University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of  Physics

Undergraduate Academic Advising in the Department of Physics

Purpose of Academic Advising

Academic advising is meant to assist students in clarifying and meeting their educational and career goals. Academic advising requires that both you, the student, and your faculty advisor work together as a team. When meeting with your advisor you should come prepared with specific questions, ideas and, ideally, a suggested plan of action. It is very important that you meet with your advisor at least twice a year, before you select courses for the upcoming semester, even if you know exactly what courses to take.

Seeking Other Kinds of Advising

Your academic advisor has expertise in scholarly issues, especially pertaining to Physics. If you seek advice or support outside this area, such as financial aid, student health, legal matters, writing and learning skills, general career planning, lifestyle/residential issues, academic accommodations, UVM offers a variety of free professional advising regarding these and other issues. The College of Arts & Sciences Student Services can help you identify the resources most likely to meet your needs.

Advising Within Physics

When you declare your intent to major in physics, you will be assigned to a faculty advisor who will provide assistance on the following topics:

  • deciding on the degree you will pursue, B.A. or B.S.
  • the timing and appropriateness of course selection
  • fulfilling the requirements of the major
  • fulfilling general distribution and minor requirements
  • opportunities for undergraduate research within the department
  • planning for off-campus studies, internships and research
  • standardized testing requirements (GRE) for graduate study
  • post graduation employment or graduate school opportunities

All advisors hold regular office hours; please check the online list to see when your advisor is available and to find contact information to arrange an appointment.

Physics minors or students considering a minor/major who would like advice are welcome to make an appointment with the Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, or to reach out informally to professors they know in the department.

Advising of Undeclared Students

For those undeclared students who have been assigned an advisor in physics, additional assistance and guidance will be provided on topics including:

  • exploring your academic interests
  • choosing and declaring a major

Advisor Changes and Second Opinions

  • If and when your advisor goes on sabbatical or other leave, you will be assigned temporarily to another faculty member who will act as your advisor until your regular advisor resumes duties. The department’s administrative assistant will email you contact information regarding your acting advisor.
  • Feel free to talk to any faculty member, other than your advisor, in the department if you find that you need a "second opinion" on advising matters.
  • If for whatever reason you would like to change your advisor, please contact the Department chair.

Additional Resources

The Physics department is committed to helping students learn more about their chosen area of study and the opportunities associated with it. As nationally and internationally-known scholars with successful careers in the sciences, our faculty members have a wealth of expertise as well as extensive collaborative networks that can be accessed and leveraged by our students. This includes knowledge about the nature of the field, graduate programs in Physics and related disciplines, and new research initiatives. In addition to one-on-one consultations about these issues, we strongly encourage you to attend departmental events devoted to research opportunities and career ideas offered by faculty members, visiting scholars and alumni, as well as informal talks through the Society of Physics Students.

Last modified April 24 2015 09:38 AM

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