Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) is among some of the most well-known private medical schools in the US. With highly competitive medical school acceptance rates, Vanderbilt is not easy to get into. Located on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, Tennessee, this med school offers degree programs aimed at imparting comprehensive and practical education to students. With an emphasis on good ethics, effectiveness, safety, and value through patient care, the programs offered by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine empower students to positively contribute to the medical industry.

The Vanderbilt Medical Center (VMC) is an 864-bed general and surgical facility. Also attached to it is the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt which is a 267-bed facility. With these two centers and also an extended affiliated network of health centers in the state, resident students are given hands-on training in patient care and also in state-of-the-art medical equipment.

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Article Contents
8 min read

Mission Statement Available Programs Academic Curriculum for the MD Program Application Timelines Admissions Statistics Eligibility Recommended Courses Tuition and Debt Financial Aid and Funding Opportunities Selection Factors Interview Formats Acceptance and Waitlist Information Contact Information Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Mission Statement

The vision of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is to shape a future in which all persons reach their full health potential.

The core values of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine are integrity, inclusion, humility, equity, mutual respect, and excellence.

The mission of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is to catalyze the advancement of impactful discovery, servant leadership, and lifelong learning. 

Available Programs

VUSM provides a wide range of medical programs with both Single Degrees and Dual Degrees. An overview of these programs is given below. 

MD Program

The MD Program is a single degree, 4-year course that employs VUSM’s distinctive Curriculum 2.0 that has a holistic approach to cope with the changes in the healthcare industry. The program is aimed at making students ready to take up leadership roles in the medical industry.  

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

MSTP is an MD/Ph.D. program that empowers students to pursue a career in scientific research. The program is a combination of education in the medical sciences and scientific inquiry. This is a dual degree program that awards both the MD and Ph.D. degrees to the students on successful completion. 

Medical Innovators Development Program (MIDP)

MIDP is a 4-year program targeted at students who already have a Ph.D. and want to advance their knowledge as well as career opportunities through an intensive MD program. This program seeks to enable students from different backgrounds such as engineering and applied sciences to shape the future of the medical industry through innovation. 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery MD Program (OMS-MD)

This program spans over 6 years out of which the first 3 years are for an MD degree. After successful completion of MD, students continue their learning as residents at the VUMC OMS department (Vanderbilt University Medical Center Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery). 

Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning

This is a 2-year elective program that brings together students from different backgrounds such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work and trains them in collaboration. The program is anchored on the fact that medical professionals don’t work alone; it’s teamwork. 

Master of Science Programs

At VUSM, there are several Master of Science programs available. Below is a list of programs.

  • Master of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics
  • Master of Science in Clinical Investigation
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Master of Science in Medical Physics 

Other Masters Programs

Other single-degree masters programs offered at VUSM are:

  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Education of the Deaf
  • Master of Genetic Counseling 

Doctorate Programs

Single-degree doctorate programs offered at VUSM are:

  • Doctor of Audiology
  • Doctorate of Medical Physics 

Dual Degree Programs

Dual degree programs are offered at VUSM so that students who wish to pursue two different degrees reduce the time required to successfully complete both degrees. Students are required to apply for dual degree status before they apply to either program. However, MD students can choose to go for a dual degree at a recognized university any time during the first three years of medical school.

After three years of the MD program, students can join the program for their second degree. In some cases, students might be allowed to finish their other degrees first before joining the MD program at VUSM.

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/Ph.D.) mentioned above is one of the dual degrees offered at VUSM. The list of other dual degree programs is as below.

Postdoc Programs

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine offers postdoc programs to fellows and trainees and provides them with the resources to enhance their skills and interact with experts, other fellows, and leading scholars. These programs are aimed at giving postdoc fellows and trainees better tools for their bright careers in the real world.

Postdoc trainees and fellows need to send an email to [email protected] to set up a 10-minute meeting with the Office of BRET to discuss how they can use the available resources during their postdoc program. 

