University of Vermont

2007-08 Online Catalogue

Academic Policies and General Information

Admissions Criteria for Undergraduate Students

The University of Vermont selects those students who demonstrate the greatest potential for academic success at the University based on prior academic performance.

Recognizing the University's focus on engagement with local, state, national and global communities, admission policies focus on achieving geographic balance; variety of experience and background; and cultural/economic diversity within the fabric of its student population. As a state-assisted university, the University of Vermont has a special commitment to Vermont residents, a commitment reflected by ensuring that Vermont students receive priority consideration in the admissions process. Our commitment to forging a diverse education community is manifested in a special effort to recognize and meet the educational needs of members of ALANA (African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American) populations.

Determining potential for a student to benefit from a UVM education lies at the heart of the work of the University's Office of Undergraduate Admission. This determination is based on a blending of the academic record with other attributes in a student's background. A candidate for admission must demonstrate an ability to perform at a high level scholastically. For a first-year student, this is determined by performance in high school and on standardized examinations. Transfer and non-traditional candidates will be evaluated on the results of completed college-level course work, standing at previous institutions, and/or other educational credentials appropriate to student age and educational history. At a minimum, candidates for admission are expected to complete the entrance requirements established by the UVM faculty to ensure exposure to broad fields of intellectual inquiry; some programs require further study in areas relevant to professional development. Additionally, to form a comprehensive view of a student's candidacy, University admission staff gauge the rigor of a student's program by reviewing breadth of study and course levels (e.g. Honors and AP course work); measure the student's relative standing in the graduating class through grade point average, class rank, or other indices; observe trends in the student's performance over time; and assess the competitive nature of the high school and/or college environment. Standardized test scores are viewed as one of several indicators of student academic potential and not as a single criterion for admission to the University.

Beyond academic credentials, other characteristics and experiences in a student's background are reviewed in making an admission decision particularly when the academic record in isolation is not decisive. Required student essays, recommendations, and other evidence of the student's life experiences are examined to more fully understand the student's potential to succeed and contribute at UVM. All achievements, both academic and non-academic, will be considered in the context of the opportunities an applicant has had, hardships or unusual circumstances faced, and the response to these. Evidence of special talents, community service, imagination and tenacity are also considered indicative of promise for future contributions to the life of the University and to its mission. Admission decisions are made without regard to family financial circumstances, although University financial aid and scholarship funding is deployed on the basis of academic merit as well as financial need.

Although University Admissions staff makes final admission decisions, consultation with academic unit representatives precedes any decision for a student whose credentials may not be clear and decisive. Admission policies are made by the Department of Admissions in collaboration with the schools and colleges that constitute The University of Vermont and are subject to review by The University of Vermont Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees.

At a minimum, candidates for all majors at UVM are expected to have met the following requirements prior to entry.

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of Mathematics (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, or equivalent courses)
  • 3 years of social science
  • 2 years of natural or physical science, including a lab science
  • 2 years of the same foreign language; (American Sign Language meets this requirement.)

Course work not completed at the high school level may be fulfilled by equivalent college-level academic work.

In general, one semester of college work is considered the equivalent of one year of high school study.

Any exceptions to these requirements are made on a case-by-case basis.

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