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University Courses

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Funding Guidelines  Key Dates | Current Courses | VU BreakThru (Blog)


University Courses promote new and creative trans-institutional learning, a key component of Vanderbilt’s Academic Strategic Plan. These courses leverage the natural synergies across Vanderbilt’s schools and colleges, providing faculty the opportunity to reach beyond departmental boundaries to deliver innovative classes on significant subjects. This program is open to all full-time VU and VUMC-employed faculty for courses teaching Vanderbilt students in schools and colleges reporting to the Provost

University Courses seek to advance the following goals:



These University Courses approach subject matter with an innovative methodology, addressing research through a multidisciplinary lens. A University Course focused on innovation might explore mobile app technology and the many benefits it provides.


Trans-Institutional Learning

Trans-Institutional Learning
By taking an interdisciplinary approach to create or leverage collaborations across fields as it relates to both teaching and discovery, these courses educate the whole student and promote lifelong learning.


Multicultural Learning

Multicultural LearningWhile all University Courses consider opportunities to embrace diverse perspectives, Multicultural University Courses specifically address multiculturalism, racial/ethnic issues, identity literacy and/or cultural competency within an interdisciplinary setting.



Big Questions

Big Questions

These University Courses endeavor to address enduring historical questions, cross-cutting societal themes, and today’s most captivating challenges.



Eligibility and Process Requirements

  • Full-time VU and VUMC-employed faculty for courses teaching Vanderbilt students in schools and colleges reporting to the Provost.
  • Proposed courses must be new courses not previously offered.
  • Proposed courses must generate sufficient enrollment to be funded, and courses will be funded through this initiative for up to three semesters over five years.
  • Proposals for courses that advance areas related to race, diversity and inclusivity are invited.
  • For a full list of eligibility and process requirements, please click HERE.

Cross-College Scholar Designation

Faculty who secure funding for University Courses will be extended the title of “Cross College Scholar” during the time of this award.


  • The proposed budget can include expenses up to $5,000 to support course materials or outside speakers each time the course is offered during the funding period.
  • Faculty members will receive a one-time $10,000 allocation — max of $20,000.
  • Separate from the above funding, deans of involved schools and colleges may receive funding up to $10,000 for each taught University Course to cover faculty costs and course reductions.
  • After a course is offered for the third time, the cost of successful University Courses will be covered by the respective deans.


Key Dates


  • Application portal opens: Oct. 1, 2018
  • Proposals due: Nov. 12, 2018
  • Award announcements: Spring 2019


For more information about the program or the proposal process contact Schyler Turrin in the Office of Cross-College Initiatives at or via phone (615-875-1027).