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Summer Sessions

Summer Sessions

The Maymester, first session, and second session course schedules will be available in YES. Please note that course offerings are subject to change. In rare instances courses are canceled due to a variety of factors, including insufficient enrollment. See the Summer Sessions calendar for additional important dates.

Maymester Abroad
Jan 12, 2022 by 4:00 p.m. Deadline to apply for Maymester scholarships 
Jan 31, 2022 Deadline to apply for a Maymester course* 
Feb 14, 2022 Deadline to complete the Commitment to Attend form 
TBD Deposit fee assessed to Student Accounts invoice 

*The application deadline is only for off-campus and abroad Maymester courses. Online course registration for on-campus Maymester and summer courses will take place TBD.

Students must submit all application materials, including personal statement and academic references, by January 31. A link to each course’s application is available in the Courses section below. Professors will accept students on a rolling basis. Additional requirements will apply after acceptance.

Once students have been accepted into a Maymester course, they must confirm their acceptance by signing a virtual “Commitment to Attend” by February 14, 2022. This commitment will appear on the student’s GEO application once she or he has been accepted into the course.

Students are strongly encouraged to sign this document as soon as possible in order to accommodate waitlisted students. If a student fails to sign this document by the February 14 deadline, his or her position in the course may be made available to waitlisted students.

Please note: Under-enrolled courses may be cancelled. Students who have applied to such courses will be notified at the earliest opportunity. Students who have financial holds or are on social or academic probation are ineligible for Maymester courses. Acceptance into a Maymester course is also contingent on the instructor's approval.

If a student withdraws from the Maymester course after the February 14 commitment deadline, he or she will forfeit a $500 deposit fee.*

The deposit fee will be assessed directly to your Student Accounts invoice, and will be billed on or around June 1. The deposit fee applies only to those who withdraw after the specified deadline. Those who withdraw before the deadline will not be assessed the fee.

Vanderbilt University charges a deposit fee in order to get an accurate count of participants to plan our programs effectively. Students who back out of a program after committing may jeopardize both the planning and the pricing of the program, which affects other students. We impose a monetary penalty on those who withdraw after the deadline as a way of ensuring that we count only those who are serious about attending.

*Vanderbilt reserves the right to bill students for any unrecoverable costs, even if these costs amount to more than the $500 base withdrawal fee.

Vanderbilt will provide, on a competitive basis, scholarships to help undergraduate students pay the costs of studying abroad during the summer, including the Maymester courses. The Global Summer Fellows Program will provide university stipends that can be used to offset the costs of Vanderbilt-approved, credit-bearing, summer study and Maymester programs. These are competitive awards based on the student's essay, major, and letters of reference, and are linked to the student's financial need.

Read more about the scholarships and access the scholarship application.


CHEM 1030: The Chemistry of French Food and Culture

A basic introduction into the world of chemistry through the lens of French culture: food, art, winemaking, and sustainability. Students will learn basic, general chemistry topics with the application of cooking, enology, pojery and farming. Students will first dive into the chemistry of French cuisine and sustainability through touring agricultural facilities and basic French cooking. Next, they will explore the chemistry of art (oil, acrylic, pottery, Roman mosaics, Neanderthal) and winemaking. Lastly, the course ends with a capstone presentation of the experience.

Approximate total cost: $12,738




FREN 3230: History and Economics of French Film - From Paris to Cannes

In 1895 the Lumière brothers screened the very first moving pictures in a café in Paris. Today the second-largest film exporter after the US, France continues to play a central role in the international movie market. Once a year, in May, the world cinema community comes back to the birthplace of film and celebrates at the Cannes Film Festival. A ten-day extravaganza of film screenings, star sightings, and prize awarding, the Festival (founded in 1946) is considered the most prestigious film festival in the world. This Maymester class will begin on May 9 in Paris where we will spend  a week  learning about  the  past  and  present  of  the  French   film  industry.  Students will experience an accelerated course in French film history, from its origins, through the  Golden  Age  on  our way  to  the  New Wave,  and  finishing  in  the  present.  We will visit the Cinemathèque, a comprehensive archive of French film with a museum that traces the history of French film production. We’ll also visit a studio, and trace the path of famous locations in the world’s most filmable city, among other media-related activities.

