The Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) enrolls talented, prepared, and motivated students who are interested in energy science and engineering. VIPER students receive instruction and state-of-the-art research experiences, enabling them to pursue advanced degrees in these fields and establish high-caliber research careers as innovators in the discovery and development of sustainable ways to harness, convert, and use energy. Candidates for the program apply as they seek admission to the University.
A joint program of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), VIPER leads to dual Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degrees by combining majors from each school. Possible combinations include: Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, or Mathematics from SAS and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from SEAS. Some students may also apply for a master’s degree through a fifth year of study.
VIPER begins with a common educational experience in the freshman year that includes a dedicated freshman seminar in the first semester and an “on-ramp” to research that equips students to create new knowledge. As a centerpiece of VIPER, students rapidly get involved in energy-related research through paid summer internships, as well as a senior capstone experience.
The focus of the program is on the science and technology of alternative and efficient methods of production, conversion and use of energy. The program takes advantage of existing expertise and resources within SAS, SEAS and other schools. Students will find research opportunities in the laboratories of Pennergy, the Penn Center for Energy Innovation, and thereby contribute to Penn’s core initiatives in the area of science and technology solutions for sustainable energy.