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WAVU (Grades 7-12)

Weekend at Vanderbilt University

WAVU is an all-day Saturday immersive academic, career-focused experience designed for academically motivated 7th-12th grade students. Enjoy hands-on laboratory experiences, conversations with Vanderbilt faculty, content experts and graduate students, and of course, interaction with other students of similar interests and career aspirations. 

Jump to: The WAVU Experience | Location | Eligibility 

The WAVU Experience – December 3, 2022

At WAVU, students will enjoy a day filled with the excitement of in-depth, career exploration study of a fascinating content area within a community of their intellectual peers. With about 6 hours of class time led by a content expert, students will explore discipline specific topics such as developing habits of a scholar, reading primary research, typical undergraduate academic majors and an overview of potential career paths.

“At PTY, I was surrounded by like-ability people who included me and challenged me to be the best person I could be. I loved being taught and supported by Vanderbilt professors and professionals who helped me think about my future.”
Typical WAVU Saturday Schedule
8:15 am – 8:45 am Check-In
8:45 am – 11:45 am Class
11:45 am – 12:30 pm Lunch (VU Dining Hall)
12:30 pm – 1:15 pm Activities (7th-9th);
Free Time (10th-12th)
1:15 pm – 4:30 pm Class
4:30 pm Check-Out/Student Pick-Up


WAVU courses are held in classrooms across the beautiful Vanderbilt University campus, with the majority of courses taking place on the Peabody Campus.

Visit the How to Apply page for the Fall 2022 application timeline.


Students applying to Weekend at Vanderbilt University must submit qualifying documentation at the time of application. Test scores in the 85th percentile and above for their age group in one or more sections on an advanced achievement assessment OR any other nationally normed standardized assessment  would suggest that this program might be a good fit academically for a student. We also accept cognitive measures and out-of-level test scores. When reviewing scores, we look specifically at strengths and accelerated achievement in the content area(s) for selected course(s) of interest. However, PTY does not have cutoffs for standardized test scores in order to apply to the program. Also, please note that scores above the 85th percentile do not automatically guarantee admission into the program based on our randomized admissions process.

In order to better understand if WAVU would be a good fit for a student, we also ask that a student submit a transcript as part of their qualification materials if a student’s test scores fall below the 85th percentile.

We understand that there are additional ways to reflect a student’s academic knowledge and capacity for advanced academic coursework besides test scores and transcript information. Feel free to contact the PTY office for questions about scores and a transcript that do not meet these criteria, as alternative documentation through additional portfolio information may be acceptable to determine fit. Additional portfolio components include a resume, teacher recommendation form (provided by PTY), and possible work sample. This information should not be submitted at the time of original application unless requested by PTY. After reviewing a student’s initial application (test scores and transcript), a member of the PTY team will be in touch about whether additional information might be helpful in determining if PTY is a good academic fit.

For more information, visit the How to Apply page.