Residency and Fellowship Programs

Residency and fellowship programs are also offered at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. These programs expose residents to diverse patient populations and help them further their medical knowledge through expert guidance and supervision. 

Certificate Programs

In addition to the degree programs, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine also provides various certificate programs. These programs are aimed at graduates to gain more focused education in the area they want to pursue. Students need to submit an ‘Intent to Enroll’ for taking up any of the certificate programs. They also need permission from the degree program director as well as the certificate program director to pursue any of the certificate programs.

Certificate programs are available in the below subjects.

  1. Biomedical Ethics
  2. Global Health
  3. Health Equity
  4. LGBTQ Health
  5. Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD)

Academic Curriculum for the MD Program

VUSM has introduced a unique curriculum - Curriculum 2.0. It is a holistic approach to learning and encourages a mindset that is conducive to lifelong learning. Instead of focusing on rote learning, this curriculum enables students to learn concepts, apply them effectively inpatient care, and adapt to the changing needs of the healthcare industry.

The first 13 months are dedicated to laying a strong foundation through the study of basic sciences. The next 10 months include core clerkships. The final two years are for immersive learning and are aimed at helping students expand their knowledge, get involved in clinical engagement, and ensure readiness for residency. This also includes a 6-month period dedicated to research.

Application Timelines

Below is the medical school application timeline for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Admissions Statistics

Below are the statistics of the most recent matriculating class.


Students who are citizens of the US as well as international students are eligible for applying to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Similarly, state residents as well as non-residents are eligible. All students are also eligible to apply for medical school scholarships and financial aid. 

Recommended Courses

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine recommends that students who are admitted to the institute have demonstrable knowledge in natural and life sciences, social sciences, and mathematics.

Since students from diverse backgrounds apply for admissions, these are only ‘recommendations’ and not strict prerequisites.

The competencies in the below areas are recommended:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Mathematics/Statistics
  • Physics
  • Social Sciences
  • Communication

**Note: For international students who did not have English as a language of instruction can benefit by taking additional courses in science at recognized universities/colleges where English is the medium of education/instruction. 

Tuition and Debt

The medical school tuition paid directly to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine comes out to be around $63,610 per year for both in-state and out-state students. Apart from this, the below costs need to be paid to VUSM: Should be its own section.

The Total Cost of Attendance per year including the tuition fees comes out to be around $100,000 per year.

The average graduate indebtedness is $164,327.

Financial Aid and Funding Opportunities

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is ranked the best school for financial aid in the nation by The Princeton Review. Students joining VUSM are eligible for both merit-based and need-based financial aid. Partial as well as full scholarships are available. About 78% of students receive financial aid.

Students can apply to the need-based funding available at VUSM to determine eligibility. Private funding options are also available. Students who are not citizens of the US will need a permanent residence visa or an immigrant visa to apply for Federal loans.

International students can apply for a private loan as long as a US citizen co-signs the loan.

Selection Factors

Vanderbilt University accepts students with a good academic background. This med school looks to admit students with the potential to be future leaders or scholars in the field of medicine. Students need to be graduates from an accredited college or university.

Apart from this general requirement, VUSM accepts students from a diverse population. Admission to VUSM does not rely on the major you choose. In fact, the school also provides recommendations on the courses to choose.

Below are the other requirements/recommendations by the med school for admissions.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

As mentioned earlier, the average MCAT score of Vanderbilt matriculants is a whopping 521. VUSM accepts MCAT scores that are up to three years old.

Letters of Evaluation

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine requires letters of recommendation via the AMCAS Letter Service. While applying with AMCAS, interested candidates must clearly indicate that they need the Letter of Evaluation to be sent to VUSM. 

Ideally, your Premedical Committee should send the letter pack. However, if your previous college or university does not have a premedical committee, individual letters from three evaluators are also accepted. Additionally, if you have been employed previously, a letter of recommendation from your supervisor is also helpful.

