Skip to Content


Graduate School

Home > Current Students > Information

Committee and Exam Requests

Students must notify the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance when:

These guidelines are outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Graduate School Catalog on pages 30-32. Request forms can be found on the Graduate School website under Form Locator, and must be signed by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Dissertation Enhancement Grant

Deadline: Friday, March 13, 2015.
To apply for this grant you must be working on your dissertation full-time.

The Graduate School welcomes a proposal from you for a Dissertation Enhancement Grant. These grants are intended to enhance already outstanding dissertation projects by permitting the addition of a new dimension, additional breadth, or other worthwhile extensions. Funding will not be available from this source for aspects of dissertation work that is an integral or essential constituent of the research as described and understood in the dissertation proposal. Directions for completion of your proposal are included as a part of the application. If you use a PC to prepare your proposal, please use the format of the application. (You do not have to recopy the directions.) The Cover Sheet (I) and Budget (IV) must contain all the categories and information requested in the application. If your recommenders give you a letter of support in a sealed envelope, include this with your application and the Graduate School will make the necessary copies for members of the review committee.

Please keep these regulations/requirements in mind:

  1. In order to be eligible for consideration, you must have passed the Ph.D. qualifying examination AND you must have had your dissertation proposal approved by your Ph.D. committee BEFORE the application deadline.
  2. If a grant is awarded, you will be expected to use the funds within six months after the award date. A competition is held each fall and spring semester and you should submit your proposal to the appropriate competition.
  3. Awards are for a maximum of $2000. Any cost above this amount must be supported from other resources (i.e., personal funds, department funds, etc.).
  4. Students from programs in the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine must make sure that matching funds (one-half of the approved award) can be provided by their department, advisor's grant, or other source. The signature of your Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies on the Cover Sheet of the application is taken as assurance that this requirement will be met.

If you have any questions about the suitability of a project for a grant, please contact Richard Hoover by phone (322-3944) or by e-mail before you begin to prepare your application. Examples of uses appropriate for a Dissertation Enhancement Grant include (but are not limited to) support for the following:

  • Travel to sites of unique sources of research material, archives, libraries.
  • Consultation or collaborative work with experts in the area of your research when such support is not available at Vanderbilt, for example: learning new research methodology, interviewing an author whom you are studying.
  • Unique services not available at the university, such as sophisticated data or chemical analysis.
  • Participation in a workshop directly relevant to your research (e.g., to learn methodology) or a conference specific to your area of study (e.g., NOT just to hear general discussion or to present a paper).
  • The purchase of specialized small equipment items, supplies, data sets, only if funds for such items are not available from other sources (i.e., advisor's grant, department funds). Note: Departments will be required to pay one-half of the cost of any equipment item (which must remain at Vanderbilt).
  • A research assistant or other personnel to carry out work that you could not reasonably be expected to conduct (extensive analysis of data, computer programming, etc.).
  • Payment of subjects participating in a research project, if the project is in addition to your basic dissertation research (e.g., is not required by your Ph.D. Committee) and if a strong rationale is provided to show that subject payment, although not required, will enhance markedly the quality, scope, reliability, etc., of the data collected.
  • A strong rationale/justification for the use of the funds is a very important aspect of the proposal.
Click here for an application.

Graduate Development Network

The Graduate School dean’s office serves as convener of the Graduate Development Network (GDN), an informal network and working group of academic and professional services offices that meets monthly during the academic year and occasionally during the summer term.   This group promotes communication and collaboration among the participants, as well as a sounding board for issues and concerns about student services.  Participants include the president and vice president of the Graduate Student Council (GSC), associate deans from schools and colleges that have significant numbers of Graduate School students, and several offices that provide support services to students.  Among these are the Psychological and Counseling Center, Women’s Center, Center for Teaching, Writing Studio, International Student and Scholar Services, Center for the Humanities, career development services from the Graduate School and the biomedical sciences office, diversity recruitment and retention, and the Vanderbilt Institutional Research Group.  An update from the GSC officers provides information about the current goals, programs, and concerns of students.  GDN meetings promote discussion and collaboration among the academic and support offices in the interest of improving the type and effectiveness of student activities and services.  Recent examples include the annual GSC Research Symposium, dissertation writing workshops, seminars and workshops for professional development of students, promotion of mental health services, services for students with children and families, and discussion of data from surveys of current and recent students.  For more information, contact Ruth Schemmer, Assistant Dean for Career Development,

Graduate Student Travel Grant

Please complete all parts of this form, have your Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) approve the request, attach a copy of the abstract to be presented, and send it to the Graduate School at least two weeks before you travel. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the applicant.

  • Student must be the sole presenter of research conducted at Vanderbilt.
  • Meeting must be a major regional, national, or international conference.
  • Grants are limited - up to $500 for domestic travel* and up to $1000 for foreign travel. **
  • Grants are limited to a maximum of one award per budget year (July 1-June 30) for domestic travel or one award per two years for foreign travel. Student may apply for only one travel grant per year.
  • Meals are not an allowable expense for this grant.

* Domestic travel is inclusive of travel throughout all of North America.
** Foreign travel represents travel outside of North America.

Intent to Graduate

May 8, 2015

Please complete and return this form by Monday, February 9, 2015. If you are submitting a thesis/dissertation please make sure that it is submitted by Monday, March 23, 2015 and sign the bottom of the form. Please make sure the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of your department signs the form before you submit it to the Graduate School. If the DGS has not signed the form at the time of submission, processing of your form will be delayed. If you have any questions or concerns with the Intent to Graduate Form please contact your department and/or Liz Leis at 343-2727 or email.

