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Recruitment For The Ph.D.

The VU-EDGE office coordinates a comprehensive and far-reaching recruitment program that breaks down into four different categories:

DIRECT STUDENT CONTACT: A very simple concept, but one often overlooked by universities is the use of numerous direct contacts. We see each contact as a step toward a relationship with you. The goal (in recruiting as with courting) is to keep the conversation going until we get a “no”. With that in mind, members of our community--staff, faculty, current graduate students, alumni--are available to you if you would like to know more about Vanderbilt, Nashville, and your particular program of interest. In addition to responding to your requests for information, our office is proactive in reaching out to students to make sure their questions are answered. We, like many of our peers, receive recommendations of students that we should contact so you might actually get a letter or an email from us. We hope that initial contact encourages you to look more deeply at us and our learning community.

PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS: While Vanderbilt has a world-class reputation, we recognize that we may not always be the first university that comes to mind to some of the people who advise students about graduate education. In order to introduce ourselves, we have produced brochures, calendars, and flyers that we mail to prospective students and to our peers at other institutions. Many of these publications can be downloaded as .pdf files right from our College webpages (e.g., VUSE, Peabody). Each year, we invite a select group of coordinators from McNair Scholars and Honors colleges/programs to visit campus (on us) so that they can get a better sense of what our programs offer the students they advise. We also invite a select group of science faculty from Historically Black, Hispanic Serving, and Women's Colleges to meet with our science faculty, deans, and graduate students during a weekend, all-expenses paid visit to campus. Finally, our Bridge programs in the Physics/Astronomy and the Biomedical Research departments join Vanderbilt to seven universities (Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Barry University, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Tuskegee University, and the University of Puerto Rico) enabling us to help students at these masters-granting universities pursue their dreams of receiving a Ph.D..

recruitmentFIELD RECRUITMENT: We realize that many motivated and able students may not be found in places that recruiters normally go. The backbone of many recruitment efforts, this is a powerful tool in recruiting underrepresented students to Vanderbilt. Rather than merely seeing this “road-running” as a time to sell our programs, we also use this time on the road to do research about your colleges/universities and to make contacts with new agencies and schools. Each year members of the Vanderbilt community travel to National Conferences (e.g., SACNAS, McNair Scholars), Women's Colleges (e.g., Smith College, Haverford College), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (e.g., Hampton University, Spelman College), Hispanic Serving Institutions (e.g., University of Puerto Rico, University of Miami), Tribal Colleges, and even Black and Latino Churches to meet students who might be interested in considering doctoral study at Vanderbilt. If you'd like to know where we are this year, you can look at our travel schedule.

"CLOSER LOOK" CAMPUS VISITS: When asked which are the most effective of all strategies that colleges use, students overwhelmingly say that visiting the college campus was most important. The visits give you an opportunity to tour the campus, talk to enrolled students, and even attend classes. They also allow departments to tell you about the support offered and let you see for yourselves whether or not the campus environment is conducive to academic and personal growth. We offer visit opportunities at all three stages of the recruitment process: rising senior recruitment, applicant recruitment, and during our efforts to encourage admitted students to accept our offers.