Frequently Asked Questions

VIP is an undergraduate and graduate research initiative in which students work on multidisciplinary teams led by faculty, contributing to their research, innovation, and/or design efforts. Students earn one credit each semester, with two semesters adding up to a two-credit-hour course. Students can participate for multiple semesters or 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

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

Students are eligible to participate in VIP when they have sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student standing. First-year undergraduate students can apply in their spring semester to participate in the fall as sophomores.

VIP faculty who are using a 392 course number and wish to enroll first-year students should confirm with their academic affairs departments that there are no eligibility barriers.

Previous experience is not required, but willingness to learn and work with others is a must.

VIP credits typically count toward your electives, and re-enrollment is allowed for any students who are academically eligible and have demonstrated satisfactory engagement with their VIP team. Students are encouraged to check with their academic advisors in their home departments about graduation requirements and how VIP engagement can best contribute to their degree completion.

All teams are multidisciplinary. A team led by a professor from Modern Languages may also include Eller School of Management and Information Science & Technology students. As such, students can apply to any team that fits their academic interests but should consult their home departments to ask about any restrictions related to degree requirements or scholarship eligibility.

Application processes are determined by each VIP team and listed on many of their team pages. If application information is not provided, please contact the team advisor(s) for more details.

VIP is a new initiative at the University of Arizona, so hiring is limited for the time being. Any positions that do open will be posted on Talent for staff and faculty opportunities and Handshake for student opportunities. Please note, however, that in almost all cases, students engage with VIP for course credit rather than pay.

For further VIP questions, please contact Matt Peters at or 520-626-6226.