Skip to main content

The Colleges

the colleges

Almost as soon as you arrive on campus, you’ll be matched into one of our four med student colleges, soon to be your “home within a home” at VUSM.

Each incoming class has just under 100 med students, and the colleges themselves provide an even smaller and closer-knit community within that setting. No matter which one you join— Batson, Chapman, Gabbe, or Robinson —you’re sure to find a warm community of faculty mentorship, welcoming upperclassmen, and just plain fun.

Welcome to your newest family

Each college is led by two faculty mentors and a group of dedicated upperclassmen med students, called Student Affiliate Advisors.

Within your first year, you’ll be paired with an upperclassman “Big,” a new friend and mentor throughout med school. In your second year, you’ll grow your family by becoming a mentor to an incoming first-year student.

Our med students are fiercely loyal to their colleges, and this friendly rivalry between colleges comes to a head each year during College Cup, an olympics-style event hosted by the Student Wellness Committee. Represent your college in an athletic event, dance competition, arts performance, or just by cheering along!

The college program is one of many reasons for our med students’ success.

Meet the Colleges

Each college, named for a trailblazing Vanderbilt medical school leader, has its own personality quirks and traditions. Wherever you match, you’re sure to be welcomed into the most unique family you’ve ever known.

Batson College

Batson Shield

Dean Batson was a decorated WWII veteran and nationally distinguished pediatrician who played a key role in the eradication of polio. During his tenure as Dean, he oversaw a tremendous period of growth for the school and medical center; notably, the creation of Light Hall, the ‘Round Wing’ and the Children’s Hospital.


Chapman College

Chapman Shield

Dr. John E. Chapman is known in Vanderbilt history as the “Dean of Deans,” conferring 3,317 graduate degrees, creating 32 acres of clinical research and education space, and establishing 789 new faculty positions during his extended tenure as the school’s commander-in-chief. He was adored by students and faculty alike, bringing satisfaction ratings to the top of the nation.


Gabbe College

Dr. Steven Gabbe is remembered as the rousing force behind Vanderbilt’s emergence as an eminent academic medical center in patient care, education and research in the 21st century. Dean Gabbe led tremendous projects to upgrade and modernize Vanderbilt’s facilities which set the standard for other schools. Through his leadership, he assembled a student body and faculty full of heart, energy and commitment to service.


Robinson College

Robinson Shield

Dr. George Canby Robinson was dean of the medical school from 1920-1928. He moved the school from South Nashville to the main university campus and is credited with transforming its traditional physician-apprentice educational program into that of a modern university medical school with a science-based curriculum and full-time faculty.