Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the First-Year Experience
The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons is part of the residential college system. All first-year students are randomly assigned to one of the ten first-year houses on The Ingram Commons.
While the majority of spaces are double rooms, several of the houses contain triple rooms and a limited number of single rooms. The First-Year Student Housing Application is made available each year in late spring. All incoming first-year students are required to submit an application. The deadline to submit an application is typically in early summer. For more information, visit the Housing & Residential Experience website.
Housing assignments are handled by Housing & Residential Experience. Information about the housing process, including the possibility of requesting a roommate, is available on their website.
Faculty heads serve a vital role in carrying out the academic strategic plan of Vanderbilt University. The faculty heads represent three of the four undergraduate schools (A&S, Engineering, and Peabody), the Owen Graduate School of Management, the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing.
Each of the fifteen faculty heads resides year-round in an apartment within their respective house or college. Some of the faculty heads are single, while others live with their spouses, partners, and families, including young children, teenagers, family members, and pets. They continue to teach classes, research, and complete administrative work. They are also present in the house or college as its faculty mentor, role model, and guide who shapes the living and learning community of the house or college. They oversee a programming budget and work closely with a programming council of residents to create innovative, challenging, and fun programs that enrich the educational experience of the students in their community.
For residential faculty positions, a list of interested faculty is maintained on an ongoing basis. These faculty members are contacted as new opportunities emerge, and thus there is no set deadline for applications. Letters of interest remain active and on file for five years.
Faculty interested in a faculty head position should check out the Faculty Engagement page.
CommonVU Orientation is required for all first-year students and will take place prior to the start of classes in August. CommonVU Orientation includes sessions and activities to prepare students for their Vanderbilt journey. Through CommonVU Orientation, first-year students will learn more about their academic program, be introduced to extracurricular opportunities and campus resources, and get to know other members of the incoming class. Additionally, first-year students will meet their student and faculty VUceptors who will serve as guides throughout the first semester at Vanderbilt.
QUESTIONS ABOUT UPPER-DIVISION RESIDENTIAL COLLEGES
Housing assignments are overseen by Housing & Residential Experience. Each year in the spring, all residential college spaces will be assigned via a seniority-driven, random selection process for the upcoming year.
Absolutely not! The majority of programming within the upper-division colleges is open to all undergraduate Vanderbilt students. Similarly, most programs on The Ingram Commons are open to all first-year students and several are also open to upper-division students. If there are any exceptions, the events will be promoted with an explicit note regarding who the event is for and if a sign-up is required.
Residential colleges provide a unique learning and living experience unlike anything else found on Vanderbilt's campus. Living in an upper-division college provides students with additional opportunities to build a strong sense of community, to engage with faculty members in a variety of informal settings, and to further discover ways to utilize the resources available on Vanderbilt's campus and beyond.
Questions about The Sophomore Year Experience
The Sophomore Year Experience is dedicated to helping students in their second year to find resources, feel supported, and continue building upon the lessons learned and community formed during their first year.
Sophomore Year Experience programming is for all students enrolled in their sophomore year at Vanderbilt, regardless of when they enrolled at Vanderbilt. Many programs will be open to all students, though, after priority invitations have been extended to sophomores.
No! All events that are a part of the Sophomore Year Experience are at no additional cost to students.
Charged Up for Sophomore Year! is a series designed to help students stay ENERGIZED and PLUGGED IN to campus resources that are essential to their second year at Vanderbilt….while avoiding a sophomore slump. In addition to learning about campus resources and plugging into the Vanderbilt community by attending phenomenal campus events, participants have the opportunity to win great prizes by participating in the series.
You win prizes by participating in events and connecting with campus partners. Prizes are awarded according to different levels of participation:
Students who participate in at least 4 eligible campus events and visit 2 of the resources/offices will receive a VU swag item!
Students who participate in at least 8 eligible campus events and visit 4 of the resources/offices will receive a VU swag item and a special Sophomore Spa Day!
The first 100 students who participate in at least 14 eligible campus events and visit all 7 of the resources/offices will receive a VU swag item and a special Sophomore Spa Day and an invitation to an exclusive excursion!
Questions about Student Leadership Opportunities within Residential Colleges
Orientation Leader (OL) applications open early in the spring semester annually. All candidates must have at least a 3.0 GPA and a clean conduct record to be considered. The application requires three short answer responses, a resume submission, and a reference from a faculty member or staff member (depending on position). A select number of applicants will receive an invitation to interview. Final decisions regarding OL positions are typically made prior to Spring Break. Note: to apply to be a Transfer Student Leader (TSL), you must be a transfer student.
All three positions serve as orientation leaders and peer mentors to specific populations of incoming students.
International Orientation Leaders (IOLs) guide groups of 8-10 new international students through the three-day International Student Orientation (ISO) program. Groups may be comprised of incoming first-year or transfer students, who all identify as international students or domestic students who have been living abroad. It is not a requirement for IOLs to be international students themselves. At the conclusion of ISO, IOLs facilitate a smooth transition for their group members to a Vanderbilt Visions or transfer group.
Student VUceptors co-facilitate the Vanderbilt Visions program alongside faculty VUceptors. Visions groups are comprised of 16-18 new first-year students who meet throughout CommonVU Orientation and the nine-week Vanderbilt Visions program. After CommonVU Orientation, Visions groups have a set weekly 50-minute meeting through the end of October. Groups follow a prescribed syllabus, as they discuss key transition topics in this extended orientation program.
Transfer Student Leaders (TSLs) guide groups of 10-12 new transfer students through Transfer Student Orientation (TSO) and the six-week Connecting to VU program. As an extended orientation program, Connecting to VU offers transfers an opportunity to learn more about the Vanderbilt community and resources specific to the institution. TSLs must be transfer students themselves.
Each of the houses and colleges has a programming council comprised of residents. On The Ingram Commons they are called House Programming Advisory Councils (HPACs), while in the upper-division colleges they are called College Councils. Recruitment for these councils begins at the start of the fall semester. All interested parties must submit an application via Anchor Link. Some of the positions are elected, while others are appointed. Be sure to attend the interest meetings at the start of the fall semester for further details. If you have additional questions, contact the program coordinator for your house or college. All council positions require a 2.75 GPA and a clean conduct record.