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«College of Arts and Sciences Orientation Booklet Table of Contents What Every Student Needs to Know - College of Arts and Sciences Student Services - ...»

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College of Arts and Sciences

Orientation Booklet

Table of Contents

What Every Student Needs to Know

- College of Arts and Sciences Student Services

- Advising

- Communicating with University Officials

- Registration

Majors and Minors


Transfer Credit Policies and Procedures

Academic Options

Academic Honors and Results of Low Academic Performance

Support Services

Academic Integrity

120 Credit Distribution

Bachelor of Arts Distribution Requirements

Bachelor of Science Distribution Requirements

AP Transfer Credit

How to Read the Schedule of Courses

Time Management

Putting Together a Schedule

Registration Worksheet and Hour Plan Chart

Recommended Courses for Every Major

What Every Student Needs to Know


438 College Street • Third Floor • 802/656-3344 • cas@uvm.edu 8:00-4:30 p.m. • Monday-Friday • Daily Advisor Walk-in Hours: 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Have questions? Don’t know who to ask?

Got a problem? Don’t know how to fix it?

We’re here to help.

–  –  –


• Undeclared first-year students enrolled in a Teacher-Advisor Program (TAP) course are assigned to the instructor of that seminar until they declare a major.

• Undeclared first-year students not in TAP are assigned a faculty advisor within the College.

Those students will keep the same advisor until they declare a major. Once students declare a major, they will be assigned an advisor in their chosen field.

• First-year students who have a declared major and are enrolled in a TAP course are assigned to an advisor in their major field as well as the instructor of that seminar (for the fall semester only).

• Students not enrolled in TAP who have a declared major are assigned an advisor within their declared field.

• Transfer students with a declared major will be assigned an advisor in their declared field.

Undeclared transfer students will be assigned an advisor from one of the departments within the College.

Note: Check the Registrar’s home page (www.uvm.edu/~rgweb/) under Student Information for a student’s assigned advisor’s name after the third week of the semester.

Students who need assistance and/or haven’t yet been assigned an advisor should contact the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office at 802-656-3344.


An advisor can be an invaluable source of information, so plan to meet frequently. Course selection for the upcoming semester, career options, and other educational decisions are matters to discuss as well as any problems that may affect one’s academic performance. Rapport between a student and advisor adds an experienced and knowledgeable dimension to long-range academic planning. Frequently, a relationship that began as student/advisor blossoms into a friendship that lasts beyond college graduation.

Reference the on-line directory available on the UVM homepage, www.uvm.edu, to find your advisor’s phone number, e-mail address, and campus address. Plan to meet during office hours or call them directly for an appointment. If students cannot reach their advisor for an appointment, leave a message requesting a reply. Faculty advisors are a great resource in all aspects of planning a schedule of courses and ensuring that your course selections meet graduation requirements. However, the student is ultimately responsible for deciding which courses to take and whether they meet degree requirements. Read the requirements carefully!


• Contact with faculty ~ Address a faculty member as “Doctor” or “Professor” unless they have given permission to refer to them by their first name. When making an appointment be sure to write it down and be on time!

• E-Mail ~ E-mail communication can easily be misinterpreted, especially if students communicate with faculty and staff the same way they communicate with their friends.

"Hey Dude!” No faculty member or staff person appreciates receiving a message from a student with a "Hey Dude!" opening! Remember that students are communicating with someone who may in some way be connected to their future (e.g. course grade, reference for leadership position, etc.). ALWAYS REVIEW YOUR E-MAIL BEFORE YOU HIT SEND!

Here is an actual e-mail sent to a Dean:

hay i was wonder who my advisor was so that i could ask them a question about my schedule it wasnot posed on the registwars website thanks john doe im a fresman and my uvm email isnt working

An example of how the note could have been better written:

Dear Dr. Smith:

I am an incoming first-year student. I’m writing from my personal e-mail account because I’m having difficulty with my UVM e-mail. Can you direct me to someone who can help me with that? Also, I have a question about my schedule and am unsure who my advisor is.

Are you able to give me his or her contact information? Any help you are able to provide would be much appreciated.

Thank you, John Doe

• Before, During, or After Class ~ Missing class is NOT a good idea, but there are times when a student either chooses to do so or is too ill to go. Students are responsible for getting the notes, preferably from another student in the class. However some students have been known to ask the instructor the following: "Did you do anything important in class when I was gone?" Every class session is important, so consider a different approach: "I missed class and got the notes from a friend. If I come to your office during office hours, will you have a few minutes to review the concepts with me?" If a student thinks there was an error in the grading of an assignment, students often say: "YOU didn't give me points for several correct answers!" Starting with YOU sounds like an attack!

Try another approach: "I noticed that I didn't get credit for several questions that I thought I answered correctly. Do you have a few minutes to review them with me?" Remember that UVM adheres to a Classroom Code of Conduct which states (in part), “Faculty and students will treat all members of the learning community with respect.” Adhering to this guideline will serve a student well during their time at UVM.

–  –  –

Contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@uvm.edu or 802/656-2045 if there are problems logging in.


Where are the courses listed?

