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Top Reasons Why Students Choose to Study in the GPED

  • Curriculum Flexibility. Each student's GPED course plan is tailored to meet the student's particular career interests. Students may take electives outside of Economics, such as Business and Finance courses from the Owen Graduate School of Management; International Education Policy courses from Peabody College; and courses from Latin American Studies, Public Health, Data Science, and Political Science. Students may also choose to complete a graduate certificate by enrolling in the required courses from other disciplines. Recent GPED graduates have completed certificates in African American and Diaspora Studies, Global Health, Latin American Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.
  • Class and Cohort Size. There are typically 10 to 35 persons in courses offered to GPED students. The small class size allows for more interaction with professors and individual attention in the classroom. Cohorts generally consist of 25-30 students, with about 10 countries represented. Students develop a strong bond and support system, enjoy building close friendships with others from across the globe, and benefit from a diversity of perspectives both inside and outside the classroom.
  • International Field Experience. The GPED offers a research seminar with a field experience, which allows students to travel to a developing country for an immersive experience in policy development. Students learn about the policy formulation process and development activities in the host country. The GPED provides partial funding for the trip. Many students consider this the highlight of their GPED experience.
  • GPED Forum. A seminar series known as the GPED Forum was established in 2013. Prominent thinkers (including GPED alumni) from academia, policy organizations, think tanks, corporations, and non-profit organizations visit us for a day and give a one hour lecture on a topic related to their field. Time is also allotted for GPED students to meet and interact with these visitors. The current schedule is available at
  • Alumni Network. Since its beginning in 1956, the program has maintained a strong network of over 1700 alumni from more than 135 countries. GPED alumni serve in a wide variety of prestigious positions and institutions across the globe. Students fondly refer to the GPED as a family - from the time they begin their studies, through graduation and beyond. Current students network with alumni and often learn about internship or job opportunities or receive career advice.
  • Program Assistance. GPED staff members assist students from the time they apply to the program, provide support for them during the duration of their studies, and keep close contact with them after they graduate. From a friendly greeting to assisting with academic issues, the GPED staff provides a welcoming environment for students and helps them make the most of their time in the GPED, at Vanderbilt, and in Nashville. International students additionally receive support from International Student and Scholar Services.
  • Complimentary Tutoring Services. Teaching assistance is available in most GPED courses, and the program provides tutoring services at no additional charge to students.
  • Vanderbilt Community. Vanderbilt has a variety of student organizations and resource centers, which help students build a wider social and professional network and pursue their particular interests and passions outside academics. The Sarratt Student Center, Student Recreation Center, Student Health Center, and other facilities are user friendly and easily accessible.
  • Job Opportunities on Campus. There are many opportunities for students to work on campus. Students often work in one of the Libraries, the Student Recreation Center, or Dining Services. Many students work as Research Assistants for Professors in various departments outside the GPED. GPED students are highly sought after because of their excellent quantitative and technical skills.
  • Nashville. Vanderbilt University is located in a beautiful and safe city with a mild climate and moderate living expenses. A wide range of living options are available near campus. The population is close to 700,000. More information can be found at

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