Academic department or program web pages play an important role in the recruitment of prospective students. Recent web traffic patterns show us that visitors are increasingly accessing program web pages directly from search engines, without navigating via the UVM homepage or even the department or college program homepage. This means that it is more important than ever to make a positive "first" impression by providing concise and current language when offering menu choices. These guidelines serve to assist in the building and maintaining of academic websites using best practices for student recruitment and retention.

Recommended navigation for all academic departments

By using a common navigation prospective and current students are better able to locate information and compare programs. The following navigation follows current best practices at UVM and at other higher education institutions. Note: we do not recommend a unit employ both the suggested and optional menu items all at once--menus should ideally not surpass 10 items.

  • Homepage
  • Explore or Discover or About XXX (dept name)
  • Undergraduate Programs
    • B.A. XXXX
    • B.S. XXXX
    • Minor in XXXX
  • Graduate Programs
    • M.A. XXXX
    • Certificate of XXXX
    • Ph.D. XXXX
  • Advising
  • Courses
  • Faculty (and Staff) and their Research
  • Research Opportunities AND/OR Student Opportunities
    • Study Abroad
    • Special Research Programs
    • Hands-on Learning Opportunities
    • Internship Opportunities
  • Outcomes/Careers
  • Contact Us

Optional additions

In addition to the items listed, other navigation items may be added or included as submenu items to the parent menu, such as:
(i.e. Student Organizations, etc.).

  • FAQs
  • Special Programs (ie: CAP in Anthropology dept)
  • Facilities
  • Honors and Awards
  • News
  • Events

Alternative/secondary navigation for all academic departments

Some departments may find it necessary to target for example, by audience. The ability exists to have a secondary navigation (it will fall below the main navigation) for calling out audience-specific content (ie: Prospective Students, Faculty, Staff, etc.) or for things that aren’t common themes among departments and therefore don’t belong in the main menu, ie. Music: Auditions and Required Tests, Lessons, Recitals and Juried Exams.

visual of secondary nav