UVM Undergraduate Advising

Hello Undergrads in my advising group!

I’m Dr. Hughes Lansing, a professor in the Dept. of Psychological Science and a faculty in our clinical psychology PhD training program. This is my 4th year here at UVM.

Step 1- CAS vs Psych Faculty Advising:

I am not a professional advisor (like first or second year)… I’m a professor!

Things I am really good as a professor of psychology in helping with
  • understanding career choices in psychology (esp all the clinical options)
  • learning what you need to do to apply to graduate school (any discipline)
  • helping you connect with other psychology faculty for research or thesis experiences
  • helping you sort out what psychological science classes to take to fit your needs
  • figuring out a plan for where to go/what to do next when school isn’t going well or you need accommodations
  • navigating building professional relationships with faculty

For many things the fastest way to get an answer is STILL through CAS advising or other University Services! In Step 2 I’ll guide you to the right place!

Step 2-Resources and Recommendations:

Find your question topic here and review the resources!

Use ctrl-F to search for keywords related to your question or browse/scroll by topics!

If you’ve reviewed my recommended resources and I don’t recommend contacting someone else or you still have questions that is the perfect time to schedule advising!

Fill out the form in Step 3 to schedule advising. I look forward to chatting!

Career Choices: How to decide, What can I do in Psychology, and Do I need to go to Grad School

A bachelor’s degree in psychology doesn’t land you in one specific job (e.g., not like a teaching or nursing degree)!  A lot of students wonder what career they will pursue with their degree.  Most students with psychology degrees go on to get graduate degrees to formalize their career path.  Take a look at some of the options below and resources.

Not at all sure what I want to do, how do I decide:

Visit the UVM career center– they have drop in hours and great tools for helping you find your interests and careers that align with those interests and skills.

https://www.uvm.edu/career

I want to know my options right out of finishing my bachelor’s degree:

Check out this great resource with ideas for next steps! https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/psn/2018/01/bachelors-degree

UVM’s Organizational psychology Class PSYS 3350 also works through some of these options.

I want to learn about mental health provider careers (social work, family therapist, school psych, clinical psych, psychiatry etc):
Here are a two great resources that outline your options as a mental health provider:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oo931eOoGDao4KrOKYwi8p2PLLt-KPqJ/view
https://mitch.web.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4922/2017/02/MitchGradSchoolAdvice.pdf

What other types of graduate degree level careers can I do from psychology:
Check out ideas for psychologists that do other kinds of jobs:
https://www.apa.org/education-career/guide/paths
Gather info on health professional school training:
https://www.uvm.edu/career/health-professions

Preparing to Apply to Graduate School (any kind)

A bachelor’s degree in psychology doesnt land you in one specific job (e.g., not like a teaching or nursing degree)!  Most students with psychology degrees go on to get graduate degrees to formalize their career path.  Check the option above for career options if you want more details there.

Master’s and PhD programs have overlapping requirements you can think about now:

– a CV (examples here: https://www.uvm.edu/career/your-guide-cvs and https://icc.ucdavis.edu/materials/resume/samples)

– a personal statement (examples here: https://www.uvm.edu/career/personal-statements and https://clinicalpsych.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/211/2017/12/Personal-Statement.pdf)

– Three letters of recommendation– start thinking now who those could be for you.  Usually you have 1-2 professors whose classes you’ve taken and know you well and can speak to your skills academically and maybe depending on the experience with research. A third letter often comes from a more applied mentor, perhaps from volunteering in the community or a job you’ve held during college.

– maybe the GRE (check to see if your pathway will require by finding programs you might apply to and reviewing their requirements– this used to be standard but now lots of places do not require it)

Steps:
1. Decide what type of program (see careers section)
2. Identify schools that have this program (usually just googling based on location or discipline and sometimes you’ll find an association that keeps lists of programs)
3. Determine if UVM has a similar program and if you can identify a faculty member to connect with (see connecting with faculty section)
4. Review possible schools for their deadline and requirements
5. Gather experiences now that are related or will help with letters of recommendation
6. Ensure you have taken required courses for this area based on the admissions requirements you find in your search
7. Prepare application materials and have them edited and reviewed by another party before submitting https://www.uvm.edu/undergradwriting

I’m interested in health professions (Dental, nursing, MD etc):
Gather info on health professional school training and applications:
https://www.uvm.edu/career/health-professions

Finding a Faculty Lab for a Thesis or Research Experience

Joining a faculty member’s lab can be a very helpful way to build your resume to prepare for graduate school, to get to know a faculty member, have a strong letter writer for graduate school, learn what careers you might like, etc!

