International and Undocumented Students at VDS

Vanderbilt University has a large international community representing more than ninety countries. The university welcomes the diversity international students bring to the campus and encourages academic and social interaction at all levels. Both international applicants and undocumented applicants living in the U.S. are eligible for admission and scholarship support at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Information for Applicants

  • What is the priority deadline for international students?

    International students are encouraged to apply by the international priority deadline of December 1st.

    International student applications received after December 1st are considered on a rolling basis.

  • Is language testing a requirement for admission?

    Proficiency in written and oral English is required for enrollment in an academic program. An applicant whose native language is not English must present the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the application. The minimum acceptable score for the Internet-based TOEFL is 95. The computer-based total acceptable score is 250, and for the paper-based test, 600.VDS2018grads

    The TOEFL is administered at test centers throughout the world at different times during the year. Information on how to register and where to take the test is available at The minimum acceptable score for the IELTS is 7.0. Information on how to register and where the test is offered may be found at

    Applicants who have been awarded a degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English may request a waiver of the requirement by emailing the Director of Admissions and Recruitment

  • What are the financial requirements for admission for international students?

    To meet requirements for entry into the United States for study, international applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to meet the expected costs of their educational program. Applicants must provide documentary evidence of their financial resources before visa documents can be issued. United States laws and regulations restrict the opportunity for international students to be employed. Students may be allowed to work off campus only under special circumstances. Many spouses and dependents of international students are not allowed to be employed while in the United States.

  • Is financial aid available to international and undocumented students?

    Both international and undocumented students are eligible to receive merit-based scholarship support through Vanderbilt Divinity School. All scholarship decisions are made on the basis of the application for admission; no additional paperwork is required. However, applicants are advised that scholarship support covers tuition costs only . Each applicant should consider the cost of living in the United States, as well as applicable exchange rates and visa entry policies, as they undertake the application process.

Student Resources at Vanderbilt

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

International Student & Scholar Services fosters the education and development of non-immigrant students and scholars to enable them to achieve their academic and professional goals and objectives. ISSS provides advice, counseling, and advocacy regarding immigration, cross-cultural, and personal matters. ISSS supports an environment conducive to international education and intercultural awareness via educational, social, and cross cultural programs.

English Language Center (ELC)

The Vanderbilt University English Language Center (ELC) provides English-language support for individuals who have a first language other than English and who are enrolled or working at Vanderbilt University. The role of the ELC is to help you achieve the most from your Vanderbilt experience by providing quality, individualized English-language instruction. The Divinity School also reserves the right to require international students who experience difficulty in the use of written or spoken English to enroll in an English language proficiency program offered by the university.

Writing Studio

At the Writing Studio, you have the opportunity to meet individually with trained consultants to talk about any writing project or concern. Its services are free and confidential for any member of Vanderbilt's scholarly community.

Latin@/Latinx Seminarians at VDS

LAS is a student group at Vanderbilt Divinity School that seeks to create a communal space to embody and affirm diverse Latin@/American@ cultures. We also seek to engage and work with non-Latin@/American@ groups and communities in VDS and Nashville to harness and uphold as valuable the identities of our varied embodied realities. We also hope to dialogue with VDS Administration to recruit a plurality of Latin@/American@ identifying persons and faculty to encourage the development of Latin@/American@ research and scholarship.

Korean Students and Scholars Association

This is an organization for Korean graduate students and scholars at Vanderbilt University to interact and participate in various social events.