University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Neuroscience Program

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.

Seeking Other Kinds of Advising?
Your academic advisor has expertise in scholarly issues, especially pertaining to neuroscience. There are many other issues about which you may seek advice and support such as student health, legal matters, writing and learning skills, general career planning, lifestyle/residential issues, academic accommodations 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.

Getting an Advisor within Neuroscience
When you declare a Neuroscience major, you will be assigned to a faculty advisor. You should meet with your advisor prior to the pre-registration period each semester to discuss your progress towards fulfilling your degree requirements. We encourage first and second-year students to take advantage of group advising sessions with faculty and/or peer advisors.  For juniors and seniors, meetings one-on-one meetings with faculty advisors may be more appropriate. Remember: it’s your responsibility to schedule and attend advising meetings.

Advising within Neuroscience
Advising help is available to Neuroscience majors through a variety of formats:

The Neuroscience Major website: The website (http://www.uvm.edu/~nsmajor/) explains course requirements for the major, what to expect from your advisor, how to plan for study abroad, and suggestions for how to use your degree after graduation. Many of your questions may be answered via the website, so please read through it thoroughly before contacting your advisor.

Group advising meetings: Just before course registration time, majors will be invited to a advising sessions with either a faculty member or peer advisors to go over common questions and guidance on major requirements, course sequencing, distribution requirements, and more.

One-on-one advising: Each student is assigned to an individual faculty advisor; please make an appointment with your advisor for detailed, specific, or unusual questions related to courses, off-campus studies, or other issues.

Advisor changes: leaves and sabbaticals: If and when your advisor goes on sabbatical or other leave, you will be assigned temporarily to another faculty member until your advisor returns and resumes duties; if you are being reassigned, the department’s administrative assistant will email you to let you know who your acting advisor is.

Advisor changes: student initiated: If for whatever reason you would like to change your advisor, please contact the Program Director.

Additional Resources: Careers, Research, Graduate School, etc.
The Neuroscience Program 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 to share about the nature of the field, graduate programs in neuroscience and related disciplines, and new research initiatives. In addition to consulting individual faculty members about these issues, we strongly encourage you to attend regular events devoted to the following topics:

Research opportunities: offers an overview of various research opportunities on campus related to neuroscience, and how to get involved.

Applying to graduate school: explores when and if to apply, what materials you need to prepare, how to choose a program, and what job prospects are like in various field.

Pre-med: explains how to prepare to apply to medical school, whether and when to apply, what makes applications successful, etc.

Career ideas: brings together UVM alums to talk about how their studies of neuroscience helped prepare them for jobs in health care, research, nonprofits, and more. Usually offered in March.


In general, Neuroscience faculty advisors often have about 50-60 assigned advisees so we provide here an overview of advising issues to facilitate the process. In general, you can expect a solid advising session to include some or all of the following:

    -Your faculty advisor will assist you in assessing your progress toward academic and career goals, and help you understand the requirements and policies for your major and degree.

    -Your faculty advisor will respond to your questions related to specific courses that meet your academic goals.

    -You and your advisor can jointly develop an action plan for reaching your academic goals.

    -You and your advisor will discuss your grade point average, and, if appropriate, specific strategies to improve your grade point average.

    -Your advisor will help you identify student services on campus that may be particularly appropriate for your needs and interests.

    -Your advisor will help you pursue opportunities for undergraduate honors, research, and career advice should you be interested.

    -Your advisor will listen to and respect the decisions you make regarding your UVM education and career goals but will NOT MAKE THESE DECISIONS FOR YOU OR TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING THESE DECISIONS. THIS RESPONSIBILITY RESTS SQUARELY WITH YOU!

Last modified March 09 2016 10:16 AM