Internships/Finding a Job
A: Generally, about 80% of A&S alumni are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation, and another 15% are voluntarily staying out of the workforce (e.g., to travel or volunteer with an organization such as the Peace Corps). More data on student outcomes is available through the Career Center.
A: Numbers differ by field of study, but internships are very popular with students. Internship locations and activities vary widely: some are on campus, some are in Nashville, and some are elsewhere in the U.S. or even overseas. The Career Center is the primary resource for helping students to find internships, and financial assistance or course credit is often available.
A: The alumni network is extremely active and works extensively with the Career Center to provide mentoring, internship, and job opportunities for students. The alumni network and Career Center also host regular joint events during the academic year, such as Open ‘Dore dinners, where undergraduates can connect with alumni in specific career fields.
A: Generally, 25-30% of A&S students go on to graduate school immediately after college. An additional number of students obtain several years of work experience prior to entering graduate school—this is especially true for M.B.A. study. Acceptance rates are very competitive for both groups. The Career Center and individual departments are the best source of data for acceptance rates in particular fields.
A: Law school, medical school, and Ph.D. programs are the most popular with our students who enter graduate school immediately after college. M.B.A. programs are the most popular choice for students who prefer to obtain work experience before entering graduate school.
A: In most cases, Vanderbilt does not give priority in graduate admissions to undergraduate alumni. However, the College of Arts and Science offers a 4+1 program that enables students to earn both a B.A. and M.A. in five years, instead of the usual six. This program is open exclusively to A&S students.
A: Most go straight to medical school. Students who think they may want to take a gap year should speak with their pre-health adviser to determine the best process/timeline for applying to medical school.
A: Vanderbilt’s study abroad programs are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, under normal circumstances, about half of A&S students study abroad during their undergraduate years. Most go abroad during their junior year, but sophomore year is also popular. Programs are available for a summer session, semester, or full year.
A: Generally speaking, if students want to study abroad and are in good academic standing, the Global Education Office can help them find an opportunity to do it.
A: In most cases, a student’s existing financial aid package can be applied to a semester or year abroad through a Vanderbilt-approved program. Study abroad funds are also available through third-party, departmental, and university grants.
A: Students occasionally graduate a semester early, but it is not a common practice. If students want to graduate early, they will probably need to plan on taking summer classes at least once during their time at Vanderbilt.
A: Yes. However, students should be aware of any special requirements associated with majors or minors in other schools and plan accordingly. For instance, audition requirements at Blair School of Music and curriculum requirements at the School of Engineering make it very difficult to add a major or minor at those schools after the first year.
A: The most popular options are to major in Economics; major in Medicine, Health, and Society; and/or minor in Business. Some other majors, such as Public Policy Studies, have tracks focused on business. Keep in mind that all A&S majors teach essential “habits of the mind” that are in high demand with employers (such as critical thinking, communication, and analysis). As a result, A&S graduates who want to work in the business world are usually able to find good positions, regardless of what they studied at Vanderbilt.
A: The process is relatively easy. From a curriculum standpoint, the earlier a student makes the change, the easier it is. Switching between similar subjects is usually easier than switching between significantly different subjects, due to coursework requirements.
A: Vanderbilt as a whole does not have comprehensive exams, but some A&S majors require the completion of a capstone project. In addition, most department Honors programs require some kind of capstone project or exam. Immersion is the culminating experience that all students must complete in order to graduate.
Q: Do I need to double-major or have a major and a minor to get the most out of my time in the College of Arts and Science?
A: Not at all. Only about half of our students double-major or add a minor. Instead of double-majoring or minoring, you can take a wider range of classes, do more internships or service projects, or enjoy more extracurricular activities. These are an important part of the A&S experience.