If your long-term interests are outside of psychology then you can follow similar steps to find a lab in another department.  I’ll focus on within psychological sciences here!

1. Identify what areas of psychology interest you most… animal research check out our biobehavioral faculty labs…child development see our developmental faculty labs…psychopathology see our clinical faculty labs.  Head over to the faculty section of the UVM Psych science undergrad research webpage to read about all the faculty and what they do.  See what sparks your interest or fits with a potential future career path.

https://www.uvm.edu/cas/psychology/becoming-undergraduate-research-assistant-psychological-science

2. Know that faculty mostly mentor within their areas of expertise and ongoing research studies in the lab, so you’ll want to identify things that interest you in their work (even if pursuing an honors thesis), even if its not exactly what you want to do you need to mostly stay in those boundaries.
3. Email that faculty mentor (see my template below for an idea of how to email faculty wtih an intro) and tell them about you and why you are interested in researching in their lab.  Ask them for instructions on how you can learn more (labs have all different ways students join).
4. You can email more than one faculty member but joining more than one lab can be really tricky time wise!
5. The earlier you join a lab the easier it is to find a thesis advisor if you do go that route!
6. Some labs will allow you to join a lab meeting to get to know the area and team before you do more hours of work in the lab.  Others you will need to be prepared to commit time 3-9 hours a week in the lab.  You can get units for that experience if the faculty mentor has space and time. See more details in the link above.
7. Professional communication is key with the faculty member and all their research team including other staff, grad students, and undergrad students.

Getting to Know Professors (including me), Going to Office Hours

These blogs all share ideas about how to approach office hours or getting to know faculty.  Once of my favorite pieces of advice is to get to know the professor from their online presence first so you have an idea of what kinds of questions you might ask about that fit their expertise.  Faculty love sharing about their field and areas of work with students who show that interest!

https://heysunny.asu.edu/blog/your-fear-office-hours-about-end-guide-meeting-professors

https://www.ucdavis.edu/majors/blog/tips-for-getting-to-know-your-professors

https://las.illinois.edu/news/blog/las-insider/2018-09-24/three-tips-getting-know-your-professors

https://www.georgefox.edu/bruin-blog/posts/2021/07/8-professor-questions-college-101/index.html

Just wanting to get to know me? Perfect, please check out the getting to know faculty resources above to think about questions you might have for me to help me get to know you and then lets find a time to meet!

Prospective graduates/seniors Must do List

Important reminders for senior and prospective graduates:

  • Check your UVM email no less than once a week All reminders for requirements will be sent to your student UVM email address. Read any correspondence from the Dean’s Office carefully.
  • Complete the on-line Intent to Graduate Form This form is required in order to graduate and should be completed the semester before you intend to graduate in order to assure that there aren’t any last minute issues.
  • Review ALL parts of your Degree AuditThe Degree Audit Report is utilized for certification of degree completion. Your Degree Audit Report should correctly reflect your remaining requirements. If you believe there are errors, e-mail the Dean’s Office as soon as possible. Check that your declared major and your minor are accurate. If not, correct it by accessing a change of major form.
  • Contact Rebecca.Watson@uvm.edu the CAS Degree Completion Coordinator to discuss degree audit questions and exceptions.
  • Review transfer credits, if applicable Make sure all credit taken at institutions other than UVM has transferred in properly. If not, contact Transfer Affairs at (802) 656-0867 or transfer@uvm.edu.
  • Meet with your assigned advisor during your last semesters at UVM to review what requirements you need or discuss any academic issues that may arise.
  • Grade resolutions All Incompletes, Missing Grades, and SP’s on your record must be resolved prior to graduation (Check your transcript).
Commencement information for seniors:
  • Only students who have completed all the necessary requirements at the end of the Spring semester are permitted to participate in the ceremony.
  • Run your Degree Audit Report once all of your final semester’s grades are processed and if it states “All requirements identified below have been met” then you will be certified for graduation.
  • You must have a cap and gown in order to be in the ceremony. They are available for purchase at the UVM Bookstore.
  • University Honors will not be calculated until all grades for the Spring semester are processed. The medallion may be picked up at 438 College Street during normal work hours before commencement or given at the time of lineup Sunday morning.
  • Information and details about Commencement are available on the Commencement website. This includes information about UVM’s ceremony and the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony. Check the site frequently for updates. Changes to locations due to inclement weather are posted starting at 6:00 a.m. on Commencement day.
Getting Back on Track Academically or with your Health and Well-being

