Quick Facts

Quick Facts

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Cornelius Vanderbilt had a vision of a place that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country” when he gave $1 million to create a university in 1873.

Today that vision has been realized in Vanderbilt, an internationally recognized research university in Nashville, Tennessee, with strong partnerships among its 10 schools, neighboring institutions and the community.

Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The combination of cutting-edge research, liberal arts education, nationally recognized schools of law, business, medicine, nursing and divinity, and one of the nation's top-ranked graduate schools of education creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their education to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to address the complex questions affecting our health, culture and society. Vanderbilt provides a gateway to greatness, drawing the brightest students from across the nation and around the world. Vanderbilt alumni can be found in Congress, on the judicial bench, in the pulpit, leading corporations, conducting innovative medical research, writing for and appearing on the stage and screen, and playing in the NFL, major league baseball, the PGA and LPGA. Vanderbilt, an independent, privately supported university, and the separate, nonprofit Vanderbilt University Medical Center share a respected name and enjoy close collaboration through education and research. Together, the number of people employed by these two organizations exceeds that of the largest private employer in the Middle Tennessee region.


Students (2015–16)



  • Full-time: 6,812
  • Part-time: 71
  • Total: 6,883

Graduate and professional:

  • Full-time: 5,003
  • Part-time: 719
  • Total: 5,722
  • Total full-time students: 11,815
  • Total part-time students: 790

TOTAL: 12,605*

*Includes duplicate students enrolled in joint programs

  • Men: 5,880 (47%)
  • Women: 6,725 (53%)
  • Percentage of undergraduates who live on campus: 93%
  • Percentage of undergraduates receiving some sort of financial aid: 65%
  • Undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1

Undergraduate tuition: $43,620

New Freshmen (Fall 2015)

  • Number of new freshmen: 1,607
  • SAT I-verbal mid 50% range: 710 – 790
  • SAT I-math mid 50% range: 720 – 800
  • ACT mid 50% range: 32 – 35
  • Number of applicants: 31,464

Degrees Conferred (Spring 2015)

  • Baccalaureate: 1,644
  • Master’s: 1,496
  • Ph.D.: 324
  • M.D.: 120
  • Other doctoral: 274
  • Total degrees conferred: 3,858   (no honorary degrees are conferred)

Enrollment by School

  • College of Arts and Science: 4,113
  • Blair School of Music: 207
  • Divinity School: 212
  • School of Engineering: 1,465
  • Graduate School: 2,170
  • Law School: 603
  • School of Medicine: 622
  • School of Nursing: 798
  • Owen Graduate School of Management: 567
  • Peabody College: 1,831
  • Division of Unclassified Studies: 17

Student Housing

  • Residence halls and apartments: 38
  • Capacity: 6,022
  • Fraternity and sorority houses: 24
  • Percentage of undergraduates who live on campus: 93%

Regional Breakdown

  • New England: 4.64%
  • Midwest: 15.20%
  • South: 39.44%
  • Middle States: 13.15%
  • West: 9.17%
  • Southwest: 6.79%
  • U.S. Territories and Unspecified: 0.58%
  • International: 10.03%

Extracurricular activities


Schools and Degrees

  • College of Arts and Science: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts*, Master of Fine Arts*, Master of Science*, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • Blair School of Music: Bachelor of Music
  • Divinity School: Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts*, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • School of Engineering: Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Master of Engineering, Master of Science*, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • Graduate School: Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Liberal Arts and Science, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Philosophy
  • Law School: Master of Laws, Doctor of Jurisprudence, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • School of Medicine: Master of Laboratory Investigation, Master of Science in Medical Physics, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, Master of Health Professions Education, Master of Education of the Deaf, Master of Science (Speech-Language Pathology), Master of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics, Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Medical Physics, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • School of Nursing: Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science*, Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Owen Graduate School of Management: Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Finance, Master of Accountancy, Master of Management in Health Care, Master of Marketing, Doctor of Philosophy*
  • Peabody College of education and human development: Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, Master of Arts in Teaching*, Master of Science*, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy*

* These degrees are awarded through the Graduate School


Accreditation, Honors and Rankings

The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, or call (404) 679-4500 with questions about the accreditation of Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Nobel Laureates

  • Al Gore Jr., former U.S. vice president;  attended graduate school 1973, attended law school 1977: awarded 2007 Peace Prize for efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay foundations to counteract such change
  • Muhammad Yunus, Ph.D. 1971: awarded 2006 Peace Prize for establishing the Grameen Bank and pioneering the practice of providing microloans to the impoverished
  • Stanley CohenVanderbilt biochemistry professor  (1959–90): awarded 1986 Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery with a colleague of epidermal growth factor
  • Stanford Moore, B.A. 1935: awarded 1972 Prize in Chemistry for fundamental contributions to the understanding of enzyme chemistry
  • Earl Sutherland Jr., Vanderbilt physiology professor  (1963–73): awarded 1971 Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the metabolic regulating compound cyclic AMP
  • Max Delbruck,Vanderbilt physics professor (1940–47): awarded 1969 Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses


