Vermont’s Best Large Four-Year Universities
The University of Vermont: Queen of Vermont’s Higher Education System
The good people of Vermont are well aware of the supreme value of a higher education, and the state is home to several internationally prestigious colleges and universities. Though the majority of the state’s institutions of higher education are rather small in comparison with other states (below the 10,000 enrollment mark), there are a handful of fairly large four-year universities that offer people from Vermont as well as from all over the nation and the world the right opportunities to get ahead in life and in the workforce. Mostly based in the state’s bigger cities, these schools, which include the University of Vermont, Champlain College and Saint Michael’s College, represent an excellent chance for getting a bachelor’s degree no matter who you are or where you’re from.
The sheer size difference between the University of Vermont (UVM), which is the state’s largest, and the next-largest schools is quite impressive, the difference being more or less that of 5-to-1. Enrollment currently stands at around 10,000 undergrad students, a complete rarity in Vermont. The school’s setting is quite attractive, resting atop one of the hills in the city of Burlington and overlooking Lake Champlain on one side, and the campus comprises a total of more than 450 acres.
The academic reputation of UVM is quite strong, and it has been deemed a member of the “Public Ivy” group of schools across the country. Established all the way back in 1791 (which makes it one of the nation’s most veteran schools, a common thing in Vermont), UVM is currently divided into 10 colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Social Services, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Nursing and Health Sciences, Environment and Natural Resources, Medicine, Honors, and the Charles A. Dana Medical Library.
The University of Vermont leads various research programs that are intertwined with the state’s largely rural and agricultural economy, and UVM is widely considered to be one of the more “green-friendly” schools in the nation. The school’s Dudley H. Davis Center is the US’s first student center to be given a LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, a factoid that the institution, its faculty and its students are quite proud of.
As a big state school, UVM has got many athletics programs for students to take advantage of, from top-level Division I teams to recreational sporting activities, many of which take advantage of the unique and gorgeous natural surroundings of northern Vermont.
Also located in the city of Burlington is Champlain College, another of the state’s largest four-year universities—yet this time with an enrollment of about 2,500. Champlain College is a private institution that has been providing higher education since 1878, serving for a brief while strictly as a business college. Though Champlain College has evolved into much more than just a business school, it still retains a professional inclination in higher education with a strong interdisciplinary orientation.
The academic divisions within the school are: Business, Communication and Creative Media, Education and Human Studies, and Information Technology and Sciences. Each division has approximately a half-dozen or so specific possible majors within it, such as Psychology, Social Work, Accounting, Marketing, Broadcast and Streaming Media, Game Design, Computer Science and Innovation, and Wed Development and Design.
Champlain College is a great four-year school to go to for opportunities to head overseas, as it has a satellite campus in Mumbai as well as two study abroad campus locations in Dublin and in Montreal. There are also quite a few online study options at the school.
It is pretty safe to say that Middlebury College is the most prestigious of Vermont’s large four-year universities, and indeed it likely has the strongest academic reputation of all the state’s schools, private or public, large or small. Middlebury has constantly been an institution straddling the vanguard, and since its founding in 1800 the school has achieved many “firsts” that have bolstered its reputation further still. It was the first college to grant a four-year degree to an African American back in the early 1800s, and it was again in the news in the late 1800s when it spearheaded the trend of all-male schools turning coeducational.
Diversity is stronger here than in most Vermont colleges, as Middlebury is the home to students from more than 70 different countries and from all 50 states in the Union. Academically speaking it stands out above all else as a school with an excellent language department, known for its incredibly intense summer programs; the ten languages the department teaches are Italian, Japanese, Arabic, French, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. A curious aspect to Middlebury is the academic calendar, which is set on a 4-1-4 basis: 4 courses in the Fall followed by a single course during the Winter term (often used to perform individual research) and then another 4 courses in the Spring.
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