The MLI program is intentionally designed for individuals who are and will continue to be full-time biomedical researchers at VU or VUMC. Therefore, the course load each semester will be lighter than a usual graduate student load. MLI students are limited to taking 12 semester hours each year for a total of 36 semester hours over the course of three years. Although MLI graduate students will take fewer hours than traditional graduate students, employee and student obligations can be very demanding. Students typically communicate with their mentors to determine how best to balance coursework, laboratory, and research commitments. The program administrators encourage students and their mentors to hold frequent meetings with each other to coordinate the demands of students’ coursework and ongoing research collaborations.