Accelerator® Summer Business Immersion is designed to help undergraduate students or recent grads learn business by doing business. In four intense weeks, you will immerse yourself in the business world with 75 hours of fundamental coursework—from marketing and branding to finance, operations, and logistics—taught by world-class Vanderbilt faculty and successful practitioners. Then you’ll take that knowledge and put it to work on five consulting projects for real companies. It’s like gaining the experience of multiple business internships in just 28 days.

Sample Course Schedule

Week 1

Organizational Design
Personal Branding
Team Dynamics
Managerial Economics

Week 2

Marketing Strategy and Brand Management
New Product Development
Presentation Skills That Stick
Process Improvement

Week 3

Digital Marketing
Problem Solving

Week 4

Career Planning

Learn Through Immersion

Accelerator® students gain real-world experience that leads to real opportunities. Instead of working on case studies or simulations, you will work as consultants for actual companies to develop real-life business solutions.


Program Information

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. 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. 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 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. 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.

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

Absolutely. Accelerator welcomes international students from all majors.

Q. When and where will Accelerator be held?

The 2021 Accelerator program will be held during the summer of 2021. The program operates six days a week over the span of four weeks. Accelerator is held in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.

Admission 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 


See what it’s like to be a student in the
Accelerator®—Vanderbilt Summer Business
Immersion program.

Meet Ilana