,313 applicants were admitted making Vanderbilt an extremely competitive school with a very low acceptance rate. 

    Vanderbilt University Admission Deadlines

    The application deadlines for admission at Vanderbilt University vary with different academic programs. The table below provides the details about the application deadlines of the most sought after academic programs:

    Academic Programs Application Deadlines
    Undergraduate Programs
    Early Decision I November 1, 2019
    Early Decision II January 1, 2020
    Regular Decision January 1, 2020
    Graduate Programs
    General January 15
    Master of Business Administration April 6
    M.S. Program in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering October 15(spring admission); January 15 (Fall admission)


    • *For students applying for fall 2021 entry, SAT or ACT scores are optional.
    • The Early Admission Round I for the academic year 2021 concluded successfully in 2020. Hence the information for the same hasn’t been provided here. 

    The admission deadlines for International Graduate applicants differ as per the course or programme. Please check the official website for detailed information on the same. 

    International Student Admissions

    Vanderbilt University follows a genuine spirit of collaboration and welcomes students from around the world to its geographically and ethnically diverse campus community.

    The admission process for international students is described below.

    How to apply?

    Application Portal: The students can apply using Common Application or Coalition Application or QuestBridge Application.

    Application Fee: 50 USD (non-refundable) for UG Programs; 95 USD (non-refundable) for PG Programs

    Basic Admission Requirements: The applicants from foreign countries are required to fulfill the following admission requirements:

    • Official Academic Transcripts
    • Resume
    • Letter of Recommendation from Counselor and teachers
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Scores of Entrance Exams to Study in the USA. (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT)
    • Official Scores from TOEFL, IELTS, DUOLINGO or PTE Academic to indicate proficiency in English language (only for applicants whose first language is not English)
    • A completed College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile is required from international students who wish to be considered for need-based aid. CSS is basically an online application that collects information for the award of non-federal aid.
    • Interview (optional requirement)

    Note: All the documents must be provided in English.

    English Proficiency Test Scores

    International applicants whose language of instruction or first language is not English are required to submit scores from standardized tests to indicate their proficiency in the language. University accepts official scores of TOEFL, IELTS, DUOLINGO, and PTE Academic tests.

    The standardized tests along with minimum score requirements for admission considerations are given below:

    Standardized Tests Minimum Score Requirements
    TOEFL- Internet-based 100
    IELTS 7.0
    Pearson Test of English Academic 70
    Duolingo English Test 120

    Note: The requirement of taking the above tests will be waived if applicants score 33 or above in the SAT Reading Test or above 26 in the English section of the ACT.

    Visa Process for International Students

    International students who are looking forward to studying full-time at the University, United States must apply for a Visa to Study in the USA. The documentation requirements involved in the process of obtaining a visa are as follows:

    • Admission/Invitation Letter from the institute
    • Valid Passport
    • Form I-20
    • One 2x2 photograph
    • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
    • Financial Statement

    Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Admissions

    The institute offers 70 undergraduate degree programs through its four undergraduate schools namely College of Arts and Science, School of Engineering, Blair School of Music, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

    The various requirements for admission into the undergraduate degree programs at the University are listed below:

    Application Portal: Common Application/ Coalition Application/QuestBridge Application

    Application Fee: 50 USD (non-refundable)

    Application Requirements:

    1. The following documents should be submitted along with the application:
    • All required parts of the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application
    • $50 non-refundable application fee, or fee waiver for qualified students
    • Official high school transcript
    • Counselor letter of recommendation
    • Two academic teacher recommendations
    • Optional for students applying for fall 2021 entry: SAT or ACT scores (SAT code: 1871 / ACT code: 4036)
    • Official results of the TOEFL, TOEFL Special Home Edition, IELTS, PTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test if applicable*
    • A completed College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, if applicable**

    Vanderbilt University Graduate Admissions

    Applicants with a bachelor’s degree can apply to the Graduate School of the University. The university offers many graduate degrees like MA, MS, MLAS, MFA in Creative Writing, etc. in a wide range of fields. The application for admission can be made electronically through the link available on the official website of the university.

    The various general admission requirements to these graduate degree programs at Vanderbilt University are given below:

    Application Portal: Apply online at the Vanderbilt University Graduate Admission Portal.

    Application Fee: 95 USD (non-refundable)

    The application fees may vary for some programs.

