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WAVU (Grades 7-12)

WAVU at a Glance


WAVU 2019-2020 Application coming soon!

New to WAVU or coming back for more? Join us for the next Weekend at Vanderbilt University (WAVU) this fall or spring – or both. We’re excited to share our next course offerings with you, so be sure to check out your lab choices for fall and spring! 

WAVU is an all-day Saturday lab experience designed with early career exploration in mind. Gifted students typically begin thinking about college and career paths earlier than their age peers and may not know what types of opportunities beyond the mainstream careers of doctor or lawyer are available to them. The single-day structure of WAVU allows us to provide advanced content through the lens of career and talent development in specific domains. This format allows families to take part in the day, while providing students with an inside look at what it means to be an expert as well as a glimpse into the everyday lives of scientists, engineers, writers, and other professionals in their fields.

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.

Mark your calendar for our 48-hour application priority window: Tuesday, August 27 – Thursday, August 29, 2019. We hope you’ll join us October 5 and February 1 for these academic and professional immersive opportunities during the upcoming school year.

For more details on WAVU: Day in the Life Saturdays, please read the overview posted below, and feel free to call the PTY office at 615-322-8261.

WAVU: Day in the Life Saturdays

What? A Saturday intensive that provides qualifying students with an in-depth look at contemporary careers in math, science, engineering, and humanities. Held for one full Saturday each fall and spring, WAVU incorporates accelerated laboratory courses led by professionals in their field, and an opportunity for in-depth career exploration along with support and resources for families.

Who? Weekends at Vanderbilt University is designed for motivated and advanced learners in grades 7 through 12 who typically test at the 85th percentile and above on either verbal or nonverbal sections of academic achievement or ability tests. WAVU: Day in the Life Saturdays is also for parents. We invite families to attend a welcome session that speaks to the resources available to high ability students and the families who support them.

See our Eligibility section below for more information on how students can qualify.

When? Fall WAVU is Saturday, October 5, 2019. Spring WAVU is Saturday, February 1, 2020. The full day will span approximately 10-12 hours with lunch and dinner provided for the student.

Where? Most courses are held on the Peabody Campus of Vanderbilt University, but depending on the area of interest, some students may experience their laboratory on Main Campus. Registration will take place at the Wyatt Center on the Peabody Campus.

Eligibility: We accept many standardized achievement or ability tests. These include but are not limited to: CogAT, RIAS, TCAP, ITBS, ERB, Stanford Achievement Test, OLSAT, Woodcock-Johnson, and WISC-IV. In addition, we also accept PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores that represent an 85th percentile or above in one or more testing areas.

Returning WAVU students or recent SAVY participants do not need to resubmit test scores unless the scores are more than three years old. See this page for more information about eligibility.

How Much? In addition to a nonrefundable $40 application fee, the cost is $179.00 per student. If applying to both Fall and Spring WAVU, only one application and one application fee of $40 will be required.

Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Timeline

noon, August 27 – noon, August 29, 2019: 48-hour Application Priority Window for Fall and Spring WAVU (best chance for placement in top choice courses).

noon, August 29, 2019: Applications continue to be accepted and are processed in the order received.

September 5, 2019: Fall Tuition Due/Last Day to Withdraw with Full Tuition Refund (less application fee).

September 20, 2019: Fall Welcome Paperwork Due

October 5, 2019: Fall WAVU Saturday Program

January 7, 2020: Spring Tuition Due/Last Day to Withdraw with Full Tuition Refund (less application fee).

January 17, 2020: Spring Welcome Paperwork Due

February 1, 2020: Spring WAVU Saturday Program