University of Vermont

Understanding Academic Options

How do I enroll in more than 18 credits if I need additional credits?

Complete the Request to Enroll in More than 18 Credits Form.

If approved, a maximum credits override is processed and you can add the additional credit(s) to your schedule.

How do I change programs within the College of Education and Social Services?

Review the online program checksheet and four-year plan for the program you are considering. Contact the program representative listed below to discuss the program requirements and your eligibility to enroll in courses.

Then complete the Application to Change Programs. Be sure to type a very professional rationale as part of this application process.

How do I transfer to a different College/School on campus?

Complete the form at the Registrar's website to change schools/colleges at UVM.

How do I notify faculty when I am ill?

If you are simply missing classes for one day you should either call your professor and leave a message or send an e-mail. E-mail is preferable because you have provided a written record. Provide your name, your section and explain that you are missing class due to illness. If the faculty teaching the course requires you to have a note from your Dean, come to 528 Waterman and we will assist you. We typically do not write notes for one day absences but if a faculty requires one please contact us.

If you will be missing several days of classes due to illness or a crisis, call the CESS Student Services Office (656-3468) or send an e-mail to CESS Student Services and we will notify your faculty for you. Once you return to your classes you will need to talk with your faculty and determine a timeline for completing your work. We can recommend that your absences be excused, but the faculty teaching your courses make the final decision.

How do I withdraw from a course?

The Course Withdrawal Form (.pdf) is available online and also at the University Student Services Center in the Waterman Building. You will need to complete the paper form, sign it, and then get the signatures of the faculty teaching the course and your academic advisor. There is a space for the Dean's signature, but students who complete the form before the deadline to withdraw do not need a Dean's signature.

If you are trying to decide if you should withdraw from a course you should consider the following and have a discussion with your academic advisor:

  • If you don't withdraw, will you fail the course?
  • If you withdraw, will you actually use the time to improve the grades in your other courses?
  • How will you benefit from withdrawing?
  • What are the disadvantages? For example, if you withdraw and drop below full-time status (less than 12 credits) you might lose financial aid or you might not be eligible for your insurance plan.

How do I determine if I might be eligible for a late withdrawal?

Requests for "late withdrawals" are reviewed by the CESS Student Affairs Committee members. Before submitting a request for a "late withdrawal" review the guidelines in the University Catalogue to determine if you have an appropriate reason for your request. Be sure to note that failing a course is not an appropriate reason. Late withdrawals are not approved unless there are medical reasons or extenuating circumstances beyond your control. If you have questions, contact DeMethra at 656-1444.

Late Withdrawals: The Faculty Senate determines the policies for the University, including withdrawals. Each College then implements the policy as stated in the University Catalogue. Therefore, if you are asking about withdrawing after the deadline stated at the Registrar's page (UVM Academic Calendar), it is a late withdrawal. And while any late withdrawals that are approved need the signature of the Dean (DeMethra Bradley signs for Dean Miller), students must use the appropriate process. Be sure to note that if someone indicates that you "can withdraw late and only need the Dean's signature" that is simplifying the process a bit too much.

If you are wondering if you might be eligible for a late withdrawal, perhaps you should review the following:

  • Requests for "late withdrawals" are reviewed by the CESS Student Affairs Committee members. Before submitting a request for a "late withdrawal" review the guidelines in the University Catalogue to determine if you have an appropriate reason for your request. Be sure to note that failing a course is not an appropriate reason. Late withdrawals are not approved unless there are medical reasons or extenuating circumstances beyond your control. If you have questions, contact DeMethra by e-mail or by phone (656-1444).
  • Also note that even if a faculty member teaching one of your courses encourages you to withdraw late and says that s/he will sign the form, you must follow the above process. Again note that failing a course is not an appropriate reason.

How do I remove a class from my schedule if I "never attended"?

Ask the faculty teaching the course to write a statement saying that you never attended the class. Be sure to have him/her include your name and ID#. The note must say, "never attended." Bring the note to the Registrar's Student Services desk located on the third floor of the Waterman Building.

How do I petition a grade?

