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University Courses

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Second Set of University Courses Announced

University Courses promote new and creative trans-institutional learning, a key component of Vanderbilt University’s Academic Strategic Plan. A natural offshoot of Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs), these courses leverage the natural synergies across Vanderbilt’s schools and colleges, providing faculty the opportunity to reach beyond departmental boundaries to deliver innovative classes on significant subjects. This program is open to both VU and VUMC-employed faculty for courses teaching students in departments that report to the provost. Summary Document

University Courses seek to advance the following goals:Innovation


These University Courses approach subject matter with an innovative methodology, addressing research through a multidisciplinary lens. A University Course focused on innovation might explore mobile app technology and the many benefits it provides.


Trans-Institutional Learning


Trans-Institutional Learning

By taking an interdisciplinary approach to create or leverage collaborations across fields as it relates to both teaching and discovery, these courses educate the whole student and promote lifelong learning.


Multicultural Learning



Multicultural Learning

While all University Courses consider opportunities to embrace diverse perspectives, Multicultural University Courses specifically address multiculturalism, racial/ethnic issues, identity literacy and/or cultural competency within an interdisciplinary setting.


Big Questions


Big Questions

These University Courses endeavor to address enduring historical questions, cross-cutting societal themes, and today’s most captivating challenges.


Eligibility and Process Requirements

  • Proposals must involve full-time faculty, and at least one faculty member should be tenured or tenure-track. The deans of the college/schools involved can waive this requirement.
  • Proposed courses must be new or be a substantial reworking of an existing course.
  • Proposed courses must generate sufficient enrollment to be funded, and courses will be funded through this initiative for up to three semesters over five years.
  • For a full list of eligibility and process requirements, please click HERE.

Cross-College Scholar Designation

Faculty who secure funding for University Courses will be extended the title of “Cross College Scholar” during the time of this award.


  • The proposed budget can include expenses up to $5,000 to support course materials or outside speakers each time the course is offered during the funding period.
  • Faculty members will receive a one-time $10,000 allocation.
  • Separate from the above funding, deans of involved schools and colleges will receive funding for each taught University Course to cover faculty costs and course reductions.
  • After a course is offered for the third time, the cost of successful University Courses will be covered by the respective deans.


Key Dates

  • Proposal window opens: September 2017 (tentative)
  • Proposals due: November 2017 (tentative)
  • Award announcements: January 2018