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Application Process

You may start a Graduate School application for one of the following degrees: PhD, MA, MS, MFA in Creative Writing, and MLAS. Please click here to learn which degrees are offered by your program of interest. For any other degree not listed above, please begin looking at the list of disciplines and majors offered through Vanderbilt University.

Applicants with bachelor's or comparable non-U.S. degrees may apply to the Graduate School. Application for admission may be made electronically through the link below. 

Application FAQs

The specifics of the application process are highlighted by each section in the Application FAQs.

Application Requirements 

The following requirements apply to applications for most programs in the Graduate School. For program-specific questions or additional requirements, please directly contact your program of interest.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Language Proficiency Requirements
Statement of Purpose
Letters of Recommendation

Once all sections are complete, you should submit your application from the Review page by clicking "Submit Application." Please complete all required fields in the online application form. The Review page will indicate any sections with missing information.

Please provide all materials requested in the application form. For any additional materials, you can upload those on your Application Status Page, which you will see AFTER you submit the application.


Application Fee

The Graduate School application fee is $95.00.  After you submit your application online, you will see instructions to pay the fee with a credit or debit card via a secure payment portal.  If you submit applications to more than one program (maximum of two per year), only a single fee will be charged. You also may be eligible for an application fee waiver – please see below.


Application Fee Waiver


US citizens and US permanent residents1 are eligible for all categories of fee waivers.  In most cases, international students are only eligible to receive a discretionary fee waiver. A candidate's eligibility for admission will not be impacted by a request for or receipt of a fee waiver. 

Types of Fee Waivers

There is no waiver request form for you to complete. You must start and submit your application to confirm your eligibility and receive a fee waiver. Three different types of fee waivers are available: documentable, discretionary, and automatic. 

Documentable fee waivers

A documentable fee waiver may be granted after review of documents that you upload into your application to verify your financial need or military service.

  • Applicants with demonstrated financial need must upload one of the following documents to verify your need status
    • A letter or memo from the financial aid office of your current or previous school confirming that you are a current Pell Grant recipient or received one the previous year.
    • An unemployment benefits statement dated within the previous six months.
    • A GRE fee reduction certificate from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
    • Provide a brief but well-reasoned explanation of how the application fee presents a financial hardship for you. Relevant factors include unemployment or underemployment, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from a recent FAFSA, economic conditions in your home country, etc. You can type your explanation on the fee waiver request page of the application form.
  • Current or former members of the United States Armed Forces should upload documentation showing current or former status.

Note:  Please do not upload tax return documents or any other documents showing sensitive or confidential personal information such as your social security number

Discretionary fee waivers

A small number of waivers will be granted at the discretion of the program you are applying to based on their recruitment priorities and extenuating circumstances. You may request a fee waiver directly from the program only after you have submitted your application and confirmed that a fee is due.  You should contact the program that you are applying to for more information. All fee waiver requests must be received prior to the application deadline and must include documentation to support the reason for the request.   

Automatic fee waivers

Automatic fee waivers are granted to applicants that have successfully submitted an admissions application and participated in either a Vanderbilt-sponsored program/event or a fellowship, research, or training program listed below. Your participation in a Vanderbilt-sponsored program/event is registered in our system and will be reflected in your application record.  If you are uncertain about your participation in a particular event/program, please contact the coordinator of the event/program for assistance.

1US permanent residents must be able to document this status upon request, such as a copy of a Green Card - Permanent Resident Card.

  *Vanderbilt Sponsored Programs

Students that are members of the following VU-sponsored programs are eligible for a fee waiver. If you are registered in our system as a participant in one of these programs, this will be reflected in your application record.  If you are uncertain about your participation in a particular event/program, please contact the coordinator of the event/program.

  • Vanderbilt NSF REU in Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • Vanderbilt NSF REU in Physics
  • Vanderbilt REU in Chemical Biology
  • Vanderbilt NSF REU in Biophotonics
  • Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program
  • Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy
  • Vanderbilt National Name Exchange (NNE) Diversity Fair

**Fellowship, Research, and Training Programs

Students that are members of the following Fellowship, Research, and Training Programs are eligible for a fee waiver.  Documentation demonstrating that you are/were a member of the program must accompany the waiver request.  You should upload the documentation in the space provided in the application for graduate study.  Contact your program director/coordinator to request a letter verifying your participation in the program and dates of your participation. 

 National Level:

  • AmeriCorps, Teach for America, or the Peace Corps
  • Cientifico Latino
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP)
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
  • Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD)
  • Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP)
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
  • Mellon Mays Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF)
  • National Consortium for Graduate Degrees in Minorities in Engineering and Sciences (GEM)
  • NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Training Program (PREP)
  • NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program (RISE)
  • NIH/NIGMS Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • NIH-Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative
  • NSF Historically Black Colleges and University – Undergraduate Programs (HBCU-UP)
  • Ronald McNair Scholars Program
  • UNCF Mellon Program

Institutional Level:

  • California Polytechnic State University, Pomona Undergraduate Research Program
  • Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences (DNIMAS)
  • Penn State Millennium Scholars Program
  • University of Baltimore Maryland County Meyerhoff Scholars Program
  • University of Central Florida Academic Advancement Programs

Instructions to Reapply

To access your record you will need to enter your email address and application account password. When you are ready to begin your reapplication, click here or the link above. If you have forgotten your password, you will have the option to reset it. The Graduate School requires applicants to submit separate transcripts and letters of recommendation for every application, including reapplication.

The Graduate School has transitioned to a new online application system, as of August 1, 2013. If you applied to the Graduate School prior to August 2013 and wish to reapply now, you will not be able to use your old application account to start a new application. The Graduate School can only accept applications through the new system.

Deferred Admissions

An offer of admission is made for enrollment in a specific academic term. In some cases, with written approval from the program to which you were admitted, admission may be deferred to a later semester, but no later than one year after the semester for which the offer of admission is made. Please email the office of the program that admitted you for approval. Students who do not accept offers of admission must submit a new application and supporting documents including letters of recommendation and transcripts if they wish to be considered for admission at a later date. Previously-submitted test scores will automatically transfer to the new application. 

Non-Degree Students

With approval of the Graduate School, non-degree students may register for selected courses in areas for which they are qualified. Such students file with the Graduate School an electronic application, including uploaded copies of unofficial transcripts, and written approval of the course instructor. No more than 6 semester hours earned as a non-degree student may be applied to graduate degrees at Vanderbilt.

Technical Support

For questions about the graduate admissions web-based system, please contact