Admitted PhD Students - 2017


Welcome! We commend you on being selected for admission and are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome you to the 2017 class.

Questions? Contact Judy Vesterfelt.

Dates of Required On-Campus Intensive Sessions 2017 - 2018

Semester Dates
Fall Semester 2017 August 28 - Sept 1 (Mon - Fri)
Spring Semester 2018 January 8 - 11 (Mon - Thurs)
Summer Semester 2018 May 8 - 10 (Mon - Thurs)

The PhD in Nursing Science Program is an academic program conferred by the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. Because of this, you receive new student orientation material from the Graduate School. The PhD in Nursing Science degree is organizationally structured under the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN). You will also receive information from VUSN. The purpose of this Web site is to consolidate and clarify the information you receive from both of these sources. 

You will or have already received a document from the Graduate School, Important Information for New Graduate Students for 2017 Fall Semester. Since this information is developed for all graduate-level programs across campus, we have outlined below important information specific to the VUSN PhD in Nursing Science Program for each item covered in the Graduate School’s document. Please read this information carefully because there are various deadlines that require your attention before classes begin. 

You should review the information below in conjunction with the Graduate School's document, Important Information for New Graduate Students for 2017 Fall Semester.


Follow the Graduate School’s instructions.
To check whether your official transcripts have been received, go to the Applicant Status Page (Checklist) in Slate: If you have any questions, email:

If the Graduate School’s Orientation is not held during our August block week, you are not required to attend.

a. Registration: do not register for your courses. The PhD Program Office will register you for the fall semester [full-time=9 credits and part-time=7]. We will review the registration process with you at orientation because you must register for your classes beginning with the spring semester.

b. Complete a Student Account Agreement Form (see Graduate School's instructions under the Finance section).

Follow the Graduate School's instructions; however, since their deadline is before block week, Judy Vesterfelt will take you to the Student Center for your badges when you are on campus.

Follow the Graduate School's Instructions

In addition, if you were awarded a scholarship, fellowship or other financial aid, you will receive an email from the PhD Program Office by the end of June informing you how your award(s) are credited to your student account. 

Follow the Graduate School's instructions

Follow the Graduate School's instructions

Follow the Graduate School's instructions

Follow the Graduate School's instructions. PhD students complete the Graduate Immunization Form NOT the School of Nursing Form.

All entering students must be compliant with these requirements. You will not be able to register for classes until you are compliant.

Follow the Graduate School's instructions.

Follow the Graduate School’s instructions BUT activate your VUnetID as soon as you can after receiving the email from the University Registrar’s Office with the instructions.

For those of you who live outside of the Nashville area and will be relocating or visiting the area as a distance student, please see resources below for helpful information:
Hotel Accommodations:


Hotels that offer VUSN students special rates:

Housing Accommodations:

Please exercise good judgment when using an outside source such as Craigslist, Tennessean, etc. Although the Vanderbilt Office of Housing & Residential Off-Campus Service is not endorsed or verified by the university, it is password protected.

To learn more about the safety of the area you may be renting in, check out the Nashville Police website -

Our Hometown – Nashville, TN

Parking permits are required for motor vehicles parked on campus at any time. However, since the PhD program only requires campus visits for block weeks you do not need to register for a parking permit unless you want to. If you do, please follow the Graduate School's instructions.

Otherwise, PhD students who will only be on campus during the required face-to-face block sessions and need a parking space have the following options:

  • Use the automated pay stations located at Wesley Place Garage (2043 Scarritt Place)
  • Terrace Place Garage (21st & Terrace Avenue)

Daily coin box rate is $10.00/day on weekdays and $5.00/day on Saturday and Sunday. The most convenient garage is Wesley Place Garage which is located across the street from the School of Nursing.

Additional assistance or questions should be directed to Vanderbilt University Parking Services at 615-322-2554. Students who are already Vanderbilt employees may continue to use their valid access card.