If you are on academic probation or struggling with classes or well-being, it is important that you utilize all of the resources on campus. We encourage you to meet with a CAS advisor in the Dean’s Office to see which of the resources listed below may be most appropriate in assisting you to reach your goal of getting off of probation, improving academic progress, or improving wellbeing.

CAS appointments can be made through the Navigate app. Same-day appointments can be made by emailing cas@uvm.edu, or by calling (802) 656-3344.

You can also discuss your plans with your Faculty Advisor so they know what you are working on this semester.

Resources

The Tutoring Center offers academic support programs for students:

  • Study Skills: Strategies that can be applied to all classes.
  • Subject-Area Tutoring: One-on-one tutoring in most introductory courses.
  • Supplemental Instruction: Facilitated group study in selected large lecture courses.
  • The Writing Center: Assistance with papers for any class.

Student Accessibility Services provides accommodation, consultation, collaboration and educational support services as a means to foster opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in a barrier-free learning environment.

The Mosaic Center for Students of Color exists to ensure that African, Latino(a), Asian, Native American, Multiracial and New American students succeed at the University of Vermont.

The Office of International Education meets with international students on academic probation to discuss immigration implications.

Career Services offers career counseling and advising, job search workshops, a career information library, on-campus interviewing, and help with resume preparation.

The University’s Center for Health and Wellbeing provides accessible, high-quality, cost-effective, prevention-oriented primary health care, mental health counseling, and a wide range of prevention and educational outreach programs and referral services designed specifically to meet the needs of the UVM students and community. Their services are geared to support both the mental and physical health essential to the intellectual and personal development of University students, enabling them to participate fully in University life.

Available CHW services include:

  • Alcohol & Drug Services
  • Athletic Medicine/Sports Therapy
  • HOPE Help Overcome Problem Eating
  • Medical Clinic/Student Health
  • Mindfulness Practice Center
  • Travel Health Clinic
  • Nutrition Services
  • Occupational Health Clinic
  • Office of Conflict Resolution
  • SHARES Sexual Harassment and Rape & Education Services
Health, Legal, Writing and Learning Skills, Residential Issues, Academic Accommodations

Academic advisors in the Department of Psychological Science have expertise in scholarly issues, especially as they pertain to psychological science. 

If you seek advice and support for other issues, such health, legal matters, writing and learning skills, general career planning, lifestyle/residential issues, or academic accommodations, you may want to check out some of the other free professional advising that UVM offers. The College of Arts & Sciences Student Services can help you to identify the resources most likely to meet your needs.

Appointments with CAS Student Services

Appointments can be made through the Navigate app. 

Same-day appointments can be made by emailing cas@uvm.edu, or by calling (802) 656-3344. 

Remote or in-person preference is selected when making your appointment. 

Contact Phone (802) 656-3344 

E-mail: cas@uvm.edu 

438 College St. 

https://www.uvm.edu/cas/student_services

Other Resources:

Student Accessibility Services: https://www.uvm.edu/academicsuccess/student_accessibility_services

Student Finances: https://www.uvm.edu/studentfinancialservices

Student Health (medical care, mental health, well-being): https://www.uvm.edu/health

In the event of illness or injury requiring hospitalization or extended absence from classes, with permission from the student, student health can notify the student’s Dean’s Office who will then contact the student’s faculty. They will not give any information (including verifying that a student has been seen or date of visit) without the permission of the student. Please contact student health to request a letter be sent to the College of Arts and Sciences.

