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Vermont College Visits

on February 9, 2011 in College Visits

6.19.12-024The University of Vermont, located in the popular college town of Burlington, is an excellent mid-sized choice for students interested in a New England experience. There are just over 10,000 undergraduates, approximately 1500 graduate students, and 460 medical students.

UVM boasts many strong programs, with extensive choices in fields from animal science and geology to neuroscience and engineering. Unique programs include sustainable landscape horticulture and plant biology. The proximity of the medical school and hospital allows students to intern in a variety of programs.

Environmental Programs such as Environmental Studies, Science and Engineering are popular. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences boasts the new Dairy Center of Excellence, working to create research partnerships between UVM scientists and local private farms.

UVM students get a break from the long winters at the modern Fitness and Recreation Center and can enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors on nearby Lake Champlain, or in the Adirondack and Green Mountains. The Division I athletic teams are popular.

Middlebury Campus

Nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains, Middlebury College is a highly selective liberal arts college of 2,350 undergraduates that reaches beyond Vermont to engage in global issues. With strong language and study abroad programs, Middlebury students spend their four years developing the creative, social and leadership skills necessary in a changing worldwide economy.

Most classes at Middlebury are small, with a mean size of 16, and faculty members teach all classes.  Strong programs in environmental studies and the sciences allow students to engage with their professors and work in both a research and internship capacity.

Freshmen participate in first-year seminars, which are discussion-based courses with a strong writing component. These courses help support students in transition to college-level work, and the professor also serves as the students’ first-year advisor. Middlebury students usually know many faculty members well by the time they graduate, allowing for excellent recommendations for graduate school.

Athletics are important at Middlebury, with 28% of students participating in one of 31 NCAA Division III varsity sports. The calendar is a 4-1-4 program, allowing students to take interesting courses during the month-long Winter Term. Students have a distribution requirement that promotes a depth of engagement in a variety of disciplines.

The Snow Bowl, Middleburys Own Ski Hill


With just 300 students who design their own courses of study, or Plan of Concentration, Marlboro College in Brattleboro is one of the country’s smallest. Marlboro is “small by design.” This is a niche college, where students become an integral part of the community by participating in a monthly town meeting with faculty and staff. Committees include those for organic farms, social justice and campus food. The value system promotes a personal connection as all students and faculty are on a first-name basis. Marlboro’s outdoor program is very popular.

Courses for assembling a self-designed program include American Studies, anthropology, environmental studies, computer science, and astronomy, among others. Students need to be self-starters from day one, engaging in their own education and the surrounding campus community. All students defend a thesis prior to graduation, with faculty members attending from Williams and other institutions. Tutorial, student-directed seminars are the basis for Marlboro’s independent study method.

Champlain College is a small college located near the University of Vermont in Burlington. Champlain has four academic Divisions: 1) Business, 2) Communication and Creative Media, 3) Education and Human Services, and 4) Information Technology and Sciences. Champlain prides itself in combining the liberal arts tradition with professional training. Students can intern while studying at the campus in Montreal, or in many cities around the U.S.

Champlain Student Projects: Division of Communication and Creative Media

The popular Communication and Creative Media Division is highly innovative and combines professional experience with academic expertise. Students can major in any of these specialties:

Bennington College students have no core curriculum or distribution requirements for any specific major. Studies are combined in one to two areas, and students work directly with a faculty member to address their focus. Students at Bennington must take responsibility for their own educations. Arts enrich everything on this campus of 650 students, with excellent programs in dance, music and photography.

Because the campus is rural and the student body is small, the January/February “Field Work” term (that can be taken anywhere in the world) is integral to the Bennington experience. Students must intern, work, volunteer or study abroad during this term. One-third of students use this opportunity to go to New York City, where Bennington staff help find reasonable housing, including the Bennington-subsidized housing in Brooklyn. Half of all freshmen go to NYC to complete an internship. Bennington alums are big supporters of the program, helping students find internships worldwide.

One of the new Bennington College Houses featured in Architectural Record.

Bennington faculty members do not get tenure, and many work in their field of study. The breadth of classes is always changing. Students who can handle the freedom that this curriculum offers are successful at Bennington, and Admissions looks for students with the potential to succeed in this kind of environment. Bennington is ideal for those who want personal attention from the faculty and administration. Housing on campus adds to this strong sense of community, with 25 to 30 students living together in a house with a fireplace and central meeting area. Students must live on campus all four years. All students eat together in the Commons, and during finals the faculty feed students at the traditional “Midnight Breakfast.”

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