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Academic Regulations

Admission standards

Admission to the Master of Engineering program normally requires graduation from an approved undergraduate program in engineering or a related scientific discipline, attainment of a B average in undergraduate courses applicable to the student’s career goals, and recommendations containing favorable appraisals of professional promise and attitude. A period of successful work experience prior to application to the program will also be given consideration. Application for admission is done by submitting an application through the online graduate admission system .  Further information about the program may be obtained by writing to the Director of Graduate Studies of a particular program or to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. For international students who did not graduate from an institution in a country where English is the official language, proficiency in English must be shown by a minimum score of 89 on the TOEFL or 7 on the IELTS test. For information on Integrated Bachelor and Master of Engineering degrees, see the chapter on Special Programs in the Undergraduate Catalog ( ).

Academic Calendar and Important Dates

For the academic calendar and important dates related to the start/end of the semester, holidays, registration and withdrawal periods, etc., the reader is referred to the academic calendar posted by the University Registrar,


Work is graded by letter; A, B, C, and F. A student will not be granted graduate credit for any course in which a grade less than C– is received. Courses with failing (F) grades may be repeated once at the discretion of the course director and the department. In this situation, the more recent grade will be calculated in the final grade point average. The letter I may be used at the discretion of the instructor in those cases in which the student is not able to complete work in the normal time. The notation W is entered onto the transcript when a student withdraws from a course or from the School of Engineering. A grade point average of 3.000 is required for graduation. Letter grades are assigned grade point values as follows:

A+ = 4.0           B– = 2.7

A = 4.0             C+ = 2.3

A– = 3.7           C = 2.0

B+ = 3.3           C– = 1.7

B = 3.0            F = 0.0 

Students receive grades in all courses except those approved for credit/non-credit, audits, and some seminars. An “I” that is not replaced by a letter grade within one year may be changed to the grade F at the discretion of the instructor; otherwise, the “I” may become permanent and remain on the transcript as such.

Certain courses approved by the graduate faculty for credit/non-credit or Pass/Fail count toward total hours. Courses that are strictly no-credit, however, do not count toward total hours or in calculating grade point average, although grades for such courses are entered on the student’s record.

With the instructor’s permission, students are permitted to audit certain courses. Students who audit are expected to attend the course regularly. Students must be registered for regular courses in order to audit. Audits are listed on the student’s transcript. Audits are limited to two per semester.

Credit Policy

Credit hours are semester hours; e.g., a three-hour course carries credit of 3 semester hours. One semester credit hour represents at least three hours of academic work per week, on average, for one semester. Academic work includes, but is not necessarily limited to, lectures, laboratory work, homework, research, class readings, independent study, internships, and practica. Some Vanderbilt courses may have requirements that exceed this definition.

Graduate credit may be transferred from graduate schools in accredited institutions. Transfer is made only on the recommendation of the chair or director of graduate studies of the major department and approval of the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. A maximum of 6 semester hours of transfer credit may be applied toward the master’s degree. Only those hours in which the student has achieved the grade B or its equivalent will be considered for transfer. Grades earned on transferred credit do not affect the student’s graduate GPA.

In certain special cases, credit may be transferred for graduate-level course work completed during undergraduate degree studies by a student at another accredited institution. The course hours must be in excess of the minimum required for the undergraduate degree and the course(s) must not be a required part of the undergraduate degree or major. Requests for such transfer of credit must be carefully justified by the student’s major department and approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

Prior Degrees

It is the policy of Vanderbilt University to verify prior educational credentials for all admitted students who intend to matriculate. All matriculated students must provide official copies of transcripts and any other required supporting documentation to Vanderbilt University as part of the prior degree verification process. The Office of the University Registrar will review transcripts and other supporting documentation for authenticity and to confirm degrees earned prior to matriculation at Vanderbilt. Offers of admission are contingent on a student providing the required documentation. Students who are not able to provide evidence of prior degrees will not be permitted to register for subsequent terms and may be subject to dismissal from the university.

Honor Council

The Honor Code at Vanderbilt represents a compact of mutual trust between each student and the members of the faculty. Every student is honor bound not to present as his/her own, the work of another student. Faculty members, in turn, do not question the integrity of the students. Jurisdiction of violation of this Honor Code for M.Eng. students has been assigned to the Graduate Honor Council. The purpose of the Graduate Honor Council is to preserve and perpetuate this feeling of mutual trust. Details regarding procedures and guiding principles can be found on the Graduate Student Council website:

Student Grievances and Appeals

Students who have concerns about academic matters should first discuss their concerns with the director of graduate studies in their program or, if necessary, the chair of the department.   Formal complaints, grievances, or appeals should be submitted in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies, School of Engineering.