Approximate total cost: $13,833




CLAS 3700: Uncovering Greek Religion: Cults, Festivals, and Sanctuaries in the Ancient World

This course introduces students to the history, archaeology, art, and architecture of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the end of the Roman Empire by studying these subjects through the lens of ancient Greek religion. At its very heart, this course will analyze the development and diversity of the Greek religious experience: its gods, its rituals, its temples. Nevertheless, we also will evaluate the significance of Greek religion in other aspects of ancient Greek society, including social and political themes, especially as no division between church and state existed. Thus, how did Greek religious practices influence traditional divisions within Greek society, and how did they transcend or cross these boundaries? How did rituals and cults provide stability and direction to the development of the Greek city-state?

Approximate total cost: $11,086




BSCI 3890:  Biodiversity of the Hawaiian Islands

Swimming under waterfalls, hiking the tropical forests and snorkeling with sea turtles, are the adventures that you will undertake, while studying the spectacular biodiversity of the Hawaiian Islands. Over 8000 endemic species of plants and animals have evolved on these isolated islands in a blink of geological time. How did this biodiversity evolve, how is it maintained, and how can we conserve it, are the questions we will explore? We will begin our journey at Vanderbilt and then travel to four of islands of Hawaii: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. There you will be immersed in the lush mountainous rainforests, the dry savannas and hike on ancient lava flows. Experiencing the wonders of these ecosystems firsthand, participating in on- going field research and conservation projects will heighten your awareness of the fragility of our world. You will be hiking, kayaking, canopy surfing, and flying from islands to island all to uncover one of the most precious wonder of our world.

Approximate total cost: $15,052




ASIA 1780: Health and Well-Being at the Margins of Indian Society

How do you provide healthcare to a pregnant woman with HIV in an impoverished rural environment with no facilities? Even if we can provide for her medical needs, will this be sufficient for her well- being given the lack of sanitary conditions, transportation challenges, low development and economic opportunity, insufficient access to nutritious food, and myriad other obstacles present in her environment? Are there ways to address the needs of individuals and communities that are more thorough? This service-learning course introduces students to the complex of issues that surround healthcare for marginalized individuals. Working with a Non-Governmental Organization in India, students will learn first-hand from workers and scholars serving sidelined populations. Students will shadow NGO workers in their daily work and gain direct experiential knowledge of their practice. The Indian context will provide students with the opportunity to experience and reflect upon providing comprehensive well-being services globally.

Approximate total cost: $9,630




ECON 2340: War, Plunder, Pillage and Economic Conflict

Why would soldiers, such as the well-known guards at Buckingham Palace, be dressed in bright red? Surely it makes them an easy target for the enemy. Why was the era of castles in the High Middle Ages a time of relative peace? During World War II, why did Great Britain devote so many resources to a strategic bombing campaign that turned out to be very ineffective? Andin 1914, why did Europe embark on a war of vast destruction? These are all questions about the allocation (or misallocation) of scarce resources and are part of the purview of Economics. But these are not the usual questions addressed in undergraduate economics classes. There, the topics mostly are about the allocation of scarce resources when property rights are well-defined and protected. This is the way of making a living by production and exchange. But much economic activity concerns another way of making a living-pillaging and plundering and appropriating by force the goods of others. This way of making a living is the subject matter of this course. We will study the sources of negotiation failures that lead to war, the economics of how a “principal,” i.e. a General, gets his "agents" i.e. a soldier, to do his bidding, the economic trade-offs between conscripting soldiers or paying them a market-determined wage, the economics of castles, the economics of strategic bombing, and the economics of financial conflict. Understanding of these topics will be reinforced by visits to the Imperial War Museum, the Tower of London, the London Eye, Parliament, Churchill's war rooms, and by attending plays about conflict (e.g., “Billy Elliott" in the past).