U.S. News & World Report

  • 15th — National Universities
  • 8th — Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • 12th — Best Value
  • 13th — Best Colleges for Veterans
  • 14th — National Universities Favored by High School Counselors
  • 3rd — Graduate Schools of Education (Peabody College)
  • 11th — Graduate Nursing Schools
  • 14th — Medical Schools (Research)
  • 17th — Law Schools
  • 27th — Graduate Business Schools (Owen Graduate School of Management)
  • 35th — Graduate Engineering Schools
  • 36th — Undergraduate Engineering Schools
  • 74th — Best Global Universities (of 750 worldwide) 


  • 6th — Best Values in Private Universities

Bloomberg Businessweek

  • 34th — Best Full-Time MBA Programs (Owen School)

Princeton Review

  • 1st — Colleges with the Happiest Students
  • 7th — Best Financial Aid
  • 10th — Best Quality of Life, Alumni Network and College City



Employment (FY 2015) *

*Reflects information compiled prior to Vanderbilt University Medical Center becoming financially distinct from Vanderbilt University in April 2016.


Total Staff: 19,997*

    University Central Medical Center
Full time 19,305 3,921 15,384
Part time 692 154 538
Total 19,997 4,075 15,922


Total Faculty: 4,179

Full-time faculty by school:

Total full-time faculty: 3,740

Part-time faculty: 439

Faculty with terminal degrees: 96%

Total Faculty and Staff: 24,176 *

*Reflects information compiled prior to Vanderbilt University Medical Center becoming financially distinct from Vanderbilt University in April 2016.



  • Conference memberships: Southeastern Conference (Eastern Division); Big East (Lacrosse)
  • Men's varsity teams: Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis
  • Women's varsity teams: Basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field
  • National championships:
    • Women's tennis (2015)
    • Baseball (2014)
    • Bowling (2009)
  • Seating Capacity:
    • Memorial Gymnasium (basketball): 14,326
    • Vanderbilt Stadium (football): 40,350
    • Charles Hawkins Field (baseball): 3,700
  • School colors: black and gold
  • Mascot: Commodore



  • Number of living alumni: 135,000
  • Number of alumni residing in Nashville area: 21,000
  • Alumni Association founded: 1879
  • Number of alumni chapters worldwide: 41

Learn more at the Alumni website.


Campus *

Located a mile and a half southwest of downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt is home to more than 300 tree and shrub varieties and was designated an arboretum in 1988. The oldest building on the original campus was constructed around 1859. The Peabody section of campus has been a registered National Historic Landmark since 1966. Major off-campus facilities include the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

  • 330 acres
  • 392 buildings
  • Total: 21.4 million square feet
    • University: 6.9 million square feet (32%)
    • Medical: 10.9 million square feet (51%)
    • Real Estate: 2.2 million square feet (11%)
  • Campus map | Vicinity map

*Reflects information compiled prior to Vanderbilt University Medical Center becoming financially distinct from Vanderbilt University in April 2016.



The Board of Trust is the governing body of the university. The chancellor, who is chosen by the Board of Trust, is the chief executive officer of the university. The current chancellor is Nicholas S. Zeppos

Officers of the Board

  • Mark F. Dalton, Chairman
  • Jackson W. Moore, Vice Chairman
  • Jon Winkelried, Vice Chairman
  • Shirley M. Collado, Secretary

General Officers

  • Nicholas S. Zeppos, Chancellor, Professor of Law
  • Audrey J. Anderson, Vice Chancellor, General Counsel and Secretary of the University
  • Beth A. Fortune, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs
  • Anders W. Hall, Vice Chancellor for Investments, Chief Investment Officer
  • George C. Hill, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Eric Kopstain, Vice Chancellor for Administration
  • John M. Lutz, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology
  • Susie S. Stalcup, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations
  • Brett C. Sweet, Vice Chancellor for Finance, Chief Financial Officer
  • Susan R. Wente, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • David Williams II, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs, Athletics Director

Academic Deans

  • Jeffrey R. Balser, Dean of the School of Medicine
  • Mark D. Bandas, Associate Provost, Dean of Students
  • Vanessa B. Beasley, Dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons
  • Camilla P. Benbow, Dean of Peabody College
  • Lauren A. Benton, Dean of the College of Arts and Science
  • Douglas L. Christiansen, Vice Provost for Enrollment Affairs, Dean of Admissions
  • Joseph D. Combs, Interim Dean of Libraries
  • Philippe M. Fauchet, Dean of the School of Engineering
  • Chris P. Guthrie, Dean of the Law School
  • M. Eric Johnson, Dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management
  • Linda D. Norman, Dean of the School of Nursing
  • Emilie M. Townes, Dean of the Divinity School
  • Mark W. Wait, Dean of the Blair School of Music
  • Mark T. Wallace, Dean of the Graduate School



