Skip to main content

Quick Facts

Founded in 1873 with a $1 million gift from “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt to establish an institution that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country,” Vanderbilt today is a globally renowned research university. Its 10 schools reside on a parklike campus set in the urban heart of Nashville, Tennessee, providing a collaborative atmosphere of discovery that drives positive change in the world.

Top-ranked in both academics and financial aid, Vanderbilt offers an immersive living–learning undergraduate experience, with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development. The university also is home to nationally and internationally recognized graduate schools of law, education, business, medicine, nursing and divinity, and offers robust graduate-degree programs across a range of disciplines.

Vanderbilt is committed to inclusive excellence, drawing the world's brightest students, faculty and distinguished visitors from across all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. The university's prominent alumni base includes Nobel Prize winners, members of Congress, governors, ambassadors, judges, admirals, CEOs, university presidents, physicians and attorneys, as well as professional sports figures playing in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, the PGA and LPGA.

Vanderbilt, an independent, privately supported university, and the separate, nonprofit Vanderbilt University Medical Center share a respected name and enjoy close collaboration through education and research. Together, the number of people employed by these two organizations exceeds that of the largest private employer in the Middle Tennessee region.


Students (2019–2020)



  • Total: 6,886
    • Full-time: 6,833
    • Part-time: 53

Graduate and professional:

  • Total: 6,245
    • Full-time: 5,219
    • Part-time: 1,026

Total full-time students: 12,052
Total part-time students: 1,079

Total enrollment: 13,131

  • Men: 5,815 (44%)
  • Women: 7,314 (56%)
  • Percentage of undergraduates receiving some sort of financial aid: 65%
  • Undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1

Undergraduate tuition: $50,800

First-Year Students (FALL 2019)

  • Number of first-year students: 1,604
  • Men: 49% of the class
  • Women: 51% of the class
  • SAT mid 50% range: 1460–1560
  • ACT mid 50% range: 33–35
  • Number of applicants: 37,310

Race and Ethnicity

  • White: 41.5%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 15.3%
  • Black: 11.7%
  • Hispanic: 9.7%
  • International: 11.8%
  • Two or more races: 5.0%
  • Race unknown: 4.5%
  • American Indian: 0.4%

Enrollment by School (all students)

  • Blair School of Music: 207
  • College of Arts and Science: 4,046
  • Divinity School: 176
  • Graduate School: 2,222
  • Law School: 619
  • Owen Graduate School of Management: 585
  • Peabody College: 2,352
  • School of Engineering: 1,441
  • School of Medicine: 577
  • School of Nursing: 900
  • Division of Unclassified Studies: 7

Regional Breakdown (all students)

  • New England: 4.6%
  • Midwest: 14.9%
  • South: 36.6%
  • Middle States: 13.5%
  • West: 10.2%
  • Southwest: 7.2%
  • U.S. Territories and Unspecified: 0.8%
  • International: 12.2%


  • Baccalaureate: 1,700
  • Master's: 1,382
  • Ph.D.: 291
  • M.D.: 100
  • Other doctoral: 308
  • Total degrees conferred: 3,781

    No honorary degrees are conferred.


  • Residence halls and apartments: 39
  • Capacity: 6,241
  • Fraternity and sorority houses: 23
  • Percentage of undergraduates who live on campus (2018–19): 94%

Extracurricular activities


Schools and Degrees

  • College of Arts and Science: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts*, Master of Science*, Master of Fine Arts*, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • Blair School of Music: Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Musical Arts
  • Divinity School: Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts*, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • School of Engineering: Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Master of Engineering, Master of Science*, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • Graduate School: Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Liberal Arts and Science, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Philosophy
  • Law School: Master of Laws, Doctor of Jurisprudence, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • School of Medicine: Master of Science in Medical Physics, Master of Laboratory Investigation, Master of Education of the Deaf, Master of Science (Applied Clinical Informatics, Speech-Language Pathology), Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, Master of Genetic Counseling, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy*, Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Medical Physics
  • School of Nursing: Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Philosophy*, Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Owen Graduate School of Management: Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Finance, Master of Accountancy, Master of Management in Health Care, Master of Marketing, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • Peabody College of education and human development: Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, Master of Science*, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy*

* These degrees are awarded through the Graduate School.


