TENNESSEE COLLEGE TRIP STOP #3, February 2019
Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, is a mid-sized residential research university focused on undergraduate teaching and research with around 6,800 undergraduates, 50% of whom participate in research as early as freshman/sophomore year (Vanderbilt also has 5,700 grad students).
Undergraduates are split between four undergraduate colleges: The College of Arts & Science, Blair School of Music, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and the School of Engineering. Students apply to one of the four schools, but everyone takes their core liberal arts courses in the College of Arts and Science.
Students In the College of Arts & Science don’t have to declare a major until the end of their sophomore year. Engineers also have time to decide, as Vanderbilt offers a module system where students can select three out of eight majors to focus on initially before declaring sophomore year. Engineering is hands-on with team-based projects for real companies; 90% are hired within 6 months of graduating.
Peabody College of Education and Human Development students can begin teaching their first year so they can confirm that they love working with kids, or discover that they don’t in time to shift course. The program offers licensure and reciprocity with 45 other states. Housed in Peabody, the Human & Organizational Development major is the largest major on campus. It is designed to prepare students for careers focused on finding solutions to human problems in organizations and communities by offering five track options: Community Leadership & Development, Health & Human Services, International Leadership & Development, Leadership & Organizational Effectiveness, and Education Policy.
Blair School of Music has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1. It is conservatory-style but students can take classes outside of the college; 30% of Blair students double major within or across colleges. Auditions are required on campus for considered students.
Vanderbilt is striving to become more diverse with only 10% of students coming from Tennessee (25 were from Oregon; 440 from California, 480 from NY and 520 from Chicago) and 41% are minority students. Nashville itself is friendly, artsy and musical; and it is the #1 destination for Bachelorette parties, so you know there is fun to be had!
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