The College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences at UVM combines the advantages of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a major research institution. Students receive an excellent liberal education through close interaction with nationally and internationally recognized scholars. This close interaction helps students acquire the deep knowledge and scholarly discipline that allows them to think critically about the issues they will undoubtedly confront in their professional and personal lives. The college's academic programs acquaint students with the intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic heritage of our complex world. They also prepare students for entry into rewarding careers in a diverse range of fields and for a variety of advanced study opportunities. Increasingly, professional schools, corporate managers, and graduate schools seek individuals who have a broad liberal arts background.

In UVM’s College of Arts and Sciences, students are encouraged to develop depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as the critical thinking and communication skills that are the hallmarks of a liberal education. Students begin developing these skills in a first-year seminar or other first-year experience, and, as they complete degree requirements, they explore a wide range of disciplines spanning literature, the humanities, the arts, foreign languages, the natural and social sciences, and mathematics. The college offers over forty majors or co-majors and more than fifty-five minors from which students may choose.

The Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is located at 438 College Street.

First-Year Programs

Beginning university-level study is challenging. The College of Arts and Sciences offers students programs that help them complete their first year successfully and acquire the skills and background necessary for them to excel throughout their undergraduate careers.

In their first semester, students are encouraged to enroll in a First Year Seminar (FYS), which is designed to help students begin to meaningfully engage with the liberal arts as a cornerstone of their UVM education. FYS courses are interactive and writing intensive. In these seminars, students approach significant issues from a variety of perspectives, developing their critical thinking, oral, and written communication skills. FYS courses also help students discover their interests and reach their academic goals. Every FYS course satisfies the university Writing and Information Literacy 1 (WIL1) requirement and most also fulfill a Catamount Core Liberal Arts requirement. Recent topics have included “Planetology,” “Frankenstein and Climate Change,” “History of the Wild,” and “Chasing Happiness." More than fifty different courses like these are available each year to first-year students.

Another First-Year experience for students in the College of Arts and Sciences at UVM is participation in one of our Liberal Arts Scholars Programs (LASP). These are organized around six disciplinary areas: arts, earth and environment, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and world languages and cultures. Students in these residentially based programs enroll in four connected seminars or classes and live together. The Liberal Arts Scholars Programs are designed for highly motivated first-year students with strong academic records. Admission is by application following formal acceptance to UVM.

Pre-Professional and Graduate School Preparation

Whether a student is interested in medical or dental school, a career in the law, or graduate work in other fields leading to either academic or professional degrees, the College of Arts and Sciences offers excellent opportunities to prepare them for their future.

Medicine and Dentistry

All paths to a career in medicine or dentistry are unique and often reflect personal academic interests. However, there are several courses in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities that medical and dental schools recommend or require prior to applying. These courses are outlined on the Pre-Med UVM website and can, in most cases, be easily completed by College of Arts and Sciences students before graduation, regardless of major or area of focus. Since the practice of medicine involves both art and science, medical schools are eager for students who have studied a range of subjects. A CAS advisor can help students plan out a timeline for completing these courses along with their degree requirements. The Career Center’s Health Professions Advisor is available for guidance throughout a student's time at UVM, as well as after graduation.

Because the College of Arts and Sciences at UVM offers the advantages of a small liberal arts college within the context of a research university, students have ample opportunities to pursue scholarly and creative projects with faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields. Meaningful experiences in laboratories, libraries, archives, and studios help students grow in many of the thinking, reasoning, and character competencies that medical and dental schools expect to see in their applicants.

Growth years between college and medical school matriculation have become the norm. The average age nationally for starting medical school is ~25. CAS graduates routinely pursue impactful experiences before beginning their medical education, including Fulbright (and other) Fellowships, clinical or bench research, hands-on patient care, public health responsibilities, social service work, and teaching, to mention but a few. Currently, CAS graduates are enrolled in medical schools across the country.

The Pre-Medical Enhancement Program (PEP) is a joint program across the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the College of Medicine that provides highly qualified pre-medical students with enhanced opportunities that help them prepare for their futures. Interested students apply to PEP in the second semester of their first year. Students accepted into PEP are assigned a practicing physician-mentor who introduces them to the concepts of patient care and practice management through clinical experiences and regular office-based consultations.

The PEP coordinator in the College of Medicine is a source of information on opportunities for medical research experience and volunteer/employment possibilities in the health sciences or health policy fields. On a monthly basis, students receive listings from this office about special educational offerings within the College of Medicine and the Academic Medical Center. PEP students also participate in practice interviews with members of the University of Vermont Pre-Medical Committee. In their junior year, PEP students can apply to the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine. More information is available in the graduate and professional school section of the Career Center's website.


Many UVM students consider attending law school immediately following graduation or after a few years of full-time employment. UVM has successfully placed its graduates in leading law programs around the country, including at Yale, New York University, Columbia, and the University of Michigan.

The University of Vermont (UVM) and Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) offer unique 3+2 and 3+3 dual-degree programs. These dual-degree programs allow highly focused students to earn both a bachelor’s and a J.D. from two distinguished institutions in less time and at less cost. In addition to these dual-degree programs, VLGS offers a guaranteed admission program for UVM graduates.

Unlike pre-medical programs, where students must take a prescribed set of courses, there is no pre-law curriculum. “What law schools seek in their entering students is not accomplishment in mere memorization,” states the Association of American Law Schools, “but accomplishment in understanding, the capacity to think for themselves, and the ability to express their thoughts with clarity and force.” The Association suggests a broad-based education in the liberal arts that includes work in English, humanities, logic, mathematics, social sciences, history, philosophy, and the natural sciences. The University of Vermont provides guidance to its pre-law students through the Career Center and faculty and staff advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduate Study in Other Fields

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences pursue graduate education in a variety of fields ranging from ethnomusicology and history to journalism and immunology. Recent UVM College of Arts and Sciences graduates have been accepted to institutions such as the University of Wisconsin, Brandeis, Harvard, University of Michigan, Yale, New York University, Princeton, Cornell, Berkeley, Tufts, Duke, London School of Economics, University College London, and University of Toronto.

Secondary Teaching

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences interested in becoming certified to teach in secondary grades (7-12) should review the College of Education and Social Services section titled Teacher Education. All requirements must be fulfilled as listed in the CESS Secondary Education State Approved program and not simply the sequence of professional courses.

Students interested in a career in secondary education can also pursue the Accelerated Master’s Pathway in Secondary Education that prepares them for the classroom and enables them to earn a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching in five years.