Accreditation, Honors and Rankings

Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, or call (404) 679-4500 with questions about the accreditation of Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Nobel Laureates

  • Al Gore Jr., former U.S. vice president; attended Graduate School 1973; attended Law School 1977: awarded 2007 Peace Prize for efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay foundations to counteract such change
  • Muhammad Yunus, Ph.D. 1971: awarded 2006 Peace Prize for establishing the Grameen Bank and pioneering the practice of providing microloans to the impoverished
  • Stanley Cohen, Vanderbilt biochemistry professor (1959–90): awarded 1986 Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery with a colleague of epidermal growth factor
  • Stanford Moore, B.A. 1935: awarded 1972 Prize in Chemistry for fundamental contributions to the understanding of enzyme chemistry
  • Earl Sutherland Jr., Vanderbilt physiology professor (1963–73): awarded 1971 Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the metabolic regulating compound cyclic AMP
  • Max Delbruck,Vanderbilt physics professor (1940–47): awarded 1969 Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses


U.S. News & World Report (2020)


  • 15 — National Universities
  • 7 — Best Value Schools
  • 16 — Learning Communities
  • 16 — Service Learning
  • 20 — Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • 27 — First-Year Experiences
  • 34 — Best Undergraduate Engineering Schools

Graduate Schools, Programs and Specialties (2019):

  • 1 — Special Education (Peabody College)
  • 1 — Educational Administration and Supervision (Peabody College)
  • 1 — Nurse-Midwifery (School of Nursing)
  • 1 — Audiology (School of Medicine)
  • 1 — Speech–Language Pathology (School of Medicine)
  • 2 — Nurse Practitioner: Family (School of Nursing)
  • 2 — Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health (School of Nursing)
  • 3 — Educational Psychology (Peabody College)
  • 3 — Nursing Informatics (School of Nursing)
  • 3 — Nurse Practitioner: Adult/Gerontology (School of Nursing)
  • 4 — Education Policy (Peabody College)
  • 5 — Curriculum and Instruction (Peabody College)
  • 5 — Elementary Teacher Education (Peabody College)
  • 5 — Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice (School of Nursing)
  • 6 — Best Education Schools (Peabody College)
  • 8 — Best Nursing Schools (School of Nursing)
  • 10 — Best Medical Schools: Internal Medicine (School of Medicine)
  • 11 — World's Top Universities for Oncology (School of Medicine)
  • 16 — Clinical Pychology (Arts & Science/Peabody College)
  • 18 — Best Law Schools (Law School)
  • 23 — Best Medical Schools: Primary Care (School of Medicine)
  • 23 — Best Graduate Programs in History (Graduate School)
  • 24 — Best Graduate Programs in Political Science (Graduate School)
  • 26 — World's Top Universities for Clinical Medicine (School of Medicine)
  • 26 — Best Graduate Programs in Psychology (Graduate School)
  • 27 — Best Graduate Programs in Biological Sciences (Graduate School)
  • 27 — Best Graduate Programs in English (Graduate School)
  • 29 — Best Graduate Business Schools (Owen Graduate School of Management)
  • 35 — Best Graduate Programs in Economics (Graduate School)
  • 39 — Best Graduate Engineering Schools (School of Engineering)

Reuters (2019)

  • 19 — World's Most Innovative Universities

Kiplinger (2019)

  • 10 — Best Value Among Private U.S. Universities

Money (2020)

  • 15 — Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value

The Princeton Review (2020)

  • 1 — Best Quality of Life, Students Love Their College
  • 2 — Happiest Students, Great Financial Aid, College City Gets High Marks, Best Athletic Facilities
  • 4 — Best-Run Colleges, Most Beautiful Campus



Employment (FY 2020) *

* In April 2016, Vanderbilt University Medical Center became an independent, financially distinct nonprofit organization. Employment figures shown here represent faculty and staff of Vanderbilt University, as well as Vanderbilt University faculty employed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Total Vanderbilt University Staff: 4,470

  • Full time: 4,044
  • Part time: 426

Total Vanderbilt University Faculty: 4,783

  • Full time: 4,358
    Employed by Vanderbilt University: 1,466
    Employed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center: 2,892
  • Part time: 425
    Employed by Vanderbilt University: 324
    Employed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center: 101


Faculty with terminal degrees: 96%

Total Employment, Vanderbilt University: 9,253


  • Conference memberships: Southeastern Conference (Eastern Division); Southland Bowling League; American Athletic Conference (Lacrosse)
  • Men's varsity teams: Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis
  • Women's varsity teams: Basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field
  • National championships:
    • Women's tennis (2015)
    • Baseball (2014, 2019)
    • Bowling (2007, 2018)
  • Seating Capacity:
    • Memorial Gymnasium (basketball): 14,316
    • Vanderbilt Stadium (football): 40,350
    • Charles Hawkins Field (baseball): 3,626
  • School colors: black and gold
  • Mascot: Commodore, Mr. C



  • Number of living alumni: 136,064
  • Number of alumni residing in Nashville area: 24,471
  • Alumni Association founded: 1879
  • Number of alumni chapters worldwide: 41

Learn more at the Alumni website.



Located a mile and a half southwest of downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt is home to more than 300 tree and shrub varieties and was designated an arboretum in 1988. The oldest building on the original campus was constructed around 1859. The Peabody College section of campus has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark since 1966. Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, located about nine miles from campus, also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • 340.7 acres
  • 179 buildings
  • Total physical plant: 12.0 million square feet
  • Real-estate managed (61 buildings): 2.9 million square feet
  • Campus map | Vicinity map



The Board of Trust is the governing body of the university. The chancellor, who is chosen by the Board of Trust, is the chief executive officer of the university. Daniel Diermeier is chancellor of Vanderbilt University.

