Frequently Asked Questions
Add/Drop and Withdrawal
Summer Work and Summer Internships
Majors and Minors
Letters of Recommendation
I just got accepted to Vanderbilt! How do I meet with my CASPAR adviser?
Congratulations! The summer before your first semester at Vanderbilt, you will be assigned a CASPAR adviser. Your CASPAR adviser will contact you with instructions for how to make an appointment and attend group advising sessions over Zoom on AXLE and other topics. Once you have spoken with your adviser or attended an AXLE advising session, your adviser will lift your adviser approval hold and you will be able to enroll in classes once your registration window opens.
Over the next semesters, when do I meet with my CASPAR adviser?
Each semester you will meet with your CASPAR adviser to discuss courses for the following semester and have your adviser hold released. In addition to that required meeting, you are welcome to make an appointment any time you have something to discuss: for example, when you are struggling in a course and wondering if you should withdraw, when you are reconsidering your major plans, when you are excited by something you’re learning in a class and wondering where you might go next with the discipline. Your CASPAR adviser will be your academic adviser until you declare a major in your third or fourth semester and switch over to your major adviser(s).
How do I make an appointment with my CASPAR adviser?
Click here. If you have problems making an appointment, please call the CASPAR office at 615-322-2844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do I enroll in classes?
You can always find the most up-to-date information about when you can register or make changes to your schedule in the Student Registration section of YES . You can also find relevant dates on the College of Arts and Science’s Academic Calendar.
Can I change my enrollment window?
No. If you will be traveling over the summer during your enrollment window and won't have access to the internet, find a trusted person who you can rely on to enroll you in your classes when your registration window opens.
YES won't let me enroll; what should I do?
There are two main reasons why you are unable to enroll: technical difficulties or a hold.
Second, check the Holds section in YES to see if there is a hold on your account. The most frequent hold for first-year students during the registration period for the spring semester is for failure to submit a “Buckley” form or Consent to Release Academic Information Form. You can submit this form to the Office of Academic Services in 350 Buttrick Hall or via email to email@example.com. Other holds include a financial hold if your bill has not been paid or an advising hold if you have not seen your adviser prior to the registration period. Once you've determined the nature of the hold, contact the appropriate office to see what you need to do so the hold can be released.
Note that entering students will not be able to enroll in classes if they have not completed the immunization requirements.
Classes are filling up. What do I do?
First, don't panic. This can be a stressful part of registration, but rest assured, you will be able to find classes to enroll in, even if they're not your first choice. You need to make sure that you are enrolled (not just on the waitlist, but actually enrolled) in at least 12 hours. Then you can add yourself to the waitlist for any classes that you prefer. Utilize the drop-if-enrolled function if applicable. See the YES user guides if you're unsure how to do this. There can be a lot of movement from waitlists as it gets closer to the semester and during the first week of the semester. Students get registration priority based on class standing, so even though this can be frustrating when you're a first-year, keep in mind that when you're a senior, you will get to go first. If there is a class you need in order to be on the right sequence for a major (i.e. CHEM 1601, ECON 1010, MATH 1300), chances are likely that you will get in once the semester starts, as long as you are flexible about which section you take. If your first choice classes fill up, try to be open-minded about finding alternatives. You can also think about satisfying AXLE liberal arts categories that you may be less likely to fulfill based on your intended major and interests. Your CASPAR adviser can also help you find available classes to enroll in.
I didn't get into a First Year Writing Seminar for fall. What do I do?
You can put yourself on the waitlist for a FYWS, but don't worry, if you don't get into one for fall, you can take one in spring. The requirement is that you take a FYWS (1111) your first year, but it doesn't matter whether you take it in the fall or spring semester.
When is the end of the add/drop period?
The Open Enrollment period, during which you can make changes to your schedule, generally begins in mid-July for the fall semester and mid-December for the spring semester and runs through 11:59 p.m. Central time on the fifth day of classes of the semester. During Open Enrollment, you may add and/or drop classes via YES; no instructor or adviser signature is required.
You may add or drop with a Change of Course Request Form through 4:00 p.m. on the tenth day of classes, also known as the Administrative Drop period. Please note:
- You will need the instructor's signature on the form to add a course or make level changes in foreign languages during the Administrative Drop period. Please understand two things: 1. You should not expect to add a course in this second week that you have not been attending. 2. Instructors are under no obligation to add you to a course.
