Special Studies

Special Study are course that are uniquely designed by the student in collaboration with Vanderbilt faculty, to allow for creation of a course that is not in our current catalog. Courses must be 4-week long experiences to receive credit. Special Study courses will fulfill a “competency/interest-driven” requirement and are graded as pass/fail.

To create a special study course, please follow these steps. 

  1. Identify a Vanderbilt-affiliated faculty member who is willing to supervise the special studies course and complete a grade.
  2. Create learning objectives for what you hope to learn in the course (refine with the course director).
  3. Work with the faculty to identify assessment strategies to measure your achievement of each of the learning objectives.
  4. Complete the online form. Note that there are different Special Study forms: the clinical and non-clinical special study forms. If you want to complete a special study in research, please be sure that you are in discussion with the Office of Medical Student Research.  
  5. Send the form to the course director. He/she needs to complete the assessment tools sections on the form.
  6. The faculty member must send the completed form to Enrollment Services at medregistrar@vanderbilt.edu. Enrollment Services will process and include the Immersion Phase for formal review and approval.