Approximate total cost: $12,288




CLAS 3730: The Roman to Medieval Near East - The Caesarea Excavations, Israel

From the earliest years of the Roman Empire through the fall of the Crusader Kingdom in the Holy Land, Caesarea on the north coast of Israel was a thriving hub of power and innovation. One of the largest ports on the eastern Mediterranean seaboard, Caesarea was a booming harbor that received frequent traffic from throughout world. It was the shining creation of Herod the Great, the capital of the province of Judaea, a hotspot for Jewish resistance to Roman rule, a destination for St. Peter’s mission and a Late Antique center for Christian scholarship, a major market place under the Islamic caliphates, and a formidable fortress for western knights. Caesarea was thus a microcosm of the dramatic changes that swept through the region over fourteen centuries and define our world today.

Approximate total cost: $11,448




EES 3865: Field Investigations

In this course, we will study Earth and environmental processes and systems in the field, with an emphasis on field methods. In 2022, the course will be held in New Zealand, which will give us the opportunity to study a variety of topics in Earth and environmental sciences, including magmatism, eruptions, and volcanoes, including natural hazards and resources derived from them; earthquakes and their impacts on society; surface landscapes and the processes that modify them over time. We will do so while travelling through various regions of New Zealand.

Approximate total cost: $12,812




HART 2722: Modern Art and Architecture in Paris

Paris was the center of western modern art movements throughout the 19th century and until the mid-20th century. The major styles of painting, sculpture, architecture and various other media of this period were developed in this city. Paris became the exemplary modern city in western Europe, and developed an extensive infrastructure of cultural institutions such as art academies, private galleries, and vast museums.  The major movements of this period were represented by artists such as: David; Ingres; Delacroix; Courbet; Manet; Monet and the other Impressionists; the post-Impressionists Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Seurat; and the Cubists Picasso and Braque. This list includes members of the Dada and Surrealist groups, leading into more international movements of radical abstraction, performance art, conceptual art, and post-modernism by the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Approximate total cost: $17,320





SPANISH 3330: Cultural Studies in the Andes

Cultural Studies in the Andes will offer students an interdisciplinary course of study tailored to Vanderbilt’s curricular needs and the specific characteristics and interests of the students attending it. It will also offer students the opportunity to study and live in a small city that is both an ancient cultural capital and one of the most active tourist destinations in the world. In this course students will explore different forms of cultural production in the Hispanic world, with a focus on the Andean region and a strong emphasis on hands-on learning. Some of the issues discussed will be the lessons of cultural anthropology and archaeology to explore the past and understand the present, popular and elite art production, the importance of festive culture in the region, as well as questions of gender and society.

Approximate total cost: $10,093




CLAS 3720: History and Art of Ancient Rome

This course, which is taught on site in Rome and in the Bay of Naples, examines the history, architecture, art and features of daily life as it was lived by the ancient Romans through a sustained engagement with the topography of these areas and their environs. While our focus will be on the period between the 2nd century BCE and the 4th century CE, we will also consider some of the long-term developments and influences of Roman culture as they manifest themselves in medieval, renaissance, and modern-day Rome.

Approximate total cost: $11,445




ITALIAN 3803: Mediterrean Culture - Sicily, the Land of Myths

This Maymester investigates the importance of Sicily, the island at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, as the place of classical myths and the land of intersection of many different cultures and religions. After a first week on Vanderbilt campus for academic and orientation preparation, students will travel to Sicily. On this island, students will visit places touched by Ulysses in his journey that are related to various myths, such as Polyphemus, Aci and Galatea, Scylla and Charybdis. Students will be touring many Sicilian cities to explore the different cultures that dominated the Mediterranean throughout History. The visit of archeological sites, museums, temples, cities’ streets and squares will be the focus of dynamic discussions with scholars and tour guides who will engage students in an immersive and vibrant experience of culture, history, and myth.

