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Vermont College

Study what interests you! Experienced faculty mentors help you design a personalized plan of study in the discipline of your choice such as psychology, the arts, history, or business. For example, study sociology through your own family's immigration story, or approach environmental studies through a contamination issue in your community, or study the social history of baseball stadiums.

The Vermont College Undergraduate Program (VCU) of Union Institute & University invites you to follow your passions through academic study while meeting your professional and personal goals. For more than four decades Vermont College Undergraduate Program has been offering innovative education designed with the adult learner in mind.

An individualized concentration in a liberal arts area is a requirement of the bachelor's degree. The Vermont College Undergraduate's faculty and staff will assist each learner in designing an appropriate study which may be in one area or discipline such as psychology, history, or business. Or it may be interdisciplinary; for example, environmental studies, women's studies, or holistic studies. A student's final or culminating study is the capstone project of their program.

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Programs Offered:

  • Business
    The business, management, and organizational development option of the Vermont College's undergraduate program (formerly known as the Adult Degree Program) is designed for working adults who wish to improve their business skills, earn a bachelor of arts degree, or prepare for graduate school. We take into account that working adults may already know a lot about business and management. Accordingly, adults in the undergraduate program can customize their education to their own backgrounds, interests, and career plans; to learn new things and not have to study subjects they already know. Executives and others who must relocate frequently find our undergraduate program a good alternative because they don't have to change colleges when they change homes.

    The professional focus areas of the business and management option include marketing, finance, organizational development, entrepreneurship, and policy planning and operations. Underlying these areas are the foundation disciplines of economics, history, psychology, law, communications, and math.


  • Art
    Students of all abilities in Vermont College's undergraduate program (formerly known as the Adult Degree Program) undertake studies in painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, collage, multimedia, crafts, art history, art criticism, and theater art.

    Combined with other areas, the study of art provides good preparation for careers in graphic art, Web design, journalism, education, and other fields (our teacher education program includes licensure in kindergarten through 12th grade art.).

    The undergraduate students who graduate with a concentration in art often go on to the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art degree.


  • Counseling & Psychology
    Psychology is useful for professional preparation in social work, human services, business and management, teacher education, and other areas.

    In addition, students often study psychology because they want to understand themselves and others better, or because they seek a theoretical or scholarly knowledge of things that have been happening in their lives. Finally, students sometimes pursue interdisciplinary study projects in psychology, such as religion and psychology, psychohistory, art and psychology, and organizational psychology.


  • Writing & Literature
    Serious writers will find a home in Vermont College's undergraduate program (formerly known as the Adult Degree Program). Whether you are just beginning or are an experienced writer, the undergraduate faculty can work with you on fiction, poetry, memoir, essay journalism, and other kinds of writing.

    The study and enjoyment of literature - American, European, Asian, contemporary, classical, women's literature, working-class literature, and others greatly enriches people's understanding of the human condition.

    Students frequently find that writing and literature provide good preparation for careers in law, business, education, and human services. A number of our graduates have gone on to the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, and have published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.


  • Environmental Studies
    The global environmental crisis will be a major theme of the twenty-first century. If there are conflicts between human needs and the health of the planet, how do we weight the balance? Understanding the many facets of these questions falls into the realm of environmental literacy and requires knowledge of the natural sciences, statistical analysis, and mathematics. Students can use the world around them as a classroom to explore the discipline of ecology and the computer as a tool to model processes and analyze data. They can explore attitudes and actions toward the environment through the study of literature, philosophy, design and engineering, and qualitative research methods.

    Careers such as law, business, education, medicine, and politics require environmental and scientific literacy. