Greetings from Dennis G. Hall, Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
On behalf of everyone in the Vanderbilt community, let me welcome you to the Graduate School's website. If you're an alumnus or an alumna checking back to see what's new, then we hope that what you find here proves interesting. If you're a current student looking for specific information, then we hope that you'll find what you're after. If you don't, then please contact the Graduate School's office to suggest items we might consider including on this website. If you're planning to attend graduate school and are interested in the possibility of doing so at Vanderbilt, then you've come to the right place at the right time.
The entire world faces enormous challenges in the years ahead. If ever there were a time for bold new thinking, that time is now. Energy, healthcare, the environment, sustainability, and reliable financial systems are just a few examples of important, overlapping frontiers that present opportunities for real breakthroughs. The advanced coursework, research and interchange with colleagues that are the very heart of the graduate-school experience offer an unrivaled pathway for acquiring the skills, experience and sophistication needed to tackle today's formidable challenges. This is an exceptional time to take up graduate study.
Vanderbilt's long tradition of research and graduate education dates back to the late 19th century, when the university granted, in 1879, its first M.A. degrees (in English, Greek and Latin) and its first Ph.D. degree (in Chemistry). So far, more than 19,000 students have earned graduate degrees from Vanderbilt in nearly 70 fields and specialties. Vanderbilt's Ph.D. alumni can be found pursuing careers in every direction imaginable, including in the commercial sector, in government service and on the faculties of both small colleges and major research universities. The recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Muhammad Yunus, received his Ph.D. (in Economics) from Vanderbilt in 1971. Read more about it here.
The connection between research and graduate education is a strong one at Vanderbilt. During each of the last few fiscal years, Vanderbilt's faculty were awarded research support from the federal government and other sources totaling more than $500 million. Indeed, Vanderbilt is one of only 12 U.S. universities to rank among the top-25 on both the U.S. News & World Report list of national universities and the U.S. government's list of federal obligations (grant and contract awards) for science and engineering research and development. Vanderbilt has a strong international reputation, too, something it is working to strengthen even more, both through its active International Office and through the worldwide collaborations of the Vanderbilt faculty.
During the last several years, Vanderbilt has committed nearly $100 million of new institutional funding to the establishment and support of a number of new research programs, centers and institutes, all of which support the scholarly activities of faculty and students. Here are some examples: The Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience; the Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering; the Program in Law and Business; the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education; Research in Proteomics and Functional Biology; the Institute of Chemical Biology; Research in the Functional Genomics of the Zebrafish; the Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education; and many more. Of course, this short list mentions only a small fraction of the graduate education and research opportunities Vanderbilt offers in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, engineering, mathematics and the natural sciences, and at the interfaces between and among them. Read more about it here.
This is an exciting time to be contemplating graduate study and an exciting time to be at Vanderbilt. Here's hoping that a little of our excitement will rub off on you as you visit both the Graduate School's and the University's web-pages.