Medical Withdrawal: https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/UVM-Policies/policies/medicalwithdrawal.pdf

Study Abroad

1. Visit the study abroad website and follow their steps for exploring options.

https://www.uvm.edu/oie/getting_started

2. Once you’ve followed their process to create a study abroad plan, you will be asked to schedule a meeting with me to review your plan.

Any additional questions about finances, applications, acceptances all go to the OIE study abroad folks.

PSYS Classes and Planning (Course numbering, research credits, teaching assitantships, classes with applied experience, general advice on what classes to take when, 3000 classes)

Planning for what classes to take including Course numbering questions, Research credits, Teaching Assistantships, classes with applied/clinical experience:

Your college and degree set the boundaries for what classes you have to take to graduate, but you can tailor it to fit your interests

Faculty advisors are a great resource in planning a schedule of courses and ensuring that your course selections meet graduation requirements. However, the student is ultimately responsible for deciding which courses to take and whether they meet degree requirements. Read the requirements carefully!

Key Info:

1. Changes in course numbering cheat sheet:

https://www.uvm.edu/cas/psychology/course-renumbering

2. Signing up for Research Credits:

https://www.uvm.edu/cas/psychology/becoming-undergraduate-research-assistant-psychological-science

Register for a section of PSYS 2995: Undergraduate Research (instructor permission needed). Most students choose this option.

  • Depending on the needs of the lab and student availability, students may register for 1, 2, or 3 credits. 1 credit = 3-4 hours of work per week, 2 credits = 6-8 hours of work per week, 3 credits = 9-12 hours of work per week.
  • PSYS 2995 counts toward the Psychological Science B.S. degree requirements. For B.A. students, PSYS 2995 counts as an elective. Both B.S. and B.A. students will receive a letter grade for the course.
  • Students and faculty mentors will fill out and sign an Undergraduate Research Form. This documents the expectations for what, when, where, and how students will complete their work in the lab. Faculty will also indicate how the work is graded and what types of assignments students must complete in addition to their practical work in the lab (e.g., papers, presentations).
  • Keep in mind that even if it looks like there are seats open, PSYS 2995 is not a traditional course. As noted above, faculty may only have enough research tasks available for a small number of students.
  • PSYS 2995 is a repeatable course. Please note that BA students must not exceed 45 credits in PSYS and BS students must not exceed 50 credits in PSYS.

3. Signing up to be a Teaching Assistant:

https://www.uvm.edu/cas/psychology/becoming-undergraduate-teaching-assistant-uta-psychological-science

In our department, Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs) are students currently enrolled at UVM (typically majoring in Psychological Science) who assist faculty with their undergraduate courses. UTA experience looks great on a resume and in graduate school applications, and it helps students develop transferable skills that are useful for a wide variety of career outcomes.

Follow the link above for details on how to get a TAship and sign up for credits for PSYS 3991 for that experience.

4. Classes with Applied/Clinical Experience:

Check out the Mentored Clinicail internship year-long class for junior and senior students: https://www.uvm.edu/cas/psychology/mentored-clinical-internship-psychological-science
Check out the Cats on the Move classes which support Dr. Hoza’s research in the community: https://www.uvm.edu/catsmove/how-get-involved. Students can get info about applying to this class experience during the semester before you’d like to enroll. An email is sent out with details each semester.

5. What Classes are usually offered each semester:

Most of our foundational courses, including PSYS 1400 (Introduction to Psychological Science), PSYS 2200 (Biopsychology), PSYS 2300 (Social Psychology), PSYS 2400 (Developmental Psychology: Childhood), and PSYS 2500 (Psychopathology), are offered every semester.

We offer two versions of our Psych Research Methods course, one in the fall and the other in the spring.  In the fall, we offer Psych Research Methods w/lab (PSYS 2000) and this is recommended for majors.  In the spring, we offer Psych Research Methods (no lab; PSYS 2002) and this is recommended for minors.

A few of our foundational courses are offered only in the fall or spring semester – fall semesters: PSYS 2100 (Learning, Cognition and Behavior) spring semesters: PSYS 2010 (Statistics for Psychological Science)

Finally, we offer approximately 18 3000-level PSYS courses every semester.

