University of Vermont

Applying to the RSENR graduate program

Applying to the RSENR Graduate Program

General Advice on Applying

Graduate student releases birdApplying to graduate school is a bit different from the undergraduate process. The key to a great experience is finding a project that you are truly passionate about and a faculty mentor with whom you would like to work. Do some internet research to learn more about a faculty members' current research, papers they are publishing, and grants they have received.

First, identify which program and specific area of research interests you. As you complete the application process, the most important thing is to identify and cultivate a relationship with a faculty member who will agree to serve as your advisor should you be accepted by the Graduate College. Having an advisor on-board is not a pre-requisite for applying to the program; however, a faculty member must have agreed to be your advisor before you can be accepted into our program.

Faculty member and studentOnce you have identified potential graduate faculty, contact our Graduate Student Services Specialist Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner at cgoodwin@uvm.edu, 802-656-2511, to get more information on their availability and the process for connecting with them.

Prior to contacting a potential advisor, read a few of their published papers and email a copy of your resume. Once you are connected, ask each faculty member questions about his or her work and be ready to tell something about yourself and your preparation for working in that specific field of research. Getting into graduate school is a competitive process, so the better the fit between your academic record and work/research experience, the more likely it is that a professor will consider your application.

Faculty and student researchWe encourage you to visit the Rubenstein School to get a sense for the school and to meet with faculty members who specialize in your area of interest, members of our Rubenstein Graduate Student Association, and Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner, who coordinates the application process. Being here helps you decide if the program and people are a good fit for you. It also gives your prospective advisor a way to know you as more than an application file.

Talking with other graduate students helps you get their perspectives on the program. The University has regularly-scheduled campus tours that are a great way to see the entire campus. Tour the Burlington area...you'll be spending a few years of your life here.

Graduate student conducting tree researchFor questions regarding the general University of Vermont admission process, see Graduate College Admissions, where you will also find Graduate College Application Instructions.

Be sure to indicate your interest in any particular concentration or faculty member in your Statement of Purpose when you apply. That helps us get your application to the proper faculty for review.

We receive many questions about GRE and TOEFL tests. Our average GRE score for incoming students is 157. The GRE is required by our Graduate College for students who will receive funding through the University. If your native or first language is not English, you must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). UVM Institution Code for test scores is 3920.

Gund Institute logoThe Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, associated with the Rubenstein School, offers a Certificate in Graduate Study for Ecological Economics. This certificate program provides students with opportunities to venture beyond academia and into a new world of solution-oriented learning even as they continue their concentrated studies in a traditional discipline. This certificate is open to any graduate student who is interested in this transdisciplinary and contemporary field.

Graduate student spatial analysis researchMost of our graduate students are provided with some funding. We also have many part-time teaching assistantships available. Simply mark the box on your application if you are interested in any of these opportunities and/or contact pertinent research faculty to see what they might have available.

Application Checklist

  • Application form (online only at: Graduate College Application Information)
  • Transcripts sent to Graduate College
  • GRE scores (general exam) sent to Graduate College (For those candidates who have more than 10 years of professional experience and have demonstrated analytical ability through their profession, a waiver request may be submitted to the graduate college at the discretion of The Rubenstein School Graduate Program Coordinator. However, applicants MUST have a current GRE score (within the past five years) to be eligible for ANY University funding. Hence, this waiver cannot apply to PhD applicants since they must have documentation for two years of guaranteed funding to be accepted into the program.
  • Three recommendations sent to Graduate College (This most frequently holds up the application review process; start early to make sure your application is reviewed on schedule.)
  • Reviewed several faculty research profiles to find a common interest and communicated your interests to them

Admissions Timetable

Date Deadline
October-January Good time to visit and develop relationships with potential advisors
February 1 Deadline for consideration for School assistantships
mid-February Graduate College admissions and first round of funding offers made to students
mid-March/May Rolling admissions (second round of funding offers)
June Last acceptances are usually made at this time.

Spring/Summer Admissions

Students outdoorsWhile most of the School's funding and admissions to the Master's and Ph.D. programs take place for fall admissions, the Rubenstein School admits a few students at other times of the year. These off-cycle admissions occur as a result of grant opportunities that faculty receive at different times of the year. There is no guarantee that any funds will be available in any particular year, but it never hurts to ask specific faculty about funding opportunities.


We welcome your inquiries and visits. Please contact Graduate Program Student Services Specialist Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner at cgoodwin@uvm.edu or 802-656-2511 for more information.

Last modified October 09 2013 02:10 PM