Begin by reading the section titled GRADE APPEALS in the University Catalogue. Note the section which states, "Grading is the prerogative of the instructor and a decision to change a grade can be made only by the instructor." Therefore, it is essential that you approach this very professionally

  • Contact the Registrar's Office to verify that the grade submitted by the faculty is the grade listed.
  • Contact the instructor to ask if s/he would verify your grade.
    If you are unable to reach the instructor, or you disagree with your grade as verified, prepare a written appeal of your grade. Include the following:
    * Name
    * Class/Section
    * Grade Assigned
    * Reasons you believe your assigned grade is inaccurate and should be changed. Be sure to relate it to the course syllabus if you are pointing out a discrepancy.

An emotional appeal based on needing a higher grade so that you aren't dismissed or so that you don't need to repeat the course are inappropriate! Students should read the course syllabus and if the grading guidelines were stated but not followed, that for example, would be a reason. Be sure to state your reasons and provide documentation. Students sometimes prefer having a conversation with the faculty before writing their reasons in an appeal, but writing them first help you be clearer on the issues.

If you aren't satisfied with the response from the faculty, or you don't get a response, it is appropriate to share your written appeal with the Department Chair and/or the Dean of the college in which the course is offered. You should also share it with DeMethra Bradley, Assistant Dean of Student Services in the CESS. Remember that only the faculty who assigned the grade can change it.

How do I make changes in my academic program?

The CESS uses a Request Form process so that students have an opportunity to submit a written request and rationale to support the requested change. If the request is approved, the change is made on the student's CATS report. If it isn't approved the student receives an e-mail explaining that the request has been denied.

All requests (e.g. substitute one course for another) must be submitted using the Request Form process. This is for your protection as much as it is for the college's clarity. The request is first reviewed by staff in the CESS Student Services Office to be certain that it is clearly stated and that the rationale is written specifically for the request. If you are requesting to make a change in your academic program, your request is either reviewed by the CESS Student Affairs Committee or your program faculty. If your request is approved, the change will be made to your CATS report. You will be notified through e-mail if your request is denied.

How do I request to waive a course requirement?

Use the Request Form process as noted in the "How do I make changes in my academic program?" section above.

Please remember that if you waive a requirement you do not get the credit for the course. Therefore, those credits may need to be completed by enrolling in another course to reach the total required for program completion.

How do I request an Incomplete Grade?

Review information in the online University Catalogue concerning GRADES and specifically the Incomplete category. You will note that Incomplete grades (I) may only be granted to students who document that they have been unable to complete the course(s) due to circumstances beyond their control. Very clear examples of appropriate reasons are cited in the University Catalogue.

If you need to request an "I," begin by sending an e-mail to Assistant Dean DeMethra Bradley and include the following:

  • Name
  • ID#
  • Course(s) for which you are requesting an incomplete grade
  • Explain the circumstances beyond your control that prevented you from completing the course on schedule

If it is determined that you are eligible, the faculty member teaching the course will be notified and will then determine if s/he can support your request. Therefore, faculty will not be assigning incomplete grades for which extenuating circumstances have not been documented. Also remember that even if you have an appropriate reason, faculty are not required to agree to an incomplete.

If you have questions about this process, contact the CESS Student Services Office for more information (656-3468).

How do I determine which course requirements can be completed elsewhere and transferred to UVM/CESS?

Become very familiar with your CESS Program Checksheet. Be certain to discuss the checksheet with your advisor so that you understand your requirements.

Determine which courses are appropriate to complete during the summer months or during Winter Break. This is a discussion to have with your academic advisor before leaving campus. While it is appropriate to complete courses elsewhere that are listed in the General Education category on the checksheet, those listed in the Professional Requirements category must be completed at UVM. Of course there are exceptions, so once again, be sure to have this conversation with your advisor.

Identify the specific course(s) which you plan to complete elsewhere to fulfill your program requirements. Some courses on the checksheet are very specific and list both the prefix and the course number. Others list only a prefix and you have choices concerning the actual course number.

Remember that courses completed at UVM will be included in your overall grade point average, but courses completed at other institutions will not be. If you are enrolling in a course at a different institution, you must use the appropriate Transfer Affairs process to be certain the course will be accepted by the University and that it fulfills a specific requirement in your program. Remember that you must earn a C (not C-) or higher to transfer the course(s) to UVM.

