Skip to main content

AXLE Overview

The AXLE curriculum consists of 13 courses or 40 hours over six categories, including the Writing Requirement:

  • Humanities and Creative Arts (3 courses)
  • History and Culture of the United States (1 course)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (2 courses)
  • International Cultures (3 courses, including proficiency in a foreign language)
  • Perspectives (1 course)
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences (3 courses, including a lab science)

Seven disciplines must be represented to satisfy the breadth requirement.

See pages 3 and 24 of the  On the Road with AXLE booklet for an outline of the various categories or use one of the following work sheets:


AXLE must be satisfied with Vanderbilt courses.

  • AP/IB credit, summer work elsewhere, and most study abroad courses cannot satisfy AXLE.
  • Pre-freshman credit can satisfy AXLE.
  • Students who transfer to Vanderbilt from other colleges may use transfer credit to satisfy AXLE.
  • Most A&S courses count toward AXLE.  There are some notable exceptions: English 1100, Financial Accounting 1600, Math 1010 and 1005, first-semester foreign language courses, Sociology 2100, Directed and Independent Studies, and Special Topics courses.
  • The only non-A&S courses that count toward AXLE are some MUSL courses.


Students do not have to fulfill AXLE by the end of their sophomore year, though there are some timed requirements:

  • If required, English 1100 must be taken by the end of the first year.
  • The First-Year Writing Seminar (1111) must be taken by the end of the first year.
  • A 1000-level W course must be taken by the end of the sophomore year.


Students and advisers can monitor their AXLE progress--and major/minor progress--in their Degree Audit on YES!