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Courses

Courses

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Academic life at Vanderbilt Summer Academy encourages gifted and advanced learners to think like scholars in a fast-paced, challenging, and highly collaborative environment.

Please consider course choices carefully. As you review the course descriptions in this section of the catalog, rank-order as many of the courses as you like, knowing that you may not get placed in your first choice. While we do our best to place students in their first-choice courses, we often have to place students in second- or third-choice courses based on availability. Please note that ranking more than one course never hurts the possibility of receiving your top choice class, and ranking several courses increases the chances of being placed in a class. Rank only those courses that you are truly willing to take. If you get placed in lower ranked course, you will remain on the waiting list for higher ranked courses, but know, a spot may not open in a higher ranked course. Rank thoughtfully to ensure you will enjoy your VSA experience!

Faculty

At Programs for Talented Youth, we seek Vanderbilt scholars to design and teach courses in their areas of expertise. The vast majority of our classes are taught by Vanderbilt professors and Ph.D. students, which means our students are delving into academic fields not often presented until college.

Feedback and Assessment

In order for students to experience the joy of learning within a group of true intellectual and social peers, VSA is a non-graded program that does not offer credit for coursework. This design allows VSA students to take part in learning in an environment tailored to promote academic risk taking. We encourage you to push your intellectual limits without fear of failure.

Instead of a grade, you will receive a performance evaluation. This thoughtfully prepared constructive feedback will help you accurately assess your achievements in the coursework.  More than a number or letter, this rubric is designed to help you understand your performance and abilities and to guide you in charting your future academic endeavors.

In addition, parents are able to schedule 15 minute one-on-one conferences with faculty at the concluding day of each session. These conferences enable parents to spend time with a content expert to discuss student performance and inquire about options for further advanced work in a particular field. More information about securing this unique access to leading scholars is provided after admission.