University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

Department of Geography Advising

The Geography department relies on one-on-one advising between students and an individual faculty advisor. Ideally, students should meet with their academic advisor several times a year and, when possible, attend the additional special events that the department hosts annually to assist students in seeking career opportunities and applying to graduate or professional school.

Purpose of Academic Advising

The fundamental purpose of academic advising is to assist students in clarifying and meeting their educational and career goals. Academic advising requires that both the student and faculty member work together as a team; the student should come prepared with specific questions and ideas, as well as a draft of her/his 4-year plan).

Seeking Other Kinds of Advising?

Your academic advisor has expertise in scholarly issues, especially pertaining to Geography.  There are many other issues about which you may seek advice and support such as student health and wellbeing, legal matters, writing and learning skills, general career planning, lifestyle/residential issues, financial concerns, academic accommodations or ACCESS , and more. UVM offers a variety of free professional advising regarding these and other issues. The College of Arts & Sciences Student Services can help you to identify the resources most likely to meet your needs.

Thinking about Geography as a Major or Minor?

Students considering a Geography minor/major who would like advice are welcome to make an appointment with the Department Chair, or to reach out informally to professors they know in the department.

Advising within Geography: Advisor Roles and Responsibilities

When you declare a Geography major, you will be assigned to a tenured / tenure-track faculty advisor who will meet with you individually. She/he can provide assistance on the following topics:

  • course selection (for detailed course descriptions, see here)
  • CATS report review
  • fulfilling the requirements of the major
  • general distribution and minor requirements within CAS
  • planning for study abroad, off-campus studies, internships, and other experiences
  • navigating the Four-Year Plan
  • career ideas and trajectories
  • honors, awards, and funding opportunities

All advisors hold regular office hours; please check the faculty list or the ‘office hours at a glance’ on the department website to see when your advisor is available and to find contact information to arrange an appointment.

Advising in Geography: Student Responsibilities

  • To keep your advisor informed about changes in your academic progress, course selection, and academic and career goals.
  • To be familiar with the requirements of the major and to keep up to date with course offerings.
  • To understand that your advisor can suggest, recommend, remind you of rules and regulations, but that you have the primary responsibility for meeting program and degree requirements.
  • To keep your advisor informed in a timely fashion when personal issues arise that interfere with academic progress, so that 1) your advisor can refer you to the appropriate campus resources which can help you, and 2) so that your advisor has enough facts about your situation to be able to assess your academic progress fairly.
  • To come prepared to your meetings with your advisor.

Advisor changes: leaves and sabbaticals

If and when your advisor goes on sabbatical or other leave, you will be offered the choice either to be assigned temporarily to another faculty member until your advisor returns and resumes duties, or to permanently change to a different advisor in the department. The department’s administrative assistant will email you to let you know who your acting or new advisor is.

Advisor changes: student initiated

If for whatever reason you would like to change your advisor, please contact the Department Chair or the administrative assistant, who will pass your request on to the Chair. 

College Honors and Departmental Honors

Geography majors who have a GPA of at least 3.4 are eligible to apply for permission to undertake a college honors research project during their senior year; for more information, see here.  Seniors who have at least a 3.5 GPA in Geography and at least 3.25 generally are eligible to apply for Department Honors, which requires the submission of a portfolio of work, a personal narrative, and a transcript. For more information see here.

Additional Resources: Research, Study Abroad, Internships, Careers, Graduate School, etc.

Faculty in the Geography Department are committed to assisting students in achieving a broad, experientially-rich education. This often includes travel courses (e.g. GEOG190), field courses (e.g. GEOG192), study abroad, internships, and working as a research assistant for a professor. Resources for these are on the department website, and should also be topics of discussion with your advisor.

The Geography department is committed to helping students learn more about their chosen field of study and the opportunities associated with it.  We provide an annual workshop on Careers in Geography, usually in the spring semester, as well as a dedicated Careers section of our website, with the workshop materials posted in PDF. As nationally- and internationally-known scholars with successful careers, our faculty members have a wealth of expertise to share about academic work and graduate programs in Geography, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies, Urban Planning, and related disciplines; we offer an annual workshop on this topic, usually in the fall, as well as a permanently posted set of materials on applying to graduate school.

Last modified October 08 2015 04:08 PM