Vanderbilt University Logo


2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235

(615) 322-7311

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a private research university offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

An Undergraduate Experience Like No Other

The concept of "balance" permeates the undergraduate experience at Vanderbilt. Students balance academics, student activities, and social life in an environment that brings students, faculty, and staff from differing backgrounds, viewpoints, and life experiences together as one.

Because we believe so strongly that great ideas require more than one school of thought, students are encouraged to pursue academic interests in all four undergraduate colleges, even those outside of their main field of study. A significant number of students study abroad in one of the 120+ programs available in 36 countries on 6 continents.

When not engaged in learning, Vanderbilt students have plenty of choices off campus. Nashville is so much more than country music and Southern charm, despite how proud we are of the area's history. In fact, out of the more than 200 places to hear live music, less than a third play country. Nashville is also home to the Tennessee Titans NFL football team, Nashville Predators NHL hockey team, and the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts offers ever–changing exhibitions of classic and contemporary art, and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center brings many shows hot off of Broadway to town.

With so much to do, on campus and off, any student who can balance a serious pursuit of knowledge with endless possibilities for fun will feel right at home.


Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large.

Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, creative experimentation of ideas and concepts.

In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.


V-U Hand Sign – Extend your thumb, index, and middle fingers of the right hand (palm facing out) to form a "V" and "U".

Founder’s Walk – An annual event when incoming freshmen walk through the gates of Vanderbilt to begin their undergraduate careers. Students walk out of the gates to symbolize the completion of their undergraduate years during the graduation procession.

Honor Code Signing – At the beginning of each year, the incoming freshmen gather to sign the Honor Code which is then framed and displayed in the Sarratt Student center as a reminder of the commitment students have made. The honor code has been in existence since 1875, but the signing and framing tradition began with the class of 2002. Outside of graduation festivities, the Honor Code signing is the only time the entire class is gathered together.

Star Walk – Vandy students, fans, and the Spirit of Gold marching band line a sidewalk painted with stars, cheering for the football team as they enter and exit Dudley Field.

Alma Mater and Fight Song – Win or lose, Vanderbilt students and fans stand and sing the alma mater. Dynamite, the Vanderbilt fight song, was written by a Vanderbilt student, Francis Craig in 1924.

Commodore Quake – An annual concert for students in Memorial Gym that kicks off Homecoming weekend. Past headliners have included Ludacris, Chingy and Yin Yang Twins, and the Counting Crows.

Rites of Spring – An annual music festival held on alumni lawn the weekend before finals. Past performances include Spoon, Nelly, My Morning Jacket, Phoenix, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Kid Cubi, and Talib Kwali.

Student Life:

All first-year students live on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. Grouped around 10 houses, each mentored by a residential faculty head of house, the Commons brings together the first-year class from all four undergraduate schools and creates a living learning community through a rich diversity of individual backgrounds, perspectives and academic interests.

At Vanderbilt, expect to meet people from many different regions, countries, cultures, experiences, and walks of life. Just take a look at the more than 510+ student organizations students enjoy while they learn at one of the country’s most renowned universities.

Sports, philosophy, performing arts, hobbies, community service, sororities and fraternities, and professional development are just the start. Students are also encouraged to create their own student groups.

As one of the world’s entertainment capitals, Nashville attracts concert headliners from all musical genres eager to play our city’s arenas and clubs. But it’s not all about music. You are just as likely to see Broadway shows, dance troupes, and other artistic pursuits. 

Vanderbilt has been participating in intercollegiate athletics for more than one hundred years. We field 16 varsity sports teams, all of which play at the NCAA Division I–A level. Our Commodores are proud to compete at the highest level every weekend. Varsity athletic events are free to undergraduates, and our students bring the Commodore Spirit to support their favorite teams every week. Vanderbilt also fields 40 sport clubs, teams that play in intercollegiate competition under the NIRSA standard. These sports run the gamut from soccer to disc golf and Brazilian jujitsu. In addition, the more than 40 intramural sports offered each year give students of all skill and ability levels a chance to compete.



Mr. Commodore
Mr. Commodore, aka Mr. C, the mascot for Vanderbilt University, has led students and athletes to unparalleled success since 1873. He has undergone many transformations, but one thing remains constant: his passion for Vandy. The 2003 NCA Mascot National Champion is the jack-of-all trades and a master at all of them. He can be found cheering on the ‘Dores at athletic events, surprising folks on their birthdays, or even dancing at your wedding!

Vanderbilt today:

Today Vanderbilt is composed of 10 schools- 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, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development.


Vanderbilt has an enrollment of nearly 6,900 undergraduate students and 12,600 graduate and professional students.

Famous graduates:

Fred Thompson (born August 19, 1942) served as a U.S. Attorney and was on the Watergate Committee that investigated Nixon. In 1985, he played himself in the movie Marie, which led to several film roles. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2003, after which he played the role of Arthur Branch on Law & Order. He briefly ran for U.S. president in 2008.

Dierks Bentley (born November 20, 1975) released his self-titled debut album in 2003, and the album's single, "What Was I Thinkin'?" topped the country charts. His 2005 effort, Modern Day Drifter, also went platinum. Bentley became the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry when he was inducted on October 1, 2005, and that year, he won the CMA Horizon Award. His first DVD, The Dierks Bentley Experience, was filmed in 2006.

Interesting facts about Vanderbilt University:

In 1928 a blind Vanderbilt student brought the first seeing-eye dog back to the U.S. and started the Seeing Eye Inc. in Nashville.

Most famous drop out? AL GORE. The former vice-president and presidential candidate dropped out of Vanderbilt not once, but twice! Ironically, a man who carved out a space for global warming in the national political agenda was fairly terrible at the sciences according to his transcripts.

Some Vanderbilt students believe it is good luck to kiss the statue of Vanderbilt founder Cornelius Vanderbilt on your first night on campus.