Skip to main content

About VIP

The VIP Model

The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program is a transformative approach to enhancing higher education by engaging undergraduate and graduate students in ambitious, long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary project teams that are led by faculty. The program has been rigorously evaluated and refined over more than two decades. 

In VIP, teams of undergraduate students – from various years, disciplines, and backgrounds – work with faculty and graduate students in their areas of scholarship and exploration. Undergraduate students earn academic credit for their work and have direct experience with the innovation process, while faculty and graduate students benefit from the extended efforts of their teams.

Creates long-term experiences with the innovation processVIP extends project-based learning beyond a single semester, with students participating for up to three years.  It provides the time and context for students to gain deeper insights into their field of study, to learn and practice professional skills, to make substantial contributions to real-world projects, and to experience different roles on large, multidisciplinary teams.
Cultivates leadership & mentoringThe long-term nature of VIP creates an environment of mentorship, with faculty and graduate students mentoring teams, experienced students mentoring new members, and students moving into leadership roles as others graduate.
Supports faculty scholarship and explorationVIP attracts students from many disciplines and enables the completion of ambitious projects, which strengthens and expands faculty scholarship and exploration. Faculty members create projects around their own interests, so they bring both expertise and enthusiasm to each team.

How Does it Work?

Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) is a program created to increase student access to hands-on learning with faculty mentors and diverse teams. 

Faculty working on long-term projects that need students from multiple disciplines and skill areas are invited to create a VIP course. Students are then able to join their team and earn credits.

Each VIP project is set up as a unique section of:

VIP 1001: Introductory VIP (for new team members),

VIP 2001: Intermediate VIP (for returning team members), and

VIP 3001: Advanced VIP (for experienced team members taking leadership roles for parts of their project).

Each project team consists of sections of VIP from each level, so that students from different levels of experience can work together and learn from each other as they solve the challenges of the project.

The courses are set up in the course catalog to allow maximum flexibility and long term engagement.

  • Students must have a permission number from the instructor. To request a permission number students should contact the VIP mentor directly and/or complete this Student Application form.

Last updated: 4/3/2022