Skip to main content


Who is eligible to apply to be a mentee?


  • Applicants must be Vanderbilt undergraduates.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to at least five hours a week of working on their project and meeting with their mentor.


  • Applicants do not need to be math majors, but should be interested in learning more about mathematics.
  • Applicants should have taken, or are in the process of taking, at least two mathematics courses numbered 2000 and above.
  • Applicants are strongly recommended to have some familiarity with reading and writing mathematical proofs.
  • Women and members of underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

What are the expectations?

Mentees have the following responsibilities:

  • Meet with their mentor once per week for at least 1 hour.
  • Devote at least four hours outside of their meeting to their project each week.
  • Give a 10 minute presentation summarizing their work at the end of the semester.

Mentors have the following responsibilities:

  • Meet with their mentee once per week for at least 1 hour.
  • Help guide mentees in determining their topic.
  • Work with mentee on their presentation at the end of the semester, having the mentee give at least one practice presentation before-hand.

Do I need to have a project in mind to apply?

  • Applicants do not need to have a project in mind, but might have an idea of the area of mathematics they would like to work in.
  • Mentors will work with the mentee to find a topic.
  • Applicants are encouraged look at some project ideas or past projects.

Do I get credit for participating?

  • There is no course credit for participating in the DRP.

What do I get out of participating?

  • Learn about subjects not covered by the department coursework.
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge about a particular topic.
  • Experience what doing ‘real’ mathematics is like outside of formal courses.
  • Develop the skill of working independently on a topic.
  • Improve your ability to communicate, especially technically.
  • Have access to a graduate mentor.

Who decides who is admitted into the DRP?

  • A committee formed by the faculty advisor and several graduate student representatives is responsible for administrative decisions, including admission and pairing of mentors and mentees.