    Eligibility Requirements: The following are the general requirements for admission to the graduate programs:

    • Academic Transcripts
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE/GMAT)
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    • TOEFL/IELTS Language Proficiency Exams
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Admission Interviews

    Some of the popular graduate degree programs of the institute along with their specific academic requirements are tabulated below:

    Requirements Master of Business Administration(MBA) M.S. Electrical Engineering M.S. Computer Engineering Master of Liberal Arts and Science
    Application Fee 200 USD 95 USD 95 USD 95 USD
    GMAT/GRE Required Required Required Not Required
    Resume/CV Required Required Required Required
    Statement of Purpose Required Required Required Required
    Letters of Recommendation Required (2 letters) Required(3 letters) Required(3 letters) Required (3 letters)
    Interview Optional Optional Optional Required
    Additional Requirements 4 years of university study Research Experience (Preferable) Research Experience (Preferable) -

    The institute is highly selective of its candidates with an acceptance rate of 10%. International applicants must adhere to all the admission requirements as well as the dates and deadlines. All parts of the application must be submitted within the stated deadlines.

    The university follows a holistic admission process. Rather than employing standardized testing cutoffs, the applicants are looking for strong academic skills, intellectual curiosity and engagement in activities outside the classroom. The applicants must keep all these pointers in mind while applying for admission at Vanderbilt University.


    Ques. How to send GRE or GMAT scores for admissions at Vanderbilt University?

    Ans. The Vanderbilt institutional code to which GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent is 1871.

    Ques. What is the minimum score requirement for IELTS or TOEFL for graduate admissions at Vanderbilt University?

    Ans. The minimal acceptable scores for the Vanderbilt Graduate School are as follows:

    • TOEFL PBT = 570
    • TOEFL iBT = 88
    • IELTS = 6.5

    Ques. How to submit the documents required for the application at Vanderbilt University?

    Ans. Transcripts at Vanderbilt University can be sent either via the postal service or via secure electronic delivery. In order to be considered official, transcripts and other documents must come directly from the institution attended. They can be sent electronically at or can be mailed to

    Center for Data Management
    Vanderbilt University
    PMB 407833
    2301 Vanderbilt Place
    Nashville, TN 37240-7833

    Ques. How can I check the status of my application at Vanderbilt University?

    Ans. Once your application has been submitted to Vanderbilt University, your login will take you to your Application Status page. This page contains important information on the status of your application. Use the Application Checklist to verify which application requirements have been met and which are still outstanding.

    Ques. Are there any exceptions to the TOEFL requirement?

    Ans. Vanderbilt does not require the TOEFL if you have completed three of your last four educational years in a majority English-speaking curriculum. However, if you are enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Language Learner (ELL) program, the TOEFL is recommended. Students are also exempt from the TOEFL if they score a 600 or above on the critical reading section of the SAT reasoning exam.

    Ques.  How can I know if I should apply as an international student?

    Ans. Vanderbilt considers you an international student if you are a citizen of any nation other than the United States of America. You are not considered an international student if you are a dual U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, refugee/asylee, or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

    Ques. How do I schedule a personal interview?

    Ans.Interviews with admissions officers are not part of the admission process for Vanderbilt. Anytime you speak or meet with an admissions officer, it is simply an informative conversation, not an evaluation. Some applicants may choose to participate in our optional alumni interviewing program, known as the CoRPs Interview Program. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that alumni interviews will be available in every part of the world. 

    Ques. I have U.S. citizenship but have never lived in the U.S. or been in a U.S. system. Will that be considered when the admissions committee reviews my application?

    Ans. Your citizenship determines how we process the paperwork for your application, but not how we review your application. Any student who attends school outside the U.S. will work with his/her international admissions officer so that cultural and educational differences are kept in perspective throughout the review process.

    Ques.  I live in China and the SAT is not available to me. Can I submit the GRE or another test instead?

    Ans. No. We cannot accept substitutions to the testing requirements. All applicants, freshman and transfer, need to submit scores from either the SAT Reasoning Exam or the ACT.

    Ques.  I want to attend Vanderbilt, but I need to improve my English first. Does Vanderbilt offer conditional admission?

    Ans. Vanderbilt does not offer conditional admission. We do have an English Language Center, but it is separate from our degree programs. Students applying to Vanderbilt University should be prepared to enter directly into our English-speaking classrooms.

    Ques. I was just approved for U.S. permanent residency, but I already submitted my application. What should I do?

    Ans.Please notify our office as soon as you receive approval for U.S. permanent residency. Once you obtain this status, you are no longer considered an international student in our process and may then be eligible for federal and/or institutional financial aid.

    Ques.  I‘m currently attending a university, but I don‘t want to transfer my credits. Can I apply as a freshman?

    Ans. No, if you are currently attending or have previously attended a university full time as a matriculated student, you must apply for admission as a transfer student. You may only apply for freshman admission if you have completed the equivalent of 11 credit hours or fewer (usually three college courses).

    Ques.  I‘m in the IB (International Baccalaureate) program. Do you need my predicted scores?

    Ans. Yes. If you attend a school that can provide accurate predicted IB scores, we will need them for review.

    Ques.  Will Vanderbilt waive application fees?

    Ans. Vanderbilt will waive the application fee if it proves to be a financial burden for the applicant. Please have your school counselor or another school official request a waiver on your behalf.

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