Officers of the Board

Complete list of members.

  • Bruce R. Evans, Chairman
  • Jeffrey J. Rothschild, Vice-Chairman
  • Nora Wingfield Tyson, Vice-Chairman
  • Adolpho A. Birch III, Secretary

General Officers

Daniel Diermeier, Ph.D.Chancellor
André L. Churchwell, M.D.Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Steven K. Ertel, B.A.Vice Chancellor for Communications
Nathan Green, B.B.A.Vice Chancellor for Government and Community Relations
Anders W. Hall, M.B.A.Vice Chancellor for Investments and Chief Investment Officer
Eric C. Kopstain, M.B.A.Vice Chancellor for Administration
Candice Storey Lee, Ed.D.Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director
John M. Lutz, A.B.Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Interim Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations
Ruby Z. Shellaway, J.D.Vice Chancellor, General Counsel and University Secretary
Brett C. Sweet, M.B.A.Vice Chancellor for Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Susan R. Wente, Ph.D.Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Deans of the Colleges and Schools

Jeffrey R. Balser, M.D., Ph.D.Dean of the School of Medicine
Camilla Persson Benbow, Ed.D.Dean of Peabody College
Lorenzo F. Candelaria, Ph.D.Dean of Blair School of Music
Philippe M. Fauchet, Ph.D.Dean of the School of Engineering
John G. Geer, Ph.D.Dean of the College of Arts and Science
Chris Guthrie, J.D.Dean of the Law School
M. Eric Johnson, Ph.D.Dean of Owen Graduate School of Management
Lawrence J. Marnett, Ph.D.Dean of Basic Sciences, School of Medicine
Linda D. Norman, D.S.N.Dean of the School of Nursing
Emilie M. Townes, Ph.D.Dean of the Divinity School
Mark T. Wallace, Ph.D.Dean of the Graduate School

Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries

Vanderbilt University’s Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries collect, manage and provide access to information. Comprised of nine libraries, the Heard Libraries rank among the top 50 research libraries in the nation and are home to extensive physical collections, databases, e-books, journals and archival materials. The oldest item in the Special Collections Library dates to 2500 B.C.E. In addition to materials in support of Vanderbilt’s research and curriculum, special collections strengths include the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies; the Emmy Award–winning Television News Archive; the Southern Literature and Culture Collection; Latin American collections for Brazil, Colombia, the Andes, Mesoamerica and Argentina; the U.S. Playing Card Company Collection; and the Global Music Archive. The flagship Central Library was built in 1941, enlarged in 1969 and renovated in 2010. It is a LEED gold-certified, 21st-century center for intellectual and community activity. The Peabody Education Library, which opened in 1919, is housed in a historic Carnegie library building.


FutureVU is Vanderbilt University’s comprehensive land-use planning initiative, launched in 2015. It provides a framework for campus development during the next 20 to 30 years in line with themes such as diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, connectivity and community enhancement, increased development and traffic around campus, and preservation of the historic, parklike campus setting—all in support of Vanderbilt’s Academic Strategic Plan. FutureVU is guided by the values that relate directly to Vanderbilt’s core mission of teaching, research and discovery, ensuring that the fundamental principles the university cherishes are manifest in its physical surroundings



Vanderbilt University Financial Information (FY 2019)

Total Net Assets: $6.7 billion


  • Market value: $6.3 billion
  • Endowment payout: 4.5%
  • Endowment per student: $488,995

Unrestricted Operating Activity:

Operating Expenses by Function

  • Instruction and academic support: 39.4%*
  • Support activities: 29.6%
  • Research and public service: 20.7%*
  • Student service: 10.4%*
    * Represents a program expense

Operating Revenues by Source

  • Net tuition, fees, room, board, other auxiliary: 30.6%
  • Gifts and endowment distributions: 22.0%
  • Grants and contracts: 17.4%
  • Affiliated entity revenue: 12.4%
  • Investment income and other: 10.0%
  • Trademarks, licenses and royalties: 7.5%


View the 2019 Financial Report.


Vanderbilt University Research (FY 2019)

  • Total research expenditures funding: $249 million
  • Sponsored research and project awards: $227 million


Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit corporation that shares Vanderbilt University's respected name and collaborates closely with the university through education and research. With the only Level 1 (highest level) trauma center in Middle Tennessee and the region's only Level 4 (highest level) neonatal intensive care unit, Vanderbilt University Medical Center includes Vanderbilt University Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, The Vanderbilt Clinic, and Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks. VUMC also helps coordinate care through the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network of more than 6,700 clinicians, 60 hospitals, 13 health systems, and 120 urgent-care clinics throughout Tennessee and surrounding states, creating the largest health care network in the region.

Contact Us:

Vanderbilt University Division of Communications

(615) 322-2706; (615) 343-7708 fax


Athletics Media Relations

(615) 322-4121; (615) 343-7064 fax