Summer Sessions Overview
2014 Summer Sessions at Vanderbilt
Summer Sessions

Summer life at Vanderbilt promises a wonderful opportunity for learning and much more. The tree-shaded, park-like campus invites relaxation, and a multitude of activities in the city compete for your attention. Most importantly, Summer Sessions at Vanderbilt is different, a perfect time to focus your interest on an individual subject, interact with your professors daily, and study intensively with your peers.

Vanderbilt students attend Summer Sessions to get ahead with credits toward graduation, to catch up on a rigorous subject, or to explore a topic that doesn’t fit in their regular academic year schedule. Undergraduates from other universities may also qualify and are encouraged to attend summer classes here. Students in good standing at an accredited institution of higher learning are invited to apply as a visiting/transient student through the Division of Unclassified Studies.

Summer Sessions at Vanderbilt consists of:

  • May Session (4-week intensive courses, May 5-May 30)
  • First Session (5 weeks, June 3-July 4)
  • Second Session (5 weeks, July 8-August 8)
  • Full Session (10 weeks, June 3-August 8)

Registration begins on March 24th with on-line registration, with supplemental in-person registration occurring just prior to each segment of Summer Sessions.  Students may register during the on-line registration period for any courses offered in May, 1st, 2nd, and Full Sessions. Students are encouraged to register for courses on-line beginning March 24th. Please note some courses may be canceled because of low enrollment. Vanderbilt students can also conveniently ensure that their desired courses are still available by checking the on-line registration system.

  • On-line Registration for all Summer Sessions: March 24 - May 6
  • May Session Supplemental Registration: May 5-6 (classes begin)
  • May Session classes begin: May 5
  • May Session Ends: May 30
  • First Session Supplemental Registration: June 3-5
  • First Session Classes Begin: June 3
  • First Session Final Exams: July 4
  • Second Session Supplemental Registration: July 8-10 (on YES)
  • Second Session Classes Begin: July 8
  • Second Session Final Exams: August 8

» Consult the full calendar for additional dates and details

Vanderbilt students are encouraged to register for May Session classes on-line. This early registration helps assure placement in university classes. If a course is canceled, the students will be given the opportunity to register for an available course. Under-enrolled courses may also be canceled. Students will be notified of cancelations at the earliest opportunity.


There is a wide range of settings for summer courses:

  • On-campus
  • Study Abroad
  • Study Off-Campus

Students can select from among this range, in consultation with their academic advisor, to ensure that the course fits within their plan of study and degree requirements. For example, a student can enroll in one of the May Session classes being offered in Berlin, Rome, London, Greece, Peru, or elsewhere. They can then enroll in first or second session classes back on campus.


May Session

This period is the four-week interval between final examinations in the spring semester and the beginning of the traditional summer session. Vanderbilt offers a broad selection of "total immersion" courses on special topics as well as educational travel opportunities that would be difficult to offer during a regular semester. Regularly enrolled Vanderbilt students, part-time students, and students who are enrolled during the academic year in other colleges and universities (visiting or transient students through the Division of Unclassified Studies) are eligible to enroll in May courses.

Students are permitted to take no more than one course during May Session. Students interested in a May Session course should seek information directly from the faculty member in charge of the course. Graduate School students interested in a May Session course should refer to the Graduate School Office for acceptable offerings.

Housing and food services are available for students enrolled in courses on campus.

Off-campus and Abroad courses will be announced in early Nov. 2013. Visit the Maymester Info Fair, Nov.12th in the Sarratt Promenade from 11am–1pm.

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Summer Session

Summer Session at Vanderbilt offers a wide selection of courses for regularly enrolled Vanderbilt students, part-time students, and students who are enrolled during the regular year in other colleges and universities (visiting or transient students). Courses are available in most departments of the College of Arts and Science, the Blair School of Music, the School of Engineering, the Graduate School, and Peabody College.

If a two-semester course sequence is offered in the summer, the work of the first semester is covered in the first half of the session, the work of the second semester in the second half. The first half of these courses may be prerequisite for the second half. Whether credit may be obtained for the first half without the second half depends, for Vanderbilt students, upon the requirements of the school and the major department (consult the school’s registrar or records office). Visiting or transient students must be governed by the policies of their institutions regarding transfer of credit.

In addition to providing for regularly enrolled Vanderbilt students who wish to continue in the summer, Summer Session at Vanderbilt is also designed to meet the needs of students who are enrolled during the regular year in other colleges and universities, and visiting university students.

» See Division of Unclassified Studies.

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The Honor System

Vanderbilt operates under the Honor System, established when the University was founded in 1873. All work submitted as a part of course requirements is presumed to be the product of the student submitting it, unless credit is given in the manner prescribed by the course instructor. All students—full-time, part-time, and visiting/transient—are subject to the policies of the Honor System. For more information, complete details are outlined in the Student Handbook.

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Class Attendance Policy

It is in the interest of every student to attend all class sessions; each student has an obligation to contribute to the academic performance of all by full participation in the work of each class. Students are therefore expected to attend all scheduled meetings of classes in which they are enrolled. At the beginning of the session, each instructor will explain the policy regarding absences, and thereafter will report to the office of the appropriate Dean the name of any student whose achievement in a course is adversely affected by excessive absences. In such cases, the Dean, in consultation with the instructor, will take appropriate action, which may include dropping the student from the class. Students dropped after the deadline for withdrawal receive the grade of F. Class attendance may be a factor in determining the final grade in a course.

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Undergraduates in the Blair School of Music, College of Arts and Science, School of Engineering, and Peabody, and DUS students cannot audit courses during summer sessions. There is no formal audit for regularly enrolled students in these schools.

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