Academics

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Academics

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5 College Freshman

Academics: As a student at the Blair School of Music, I am given a conservatory style education combined with a top twenty research university. Being a completely undergraduate institution, all performance opportunities, masterclasses, ensembles, and one-on-one contact with professors are not taken by grad students. It is also, incredibly easy to double major and minor outside of Blair. It is just as common for a Blair grad to go to Med, Law, or Business School as it is to go study Performance. All of this is in a student body of approximately 200 students. Blair is more then just a school. It is a family.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: It's very tough, but very doable with the right work ethic.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Very challenging, definitely requires adjustment from high school for nearly everyone. The professors are very engaged, however, and very willing to help (and truly do want to help) in almost every instance. I've had one professor strict on attendance and tardiness, but there is an overarching school policy that all professors follow.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: My major (classics) is great and pretty cozy. Professors are knowledgeable, engaging, and friendly and can teach very well.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I have experience in both the humanities and sciences.

Humanities are great: small classes, engaging discussion, and knowledgeable yet humane and understanding professors who are there for you and willing to work with you. They want you to succeed and get as high a grade as possible (especially in Peabody).

Sciences, however, are hit or miss. Introductory weed-out class professors are ruthless and leave you to fend for yourselves against the hard material and even harder exams. This isn't bad per se, but you can definitely feel these classes packing heat and stress. I'm sure there are wonderful professors in the STEM departments, but I have yet to find one. The ones I've had experience with are very hard, unreasonable, apathetic, bad at teaching, or any combination of the four. It's not uncommon to study for more than 30 hours per week on a subject and still end up with a C or B- on an exam. At least my humanities professors were able to empathize with me and give me leniency. Perhaps that's why many science majors look down upon Peabody and humanities students who claim to have a hard time: it's the leniency and leeway they have compared to science majors.

But all this difficulty prepares you to buckle down and have better study habits for next time. Vandy whips you into shape, and you have to slap a donkey in order to get it moving.

5 people found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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It goes without saying that an institution like Vanderbilt will boast a tremendous faculty, since teachers are truly at the heart of any high level university. What makes Vanderbilt so special is the interaction between faculty and students, a criterion where Vandy is an anomaly (in the absolute best sense of the word).

As a research university, the offerings are unlimited, and between all the departments and post-graduate schools, there is ample opportunity for a student to fully explore any discipline he or she so chooses. Combine this with a reasonably small student body and a fabulous student-to-teacher ratio, and you have a learning environment in which undergrads are treated like upper-division students from the moment they step on Vandy's campus their freshman year.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
8:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
905
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
270
Total FT Faculty
3,557
Faculty with Terminal Degree
97%
Average Faculty Salary
$109,761
Full-Time Retention Rate
96%
Part-Time Retention Rate
100%
Transfer-Out Rate
7%
Graduation Rate
92%
Programs/Majors Offered
148
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 68%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 26%
  • 50 or More Students: 6%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Blair School of Music
  • College of Arts and Science
  • Peabody College of Education and Human Development
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Nursing
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Economics and Econometrics: 3%
  • Law: 2%
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other: 2%
  • Social Science Research Methods: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Best Places to Study
  • Baseball Glove Lounge
  • Biomedical Library
  • Branscomb Study Lounge
  • Commons Center
  • Peabody Library
  • The Pub
  • Sarratt Student Center
Tips to Succeed
  • Don't miss out on all the events Vanderbilt has to offer. There are great speakers, concerts, performances, and athletic events.
  • Establish and develop relationships with your professors as soon as possible. Go to office hours, ask questions, attend class, and remain engaged with the subject, and you will have much more success.
  • Get involved in organizations that interest you right at the beginning. It's a great way to meet people on campus and learn what your passions are. Begin to narrow down your interests and really develop them, but don't let one activity dominate every aspect of your life. Take advantage of as many different pursuits as possible.
  • The party scene is huge at Vandy, but academics are also very rigorous, so if you don't focus on school, you will be in trouble. Students live by a strict work hard, play hard mentality. This is a key point. If you get into Vanderbilt, you are an intelligent, well-adjusted person, and you should possess the study skills to get things done. Don't fall into the traps and seductions of the nightlife.
Did You Know?
Vanderbilt takes pride in its honest grades; you won't find runaway grade inflation here. Unlike the 92% of Harvard grads that graduated with honors, if you graduate from Vandy with honors, it will be a significant distinction.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 14 responses

  • 28% Al Gore Jr. - 45th U.S. vice president
  • 17% Dierks Bentley - country singer
  • 14% Amy Grant - Grammy award-winning singer
  • 8% Molly Sims - supermodel
  • 6% Skip Bayless
  • 3% Michael Kantor - former secretary of commerce
  • 3% Grantland Rice - sportswriting legend
  • 3% Lamar Alexander - U.S. senator (R-TN)
  • 3% Buster Olney
  • 3% David Price
  • 3% Bettie paige
  • 3% James patterson
  • 3% Muhammad Yunus - Nobel Peace Prize laurate
  • 3% James Patterson - Author
  • 3% Jay Cutler
  • 0% John Snyder - former Treasury secretary
  • 0% Matthew Hart - CFO for Hilton Hotels

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 35 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 36 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 13 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 13 responses

  • 31% This was my dream school.
  • 62% This was one of my top choices.
  • 8% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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