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Prospective Students

Are you up for the challenge? 

We live in a fast-paced world that requires a society and workforce with strong science and technology backgrounds. The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (the SSMV) seeks highly-competent and motivated Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) high school students who are: 

  • passionate about science and math, 
  • ready to apply themselves as today’s problem solvers, and  
  • interested in becoming tomorrow’s leaders.  

The SSMV will prepare students to successfully engage in college studies at an accelerated rate, promote pursuit of graduate, postgraduate and professional study, and provide the strong foundation crucial for career success. This unique program is limited to 26 students per grade, and only those attending an MNPS school are eligible. To ensure every qualified student who is chosen can participate, there is no charge for the program. 

What Do Students Study at the SSMV?

Students pursue a curriculum that connects sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics through meaningful and engaging hands-on exploration with

increasing depth and independence.

The curriculum integrates cutting-edge, real-world content such as:

  • Conducting water quality evaluation of local waterways using research tools such as multiprobes, student-built velocity meters, and chemistry tests,
  • Visiting Vanderbilt facilities such as the LASIR lab, then building and testing devices using engineering principles and materials (Arduinos, concrete composites) in class,
  • Examining the microbiology of our food, our bodies, and our surrounding environment through laboratory experiments that analyze genetics and diversity of life.

In the summer, students will build critical thinking skills through completion of research projects and internships. Numerous Vanderbilt faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students contribute instructional time as well.



Beyond the fast-paced and exciting curriculum, a student at the School for Science and Math: 

  • will commit to the program for the entire four years including  academic year and summer courses; 
  • will attend the SSMV on Vanderbilt’s campus one full day per week in 9th and 10th grade 
  • will attend* SSMV classes and work in an assigned laboratory on Vanderbilt’s campus to fulfill 11th and 12th grade requirements; 
  • must make up all work missed at their zoned (regular) school; 
  • must maintain excellent standing in both the SSMV and their zoned school. 

How Does the SSMV Work?

Each week, SSMV students attend class one day on the Vanderbilt campus and their regular high schools the other four days. SSMV students also complete all missed work at their high schools.

SSMV class runs from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with an optional three-hour study period from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. MTA bus access is provided to all students. SSMV is free of charge to MNPS students.

SSMV Class Days on Vanderbilt’s Campus: 

Freshmen – Mondays

Sophomores –  Wednesdays

Juniors – Thursdays

Seniors – Tuesdays

Beyond the SSMV

Every SSMV Graduate has been accepted to a four-year college or university.


The application deadline has passed for this year.

Keep up with our program:


Hear what students, faculty, and alumni are saying about the SSMV!