Skip to main content

Guidelines for Course Selection

All engineering students at Vanderbilt take a common core of courses during the first year, in the sense that all students take:

  • Chemistry
  • Math
  • Engineering Science 1401, 1402, 1403 (Introduction to Engineering)
  • Liberal Arts Core requirement or an elective
  • Engineering Freshman Seminar (optional)

While it is a “common” first year, many students have Advanced Placement (AP) credits or other special circumstances requiring some guidance in selecting an appropriate schedule for the first semester. 

Using the sample curriculum as a guide, use the YES class search to look up the times for the courses you have selected and place them in your cart. Be careful not to overlap course times. 

Course Prerequisites

Although some course prerequisites may be relaxed to allow first year students to register for classes before Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit is applied to the records of incoming students, course prerequisites are strictly enforced. 

If you anticipate using either Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit to fulfill a required prerequisite, you must be sure that your score has been received and recorded on your record by August 1, 2023. The same policy is applied for students presenting pre-college transfer credit. Credit that has been received is viewable on YES under the External tab of the Academic Record. 

Student records will be reviewed before the beginning of the semester. Students enrolled in classes without the required prerequisites will be administratively dropped from the class. After Vanderbilt Admissions has received your AP or IB scores that you have requested be sent from College Board or the test administrator then the credit will automatically be applied to your Academic Record on YES.

Placement Tests

Placement tests are optional. But, if you are planning to continue in a foreign language that you began in high school, we recommend a placement test in that language. Placement tests are available online at


Sample Curriculum for Engineering Freshman (FALL)

Chem 1601 - General Chemistry Lecture  (3 hours) 
Chem 1601 - General Chemistry Discussion   (0 hours) 
Chem 1601L - General Chemistry Lab   (1 hour)

Math 1300 - First Year Accelerated Calculus I   (4 hours)

Liberal Arts Core Requirement or Elective Credit   (3-5 hours)

ES 1401 - Introduction to Engineering, Module 1   (1 hour) 
ES 1402 - Introduction to Engineering, Module 2   (1 hour) 
ES 1403 - Introduction to Engineering, Module 3   (1 hour)

ES 1115 - Freshman Seminar (optional)   (1 hour)

TOTAL:   14-17 hours