  • Minimum number of letters accepted – 3
  • Maximum number of letters accepted – 5

Guidance for letters of evaluation

  • Vanderbilt prefers informative letters of evaluation. Students are encouraged to work towards building good relationships with the individuals in the premedical committee and demonstrate good academic values in order to receive strong letters.
  • Invitations to secondary applications will be sent by VUSM without the Letters. However, Letters are mandatory before an invitation for an interview is extended.
  • Committee Letters, Letter Packets, and Individual Letters are accepted. 

Secondary applications

  • Selected candidates are notified to submit medical school secondary essays. An application fee of $85 is chargeable. However, a fee waiver for eligible candidates is available.
  • Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit secondary applications soon after receiving the invitation. Due to the rolling admissions, candidates who apply sooner have a better chance of being invited for an interview.

Interview Formats

VUSM invites groups of candidates for interviews based on the secondary applications. It is a good opportunity for the med school to understand candidates better and help in the selection process.

The interview format typically consists of two interviews – an open file interview and a closed file interview. An open file interview is about 45 minutes long, and a closed file interview is about 20 minutes long.

VUSM conducted interviews via Zoom.

Typical structure of video interviews is as follows:

Students can ask questions and get their doubts cleared during these sessions.

If you would like to test yourself with some Medical School Interview Questions and Answers, check out this video!

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

Candidates who are not offered admission are placed on a waitlist. Students who are really interested in joining VUSM are encouraged to contact the institute via medical school letter of intent to improve their chances of being offered admission.

Contact Information

Email: [email protected]




1. Is it possible to get a transfer to VUSM?

Due to the change in curriculum, VUSM does not accept transfer applications.

2. Is it possible to schedule a virtual campus visit?

Yes. Virtual tours and meetings are scheduled from Tuesday to Thursday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. CT. Interested candidates can send an email to [email protected] to schedule a visit.

3. Can I submit an AP credit from high school as part of the application?

Yes, you can. An AP credit from high school will be accepted. However, to improve your chances of admission, it is highly recommended that you build stronger competencies through relevant courses taken at the college level.

4. If I retake the MCAT, which score would be applicable?

Vanderbilt super-scores the MCAT scores. As long as all your MCAT scores are valid, the highest will be considered.

5. Are there any rules on who should write the Letters of Evaluation?

There are no strict rules as to who can write the letters of evaluation. If there is a premedical committee at your college or university, the letter packet should come from them. If not, 3 individual letters are also accepted. However, to make your application strong, it is recommended that you receive letters from those who can evaluate your competencies for medical school admissions.

6. Which science courses should I take being considered for admissions at VUSM?

Instead of requirements, VUSM has recommendations on the subjects in which students should build competencies. The recommended courses are:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry
  • Mathematics/Statistics and Physics
  • Social Sciences and Communications

While AP credits from high school are accepted, it is advisable that students demonstrate in-depth competencies in the above courses at the college level. Recent exposure to these courses is preferable.

7. I am an international student. Which additional documentation do I need to submit?

For students who have completed their college/university coursework outside the US must submit all original, official documents related to their course-by-course evaluation to VUSM.

8. What are the options for financial aid for international students?

International students can apply to the need-based funding available at VUSM to determine eligibility. Private funding options are also available. Students who are not citizens of the US will need a permanent residence visa or an immigrant visa to apply for Federal loans. International students can apply for a private loan as long as a US citizen co-signs the loan.

9. I am an international student and my coursework at my previous university was not in English. Am I still eligible for admission to VUSM?

Yes, you are eligible. However, it is strongly recommended that you take additional courses in science at an accredited university where the English language is the medium of education and instruction. This will make your application to VUSM stronger.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

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I'm an international student, but the coursework from my previous university is in English and the language of instruction in my previous university was English as well. Do I need to take any additional coursework from an accredited American university?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Sam! Thanks for your question. Yes, even if your coursework was completed in English, you are mostly likely going to be required to complete some education in the US or Canada. You can also reach out to the school directly to see if this requirement can be waived based on where your education was completed. Hope this helps!