Vanderbilt’s students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville as one of the perks of the university, which is just over a mile from downtown.
First-Year Life: The Ingram Commons
All first-year students live on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons residential campus and are assigned to one of 10 houses.
Each house has a distinct identity and is led by a faculty head of house. The faculty head of house lives alongside students, extending learning outside the classroom and connecting students with the resources they need to thrive. By sharing a single campus for their first year, students form a strong sense of community and class identity.
Houses and rooms are assigned randomly, not by request. However, there is a room change request period that begins about two weeks after the start of classes.
- 10 Number of houses comprising The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons
- 1,698 Number of students joining the Class of 2024
- 94% Proportion of students who live on campus for four years
With everything from study groups, impromptu game nights and floor discussions in the house, to a musical evening, community service project, Commons-wide celebration or dinner with a notable guest at the Dean’s Residence, there is always something to do. Through programs such as Vanderbilt Visions, iSeminars and The Commons Cup, first-year students can get to know classmates, university faculty and upper-division students. Students also will have the opportunity to enjoy campus traditions such as Fall for the Arts, Winter Ball and the End-of-Year Commons Celebration.
We try to create a tighter sense of community through our programming and events and offer our students a refuge from the stresses of college life.
After the First Year
After the first year, students can choose to continue living in a residential college, join a living-learning community or move into a standard residence hall. Almost all undergraduate students choose to live on campus for their entire time at Vanderbilt.
Students who continue with the residential college program will move to an upper-division house, where they will remain for the rest of their time as Vanderbilt undergraduates. This enables students to participate in continued programming and form a tight-knit community.
Vanderbilt’s living-learning communities provide opportunities for students with similar educational interests to live together in residence halls. Each community is typically sponsored by an academic department, but students from any school or discipline are welcome.
There also are 12 standard residence halls available to students after their first year. The facilities are similar to the other residences, but they don’t have faculty heads or the same level of curated programming. Students in these standard residences may also change their residence each year, rather than continuing to live with the same group.
While graduate and professional students have historically lived off campus, a new on-campus housing option for these students is under development and has an anticipated opening before the 2023–24 academic year. Featuring communal workspaces in addition to personal residences, the new accommodations will foster immersive learning beyond the classroom while offering convenient housing at a below-market rate.
In the meantime, graduate and professional students can continue to use Vanderbilt’s Off Campus Referral Service to browse advertisements by landlords looking specifically for Vanderbilt-affiliated tenants, as well as those from Vanderbilt students looking for roommates.
Where & What to Eat
Food doesn’t sustain just our bodies, but our communities and environment as well. Vanderbilt takes pride in providing its community with the most tasty, nutritious and diverse menus possible.
Vanderbilt’s residential dining halls offer a variety of selections, from a Chef’s Table, grill and salad bar, to an assortment of grab-and-go items. All menus are reviewed by our on-campus registered dietitian to ensure that students have access to healthy and nutritious foods on campus.
In addition to residential dining halls, there are a number of retail dining locations, cafes and marts. These offer a wide range of options: international cuisine, food trucks, grab-and-go meals, coffee and pastries.
Standard First-Year Meal Plan
- 21 on-campus meals per week
- $225 in Meal Money
- 5 guest meals