Vanderbilt Transfer Acceptance Rate 2023 | Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

In 1873-1877, Vanderbilt University was known as Central University. The university has a total enrollment of approximately 13,800 students from the US and over 100 foreign countries. Vanderbilt University ranks among the best in the United States.

The university gets a lot of transfer students applying every year, so it’s quite competitive, to begin with. As a transfer student, you must become acquainted with the essentials that will help you understand what you are about to embark on. 

Applying to a university in the United States as a transfer student can be a very demanding and quite a confusing process if you don’t know how to go about it.

In this article, we’ll be walking through everything you need to know about Vanderbilt’s transfer acceptance rate, GPA, and admission requirements. 

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Brief History of Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is a private research university. It is located in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1873, it is named in honor of shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided the school with an initial endowment of $1 million.

The Southern Chapter of the Methodist Church chartered as a central university the university in 1872. The creation of Vanderbilt University reflected Southern Methodism’s need for better-equipped ministers and the South’s need for quality higher education in the late nineteenth century. 

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Why Choose Vanderbilt University?

According to U.S. News, they rank Vanderbilt University among the top 20 universities in the United States. Vanderbilt ranked 3rd for the happiest students and 12th for quality campus food.

The university has many notable alumni from governors, U.S. ambassadors, CEOs, military officers, judges, college presidents, and professional athletes who all started their careers at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt University provides financial aid to approximately 65% ​​of its students to support their annual undergraduate tuition payments. The University also offers scholarships to outstanding students with great academic performance.

Vanderbilt University offers Transfer Student Orientation to introduce admitted transfer students to life at Vanderbilt. It includes group discussions and information sessions related to extracurriculars, academics, campus support systems, and other things transfer students would like to know.

Students also enjoy a relatively small student-teacher ratio of 7:1, ensuring they receive more one-on-one support and interaction in the classroom environment.

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What is Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate?

Vanderbilt’s acceptance rate for first-year students is 12%. The school is ranked #1 in Tennessee and #27 in the U.S. with the lowest acceptance rate. Vanderbilt is a very competitive school, and the average applicant has a low chance of being accepted.

Last academic year, the university admitted 4,259 of 36,646 college applicants. Compared to similar elite schools, Vanderbilt admits more students, as long as they have good grades.

Vanderbilt seeks students who demonstrate strong academic skills and intellectual curiosity and engage in activities outside the classroom that foster their growth as leaders. Most successful applicants accept a very rigorous course load and challenge themselves at the highest level of available courses.

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Vanderbilt University Transfer Acceptance Rate

Vanderbilt University does not record its transfer acceptance rate. Vanderbilt’s transfer acceptance rate is estimated to be around 25%, which is relatively higher than their acceptance rate for first-year students.

Almost 80 percent of admitted transfer students enter Vanderbilt during their sophomore year, and transfer students make up nearly 10 percent of the student body. Most transfer students come from institutions such as Boston College, Belmont University, and New York University.

Vanderbilt University admits transfer applicants to one of four undergraduate schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Peabody Institute of Education, and the Humn Development/Blair School of Music. Transfer applicants should specify the colleges they are interested in during the application process.

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Vanderbilt University Acceptance Rate by Major

Vanderbilt blends a top-tier research university with a teaching-focused liberal arts curriculum. With four undergraduate schools and colleges, 70 majors, and 72 minors, you’re never at a loss for ways to explore your interests or discover new passions.

Vanderbilt Major and Acceptance Rate in 2023

Here are Vanderbilt’s majors and their respective acceptance rates for transfer students:

  1. Econometrics and quantitative economics 11.4%
  2. Multi-/interdisciplinary studies 10.3%
  3. Social sciences 10%
  4. Computer science 6.5%
  5. Mathematics 5.4%
  6. Neuroscience 4.4%
  7. Political science and government 4.3%
  8. Psychology 3.3%
  9. Engineering science 2.4%
  10. Bioengineering and biomedical engineering 2.3%
  11. Mechanical engineering 2.2%
  12. Spanish language and literature 2.1%
  13. Cognitive science 2.1%
  14. English language and literature 1.9%
  15. Chemical engineering 1.8%
  16. Molecular biology 1.7%
  17. Public policy analysis 1.6%
  18. Developmental and child psychology 1.4%
  19. History 1.4%
  20. Sociology 1.3%
  21. Computer engineering 1%
  22. Child development 1%
  23. Philosophy 1%
  24. Electrical and electronics engineering 1%
  25. Speech communication and rhetoric 0.9%
  26. Legal studies 0.9%
  27. Chemistry 0.8%
  28. History 0.8%
  29. Biology/biological sciences 0.8%
  30. Civil engineering 0.8%
  31. Elementary education and teaching 0.7%
  32. Art history, criticism, and conservation 0.7%
  33. Biochemistry 0.7%
  34. Ecology and evolutionary biology 0.7%
  35. Film/cinema/video studies 0.7%
  36. Special education and teaching 0.6%
  37. French language and literature 0.6%
  38. Anthropology 0.6%
  39. Stringed instruments 0.6%
  40. Asian studies/civilization.5%
  41. Science, technology, and society 0.4%
  42. Geology/earth science 0.4%
  43. Women’s studies 0.4%
  44. Education 0.4%
  45. Classical, Ancient Mediterranean, and near eastern studies and archaeology 0.4%
  46. Physics 0.4%
  47. Fine/studio arts 0.4%
  48. Brass instruments 0.4%
  49. Music 0.3%
  50. Voice and opera 0.3%
  51. American/united states studies/civilization 0.3%
  52. Russian language and literature 0.3%
  53. German language and literature 0.3%
  54. Woodwind instruments 0.3%
  55. European studies/civilization 0.2%
  56. African-American/black studies 0.2%
  57. Foreign language teacher education 0.2%
  58. Secondary education and teaching 0.2%
  59. Music teacher education 0.2%
  60. Early childhood education and teaching 0.1%
  61. Romance languages, literature, and linguistics 0.1%
  62. Drama and dramatics/theatre arts 0.1%
  63. Percussion instruments 0.1%
  64. Music 0.1%
  65. Religion/religious studies 0.1%
  66. Music theory and composition 0.1%
  67. Teacher education, multiple levels < 0.1%.
  68. Ancient studies/civilization < 0.1%
  69. Jewish/Judaic studies < 0.1%
  70. Keyboard instruments < 0.1%

