Prospective Students FAQ

What is VIP?

VIP is an undergraduate research initiative in which students work on multidisciplinary teams led by faculty, contributing to their research, innovation, and/or design efforts. Students earn 1 to 2 credits each semester, with two semesters “adding up” to a typical 3-credit hour course. Students can participate for multiple semesters/years, providing deeper learning experiences and leadership opportunities. 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.

What does "Vertically Integrated" mean?

"Vertically Integrated" refers to VIP team compositions, which include sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, post-docs and faculty.

Who can participate?

Students are eligible to participate in VIP when they have sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student standing. Students can apply while they are freshmen (i.e. spring of freshman year) to participate when they are sophomores (i.e. fall of sophomore year). Students with substantial AP credit should think about whether they are taking sophomore-level courses within their major. If they are taking freshman-level courses, but have a lot of AP credit in other disciplines, they should wait until they are at a sophomore level within their own discipline.

Is experience required?

Previous experience is not required, but willingness to learn and to work with others are musts.

How do VIP credits count? How many semesters can I be on a VIP team?

VIP credits typically count as free electives or technical electives, and VIP can also be used in Senior Design and Junior Design in some majors. Students should plan ahead and understand how credits count in their major. More details can be found here.

Can I be on a VIP team led by a professor from another department?

All teams are multidisciplinary. A team led by a professor from Electrical Engineering may also include Aerospace Engineering and Business students. Further, teams are not restricted to "majors of interest" listed on the team information pages, so students can apply to any team in which they are interested. Be sure to understand any restrictions set by your department (policies available here), either in which teams will count toward your degree (seen in some policies, mainly the sciences), or appropriateness of the project for Senior Design.

How do you apply?

After you find a team that interests you, please visit our application page here. Students can only apply to one team at a time. If you change your mind, you can re-apply to another team, and the new application will replace the previous one. Please note: to access our application page, you must be on campus or logged into the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN). The application link includes more information on the VPN.

What do the approvers consider when reviewing applications?

Balance of majors on the team. Also the balance of undergraduate and graduate level students. 

What is the difference between VIP and ORS (an ECE program)?

Great questions! Both are great experiences! The main difference is that VIP students apply to specific teams (instead of to a program). VIP teams are also larger and multidisciplinary.

Is VIP hiring?

VIP routinely seeks out undergraduate student assistants to help with administrative and web form tasks. While we aren’t hiring now, please feel free to submit your resume to

Who should I contact with further VIP questions?

For further VIP questions, please email If you have a question on applying, enrolling or permits, please include your GTID and GT Username.