August 7, 2015

Please complete and return this form by Friday, June 19, 2015. If you are submitting a thesis/dissertation please make sure that it is submitted by Friday, July 17, 2015 and sign the bottom of the form. Please make sure the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of your department signs the form before you submit it to the Graduate School. If the DGS has not signed the form at the time of submission, processing of your form will be delayed. If you have any questions or concerns with the Intent to Graduate Form please contact your department and/or Liz Leis at 343-2727 or email.

Graduate School Policy on Parental Leave

Eligibility: All students enrolled full-time in the Graduate School and supported by funding from either internal or external sources are covered by this policy. This includes students with funding through stipends, such as training grants or service-free fellowships, and students compensated for services, such as teaching assistants or research assistants. Students supported by external funding sources may be subject to additional rules of the granting agency regarding parental leave. Students are not employees and thus are not subject to the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Period of Leave: Prior to and/or following childbirth or adoption of an infant, the primary caregiver (whether mother or father) will be allowed to take six weeks of parental leave. During this period, the student's current stipend, and, if applicable, funding for health insurance and tuition, will be continued without interruption. The student's enrollment status will be continued during this period, as well.

Limitations: If both parents are Vanderbilt graduate students, only one may take parental leave. The parental leave provided by this policy may be taken during the semester in which the child is born or adopted, or during any subsequent semester that begins no later than six months after the birth or adoption.

Advance notice and approval: The student must request a parental leave from her or his departmental chair, through the Director of Graduate Studies, at least three months prior to the beginning of the anticipated leave or, in the case of adoption, as soon as the adoption is confirmed. The request must be made in writing and, once approved by the department chair and Director of Graduate Studies, forwarded to the school dean's office for approval and notification of the Graduate School. Students should also make appropriate arrangements as needed with their course instructors to make up any missed coursework during the leave period.

Documentation upon return: As soon as possible, the student must provide her or his departmental chair with (a) a copy of a birth certificate or, (b) in the case of adoption, written certification of child adoption from the adoption agency.

Extended leave: Students who wish or need to take a longer period of leave, without continuation of funding, may request a leave of absence for up to one year through the established policy of the Graduate School. Graduate students who are not receiving funding through Vanderbilt should request a leave of absence for childbirth or adoption if they anticipate an interruption in progress toward their degree.

This policy is applicable to all students enrolled in the Graduate School and establishes minimum standards for parental leave for graduate students. Departments may offer greater accommodations as are warranted by the individual circumstances of the student.

Registration Instructions

2015 Spring:

Registration for the spring 2015 semester opens October 30 - January 12. If you will graduate in December 2014 with your final degree here, you do not need to register for spring. Otherwise, to avoid penalties and frustration please be sure to complete registration by January 12th . Be aware that late registration can cause the expiration of deferral periods on student loans and additional taxes to be taken from paychecks. All full-time graduate students must register each fall and spring with no breaks in registration to remain in good standing. This includes "research only" and "zero-hour" situations.

A note about registering for research

Dissertation Research courses numbered 399 or 3990 are reserved for students who have completed the qualifying exam or equivalent process. Prior to this achievement, one should register for Non-Candidate Research courses numbered 379 or 3790. In all research courses, be sure to select the section specific to your advisor.

Please see your advisor regarding spring courses and research plans right away. Then register with YES at or through your program coordinator. Consult the Help resource within YES with questions regarding use of the YES system.

Student Web Applications

The Student Web Applications site contains links to many of the interactive web applications available to Vanderbilt students. Below is a short list of some of the more commonly used applications.

  • The YES System allows students to access their personal academic records online. This application requires the use of an e-password. If you do not have an e-password or have forgotten your e-password, please click here.
  • You may update your address with the University Registrar either online or by mail. Please follow the instructions below for your prefered update method.
    • Online: To update your address information online log into the YES System.
    • By Mail: To update your address information by mail follow the instructions on this page of the University Registrar's site.
  • The YES System will allow you to view available course along with the time and date they are offered and the location where they are offered.
  • The University Calendar has information about important dates during the semester.
  • The most recent version of the Graduate School Catalog is maintained here.

Thesis and Dissertation Submission

You must complete the following six steps when submitting your master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation:

  1. Complete an Intent to Graduate Form for the semester you plan to graduate. See Graduate School Calendar for pertinent deadline dates.
  2. Obtain final approval of your document content from your thesis/dissertation director and committee members.
  3. Follow the Guidelines set forth in the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines for assistance with formatting. You can access this at the following link:
  4. Schedule an appointment with one of the two format editors for final discussions and approval from the Graduate School: Liz Leis at 322-3934 ( or Linda Harris at 322-3943 (
  5. Following Graduate School format approval, submit final document in one of the two methods, electronic or hardcopy:
    For electronic submission:
    • Revise title page as shown on page 16 of the Guidelines.
    • Create an account with the Electronic Theses and Dissertation library.
    • Convert the thesis or dissertation to PDF format, name file with your last name, and upload it on the ETD website.
    For hardcopy submission:
    • Print two (2) sets of the entire thesis or dissertation with original faculty signatures, and one (1) abstract, on 8½ X 11 inch, white, acid-free, quality bond paper of at least 20-lb. weight and not less than 25% cotton.
    • Print one (1) abstract with original signature of advisor(s) on the same bond paper.
  6. Submit both sets, including abstract, along with all other required documents, forms, and fees, to the Graduate School by the deadline indicated on the Intent form. *Refer to Checklist on page 10 of the Guidelines at the following link:

Authors determine the access to their work when creating their ETD account. Choices are listed below. The availability can be changed at a later time by the author or by a graduate school staff member, with permission from the author.

ETD Availability Options