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Necessary Requirements for Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, unlike other schools in the United States, doesn’t have a strict application process. The University needs every applicant to present the requirements to be screened properly.

If the documents aren’t presented within the period of application then I doubt that you can get admitted into the university. These requirements are:

  • Official high school transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation from a counselor 
  • Two academic teacher letters of recommendation
  • Non Refundable application fee of $50 for qualified students. 
  • All parts of the Coalition Application or Common Application

Vanderbilt University also placed additional requirements for International applicants seeking admission into the college. These requirements are:

  • Applicants are urged to complete an international section of the Common Application form. 
  • Official results of the TOEFL iBT, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL Essentials, IELTS, and PTE Academic, if applicable.
  • English proficiency exams must be sent from a testing agency or high school official directly if English isn’t the first language of the applicant.

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Transfer Requirements for Vanderbilt University

As a transfer student planning to apply to Vanderbilt University, there are certain requirements you need to put in place during your application process.

Vanderbilt gets a lot of transfer students every academic year and to make things less burdensome for both the student and the school system, they come up with standards for students who want to transfer to meet up with. These are. 

  • $50 nonrefundable application fee for qualified students
  • Official high school transcript showing the graduation date of the student.
  • Official college transcript(s) showing each institution attended. 
  • Transfer College Report from the previous institution attended.
  • Common Application Transfer College Report
  • Coalition Application Transfer College Report
  • Two letters of recommendation, one can be from a college teacher or a college professor. 

Vanderbilt also requires that admitted transfer students should have maintained an enrollment status for at least four semesters (and earn 60 credit hours) before obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the institution.

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Vanderbilt University GPA Requirements

Vanderbilt University doesn’t have a specific GPA requirement for its applicant but candidates should get good grades and GPA at least above average. This is because the school gets a good number of applicants every year, so the admission quota gets a bit competitive. 

Vanderbilt University typically accepts and attracts average high school students with an average GPA of around 3.86. Applicants need very good grades to get into Vanderbilt. The school requires you to be near the top of your class, and importantly above average. 

Merely meeting these GPA requirements is not sufficient for admission, as Vanderbilt is a very selective school. Transfer applicants are admitted to Vanderbilt when they typically maintain a GPA of about 3.3-4.0. 

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What are Vanderbilt University Deadlines?

Vanderbilt University’s deadline for direct students is January 1. All applications after the deadline may not be accepted by the school. Applicants are advised to round off all necessary applications on or before the due date. 

Transfer students have an application deadline of March 15. Transfer applicants will be evaluated continuously until the University has been able to fill all the available spaces.

The likelihood of receiving decisions earlier is only attainable if the applicants send in their applications on time. 

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What are Vanderbilt University Decision Dates?

Vanderbilt University has a decision date for both direct and transfer students. This helps them to sort out their application and speed up the admission process.

Accepted students will receive their admission offer via a phone call directly from the school and will also receive a letter via email.

For direct students, VU has two decision dates;

  • Decision I- Late December: The first wave of acceptances will be made.
  • Decision II-Late February: The second wave of acceptances will be made.

Admission decisions for Vanderbilt transfer applicants are announced in late April each year. Students applying to transfer to more than one university should consider submitting their application materials to Vanderbilt first before the application deadline.

The earlier they submit their applications to schools, the more likely they are to learn about their admission decision earlier.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Vanderbilt University

What GPA would you need to transfer to Vanderbilt University?

Transfer applicants admitted to Vanderbilt University typically need to maintain a GPA of 3.3-4.0. This is compensated with a high SAT/ACT score to further impress them.

Is admission into Vanderbilt University as a transfer student very competitive? 

Admission to Vanderbilt as a transfer student is highly competitive but it’s based on academic merit. Applicants should be able to have a high GPA to compete with other students and increase their chances of getting admission. 

Can I live on campus at Vanderbilt University? 

Yes. Living on campus is a necessity for all Vanderbilt undergraduates; direct and transfer students included. Transfer students that eventually get admitted can choose to apply for housing over the summer with Vanderbilts’ varied options. 

How can I get financial aid at Vanderbilt University as a transfer student? 

Vanderbilt University offers only a need-based financial aid program to transfer students. This supports students during their academic degrees. However, merit-based aid isn’t available to transfer applicants. 


The university is very welcoming to transfer students as students can learn from and grow with peers from a vast range of environments and backgrounds.

If you are admitted into the university either as a direct or transfer student, you’ll find the community to be diverse, welcoming, and academically enriching as you complete your undergraduate degree. 

We hope you’ve been able to understand why you should choose Vanderbilt University, due to its considerably low acceptance rate for transfer students.

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