Program Overview and First Year Curriculum
In today’s quickly-evolving world of science, researchers pushing forward discovery and innovation must critically evaluate information and connect links between fields. Thus, the main goal of the IGP year is not to absorb vast quantities of facts, but to learn how to be a creative and analytical thinker who can gain information as needed from the scientific literature.
The IGP program provides students with their first year of graduate training in biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt University.
In their first semester, students take
- core coursework covering the current state of key biological concepts
- biostatistics and Python programming
- a primary scientific literature reading and discussion course
- a weekly session on various topics including responsible conduct of research, wellness, and professional development
In the second semester students take
- specialized electives of their choosing
- continue a weekly session on various topics including responsible conduct of research, wellness, and professional development
- continue developing quantitative skills
Throughout the first year
- Students rotate four laboratories of their choosing across the partnering programs. You may access additional information about these programs, departments, and faculty by clicking the links to the right.
- At the end of the IGP year, students select a training program in one of the participating departments or programs.
One of the greatest benefits of the IGP is the flexibility it offers. New graduate students have nine months to solidify their core knowledge and to explore their interests in multiple areas before selecting a thesis advisor. The comprehensive nature of the IGP often leads students to explore departments they hadn’t considered previously. Moreover, research faculty commonly have appointments in more than one department, and the flexibility of the first IGP year allows students to determine which specific department most suits their individual interests and career goals.
Beyond the Curriculum
Graduate education at Vanderbilt extends beyond the classroom and the lab to provide diverse opportunities for professional development. As a leading collaborative research university we have countless opportunities for you to enhance your training, skills, and resume while continuing to make progress on your thesis work. Some examples are listed below.
- Biomedical Career Development: Vanderbilt is leading the charge to find novel ways to improve individual students’ professional development
- Core facilities: top-notch cores run by experts in the service ready to help you with your dissertation research
- Vanderbilt Program in Molecular Medicine: integrate your thesis work with clinical, disease-based training
- Certificate in College Teaching: get experience and training from expert teachers
- Science Outreach program: share your passion for science with the community
- Discovery lecture series: seminars given to the Vanderbilt community by the best scientists in the world
- Journal clubs: countless interest-area journal clubs
- Departmental Seminars: learn about current science though numerous lectures given daily
- Special interest group meetings: connect with other researchers in your field of interest outside of your lab, perfect for finding collaborators
Other Organizations: this list not enough? Here’s more!