6. Why classes aren’t approved substitutions for PSYS required classes for research methods and stats:

  • Psychology Research Methods with lab (PSYS 2000; 4 credits) and Statistics for Psychological Science (PSYS 2010) are required courses for all Psychological Science majors.
  • Psychology Research Methods (PSYS 2002; 3 credits) is a required course for all Psychological Science minors.
  • Psychology Research Methods prepares students to understand and evaluate psychological research in a variety of areas of psychology. Statistics in Psychological Science teaches the analysis of quantitative data in psychology.
  • There are other courses at UVM that have “research”, “research methods”, and/or “statistics” in their title. However, only Psychology Research Methods and Statistics for Psychological Science are designed to teach students about research and data analysis in psychology.

**Example UVM courses that do not substitute:

  • GEOG 2550 (Qualitative Research Methods)
  • POLS 2800 (Social Research Methods)
  • SOC 2500 (Social Research Methods)
  • SOC 3500 (Qualitative Research Methods)
  • STAT 1110 (Elements of Statistics)
  • STAT 1410 (Basic Statistical Methods 1)
  • STAT 2830 (Basic Statistical Methods 2)
  • STAT 3000 (Medical Biostatistics & Epidemiology)
  • STAT 3210 (Statistical Methods II)
  • SWSS 2640 (Intro Social Work Research

7. General Advice:

Its hard to give general advice here and there is no RIGHT way to go through classes, but here’s some things I end up repeating often:

  • Take psych stats and research methods by the end of your 2nd year and not in same semester if you can– as you need those classes to get into higher level classes and for research experiences!
  • Its HARD to get into the upper level seminar classes (3000s) until you have senior standing. Make a preference list so if there is an opening in one you know how you’ll prioritize– in the end you may sometimes have to just take whats available to get those credits done.
  • Upper level classes (3000s) require you have taken at least one foundational class in that area (e.g., health psychology needs psychopathology done first), take that foundational class for your favorite upper levels sooner so you can have as many shots as possible to get into those favorite upper level classes.
  • Lay out a plan and update it each semester as you learn what classes you like and dont like!
  • Make plans to explore classes for potential minors (or areas you might want to move to major or double major) in your first year here– they might count as GE/CAS classes or just fill in extra units but offer really important opportunities to learn about what you want from your education.
  • I’ll send out a notice before registration about meeting with folks who have questions about plans for classes before registration opens.
Registration, non-PSYS Classes, Full classes, Overrides

1. Trying to register and classes I need are full!

I am unable to control the registration process.  We have more students that want certain classes than spots. 

If you go to register and a class you want is full, please email the instructor listed as teaching that class.  Only the instructor of record can provide an override to add students to classes once they are full.  Instructors use different methods but I recommend emailing with your name and class and why you wanted or need that class.

Follow your plan for your next top priority classes and enroll in those, you can always withdraw before the drop deadline of the next semester if you get into the other class.

2. Want to register for a class but I’d need an override.

You have to email the instructor of record to request this.  You can request an override for somethings (e.g., prerequisite) before registration begins.  The instructor has the final choice on whether overrides are provided.

3. Want to know more about non-Psychological Science Classes

Outside of if the course meets degree requirements, as a psychology professor I dont know much about other departments class content or special offerings.

Contact either CAS@uvm.edu or the department where those classes are offered for details on the course offerings.

4. Want to meet before registering for classes.

I’ll send out a notice before registration about meeting with folks who have questions about plans for classes before registration opens.

