VIP Student Expectations | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

VIP Student Expectations

Some experiences are consistent across the VIP teams, while others may vary

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VIP Goals

Each VIP Team is unique, although they all share common VIP goals:

  • Provide a real-world setting for students to develop disciplinary knowledge and skills and to master different roles 
  • Open opportunities for innovation and meaningful contributions to projects
  • Connect people within and across disciplines to achieve large-scale, multifaceted project objectives
  • Integrate levels of expertise to facilitate student growth and team sustainability
  • Prepare students for their next steps into the workplace and/or graduate school


 "Vertically Integrated" refers to a VIP Team composition, which may include freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, and faculty. This vertical integration of expertise, combined with the long-term nature of VIP participation, creates an environment of mentorship. Faculty and graduate students mentor teams, experienced students mentor new members, and students move into leadership roles as others graduate. New VIP students will receive guidance from experienced team members to learn new skills, attend workshops or training, familiarize themselves with the project, and answer any questions during the first semester.

Time Commitment

VIP extends project-based learning beyond a single semester, with students participating for up to three years. VIP courses are typically taken for 1 credit per semester, which corresponds to approximately 4 hours per week. This includes activities such as weekly meetings, working sessions with team members, independent tasks, and documentation. The time commitment can vary from week-to-week for some VIP Teams depending on their project cycle; other VIP Teams will have more consistent hours. Students who grow into positions of leadership may enroll for 2+ credits per semester, commensurate with their increased workload and responsibilities. 

See the VIP Variable Credit Enrollment & Policies for more information.

Team Operations

Each VIP team is unique, although some aspects are similar:

  • Attend weekly meetings and communicate regularly with the team (or sub-team) 
  • Maintain documentation with a VIP Notebook
  • Seek support when needed to learn knowledge and skills 
  • Collaborate with team members on tasks to achieve team goals and objectives
  • Develop professional skills such as written and oral communication, teamwork and collaboration, time management, and more. 

Questions to ask about the VIP teams:

  • What is the size of the VIP team and how are the team members organized?
  • What types of tasks are expected of new members, or members on a particular sub-team?
  • What is the workload like? Is it consistent or does it fluctuate?
  • When does the team usually meet and what happens at the meetings?
  • What does the VIP Notebook look like on the team?


VIP Notebook

VIP notebooks, whether electronic or hard-copy, allow students to track and document their efforts. In turn, VIP notebooks allow instructors to assess each student's contributions to the team. VIP Notebook are generally updated weekly, and kept organized and legible for sharing with the team.  

The VIP Notebook include:

  • Meeting Notes
    • Tracking of items for which you are responsible
    • Deadlines for you, the sub-team, and/or team
  • Technical Notes
    • Designs, sketches, software code, and any other artifacts created for the VIP team
      • Include the artifact itself, or where to find it (e.g., URL to repository)
    • Record and briefly describe important resources (websites, books, people)
    • Your ideas, brainstorming, questions, and general thoughts (even if not developed)

The format of the VIP Notebook is determined by each team. Common formats include:

  • Google Doc with chronological entries
  • Project website with regular blog posts
  • Summary of work submitted as NYU Classes assignment 

VIP Notebook Example

VIP Notebook Template


I joined a VIP during my first semester at Tandon so I could jump right into applying my new skills toward a meaningful goal. Working with such a varied and talented team gave me the confidence to push through grueling online semesters and understand what lies beyond the curriculum.

- Zoe Leung, NYU Tandon ‘24, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering