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Academic Resources and Support

The quality of an A&S education isn’t just about what you learn in the classroom. It’s also about the support we provide, from our pre-major advising program—unique among peer schools—to faculty advisers, subject librarians, and other services to help you succeed academically.  


The College of Arts and Science provides a variety of advising resources to help you make the most of your academic career at Vanderbilt. Advising at A&S takes place in two stages: pre-major and major advising.

Pre-major Advising

The College of Arts and Science Pre-major Advising Resource (CASPAR) office provides specialized and relevant support to help incoming students define their academic and career interests. 

CASPAR advisers help you: 

  • Create an academic plan that reflects your interests, strengths, and goals
  • Select and register for courses each semester, and make changes to your schedule 
  • Navigate AXLE, the College of Arts and Science’s core curriculum
  • Understand academic policies and procedures
  • Answer questions about AP credit and course placements
  • Access available academic supports and resources
  • Explore your intellectual interests while still completing academic requirements
Major Advising

Once you declare a major, you will be assigned an adviser in the appropriate academic department. Your major adviser, together with your major department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, will help you choose courses that suit your interests and career goals, assist you in staying on track to graduate, and help you identify opportunities (such as internships, study abroad, and research) that will enrich your classroom studies and prepare you for your chosen career.

Pre-Professional Advising

If you choose a pre-professional track, you'll be provided with additional advising resources based on your anticipated field of study. Pre-professional advisers serve as specialized resources to help you explore and understand various career options within the relevant field. They will also help you ensure that your undergraduate course of study prepares you for entrance exams and satisfies necessary prerequisites for graduate school. If you are planning a career in architecture, law, or the health professions, contact the appropriate adviser as soon as possible. 


A&S is a place where undergraduate teaching is just as important as world-changing research, and we carefully select our faculty to fit that mold. They are leaders in their fields, dedicated mentors, and gifted instructors who are committed to student success. In addition to their formal roles as major advisers, our faculty teach undergraduate courses at all levels and hold regular office hours to assist you with navigating college, understanding course materials, finding research or internship opportunities, and planning their careers.

To search for faculty by department, please see our Faculty Directory.


librarians stand behind students seated at a table, smilingThe Heard Libraries house nearly 5 million volumes in their nine campus libraries. Most materials are shelved in open stacks and are available to students and faculty through the libraries’ online catalog. The Heard Libraries website also provides access to millions more online resources, including full-text journals, indexes, and other research resources, and is accessible remotely via the campus network and from workstations in each library.

As an A&S student, you'll also receive support from subject librarians: research experts who specialize in particular academic fields. Each A&S department is covered by a subject librarian who is available to assist students with research projects, whether that means refining a topic, locating hard-to-find sources, understanding specialized vocabulary and research conventions, or learning general research skills.


At Vanderbilt Tutoring Services, you have the opportunity to meet individually with a talented staff of tutors who will help you enhance your academic performance through the power of collaborative learning. Tutoring Services is one part of the continuum of support at Vanderbilt, and is provided free of charge.

The Center for Second Language Studies (CSLS), housed within A&S, provides extensive support for students studying languages other than English. Whether you're a language major, just fulfilling your AXLE requirement, or something in between, you can participate in conversation hours (with snacks!), obtain tutoring assistance, or just drop by to practice your language skills by playing board games and watching TV in the lounge.

STEM Support

The STEM Training and Education Project (STEP) provides resources and support to all undergraduate students interested in the STEM disciplines. Through support of classroom-based programs, research training, and faculty development, STEP aims to enhance the success of students at Vanderbilt and beyond and to diversify representation in STEM fields.

STEP enhances faculty efforts to:

  • Form new collaborations and community with those engaged in enhancing equity in undergraduate STEM education and research across Vanderbilt
  • Deploy and develop innovative, evidence-based approaches to teaching, mentoring, and supporting STEM undergraduates
  • Ensure and expand equitable pathways for discovery and research
  • Seek funding for STEM education initiatives and research
  • Assess STEM education programming  and grant-funded initiatives