Approximate total cost: $15,877




ASIA 1480: Discover Korea

Discover South Korea: the home of BTS, BLACKPINK and Twice; the country behind ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Parasite’; and the origin of Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motors, etc. A dynamic and innovative country, South Korea has captured the hearts of countless enthusiasts around the world with its popular culture. Superstars such as BTS, BLACKPINK and Twice are at the forefront of the K-Pop sensation, while works such as ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Parasite’ have brought K-Drama and K-Movie into the international spotlight more than ever before. Moreover, South Korea has undergone remarkable economic transformation over the past few decades, turning into one of the world’s largest and fastest- growing economies. Today, South Korea is one of the US’s largest trading partners and is a global leader in IT technology. South Korea also has a storied history and lies at the center of one of the world’s most complex geopolitical situations. The security alliance between the US and South Korea is notable for its longevity and key role on the Korean peninsula. This program offers one week of basic Korean language education, as well as various cultural and business excursions such as such as K-pop dance class, cooking class, famous site visits in Seoul, three-day overnight trip, day trips, etc. Students will be able to further develop a fresh perspective and appreciation for South Korea and its culture, history and economy through a uniquely immersive experience.

Approximate total cost: $11,785




SPANISH 3302: Spanish for Oral Communication through Cultural Topics

This Maymester course is taught in Alicante, Spain. This gorgeous coastal city is the capital city of the beautiful Costa Blanca, located on the eastern coast of Spain. Few other cities can boast such exciting and famous festivals, beautiful miles of sunny beaches, quaint old- world Spanish boroughs, and a richness of early architecture. The main objective of this class is to increase the Spanish level of oral proficiency in Spanish through the study of Spanish cultural, political, and historical events. As a conversation class, the students will be graded on several activities that will serve as catalysts to develop their oral proficiency. These activities will stimulate students to analyze, discuss and present different arguments from the material covered in class. Furthermore, in order to take advantage of the location of this course, students will be asked to interview Spaniards using information from a variety of   authentic materials ranging from written news, radio and television broadcasts, documentaries, and feature films studied in class to prepare for their weekly presentations. By the end of this course, students should have greatly improved their oral proficiency, their knowledge about Spanish culture, and their strategies for effective oral communication.

Approximate total cost: $9,529




SPAN 3325: The Way of Saint James

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela has deeply influenced the spiritual and physical landscapes of Spain and has remained a major heritage site that attracts thousands of pilgrims every year for very diverse reasons. Having this is mind, this course explores, from a multidisciplinary point of view, the origins, development, and influence of The Way of Saint James in the life, and culture of Spain. Through a close examination of the religious and political discourse, art, literature, and films, we will learn how the cult of Saint James and the route itself has contributed to shape Spanish national identity, and to dynamize Spanish modern economy.

Approximate total cost: $10,211




THTR 3282: Theatre and Performance in the U.K.

London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin. These cities each host a vibrant and varied live theatre scene in which students of this Maymester course will immerse themselves. As spectators for range of plays, musicals, and site-specific events, students will experience the vitality of a performing arts culture that defines English, Scottish, and Irish spectators’ experiences as urban residents and national citizens. As cultural tourists to a variety of heritage sites—some explicitly connected to theatre history, others depicted in dramatic literature—students will also explore the theatricality of exhibition and staging of national identity for a global audience.

Approximate total cost: $11,373


For questions related to any of the specific Maymester courses listed above, please consult the professor for the course. If you are seeking general information about Maymester courses, you may contact either Dean Roger Moore or Dean Carrie Russell, College of Arts and Science, 350 Buttrick Hall, or the GEO staff in the Student Life Center.