working with students

Academic advising at UVM helps assist you in clarifying and meeting their educational and career goals. Academic advising works best when you and your advisor work together as a team. When meeting with your advisor, come prepared with specific questions, ideas and, ideally, a suggested plan of action. Plan on meeting 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.

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; check the faculty 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 undeclared students who have been assigned an advisor in physics, additional assistance and guidance will be provided on topics including exploring your academic interests and 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.

Do I need a computer for physics?

Many students find it handy to use their own laptop computers or wireless devices to access information on the UVM wireless network from campus locations, including most physics classrooms and study areas, but students will also have access to UVM computer labs within the physics department to assist them with laboratory and class assignments. 

Can I get extra help with my Introductory Physics course?

In addition to getting help from your instructor during their scheduled office hours, or during your weekly recitation period, there are Walk-in Help sessions that meet regularly every week. You do not need an appointment to attend these. See the current schedule of help sessions.

Can I get a tutor to help me with Physics?

You should contact the UVM Learning Cooperative to arrange for a paid tutor. University policy prohibits your physics course, recitation or lab instructors from serving as paid tutors. 

How do I get more information about undergraduate research opportunities?

Please contact the UVM physics department office

How do I get course credit for physics courses taken elsewhere?

Please email the course information (syllabus, exams, text information etc) to our committee on transfer of credit. Use "physics credit transfer" in the subject.

A Wealth of 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.

Help Sessions

The physics department provides voluntary help sessions throughout the semester. Sessions are only held on alternating weeks, during the three days before each test.