About VIP

The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program unites undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context. Undergraduate VIP students earn academic credits, while faculty and graduate students benefit from the design/discovery efforts of their teams.

Creates long-term research & development experiences

VIP extends the academic design experience beyond a single semester, with students participating for up to three years. It provides the time and context to learn and practice professional skills, to make substantial contributions, and experience different roles on large multidisciplinary design/discovery teams.

Cultivates leadership & mentoring

The 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.

Benefits faculty research programs

VIP attracts students from many disciplines and enables the completion of large-scale design/discovery projects, strengthening and expanding faculty research portfolios.

Additional Benefits

In addition to earning course credits, students benefit from their VIP experience in the following ways:

  • Provide a realistic experience as part of a large multidisciplinary design/discovery team – work with many different personalities towards a common goal, just as you will in the work force
  • Learn and practice many different practical skills in their field – apply the knowledge you learn in other classes and learn new skills in a practical environment
  • Opportunity to learn/master different roles and skills in a team-based environment – progress from “new-hire” to experienced worker, to team leader
  • Provide an in-depth experience in their field that can help guide and motivate their other course work – see why you are covering certain topics in other classes and how they are applied in the real world
  • Authentic multi-disciplinary experience through knowledge exchange across many boundaries – work with students from other majors/disciplines, other years, and other areas of expertise/experience
  • Provide a greater sense of “community” within their university experience – make new friends in your major and others, learn what faculty and graduate students really do
  • Understand the process of innovation and discovery – put your skills and creativity to work creating “new” things, document and present your creations to the community at large