Campus Student Services

Vanderbilt University provides a variety of services to help graduate students reach their personal and academic goals.

Academic Services

The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) assists students in their program and serves as a liaison between the program and the Graduate School. If you have questions pertaining to your program, your DGS or education coordinator can help you.

Jean and Alexander Heard Library offers a variety of services and materials. Connect with a subject specialist to guide you through research; find a space to study on your own or with a group; locate books, articles, laptops, and iPads to support your academic experience and learn about authors; and learn about your rights as an author and how to retain copyright when publishing with academic journals and presses.

The Writing Studio provides free and confidential writing assistance to undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty at Vanderbilt University. Graduate students working on dissertations and longer projects may request extended appointments by emailing writing.studio@vanderbilt.edu. Post-docs and faculty who wish to meet with another faculty member or an advanced graduate student may schedule one appointment per week by emailing writing.studio@vanderbilt.edu.

The Center for Teaching (CFT) offers a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows entering the teaching ranks, as well as for those looking ahead to future faculty teaching roles. Services include Teaching Assistant Orientation, teaching workshops, teaching observations, the Certificate in College Teaching, teaching fellowships and mentorship guides.

English Language Center (ELC) provides English-language support for individuals who have a first language other than English. Services include courses in academic writing, academic speaking and pronunciation; writing and speaking consultations; writing and teaching workshops; and spouse/partner support.

Graduate Student Honor Council  preserves and perpetuate a feeling of mutual trust between each student and the members of the faculty. Every student is honor bound not to present as his/her own, the work of another student. Faculty members, in turn, do not question the integrity of the students.


Family Support

General English for partners and spouses is a tuition-free course designed to teach listening, speaking, reading and writing to Vanderbilt employees and VU community spouses/partners who are non-native Speakers of English. The focus is to enable students to use English in the workplace and at home.

Parental Leave: Prior to and/or following childbirth or adoption of an infant, the primary caregiver (whether mother or father) will be allowed to take six weeks of parental leave unless specified by program. During this period, the student's current stipend, and, if applicable, funding for health insurance and tuition, will be continued without interruption. The student's enrollment status will be continued during this period, as well.

Child & Family Center provides child care for children ages 6 weeks to PreK and support for aging loved ones. If you plan to send your child to the Vanderbilt Childcare Center, we recommend getting on the wait list as soon as possible. 


Policy on Parental Leave

  • Eligibility

    All students enrolled full-time in the Graduate School and supported by funding from either internal or external sources are covered by this policy. This includes students with funding through stipends, such as training grants or service-free fellowships, and students compensated for services, such as teaching assistants or research assistants. Students supported by external funding sources may be subject to additional rules of the granting agency regarding parental leave. Students are not employees and thus are not subject to the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

  • Period of Leave

    Prior to and/or following childbirth or adoption of an infant, the primary caregiver (whether mother or father) will be allowed to take six weeks of parental leave. During this period, the student's current stipend, and, if applicable, funding for health insurance and tuition, will be continued without interruption. The student's enrollment status will be continued during this period, as well.

  • Limitations

    If both parents are Vanderbilt graduate students, only one may take parental leave. The parental leave provided by this policy may be taken during the semester in which the child is born or adopted, or during any subsequent semester that begins no later than six months after the birth or adoption.

  • Advance Notice and Approval

    The student must request a parental leave from her or his departmental chair, through the Director of Graduate Studies, at least three months prior to the beginning of the anticipated leave or, in the case of adoption, as soon as the adoption is confirmed. The request must be made in writing and, once approved by the department chair and Director of Graduate Studies, forwarded to the school dean's office for approval and notification of the Graduate School. Students should also make appropriate arrangements as needed with their course instructors to make up any missed coursework during the leave period.

  • Documentation Upon Return

    As soon as possible, the student must provide her or his departmental chair with (a) a copy of a birth certificate or, (b) in the case of adoption, written certification of child adoption from the adoption agency.

  • Extended Leave

    Students who wish or need to take a longer period of leave, without continuation of funding, may request a leave of absence for up to one year through the established policy of the Graduate School. Graduate students who are not receiving funding through Vanderbilt should request a leave of absence for childbirth or adoption if they anticipate an interruption in progress toward their degree.

    This policy is applicable to all students enrolled in the Graduate School and establishes minimum standards for parental leave for graduate students. Departments may offer greater accommodations as are warranted by the individual circumstances of the student.


Health & Wellness

  • Student Care Network

    The Student Care Network is a holistic network of services and resources pertaining to health and wellness available to all Vanderbilt University students who have paid the Student Health Fee.

    Watch the SCN Resource Video

  • Zerfoss Student Health Center

    The Zerfoss Student Health Center serves the primary care needs of the Vanderbilt student community. There are no office co-pays for routine visits, and all registered students are eligible for care, regardless of insurance coverage.

  • Recreation & Wellness Center

    Recreation & Wellness Center is your place to work out or learn about wellness. The recreation and wellness center offers classes and clinics, an indoor pool, fitness equipment, the intramural and club sports, and programs related to living a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Center for Student Wellbeing

    Center for Student Wellbeing (CSW) provides weekly wellbeing practices, recovery support groups, and academic skills coaching and writing support groups. The mission of the CSW is to create a culture that supports the personal development and academic success of students using an integrative, holistic framework.

    Fellow students, staff, faculty and other community members concerned about the personal, physical or emotional wellbeing of a student may refer them to the CSW or the Office of Student Care Coordination for resources, or complete the Student of Concern Reporting Form.  For emergencies or life-endangering situations, contact VUPD at 615-421-1911 or 911.

  • Student Care Coordination

    The Office of Student Care Coordination (OSCC) fosters wellbeing and success by identifying concerns and coordinating support for students facing life events that may interfere with their academic and personal goals using a proactive, collaborative, and student-centered approach.  The OSCC strives to empower students to take an active role in their wellbeing and to promote a culture of care within the Vanderbilt community.

  • University Counseling Center

    University Counseling Center offers a range of services including individual, group, psychiatric services, alcohol and drug assessments/counseling, and LD/ADHD assessment. 

    Read the FAQ regarding PCC services resulting from the Town Hall held in September 2017 or visit our FAQ section below with links for providing feedback. Read the Strategic Plan for Vanderbilt Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • Academic Life Coach

    The Academic Life Coach assists Graduate School students and postdoctoral scholars in their academic and professional development during their time at Vanderbilt. This position was created to support students through individual coaching and group programming around effective time and stress management, resilience, conflict resolution, navigating academic relationships, and juggling work/life responsibilities.  

  • Project Safe

    Project Safe is Vanderbilt's Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response. Vanderbilt policies are not limited to the campus and extend to graduate students conducting field work and at conferences. Additionally, graduate student teaching assistants should review their responsibility to report incidents disclosed to them. 

  • Emergency Preparedness

    Emergency Preparedness contains disaster preparedness materials and resources for the Vanderbilt Community. As a part of Emergency Preparedness, AlertVU rapidly sends messages to the delivery points the user has chosen—cell phone (voice or text), land line, or Vanderbilt email account—in the event of an emergency that poses an imminent threat or danger to the Vanderbilt community.