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VIPP is here to help you get the most out of your academic experience. Learn everything you need to know about academics at VIPP, including course offerings and schedules, academic activities requirements, graduation and more.

Academic Calendar

The VIPP academic year consists of a fall semester, a spring semester, and a summer semester. VIPP follows MSU's academic calendar but VIPP courses begin one week after the start of the semester. VIPP Fall semesters generally begin in the first or second week of September and end the first week of December. VIPP Spring semesters generally begin in mid-January and end the last week of April. VIPP Spring semesters observe two 1-week breaks: MSU spring break is the second week of March and area schools' spring break the second week of April.

Ideally, participants should arrive at the beginning of MSU's Fall or Spring semester since most VIPP courses are semester-long. To accommodate visiting professionals who may arrive in the middle of the semester, we also offer half-semester long courses which normally begin mid-March or late October.


Summer 2024

  • May 13, 2024  – MSU & VIPP Summer Session 1 Begins
  • June 28, 2024 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session I Ends
  • July 1, 2024 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session 2 Begins
  • August 16, 2024 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session 2 Ends

Fall 2024

  • August 26, 2024 – MSU Fall 2024 Semester Begins
  • September 3, 2024 - VIPP Fall 2023 Classes Begin
  • October 21-22, 2024 – MSU & VIPP Break Days
  • October 23, 2024 – VIPP Half-semester Courses Begin
  • December 13, 2024 – MSU & VIPP Fall Semester Ends

Spring 2025

  • January 6, 2025 – MSU Spring 2025 Semester Begins
  • January 13, 2025 – VIPP Spring 2023 Classes Begin
  • February 24 – 28, 2025 – VIPP Spring Break (No MSU & VIPP Classes)
  • March 3, 2025 – VIPP Half-semester Courses Begin
  • April 18, 2025 – Last day of Classes for MSU & VIPP

Summer 2025  

  • May 12, 2025 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session 1 Begins
  • June 27, 2025 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session I Ends
  • July 1, 2025 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session 2 Begins
  • August 15, 2025 – MSU & VIPP Summer Session 2 Ends

Fall 2025

  • Phase 1: August 25 - October 17
  • Break Days: October 20, 21
  • Phase 2: October 22 - December 5 
  • Phase 3: December 8 - December 12

Spring 2026

  • Phase 1: January 12 – February 27
  • Spring break: March 2 – March 6
  • Phase 2: March 9 – April 24
  • Phase 3: April 27 - May 1

Summer 2026

  • Phase 1: May 18 – July 3 
  • Phase 2: July 6 – August 21




Course Offerings & Registration

VIPP Course Registration 

In general, you are required to take 2 VIPP courses during each half semester unless you have arranged other MSU courses with your program coordinator in advance. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Our class size is limited to 22 students and each course will need a minimum of 10 students enrolled. 

Current Course Offerings 

Summer 2024 VIPP course schedule (PDF)

Past Course Offerings

Spring 2024 VIPP course schedule (PDF)

Fall 2023 VIPP course schedule (PDF)

Summer 2023 VIPP course schedule (PDF)

Spring 2023 VIPP course schedule (PDF)

Fall 2022 VIPP course schedule (PDF)

Summer 2022 course schedule (PDF)


VIPP Course Offerings

VIPP courses are based on four learning outcomes: Competent Professionalism, Effective Communication, Strong Leadership, Multicultural & Global Awareness, as well as a variety of disciplinary knowledge-based courses. The following are some examples of VIPP's course offerings (course offerings are subject to change each semester).

Competent Professionalism

  • VIP 484     Project Management
  • VIP 486     Negotiation Skills
  • VIP 488     Personnel Training & Development
  • VIP 482     Crafting a Successful Career
  • VIP 858     General Research Methodology

Effective Communication

  • VIP 415A   Conversation A
  • VIP 415B   Conversation B
  • VIP 414     Idioms
  • VIP 420     Media English
  • VIP 464     Business English
  • VIP 417     Writing Skills for Academic & Business Purposes
  • VIP 617     Academic and Professional Writing: Beyond the Basics
  • VIP 422     Academic Reading
  • VIP 423     Critical Reading Strategies 
  • VIP 441     Pronunciation & Presentation Skills
  • VIP 685     Public Speaking
  • VIP 467     Communication Strategies and Social Discourse

Strong Leadership

  • VIP 472     Critical Thinking
  • VIP 473     Innovation Thinking
  • VIP 474     Leadership Through Change and Innovation
  • VIP 480     Cross Cultural Business Communication Skills
  • VIP 483     Organizational Behavior
  • VIP 664     Business Expo
  • VIP 854     Global Leadership and Management

Multicultural & Global Awareness

  • VIP 451A   American Culture: Education, Sports, and Family
  • VIP 451B   American Culture: Movies and Music
  • VIP 451C   American Culture: Current Event and Society
  • VIP 451D   American Culture: History, Race, and Immigration
  • VIP 477     U.S. International Relations
  • VIP 452     U.S. Legal System and Government
  • VIP 454     Discovering MSU
  • VIP 455     Discovering Michigan
  • VIP 485     Sustainability: Environment, Culture, and Leadership

Disciplinary Knowledge-based courses

  • VIP 476     Introduction to Finance
  • VIP 478     International Finance
  • VIP 481     International Business
  • VIP 487     International Perspective on Educational Psychology and Schools
  • VIP 815     Internet Things and E-platforms
  • VIP 842     Current Economic Issues
  • VIP 856     Pedagogy of University Teaching
  • VIP 857     Second Language Acquisition

Class Attendance Waiver

If there is out-of-town travel related to a professional development activity that will impact class attendance, consult with the Program Coordinator in advance. The VIPP Class Attendance Waiver Application Form should be submitted and approved by the Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor.

Download VIPP Class Attendance Waiver Application Form (PDF)

Weekly Time Log

You are required to conduct a minimum of 18 hours of academic activities and submit a weekly time log to record your activities each week throughout your stay at VIPP. Your visa is subject to be revoked if you do not comply with this regulation. It only takes a few minutes to complete the time log and you will receive a copy of the time log once you submit the form. This will help you to build up your portfolio which will be helpful in keeping track of all your academic endeavors and preparing a final report for your organization or sponsor. 

Click here for the Spring 2024 time log


graduation2016-side-by-side.pngEach semester, VIPP hosts a graduation ceremony for participants who have finished their programs. This is a proud and happy occasion for students, staff, and faculty. We gather together to celebrate all you have accomplished at VIPP and what you will go on to achieve in your career after your time at MSU. You might be leaving MSU and the US, but you’ll always be a Spartan!

Summer Vacation Eligibility

If you’d like to take a summer vacation, please consult with your VIPP program coordinator about your eligibility during application process. Your program plan has to be approved in advance when you apply for our program. 

To be eligible for summer vacation, you have to meet two requirements.

1) A summer semester should be the participant’s middle semester of the one-year program, not the first or final semester. For example, if your programs begins in January and ends in June, you are not eligible for summer time off because the summer semester is your end semester.

2) Also, a summer vacation is only allowed if a participant’s program start date on the DS2019 form starts within 30 days into the spring semester and ends less than 30 days prior to the end of the fall semester. For example, a summer vacation is not allowed if your starting date is on or after February 16 this year, or if your ending date is on or before November 10. When you apply for the VIPP program, our coordinators will explain whether you’re eligible for summer vacation and discuss specific academic plans with you.