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Program Overview

The IGP program provides students with their first year of graduate training in biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt University. During this year, students take one semester of core coursework and one semester of specialized electives while rotating through four laboratories of their choosing. 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. At the end of the IGP year, students select a training program in one of the participating departments or programs.

The IGP is a partnership between eleven programs in the School of Medicine and College of Arts & Sciences. These programs include: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Cancer Biology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Chemical & Physical Biology, Human Genetics, Microbe-Host Interactions, Molecular Pathology & Immunology, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology. You may access additional information about these programs, departments, and faculty by clicking the links to the right.

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.

For more information about admissions, please visit our our Admissions Page which outlines the application process, and the Frequently Asked Questions Page.