- You will need Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor John Rafter's signature on the form to make level changes in Math during the Administrative Drop period.
- You will need your adviser's signature to do any of these things. Know that your adviser will not sign your Change of Course Request form if your instructor or Professor Rafter has not already signed the form.
Once you have the appropriate signature(s), return the form to 350 Buttrick Hall.
You can find all of this information on the College of Arts and Science’s Academic Calendar.
When is the last day I can withdraw from a class?
The Friday (Wednesday in the fall, Friday in the spring) of the eighth week of classes at 4:00 p.m. See the College of Arts and Science’s Academic Calendar.
How do I withdraw from a class?
See our CASPAR guide to withdrawing from a class.
What do I do if I'm failing a class?
Do your best not to despair or panic! Although this is probably a new situation for you, know that other Vanderbilt students are having a similar experience, maybe even in the same course. First, go to see your professor or TA during office hours or schedule an appointment. Take all of your graded work to that meeting so that you can discuss it with your instructor. Questions to ask include: Where do I seem to be going wrong? How can I prepare better for tests? What should I be doing differently in my essays?
Next, come up with a plan for studying differently for this course. In this situation, many students will say that they are going to “study harder” without any idea of what studying harder would entail. Change your study habits, opting for active strategies (e.g., solving problems, annotating your reading, consulting with the Writing Studio) and prioritizing the class you're failing over social and service obligations. See your CASPAR adviser to discuss strategies for addressing the problem, including making use of individual tutoring, study halls, drop-in sessions for quantitative courses, and the Writing Studio, as well as study skills and time/stress management skills counseling at the Center for Student Wellbeing.
If the withdrawal deadline hasn't passed, speak with your CASPAR adviser about whether withdrawing from the class is the path you want to choose.
How do I transfer to another school or college at Vanderbilt?
Consult the Intra-university Transfers section on the University Registrar website. Read the letter on this page from the school or college to which you want to transfer. That letter will identify a person in that school or college with whom you should speak or a meeting about transferring that you should attend. After attending an individual or group meeting, fill out the form on this same page, paying attention to the stated deadline. Please note that students are not eligible to transfer until they have completed two semesters at Vanderbilt.
How do I transfer to another university?
Many schools use the Common Application for transfer students. Consult its website to determine if your prospective schools use the Common Application. If they don't, then go to the website of each school and look for information about transferring, most likely on the admissions page. Whether you use the Common Application or fill out a school-specific one, you will probably need a university official to complete some part of the application. Call the A&S Office of Academic Services at 615-343-3141 to make an appointment with an Associate Dean for assistance with this portion of your transfer application.
How can I get credit for a summer course at another college?
You can find detailed instructions on the University Registrar's "Transfer Credit" page. You must be in good standing to seek approval for summer work elsewhere. Summer work elsewhere cannot count toward AXLE or grade replacement.
How can I get academic credit for a summer internship?
Set up a meeting with an Associate Dean in the A&S Office of Academic Services by calling 615-343-3141.
When do I declare a major/minor?
You can declare a major as early as the first day of your third semester in residence (for most students, the fall semester of their sophomore year) and must do so no later than around the middle of your fourth semester in residence (usually the Friday before Spring Break). If that fourth semester is in the fall, you must declare a major by mid-October.
How do I declare a major/minor?
We have a guide on the CASPAR website for how to declare your major.
How do I find a major/minor adviser?
Go to the department of your intended major to find out how they assign major advisers.
Your CASPAR adviser does not sign major or minor declaration forms.
Where can I get information about pre-med or pre-law?
Your CASPAR adviser can give you general information about how to get started in pre-health or pre-law studies.
Pre-health professions students should get to know the Health Professions Advisory Office (HPAO), which has the most current information about admissions requirements, shadowing and internship opportunities, and undergraduate research possibilities.
Pre-law students should consult the pre-law advising website. The pre-law adviser is Professor Carrie Russell.
See our Resources list for links to these advising offices and others.
Can my CASPAR adviser fill out recommendation forms and/or write me a letter of recommendation?
Yes, if your adviser knows you well enough to comment on your strengths and weaknesses for the position, award, or scholarship for which you are applying. If the recommendation form or letter requires first-hand knowledge of your academic capabilities, you would be better served by asking the instructor in one of your courses to fill out the form or write the letter.