How do I transfer courses to UVM/CESS?

Courses completed through other institutions must first be accepted by the University before faculty in the CESS determine if they will fulfill specific requirements in your CESS program. Be sure to note that your CESS advisor does not make the decision that a course will be accepted by UVM unless you are attempting to transfer a course which s/he teaches!

All students who plan to complete coursework and then transfer it to the University must be working with Transfer Affairs (656-0867, 339 Waterman). Do not assume that a course which you are completing elsewhere will transfer to UVM. And do not assume that it will transfer with the appropriate prefix and course level. Faculty who teach the specific courses at UVM are the ones who determine if your transfer course work is comparable. For example, if you plan to transfer a course to fulfill a Psychology requirement, faculty in the Psychology department determine if the course is accepted with a PSYC prefix. If it isn't accepted by PSYC, then you may request to have it reviewed by faculty in another department (e.g. Human Development and Family Studies). Keep in mind that if it is accepted by a different department, it may not fulfill the requirement you had planned to complete.

This includes Study Abroad course work. If you are told that your materials will be evaluated once you complete the course, be sure to ask if it is simply being evaluated at that point to determine the level of the course, or if it is still to be determined if the course will even be accepted by the University. Be certain the course is being accepted by UVM before you enroll! And be certain it isn't being accepted as a course that has already been completed. You only get credit once.

If you did not complete a form with Transfer Affairs before leaving campus, but you do plan to enroll in courses at another institution, contact Transfer Affairs by phone (802-656-0867) to initiate the process. If you enroll in a course elsewhere without first discussing it with Transfer Affairs, you may discover later that it won't be accepted at UVM for credit or it doesn't fulfill the appropriate requirement.

Be certain you understand the prefix and number being assigned to the transfer course at UVM. Transfer Affairs (based on faculty decisions) will determine the comparability of the transfer course to those offered at UVM.

If you are planning to fulfill a course that has a specific prefix and course number, be certain it is transferring to UVM with that prefix and number. If the course prefix and number assigned by Transfer Affairs match the requirement on your checksheet, earning a C or above for the transfer course fulfills the requirement.

Courses very often transfer with the appropriate prefix, but will often have 0XX, 1XX or XXX next to the prefix. If you have XXX, it means the course has not been leveled. It doesn't mean that it is an advanced level course! You must provide information to Transfer Affairs to have it leveled appropriately. The 0XX indicates it is leveled as 0-99, while 1XX means it is 100 level. You must provide as much information as possible so that the courses are leveled appropriately and if possible, it's also better to have a specific and matching course number. If either the prefix or the number doesn't match the requirement you are attempting to fulfill, you must complete a CESS Request Form for approval to have it fulfill a specific requirement in your program. If you complete a Request Form, be sure to provide an academic rationale for having the transfer course fulfill a requirement. The Request Form process is a safeguard for you if the request is approved, because it documents that you have permission to make a change in your program or that you have permission to fulfill the requirement with a different course.

So what should you do if you plan to take a course that will transfer to UVM with the right prefix, but instead of a course number it has 0XX? You need to be certain that the title and description of the transfer course are almost identical to those of the course listed on your checksheet. You'll find the description in the University Catalogue. If they aren't the same, your transfer course might then fulfill an elective rather than the course you were attempting to complete. For example, students have enrolled in a History course during the summer that transfers to UVM as HST 0XX. They expect that it will fulfill the HST 011 or 012 that is U.S. History. If the course title includes U.S. History, the course will likely fulfill the requirement. If it doesn't, you may discover that it will not transfer as a U.S. History course. So the course becomes an elective and the U.S. History must be completed later in the program.

Remember, if the course is not transferring with the appropriate prefix and/or course number, you must use a CESS Request Form to ask to modify your requirements. And there are no guarantees that your request will be approved.

Be sure the description of the course is almost identical to the description of the UVM course listed on your program checksheet.

  • Provide documentation
  • Get the syllabus for the UVM course
  • Compare the syllabus for the UVM course to the one for the transfer course.
  • Do not ask to have the course accepted as an upper level requirement because of the number assigned at the other institution. The decisions are based on content of the courses, not the numbering system used elsewhere.

Last modified January 16 2013 07:12 PM