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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.

Other Organizations: this list not enough? Here’s more!