Vanderbilt University Secondary Essay Prompts
(If you have updated prompts, please submit them at updatesecondaries.com)
Prompts have been updated April 2023. (Older essays, if available are below)
- If applicable, please describe how the COVID-19 pandemic affected your pathway to medical school. You may discuss any academic, personal, financial, or professional alterations to your plans. NOTE: Disclosing certain hardships or obstacles that have been faced during this time will not negatively affect an application.
- If you have completed your undergraduate education, please comment on what you have done or have been doing since graduation.
- Please reflect on the upbringing, background, and experiences in your life that have shaped who you are as a person and will help define the person you want to be in the future. In other words, what makes you who you are?
- Tell us about a time when you interacted with someone who is different than you. What did you learn? What would you do differently?
- Everyone needs help at various times in their lives. Describe a time you asked for help and what you gained from that experience that has influenced your approach to asking for help.
Primary Deadline: November 1, 2021
Secondary Deadline: Unknown (Try to turn your secondaries around within two weeks after receiving)
Secondary Fee: $85
FAP Waiver: Full Fee Waived
CASPer Required: No
VITA Required: No
Screens Applications: Yes
Accepts Application Updates: Yes/Email
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Mission:
The mission of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is to improve human health. To achieve this goal, we will:
- Prepare physicians, scientists and educators for positions of worldwide leadership.
- Discover and disseminate new knowledge that advances understanding of health and disease.
- Provide compassionate, personalized patient care of the highest quality in service to our local, national and global communities.
- Embrace a culture of lifelong learning, innovation and continuous improvement.
- Create a diverse and broadly inclusive community of faculty, staff and students that enriches our learning environment and ensures excellence in research and patient care.
- Nurture and protect Vanderbilt’s unique legacy of cooperation, collegiality, and mutual respect.
- Foster the personal and professional growth of all members of the Vanderbilt community, as we continuously strive to realize full potential.
Former Prompts (before 23-24 cycle)
- Autobiography: Write a brief autobiography. As completely and precisely as possible, give a picture of yourself, your family, and events you consider important to you. In doing so, identify the values that are of greatest importance to you. If you have completed your undergraduate education, please comment on what you have done or have been doing since graduation. (1200 words)
- Challenge: Please discuss a challenging situation or obstacle you have faced in the past. Why was it challenging? How did you handle it? Knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? What did you learn? (500 words) | How to Write About Your Obstacles, Challenges, and Problems in your Secondary Essays