During the fall block, you will have time to meet with your faculty adviser to complete the required paperwork to formally request transfer credits from your master’s degree. Your adviser will have the required paperwork when you arrive in August. The Graduate School must approve the request; the PhD Program Office will process your paperwork after the fall block.

If applicable, follow the Graduate School's instructions.


The following program delivery and participation requirements are expected of all students in our program:

Attend in-person all block intensives for the first two years regardless of full-time or part-
time status. After the first two years, part-time students have the option of attending required block classes in-person or at a distance via current VUSN PhD technology options. In-person block intensives occur 3 times each year for approximately 4-5 days per block. We do not offer financial assistance for travel expenses to block intensives. Full-time students are in course work for two years.

Meet all program computer and technology requirements listed on this page:

Participate in all scheduled synchronous classes using the technology required by our program. We currently use Blue Jeans and Skype for Business.

Be able to access all Websites and library resources required to successfully complete course and dissertation work.

Tuition and fees are set annually by Vanderbilt University Board of Trust. Graduate study tuition rates for 2017-2018 are $1910 per credit. Tuition/fees are due mid-August for the fall semester. Vanderbilt exclusively uses secure electronic billing (e-bills) for student account charges. All students are automatically enrolled for e-bills. Students may access their online invoices from their YES landing page at or by going to:

Once signed into YES, you may view invoices under the SM Billing Portal link. Payments may be made electronically, or for those wishing to mail a payment, a payment coupon can be printed. When an electronic payment is made, a confirmation email will be sent. It remains the responsibility of the student to ensure that bills are paid on or before the due date. The Office of Student Accounts can be contacted at (615) 322-6693, toll-free at (800) 288-1144, or via email at For additional information, please visit the Student Accounts website at .

Upon acceptance, all full and part-time students must complete a background check through Castle Branch using the code provided below. Enrollment is contingent upon satisfactory evaluation of the results of the background check.

 Note: Special Students, who are only enrolled in one course and are not seeking a degree from the School of Nursing, are not required to complete a background check or the new student requirements unless they apply and are admitted to VUSN.

  1. Complete Background Check:

    1. Go to (Do not complete more than 3 months prior to student orientation).
    2. Click: Place Order
    3. Enter package code: VA14BC
    4. Enter classification: PhD
    5. Enter payment information – Visa, MasterCard (credit or debit), or money order mailed to Castle Branch. (NOTE: there is a processing fee for money orders). The student should follow online instructions to complete the order.
  2. Submit a copy of an unencumbered Registered Nurse’s or Advanced Practice Nurse’s license in the state(s) where you reside and work to the VUSN Compliance Officer at: OR fax to (615) 875-1875 Attn: Compliance Officer OR mail to: Vanderbilt School of Nursing; Attn: Lisa Boyer, Compliance Officer; 461 21st Ave. South; Nashville, TN, 37240-0008

Each student is assigned a faculty adviser who is responsible for assisting students in developing an appropriate program of study, recommending courses acceptable for transfer, assisting in the identification of committee members for the qualifying examination and dissertation and general mentoring throughout the educational experience. We will set time aside during the 1st block/student orientation for you to meet individually with your adviser. At this meeting, your faculty adviser will complete the transfer credit process and the academic plan of study. Once you receive the fall student orientation/1st block agenda, it will be your responsibility to set up a meeting with your adviser(s) that week. The agenda will list specific days and times that you may choose from.

The Office of Student Accounts bills all graduate students activity and recreation fees. However, you will be granted a waiver if: (1) you are a part-time student enrolled for four or fewer credit hours (including audit credit), or (2) you are a student residing outside a circle of approximately sixty miles from the Vanderbilt campus as determined by zip codes.To complete a waiver request, please go to:

To be distributed at fall block in August

Annual Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training

  • First year students are required to complete Vanderbilt's Institutional Review Board (IRB) Basic Training and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training and submit a certificates of completion to the PhD Program Office during the first semester by completing the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Course. You may access these courses by going to: and selecting "CITI Website" option.
  • In addition to the certificate of completion for GCP training, you will need to upload your certificate on this REDCap Survey -