FAQ

Admissions Information

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

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

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

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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?
A.

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. 

Q. Do you interview candidates?
A.

No. Your academic track record, your essay, your short video, and your recommendation will be sufficient for our Admissions Committee.

Q. How do I apply to the program?
A.

Complete and submit an online application.

Curriculum

Q. Can you describe the curriculum?
A.

The program assumes students have no previous knowledge of business-related subjects and covers topics such as strategy, marketing, finance, operations, communication and teamwork. Courses are organized to complement the problems confronted in the team projects. See our curriculum page for more information.

Q. How do the projects and teams work?
A.

Students will be placed in teams of roughly eight people and also paired with a Vanderbilt Owen MBA student, who will act as a coach and mentor for the team. During the course of the program, multiple organizations will present the students with a real challenge facing them. Together, the Accelerator teams will develop and present their solutions to top executives. The executives will rank the projects, give feedback to the participants and select a winning team. Past partners include American Airlines, Bridgestone, Lexus, Humana, Coca-Cola, Sony Music and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

Q. Who teaches in Vanderbilt's Accelerator Summer Business Institute program?
A.

The Accelerator courses are taught by a variety of distinguished Vanderbilt University faculty members, most of whom are from the MBA program at Owen. Faculty members are available to students throughout the entire program to serve as mentors and help lay a foundation for a career in business. See our Faculty page for more.

Q. How will Accelerator strengthen my resume?
A.

Participants will be better able to present themselves to employers as well-rounded candidates ready to make contributions on-the-job from day one. Students will have a wealth of experiences to draw from during interviews and will be able to list globally recognized companies with whom they have worked.

Q. Should I attend Accelerator to prepare for an MBA program?
A.

Accelerator is not a pre-MBA program. The program is designed to provide an overview of business fundamentals and does not specialize in a specific topic area. However, students will complete more than 50 hours of MBA class work and MBA-level projects for multiple companies. Students will finish the program with a more distinct idea of their future career paths and a strong understanding of a traditional MBA program. In addition, Owen faculty and Accelerator staff members are available throughout the program to help students develop their resumes and networking skills and prepare for interviews.

Deadlines

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

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. When is the application deadline?
A.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through the fall and spring. Accelerator is a competitive program and spaces are limited. We encourage you to apply early for priority in the application review and interview process. Find application deadlines here.

Program Information

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

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.

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

Absolutely. Accelerator welcomes international students from all majors.

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

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 the dress code for the program? Will I need business professional clothing?
A.

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. Who will be in class with me?
A.

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?
A.

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. How is the program organized?
A.

The program operates six days a week over the span of three 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 and guest speakers.

Q. What is Accelerator?
A.

Accelerator is an intensive 3-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 40 hours of business classes and 150 hours of consulting for leading companies. In three weeks, you will help resolve real-life issues in marketing, logistics, finance, operations, and branding.

Q. What will I gain by participating in Accelerator?
A.

Accelerator offers participants the unique opportunity to build critical business skills that cannot be learned in a typical summer internship and you'll receive career coaching and leadership development to help you grow personally and professionally. During the program, you will utilize "grab it and go" business learning by applying what you learn in the classroom to solve real problems for a variety of companies. Upon completing the program, you will emerge with an understanding of different career paths, business knowledge, a professional network, and the confidence to enter the business world.

Q. When and where will Accelerator be held?
A.

The Accelerator program will be held during the summer of 2022. The program operates six days a week over the span of 3-weeks. Accelerator is held in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.

Tuition, Loans & Scholarships

Q. Are scholarship awards available?
A.

Yes, limited scholarship awards are available for candidates demonstrating exceptional potential in their application and financial need.

Q. Do you offer financial aid or payment plan options?
A.

Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo have established loans for the Accelerator program. For additional information, please email us at accelerator@vanderbilt.edu.


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

Q. How much does the program cost? What does my fee cover?
A.

The program costs $7,500, which covers tuition, all materials and meals and travel while at the program. Students are encouraged to stay in Vanderbilt on-campus housing for an additional cost. Additional expenses may include your travel to and from Nashville, as well as dry cleaning and laundry.

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