What is VIP?

Through VIP, students work with faculty on multidisciplinary project teams. Students earn academic credit and can participate multiple semesters, with returning students taking on additional leadership/project responsibilities.  "Vertically Integrated" refers to VIP team compositions, which include sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, post-docs and faculty.

VIP is offered as a course during the Fall and Spring semesters, but students must apply before they can register for the class.  Students can apply early in the semester before they join their teams (for example, applying in September to join a team the following Spring), or as late as the first week of class (applications close that Thursday).  Teams do fill up, so students are encouraged to apply early if they are interested in a specific team.

What does VIP look like?


Faculty advisors, grad student mentors, 10-20 students

Meet weekly, also expect to meet outside of weekly meetings with sub-teams

Maintain shared documentation (wiki)


Sophomores, juniors, seniors, grad students

Returning students take on additional responsibilities

Spend 2-3 hours outside class/credit hour (1 credit: 2-3 hours, 2: 4-6 hours)

Contribute to shared documentation, maintain own notebook

Project Based:

Students work together to advance the project, taking on different roles and responsibilities

Not like regular assignments: instructors do not always have the answers