Resources for New Students | Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources | The University of Vermont(title)

Welcome to the Rubenstein School community! We are excited to welcome you to campus.

Please take a look at the materials below before your course registration group advising meeting. If you have any questions email

Review our academic overview presentation (PDF)

Step 1: Understanding Your Degree Program


Components of your degree include:

  • The Catamount Core Curriculum, which is designed to expose students to the intellectual breadth of the liberal arts, develop the skills needed to integrate and apply diverse areas of knowledge, and build the foundations for lifelong learning and active participation in local and global communities. The Catamount Core Curriculum is made up of 21 credits in Liberal Arts, 9 credits in Core Skills, and 12 credits in Common Ground Values, for a total of 42 credits. Many of these requirements will be fulfilled by the Rubenstein School Core Curriculum and program requirements for your major.
  • The Rubenstein School Core Curriculum is designed to cultivate the skills and knowledge that we believe are central to the study of natural resources and the environment. The Core Curriculum's eight required courses (25 total credits) are taken sequentially and cut across all academic programs within the School, integrating the natural and social sciences to foster a deeper understanding of complex environmental issues. As a first year student in the Rubenstein School, you will be taking NR 1010: Natural History & Human Ecology and NR 1050: Critical Reflection & Dialogue in your first semester.
An infographic depicting the courses offered in the RSENR Core Curriculum, all of which are outlined in writing via the core curriculum page previously linked.

Step 2: Course Registration

  • Please review your pre-registered schedule ahead of your course registration group advising meeting. Your schedule includes any classes required for your major, as well as additional degree-applicable courses appropriate for a first-year student. You will have the chance to add and/or change classes during your group advising meeting.
  • To review your pre-registered schedule, log-in to your myUVM account and click the "My Schedule" tab. You will see a weekly overview of your schedule and can click on each course entry to see the course title.
  • If you need to add or swap any classes in your pre-registered schedule, it's helpful to have identified some interests. Take a look through the Fall Schedule of Courses to explore by subject and/or search by General Education requirements to see if any classes seem interesting!
  • In order to make changes to your schedule (and register for classes in upcoming semesters), you’ll need to know how to use the UVM registration system. We will go over this process in our advising meetings and in November ahead of Spring course registration.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please connect with a Rubenstein School Advisor before making changes to your schedule! Feel free to reach out to our general email or to any of our advisors directly.

Step 3: Prepare for Your Group Advising Meeting

  • Set up Microsoft Teams, download the app or access it via web browser and log-in using your UVM credentials. Test your account before your first meeting. If possible, please join your advising meeting from a computer rather than a mobile device, as we will be navigating webpages and resources together. 
  • Take any relevant placement tests, such as the Math Placement Assessment (needed for MATH 1212: Fundamentals of Calculus I and above, a required course for ENSC, WFB, and SEP: Applied Ecology). If you are an undeclared student considering any of the majors listed above, it is highly recommended that you complete the MPA ahead of your advising meeting. The Foreign Language Placement Test is necessary if you plan to take a language course. 
  • This is all a lot to take in! Your advising meeting is also a time to ask questions, we recommend coming prepared with questions and taking some notes along the way.

Step 4: If You Haven't Already

  • Download the UVM Navigate App and explore the many helpful tools and functions (like scheduling an appointment with your advisor).
  • If you took any AP Exams, review the AP Comparability Guide to see how those credits may contribute toward your degree.
  • Get into the habit of checking your UVM email regularly and often. This is how all UVM information will be disseminated moving forward.