In addition to the Registrar’s website, courses are listed on the UVM undergraduate catalogue at www.uvm.edu/catalogue. On this website, there are numerous ways to access information about academic programs, courses, policies, and requirements. Students at UVM are responsible for knowing and complying with all requirements for their respective degrees as stated in the catalogue.

What about Foreign Language and Math classes?

If a student plans on taking a French, Spanish, or German course at ANY level, they MUST take the placement test. The test can be found at www.uvm.edu/~slife/orientation.

Note: These are placements tests only and will not fulfill the Foreign Language or Mathematical Sciences requirements.

How many courses?

To graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences, a student must have 120 credits, about 15 credits per semester. Students may choose to take a slightly lower load their first semester, so plan on four to five courses, which will add up to 12 to 17 credits. The majority of courses are 3 credits each. Laboratory and introductory foreign language courses are usually four credits.

Physical Education classes count for either.50 or 1.00 credit depending on the length of the class.

Are there any required courses?

Students must complete the General and Distribution requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Music degree listed in this booklet. These requirements may be completed in any order and do not have to be fulfilled within a specified time. Consider enrolling in a new discipline or in a different area of study as a way to discover an exciting new area of interest.

What about courses in the major?

Most students do not have a declared major when they come to UVM and many students change their major several times. If there is interest in a particular field or major, enroll in one of the introductory courses of the department. Note that not all departments offer a course numbered

001. Introductory courses are numbered 001 to 099 and do not require prior knowledge unless otherwise stated.

What about Advanced Placement exams?

Students must request to have an official copy of their AP test scores sent to the Office of Transfer Affairs, 360 Waterman Bldg., University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. Refer to pages 23-25 for the list of AP tests and scores accepted by UVM.

What’s different about enrolling in a lab course?

The on-line schedule of courses will indicate courses with both a lecture and a laboratory section or discussion section. Enroll in BOTH a lecture and lab or discussion section for these courses.

Please keep in mind that many courses have prerequisites which should be taken into consideration when registering.



Students often feel pressure to declare a major in their first year. For some students this makes sense, such as students pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees, which typically require a four-year sequence of courses. But most students are either undecided when they enter college or change their majors, sometimes several times. Often, students have many interests they want to explore, and don’t want to specialize too quickly. The Dean’s Office suggests that students officially declare their major and minor by the end of the sophomore year.


AIM is designed to facilitate the transition into a potential major. Courses identified in AIM encourage the intellectual shift from a broad exposure to the liberal arts to in-depth study in a particular field. AIM identifies courses in all disciplines that serve as “gateway” courses to the major, giving students an opportunity to begin exploring the discipline in a more substantial manner in coursework that introduces them to the nature of inquiry typical in the major. For more information go to: www.uvm.edu/artsandsciences/aim/


• Substitutions for major or minor requirements are sometimes acceptable – the Dean’s Office must receive written approval from the Chair of the department for each substitution.

• No more than 45 hours are allowed in the major field for BA candidates.

• No more than 50 hours are allowed in the major field for BS candidates.

• A major must be chosen from offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences.

• The major grade point average must be at least 2.00 (a “C”) to graduate.

• At least one-half of a student’s major requirements must be taken at UVM.

• Students may pursue an Individually Designed Major in the College of Arts and Sciences with approval of the Academic Studies Committee.


• All students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must complete a minor.

• Students pursuing a double major are not required to complete a minor.

• Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Music are not required to complete a minor.

• A minor may be chosen from offerings within the College of Arts and Sciences.

• Minors are also available outside of Arts and Sciences.

• The minor GPA must be at least a 2.00 to graduate.

• Only one course may overlap between the major and minor.

• At least one-half of a student’s credits in their minor must be taken at UVM.

Students interested in a Bachelor of Science degree should pursue one of these majors: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Integrated Biological Science, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology, and Zoology.

Students interested in a Bachelor of Music degree should major in Music Performance.

–  –  –

The College of Arts and Sciences, together with the Registrar’s Office, has developed a degree audit report that will make it easier to track a student’s progress toward completing a degree. The Curriculum Audit Tracking System produces an automated report that identifies the specific requirements for a student’s current degree program and shows how the courses taken best satisfy those requirements. These requirements include Total Hours, General and Degree Distribution, Major/Minor requirements, Arts and Sciences Hours, Residency, and Grade Point Average.

The CATS report also indicates which requirements still need to be completed and provides a list of courses that can satisfy them.

It is very important to review the CATS report and verify that it accurately details coursework. If students have transferred credits to UVM, an exception (which is a course substitution or a course waiver) must be approved by the Dean’s Office. If there are discrepancies in an audit, questions about course applicability, or problems running the CATS report, please discuss them with Mark Galen Hall, Mark.Hall@uvm.edu, in the Dean’s Office of Arts and Sciences. Remember a student is responsible for understanding and fulfilling all degree requirements. Since the CATS report is not an official document, approval for graduation by Arts and Sciences is mandatory.


1. At UVM homepage, click on “myUVM” top right

2. Enter your netID and password (e.g.netID=jdoe)

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