5. I’m trying to register and its not working!

For any concerns about not being able to register, please contact the registrar’s office right away as I do not control those systems! https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/contact-us

Policy and How-to (adding or dropping or choosing Major or Minor, Deadlines for add/drop/withdrawal, Registration Dates, Challenges with registration, grades, audit/pass/no pass, Registrar Holds, Honors list, Billing, Commencement, Academic Probation, Attendance, Class Rank, Refunds)

Registrar and Policy-related Questions:

1. Adding or Dropping or Choosing a Major or Minor: 

Need general support on how to go about choosing a new major or minor: https://www.uvm.edu/career/choosing-or-changing-your-major

Ready to submit a change to or select your Major or Minor or add a double major (etc)– do that with the registrar’s office go to this page and Pick ” Declare or Change Major or Minor” and follow those instructions: https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/forms-students

2. Academic deadlines for adding or dropping classes and for registration windows:

add/drop: https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/academic-calendars

registration schedule: https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/registration-schedule

3. Challenges with registration, grades, add/drop, withdrawal, audit/pass/nopass:

For any concerns about not being able to register, please contact the registrar’s office as I do not control those systems!
https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/contact-us

Common reasons for holds:https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/common-holds

Registrar Office FAQs: https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/frequently-asked-questions

Finds things like– add, drop, withdrawal questions, honors list, billing, commencement, grade questions here.

Grades FAQ: https://www.uvm.edu/registrar/frequently-asked-questions-about-grading and grade appeal policy: https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/UVM-Policies/policies/gradeappeals.pdf

4. CAS Policies on Academic Probation, Add/Drop, Attendance, Audit/Pass/No Pass, Class Rank, Dean’s List, Medical withdrawal, Refunds etc.

https://www.uvm.edu/cas/academic_policies_and_information

Understanding my Degree Audit and Program Requirements

Faculty advisors are a great resource in all aspects of planning a schedule of courses and ensuring that your course selections meet graduation requirements. However, the student is ultimately responsible for deciding which courses to take and whether they meet degree requirements. Read the requirements carefully!

Key Info:

1. University requirements/CAS/Psych Science/Health and Society Requirements (pre 2023-2024 enrollment):

Students must comply with the degree requirements as stated in a single catalogue edition in place during the time they are enrolled. The catalogue edition to be followed is the one in effect at the time the student matriculates at UVM, unless the student requests in writing to follow an edition that is published subsequently during their enrollment at UVM. Students may not mix requirements from different catalogues.

– Catalogues (pick year you started unless you have changed):https://catalogue.uvm.edu/undergraduate/cataloguearchives/

BA psych worksheet (applies to most Jr and Srs): https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/College-of-Arts-and-Sciences/Distribution%20Requirements/21-22_B.A._Distribution_Checklist.pdf

BS psych worksheet (applies to most Jr and Srs):https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/College-of-Arts-and-Sciences/Distribution%20Requirements/21-22_B.S._Distribution_Checklist.pdf

– Health and Society Major/Minor specific info: https://www.uvm.edu/cas/healthsociety/advising

2. University requirements/CAS/Psych Science/Health and Society Requirements NEW 2023-2024:Link to university requirementsLink to CAS requirements

On the CAS page you’ll find links to all the majors and minors requirements for new students moving forward.

3. Petitioning CAS requirements:

Exceptions to the CAS Distribution or general requirements are under the purview of the Academic Studies Committee. For more information, please refer to the CAS Academic Studies Committee Petition Request form, or contact cas@uvm.edu to meet with a CAS advisor.

4. How to Run and Understand Degree Audits (these are in older system version, some things have changed and I will update when CAS updates:
How to Run a Basic Degree Audit: Degree audit sample
How to do What If Audit: What if Audit Link

Internships and Applied Experiences

Psych Science Classes with Applied/Clinical Experience: 

Check out the Mentored Clinical internship year-long class for junior and senior students: https://www.uvm.edu/cas/psychology/mentored-clinical-internship-psychological-science 

Check out the Cats on the Move classes which support Dr. Hoza’s research in the community: https://www.uvm.edu/catsmove/how-get-involved. Students can get info about applying to this class experience during the semester before you’d like to enroll. An email is sent out with details each semester.

CAS Internships:

Not sure where to start? Complete the CAS internship help form, check out the tools on https://www.uvm.edu/cas/internships, and get inspired by our list of past internship locations found on our Internship Search Guide.

Interested in getting CAS credit for your summer internship? Find out how.

University-wide Internships:

Visit the career center:https://www.uvm.edu/career/internships

Check out handshake:https://www.uvm.edu/career/handshake

Step 3-Schedule an Advising Appointment:

Link to scheduling form: https://forms.office.com/r/fUq4FQX4zx