Vanderbilt University’s Jean and Alexander Heard Library system is among the top research libraries in the nation, and one of the most important in the Southeast. Home to more than 8 million items, the library holds more than 4.5 million volumes, as well as locally created digital collections holding 1.5 million items, and provides access to well over 1 million electronic books and 94,000 e-journals and databases. The oldest manuscript in the collection dates from c. 1300, and new publications are being added every day. Built in 1941 and thoroughly renovated in 2010, the Central Library is a high-tech, LEED Gold-certified center for research, discussion and learning. Among its collection strengths are the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies, a comprehensive collection of materials about Charles Baudelaire and French literature and culture; the Southern Literature and Culture Collection; Latin American Collections for Brazil, Colombia, the Andes, Mesoamerica and Argentina; the Television News Archive, the world’s most extensive and complete archive of television news, covering 1968 to present; and the Global Music Archive, a multimedia reference archive and resource center for traditional and popular song, music and dance of Africa and the Americas.


Centers and Institutes

Research, teaching and dialogue bring together traditionally diverse disciplines at Vanderbilt through 120 centers and institutes, a few of which include:

  • Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE)

    With 45 nanoscience-oriented faculty members spanning 13 academic departments from the College of Arts and Science, School of Engineering and School of Medicine, VINSE’s primary research areas include nanobio/nanomedicine, nano energy, nanoscale optics, computational nanoscience and new nanoscale materials. The institute studies extremely small things on a big scale.

  • Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

    The BCC is a gathering place, a home away from home for students who study there, gather there for meetings, and learn about African and African American culture through its cultural and educational programming, student support and development, and community outreach and service. Its programs and partnerships serve to promote respect, understanding, tolerance, and a greater appreciation for cultural and racial diversity.

  • Center for Medicine, Health and Society (MHS)

    MHS is an interdisciplinary center that studies the social and societal dimensions of health and illness. The center’s scholarship, teaching, and wide-ranging collaborative projects explore medicine and science in a wide array of cultural contexts while at the same time fostering productive dialogue across disciplinary boundaries.

  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development

    With more than 220 researchers and clinicians representing more than 25 academic departments of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Kennedy Center is an interdisciplinary institute for research, training and service. Its mission is to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

  • Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy

    The Curb Center is a national policy center committed to research and teaching that challenges leaders to rethink the place of art and creativity in our world through events and hands-on workshops, innovation grants, Creative Campus courses, a host of research projects, and the Curb Scholars Program in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership—the first of its kind in the nation.

  • Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI)

    The VGI seeks to dissect the genetic underpinnings of human traits and to integrate this knowledge into better diagnostics, treatments and preventions of human disease. In collaboration with nearly 50 faculty members from multiple Vanderbilt departments and schools—along with investigators around the world—VGI research activities are diverse and include substantial efforts in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, thrombosis, heart attack, glaucoma, macular degeneration, autism, diabetes, multiple forms of cancer and mitochondrial diseases.


Financial Information (FY 2015) *

*Reflects information compiled prior to Vanderbilt University Medical Center becoming financially distinct from Vanderbilt University in April 2016.

Total Net Assets: $6 billion

Operating Budget: 4.1 billion



  • Market value: $4.1 billion
  • Endowment payout: 4.1%
  • Endowment per student: $322,670


Unrestricted Operating Activity (FY 2015):

Operating Expenses by Function

  • Health care services: 63.5%
  • Instruction and other student services: 21.7%
  • Research: 10.7%
  • Institutional support: 3%
  • Public service: 1.1%


Operating Revenues by Source

  • Health care services: 69.2%
  • Grants and contracts: 13.8%
  • Net tuition, fees, room and board: 6.7%
  • Gifts and endowment distributions: 5.1%
  • Investment income and other: 5.2%


[The 2015 Financial Report is available here.]


Research (FY 2015) *

Total research expenditures: $560.1 million

Sponsored research and project awards: $681.7 million

  • Medical Center: $551.5 million
  • University: $130.2 million
  • NIH funding: $265.3 million

*Reflects information compiled prior to Vanderbilt University Medical Center becoming financially distinct from Vanderbilt University in April 2016.


Contact Us:

Vanderbilt University News & Communications

(615) 322-2706; (615) 343-7708 fax

news@vanderbilt.edu • news.vanderbilt.edu



Athletics Media Relations

(615) 322-4121; (615) 343-7064 fax