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VU Domain Policy

This policy supplements the DNS policy and helps ensure:

  1. We are able to provide the university with an efficient domain registration, renewal and transfer process.
  2. Vanderbilt Information Technology is able to track all domains used by the university.
  3. A domain is not tied to an individual person’s credit card or login and the domain will be accessible by Vanderbilt should that person leave or be unavailable.
  4. We use Vanderbilt’s trademarks properly.
  5. Vanderbilt receives the contracted reduced price offered by domain registrars.

Before continuing, you may wish to read the Domain Name FAQ at the bottom of this document for background information on domain names, hosting, domain extensions, subdomains, etc.

Ownership of Vanderbilt Domain Names

Vanderbilt must own all rights in the Internet domain names used by all departments, organizations and units within the university and medical center. Therefore, all faculty, staff and students must cooperate with Vanderbilt in new acquisition or transfer of ownership for current domain names and websites used for all official Vanderbilt purposes or activities.

New Domain Name Registration 

Vanderbilt encourages departments, organizations, and units within the university to use the .EDU extension whenever possible. Use of the .EDU extension is at no cost. By doing this, it will help the university to reduce 1) cost, 2) the proliferation of Vanderbilt-related domains, 3) additional resources needed for domain name management and 4) the risks associated with unintended expirations for heavily used sites. For more information, please contact VUIT at (615) 343-9999.

All university departments, divisions, programs, labs and registered student organizations must register their domain names through VUIT. If you have already registered a domain name and did not purchase the URL through VUIT and Network Solutions, you must transfer the URL by visiting the Vanderbilt Software Store at  

Domain Name Registration Process
To register a new domain:

  1. Complete the Domain Request form posted at under the "Requesting a Service?" dropdown menu. 

Domain Name Renewal Process
To renew a domain:

Domain Transfer Process
To transfer a domain:

  1. Complete the Domain Request form posted at under the "Requesting a Service?" dropdown menu . 

The Vanderbilt Software Store ( will:

  • Search for the domain names you need and register them for you.
  • Help you transfer your domain into Vanderbilt’s domain name account.
  • Track all domain names.
  • Manage the registration renewal process.


  • VUIT needs 24 hours to create the zone files (i.e. the text files that describe the domain) on the Vanderbilt University Domain Name System (DNS) servers. 
  • VUIT may need more lead-time if you have already published URLs and need to transfer a domain to the Vanderbilt University DNS servers.
  • It is the requestor’s responsibility to arrange web hosting and other related services (e.g. SSL certificates).
  • VUIT can redirect new domains to the Vanderbilt homepage or a common placeholder page if necessary. Contact the VUIT Software Store at
  • VUIT will use a contract management application to track your domain and to automatically send expiration alerts to the domain contact starting  ninety days before the domain expires.

New Websites and Website Design

University departments should consult with Digital Stratigies,, for help creating websites.

Domain Name Offers from Third Parties

Departments that receive an offer from a third party to buy a domain name should forward the request to Daniel Dubois, Director of Trademark Licensing, at

Websites Managed by Third Parties

If the university department uses a third party to manage a website and the website contains Vanderbilt trademarks, the department must register the domain through VUIT.  In addition, the department must follow the policies posted at for trademark use.

Domain Name FAQ

  1. What is a domain name?
  2. What is Web hosting?
  3. What is a DNS zone file?
  4. What is DNS?
  5. What is an IP address?
  6. What does "register a domain" mean?
  7. What is a domain name registrar?
  8. How long does a domain name registration last?
  9. Can I renew a domain name registration?
  10. How much does a domain name registration or renewal cost?
  11. Can I change registrars?
  12. What is the domain name transfer process through Network Solutions?
  13. What is a top-level domain?
  14. What is a subdomain?
  15. How long does it take to transfer a domain?
  16. Why was my transfer request rejected?
  • 1. What is a domain name?  A domain name is the Web address you type in your browser’s address bar to go to a specific website.  For example, is the domain name, or Web address, you use for accessing the Vanderbilt University homepage.
  • 2. What is Web hosting?  Web hosting is a service that lets you make your website accessible through the Internet.  VUIT offers Web hosting services (i.e... server space and Internet connectivity) to the Vanderbilt community.   
  • 3. What is a DNS zone file?  A DNS zone file is a text file that describes the domain or URL.  For more information on zone files, see
  • 4. What is DNS?  DNS stands for Domain Name System (i.e. an Internet system used to map domain names into IP addresses). 
  • 5. What is an IP address?  An IP address is a unique number assigned to a device on the Internet.
  • 6. What does “register a domain” mean? When you register a domain name or URL, you add the domain name to the list of all domain names that make up the Internet.
  • 7. What is a domain name registrar?  A domain name registrar is a company (e.g. Network Solutions), that is authorized to register domain names.  You can find a complete listing of registrars in the Accredited Registrar Directory (
  • 8. How long does a domain name registration lastThe domain name validity period is five years.
  • 9. Can I renew a domain name registrationYes, you may renew a domain name registration for five years.
  • 10. How much does a domain name registration or renewal costThe cost varies with the registrar and type of domain (e.g. .COM versus .ORG). Vanderbilt has negotiated discounted pricing through Network Solutions for registering, renewing and transferring domain names.
  • 11. Can I change registrars?  Yes, you may transfer a domain from one registrar to another registrar.  If you are the administrative contact for the domain, you can work with your current registrar to “unlock” the domain so that it is available for transfer.  You must also request an authorization code from your current registrar.  The new registrar will use the authorization code to initiate the transfer.
  • 12. What is the domain name transfer process through Network Solutions?  See;jsessionid=673f45c8d493a442308636c1fd65:eVWc for information on the domain transfer process and timeline through Network Solutions.  The Vanderbilt Software Store will work with you and Network Solutions to transfer your domain from your current registrar to Vanderbilt’s Network Solutions account.
  • 13. What is a top-level domain?  A top-level domain or TLD is one of the domains at the highest level in the Domain Name System. For example, .COM, .ORG, and .NET are common top-level domains.
  • 14. What is a subdomain? A subdomain is a domain that appears beneath a top-level domain.  For example, is the top-level domain for Vanderbilt University and is a generic example of a Vanderbilt sub-domain.  Vanderbilt stopped approving new subdomains on July 31, 2011.  For additional information, go to here.
  • 15. How long does it take to transfer a domain?Transfers can take several days or weeks to complete and depend on:
    • How quickly the current registrar responds to the transfer request
    • How quickly the administrative contact for the domain verifies the transfer
  • 16. Why was my transfer request rejected?  Transfer requests can be rejected if:
    • The domain has been registered with the current registrar for less than 60 days
    • The domain has been transferred to the current registrar within the past 60 days
    • The domain’s Administrative Contact information is not valid
    • The domain has expired
    • The Administrative Contact does not respond to the verification email sent by the current registrar within 48 hours of when the email was sent