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About Residential Colleges

Residential Colleges are more than a set of buildings. Through intentional and mutually beneficial educational networks, Residential Colleges creates experiences rooted in discovery, creative inquiry, and engaged citizenship. The residential college system cultivates student success through opportunities to engage with faculty, the intentional creation of a diverse community, and connections to campus resources.


The residential college system includes two areas of focus: the first-year experience and upper-division student engagement. These focus areas are broken down into several key programs and initiatives.

All first-year students reside on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. After the first-year, students may apply to transition to another college for sophomore year and beyond. By participating in the residential college system, students get to know other students, faculty, and staff and become more connected and involved in their residential community and broader Vanderbilt network.

Residential Colleges also oversees all orientation programs (CommonVU Orientation, Transfer Student Orientation, and International Student Orientation) as well as the Sophomore Year Experience. Through these initiatives, Residential Colleges creates opportunities for student engagement that align with the department’s five pillars (intellect, community, personal well-being, self-discovery, and cultural awareness).


Intellectual discovery is at the center of all Residential Colleges programming. From dinners at the Dean’s Residence to lectures from esteemed scholars, casual interactions with the faculty heads, the Charged Up Series for sophomore students, and more, academic inquiry remains at the forefront of the work of Residential Colleges.

Personal Well-Being
Cultural Awareness