Accelerator 2020

Sunday, May 31-Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Vanderbilt Accelerator®—Summer Business Institute prepares students from a diverse mix of majors for an exciting and dynamic career in business.

  • The program is for undergraduates and recent graduates from colleges and universities around the country and the world.
  • Applicants must have completed at least one year of college studies. Additionally, recent college graduates up to two years out of school will be considered for admission.
  • We look for students with a strong record of achievement, a thirst for knowledge and the ability to bring energy and a positive attitude to this intense program.
  • Current freshman and sophomores make exceptional candidates and use this opportunity to launch their careers.

To schedule an informational call with the program director or a past Accelerator student, contact Greg Harvey.


You are about to take the first step toward enhancing your professional potential, expanding your career possibilities and discovering a new community of bright people from all over the world.

Upon submission of your application, the Accelerator admissions committee will review your application and résumé. The admissions committee will contact you within a week to schedule a personal interview (in person or via Skype).

Your official transcript and one letter of recommendation are required prior to your enrollment.

Click here to begin the application process.


With Accelerator, you will walk away with practical learning, real-world experience and a new network of recruiters, business faculty, MBA students and business executives. This is an investment worth making.

Tuition: Summer 2020

Program cost: $9,500*

  • Tuition
  • Program supplies, books and materials
  • All meals and snacks throughout the program
  • Activities and excursions

Housing cost: $1,500 (optional)*

  • Lodging in preferred Vanderbilt residence hall. Students who already have housing arrangements in Nashville will have the option of living off-campus at their own expense.

*Tuition and housing costs are subject to change. Additional expenses may include your travel to/from Nashville for the program and dry cleaning/laundry service.


Payment Options: Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo have established loan options for the Accelerator program. For more information on the Sallie Mae loan or to apply, please visit Sallie Mae. For more information on Wells Fargo, please visit the following site. (When applying for a loan to Accelerator, please select Vanderbilt University—Accelerator Summer Business).

Many families use 529 College Savings Plans to pay for the program.


Partial need and merit based scholarships are available. Students will need to complete the scholarship essay as part of the application to be considered. For information about scholarships, please call the Accelerator staff at 615.322.6795.

Accelerator Class of 2018 Profile

  • 72 Class Size
  • 10% Recent Graduates
  • 10% Rising Seniors
  • 47% Rising Juniors
  • 33% Rising Sophomores

Application Deadlines

Accelerator is a selective program and spaces are limited. We encourage you to apply early for priority in the application review and interview process.

Accelerated DecisionDecember 4, 2019*
Early Deadline*January 8, 2020*
1February 5, 2020
2March 4, 2020
Final DeadlineApril 1, 2020

*Apply by this date to receive a $750 discount on tuition.


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Program Information

Q. If I am an international student, can I apply?

Absolutely. Accelerator welcomes international students from all majors.

Q. How is the program organized?

The program operates six days a week over the span of four weeks. A day typically starts with classes that will be directly correlated to an upcoming or existing project. A typical afternoon/evening will have students participating in project launches or breakout sessions with teammates to work as consultants for the participating companies. Students will ultimately present their strategic business recommendations to top executives from the participating companies at the conclusion of a project. Additional activities include networking opportunities, guest speakers and summer internships.

Q. Is the program open to students from schools other than Vanderbilt?

Definitely. Accelerator is open to students from colleges and universities around the country and the world. Student majors range from arts & sciences, music and engineering to economics and business.

Q. What is Accelerator?

Accelerator is an intensive four-week business boot camp for undergraduates and recent grads from all majors who are looking to gain insight into the intricacies of the business world through 100+ hours of business classes and 250+ hours of consulting for leading companies. In four weeks, you will help resolve real-life issues in marketing, logistics, finance, operations and branding.

Q. What is the dress code for the program? Will I need business professional clothing?

Dress is business casual during classes and meetings, but business professional clothing, as well as casual, comfortable clothing, will be required on occasion. You will be given a list of necessary items prior to arrival.

Q. What will I gain by participating in Accelerator?

Accelerator offers participants the unique opportunity to build critical business skills that cannot be learned in a typical summer internship. During the program, you will utilize "grab it and go" business learning by working with major companies on actual problems they currently face. Upon graduating from the program, you will emerge with a strong foundation in business etiquette, a strong business network and the confidence to enter the business world and perform at the highest level.

Q. When and where will Accelerator be held?

The 2017 Accelerator program will begin on Sunday, June 4, 2017 and end on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Accelerator is held in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.

Q. Where will I live and eat while attending the program?

Participants are strongly encouraged to enroll in the optional on-campus housing that is offered. Regardless of your housing choice, three meals a day are catered at the Owen Graduate School of Management (or on location at a company site), and an extensive assortment of snacks and drinks is available to students throughout the program.

Q. Who will be in class with me?

Accelerator is designed to be a small, selective program allowing participants, faculty and business leaders to have multiple opportunities to interact with one another. Because of this personal involvement, the total enrollment for each Accelerator class will be kept between 60-80 students from diverse educational backgrounds, areas of interest and achievements. The mix of students ranges from rising sophomores to recent graduates up to two years out of school.

Q. Will participating in Accelerator help me get into the Vanderbilt MBA program?

While Accelerator will help develop some of the business skills you will need in an MBA program, the admissions processes are completely unrelated. Accelerator provides you the opportunity to form relationships with Vanderbilt MBA professors should you decide at a later time to apply to the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Q. Will I be accommodated if I have a disability?

Absolutely. Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university. During the application process, please request the accommodations needed, and we will work with you to meet your requests and ensure that your experience is rewarding.

Admissions Information

Q. Do I need to take the GMAT to attend Accelerator?

No. GMAT scores are not required for admission to Accelerator.

Q. Do you interview candidates?

Yes. Interviews are part of the application process. Upon submitting your online application, you will be contacted by a member of the Accelerator admissions team to schedule your personal interview.

Q. How do I apply to the program?

Complete and submit an online application. You will be contacted by a member of the Accelerator team to schedule a personal interview.

Q. I am majoring in X. Should I apply?

Yes! Students from all majors (English, music, engineering, art, history, sciences, etc.) are encouraged to apply to the program.

Q. I can't get an official transcript by the deadline. What should I do?

You may submit an unofficial transcript with your application package initially. Please request that your school send an official transcript to this address: 

Owen Graduate School of Management 
Vanderbilt University 
Accelerator—Vanderbilt Summer Business Institute 
401 21st Avenue South 
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Q. Is a hard copy of the Accelerator application available?

No. We do not offer hard copies of the application. You must complete our online application.

Q. What are the admissions criteria? How selective is the program?

Applicants must have completed at least one year of college studies. Additionally, recent college graduates up to two years out of school will be considered for admission. Accelerator looks for students with a strong record of achievement, a thirst for knowledge and the ability to bring energy and a positive attitude to this intense program. See our Class Profile for more information.

Q. Who should write a letter of recommendation?

Each applicant must have at least one letter of recommendation from a professor who has taught his/her in the classroom, a faculty advisor or someone who has supervised him/her in a work setting.