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Graduate Academics

With 29 academic programs and 733 students representing 65 countries, the College of Arts and Science offers a vibrant and diverse experience for graduate students. Faculty who are leaders in their fields serve as dedicated mentors across 15 college - run research centers and numerous labs. And with $37 million in external awards received in 2019 - 2020, our programs provide ample, ongoing support for pioneering study.

Meet Our Students and Mentors
Elsa Mercado Sanchez, PhD'20 Spanish & Portuguese     Steve Townsend, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Elsa Mercado Sanchez sitting at a table in Heard Library   Steve Townsend smiles at his desk in his office
Elsa Mercado Sanchez has not always had a clear or easy path to the Ph.D. she is pursuing. She grew up in a racially-segregated neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wis., with Mexican immigrant parents who didn’t speak much English. Education was a top priority for her parents, but college was never a guarantee. See more.   Steve Townsend's office is a space of comfort. It’s homey, maybe even a little messy, and approachable—which is what Townsend wants. His office doesn’t just function as his official space as a professor; it’s also an unofficial hub for his students. It’s where they come to ask questions about their work, but it’s also where they come to unload their struggles with life outside the classroom and the lab. See more.


Graduate Programs

Graduate education in the College of Arts and Science focuses on doctoral programs, with students typically earning the M.A. or M.S. in progress to the Ph.D. Programs that offer a terminal master's degree are noted below.

Anthropology (Ph.D.)

Astrophysics (Ph.D.)

Biological Sciences (Ph.D.)

Chemistry (Ph.D.)

Comparative Media Analysis and Practice (Joint Ph.D.)

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Ph.D.)

Economics (Ph.D.)

English (M.F.A., Ph.D.)

French (Ph.D.)

German Studies (Ph.D.)

Graduate Program in Economic Development (M.A.)

History (Ph.D.)

Religion (Ph.D.)

History of Art (M.A.)

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences (offered jointly with the School of Medicine)

Interdisciplinary Materials Science Program (offered jointly with the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering)

Latin American Studies (M.A.)

Master of Liberal Arts and Science (M.L.A.S.)

Mathematics (M.A., Ph.D.)

Medicine, Health, and Society (M.A.)

Neuroscience (Ph.D.)

Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Physics (Ph.D.)

Political Science (Ph.D.)

Psychological Sciences (Ph.D.)

Quantitative and Chemical Biology Program (offered jointly with the School of Medicine)

Sociology (Ph.D.)

Spanish (Ph.D.)

Spanish and Portuguese (Ph.D.)

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates enable Vanderbilt graduate students to add depth or breadth to core studies undertaken in their home department. For instance, a student interested in Asian government and policy might pair a Ph.D. in political science with a graduate certificate in Asian studies. These certificates can also help strengthen a student's application for the workforce or graduate school.

Graduate Certificate Program in American Studies

Graduate Certificate Program in Asian Studies

Graduate Certificate Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Graduate Certificate Program in Jewish Studies

Graduate Certificate Program in Latin American Studies

Graduate Certificate Program in Medicine, Health, and Society