About the Graduate School

Recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students who will go on to become leaders in their fields is the top priority for graduate education at Vanderbilt University.

The Graduate School enrolls about 2,400 students across 59 distinct academic programs that are housed within different schools and colleges across the university.

Students and professors collaborating.

Our Mission

The mission of the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University is to promote excellence in research, scholarship, and creative expression such that graduate students and postdoctoral trainees are optimally prepared for successful careers in academia, industry, and related fields. We do so by recruiting the most promising pre- and post-doctoral scholars from a diverse set of backgrounds and creating an inclusive and stimulating environment that fosters intellectual growth and development.

We emphasize intensive, disciplinary-specific and interdisciplinary training, taking advantage of Vanderbilt’s uniquely collaborative and collegial culture. We collaborate with the leadership of the schools/colleges as well as the Offices of the Vice Provosts and Vice Chancellors to ensure operational excellence. The Graduate School ensures the maintenance of the highest academic and professional standards and plays an important advocacy role for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.

Graduate students working together
Graduate students in class

Our History

Since its founding in 1873, Vanderbilt University has offered coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree and developed focused programs in several professional areas.  The university granted its first Master of Arts (in Greek, Latin and English) and Doctor of Philosophy (in Chemistry) degrees in 1879.

In 1935, by action of the Board of Trust, Vanderbilt established a separate Graduate School to expand its offerings and begin conferring degrees in partnership with professional schools and colleges throughout the university. As part of this process, an official faculty was assembled by selecting subject matter experts from various schools across the university. Today, the Vanderbilt Graduate School faculty is made up of the university’s top researchers and educators who are deeply committed to the development of future scholars.

  • 8,718

    Doctor of Philosophy Degrees awarded

  • 9,581

    Master's Degrees awarded

Kirkland Hall
Inside Alumni Hall

Our Leadership

Our team of knowledgeable and diverse faculty and staff is dedicated to fostering the uniquely supportive and collaborative environment for which Vanderbilt is known.

Our Dean, esteemed child and adolescent psychologist C. André Christie-Mizell, serves as the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Dean of the Graduate School, and the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

The best and brightest graduate students from around the world come to Vanderbilt for many reasons, but chief among them is the supportive and collaborative environment that characterizes so much of the university’s success.

C. André Christie-Mizell Dean of the Graduate School C. André Christie-Mizell
Dean of the Graduate School
C. André Christie-Mizell, Dean of the Graduate School

Our Priorities

Leadership & Career Development

The Russell G. Hamilton Graduate Leadership Institute, the Graduate and Postdoc Academic Success (GPAS) team, and the Graduate School Signature Events team offer professional development programs to inspire and empower future leaders with the skills they need to excel in their careers.

Wellbeing, Identity, and Belonging

Creating and fostering thriving learning communities for our students starts by supporting them physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually while they are on campus. At Vanderbilt, every student belongs and has the right to pursue their education in a safe and supportive environment.

Research, Teaching, and Mentoring

As a major R1 institution, Vanderbilt fosters a unique culture of teamwork and innovation, spurring impactful interdisciplinary research initiatives that have the potential to change the world.

Financially Supporting Scholarship

The Graduate School offers many funding opportunities to help students cover the cost of continuing their education, including scholarships, grants, awards, assistantships, and fellowships. The Enhanced Funding and Support Model for Doctoral Education includes funding supplements to promote discovery and collaboration and inspire scholarly excellence.

Graduate students working together
Graduate students working together

Connect with Us


The Graduate School’s main office is in Alumni Hall, Room 117. Please feel free to visit during our business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Contact Us

Questions about the Graduate School? Email graduateschool@vanderbilt.edu.

Graduate students working together