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VIPP - Home for Today's Professionals and Tomorrow's Leaders 

The Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) at Michigan State University (MSU) is a world leader in providing executive education and professional development training for international audiences. We offer non-degree certificate programs and short-term workshops for international professionals in any field. We connect you to the expertise of world-class faculty and resources at MSU. You will benefit from the distinct American Higher Education System without enrolling in a full degree program. Looking for an opportunity to study in the U.S. but do not have time or financial resources to pursue a full degree program? VIPP is your solution. 

Our Philosophy

Most of us were trained in college to be a domain expert, a language teacher, an accountant, a journalist, or an engineer. In a real work place, however, none of us work alone. We need to collaborate with colleagues and interact with clients to get things done. The cross discipline broad knowledge, the ability to communicate ideas and solutions, the empathy for other perspectives, the ability and enthusiasm to gain new knowledge, and the skill to integrate and lead, are equally if not more important, for a successful professional. 

VIPP is committed to providing distinctive and high-value learning experiences to our visiting international professionals. Our philosophy behind programming and curriculum is based on the idea of “T-shaped professionals” proposed by Dr. Phil Gardner at MSU Collegiate Employment Research Institute. MSU’s Undergraduate Education also adopts this thinking and aims to produce graduates who are readily competent and adaptable in a busy modern workplaces. 

According to experts, “T-shaped professionals are characterized by their deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area, an understanding of systems, and their ability to function as “adaptive innovators” and cross the boundaries between disciplines. The two vertical bars of the "T" represent the disciplinary specialization and the deep understanding of one system. The horizontal stroke, which represents their ability to collaborate across a variety of different disciplines. To contribute to a creative and innovative process, one has to fully engage in a wide range of activities within a community that acknowledges their expertise in a particular craft or discipline and share information competently with those who are not experts.” (Quoted from

(Source: Michigan State University of Office of the Provost Undergraduate Education)

Based on this philosophy, VIPP aims to focus on developing professionals equipped with a range of transferrable skills (horizontal stroke) along the specialized disciplinary knowledge (vertical stroke). We identify four learning outcomes as below and they support “T."

 Learning outcomes of VIPP program are mapped to support “T”: 

  • Competent Professionalism – To broaden your professional knowledge base by being exposed to methodology and technology. 
  • Effective Communication– To improve your ability to use English for effective communication in a global working environment.
  • Strong Leadership – To develop and practice leadership skills in the context of higher education.
  • Multicultural & Global Awareness – To enhance your understanding of global cultural diversity and its professional and personal relevance. 

More specifically, our courses are developed to gain the following transferrable skills:

  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Management
  • Networking
  • Leadership and Influencing
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Global Understanding and Cultural Competency



Founded in 1991, VIPP has trained over 4,000 professionals from 30 countries including South Korea, China, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Turkey, and many others. 


VIPP is the brainchild of Dr. Gill-Chin Lim, the former Dean of International Studies and Programs at MSU. Dr. Lim recognized the need for professionals from around the world to gain access to MSU's diverse educational resources. To fill that need, Dr. Lim developed VIPP as a non-degree professional education program.

Dr. Dae-Bong Kwon served as the first Director of VIPP from 1991 until the summer of 1993. Under the leadership of Lim and Kwon, VIPP enjoyed its initial success and began its journey to becoming a world leader in executive education and international professional development.

Since the first group of eight participants, VIPP has expanded to include four distinct long-term programs with more than 200 participants each year, as well as tailor-made short term executive workshops on various topics. VIPP has a network of over 4,000 alumni in more than 30 countries. Our alumni are leaders of their professions and work hard every day to their workplaces and their communities for the better.

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