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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 Exam (TOEFL or IELTS)
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


You must have your application started before requesting a fee waiver. Waivers of the application fee will be considered automatically as part of the application process for US citizens and US permanent residents1 if they meet at least one of the criteria below (please note that an explanation with documentation must be uploaded in the application form for graduate study). Final submission of the application for graduate study is required in order to confirm whether you are eligible for a waiver – there is no separate waiver request form.  Note: initial approvals of automatic waivers are subject to a 10-day review period before the waiver is considered final. If your fee waiver is approved, the application will be processed and no further action is needed.  If denied, you will be notified from the application system and the application fee must be paid unless you have received an application fee waiver code from your program (please contact them directly to request code). All fee waiver requests must be received prior to the application deadline.

  • Demonstrated financial need in the past year. Please upload a document which verifies your financial need. Note:  Do not upload tax return documents or any other documents showing sensitive or confidential personal information such as your social security number
    • A letter or memo from the financial aid office of your current or previous school confirming that you received federal need-based financial aid or a FAFSA Student Aid Report.
    • An unemployment benefits statement dated within the previous six months.
    • A GRE fee reduction certificate from the Education Testing Service (ETS)
  • Participated in a designated Vanderbilt-sponsored program/activity in the past three years (see below*)
  • Participated in a designated fellowship, research, or training program in the past three years (see below**)
  • Current or former member of the United States Armed Forces. Please upload documentation showing current or former status.

In addition to fee waivers being granted based on these criteria, a small number of additional waivers will be granted at the discretion of the program and school based on recruitment priorities and extenuating circumstances. You may request an application fee waiver directly from the program only after you have submitted your application and confirmed that a fee is due.  Please contact either the program that you are applying to or our office at for more information. Waiver requests must include documentation to support the reason for the request.   If the waiver is approved, you will see indication of this in the application system AFTER your application has been submitted.

A candidate's eligibility for admission will not be impacted by an application for or receipt of a fee waiver.

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 NSF REU in Chemical Biology
  • Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program
  • Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy
  • Vanderbilt National Name Exchange (NNE) Diversity Fair
  • Vanderbilt-Hosted Recruitment Event (sanctioned by the Graduate School and hosted wither by an academic program office or school-level office)
  • VU-EDGE Pre-VU Ph.D. Recruitment Event

**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
  • California Polytechnic State University, Pomona Undergraduate Research Program
  • Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences (DNIMAS)
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Ronald McNair Scholars Program
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (national conference attendees only)
  • National Consortium for Graduate Degrees in Minorities in Engineering and Sciences (GEM) – upload proof of GEM Fellowship application
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)

Regional Level:

  • 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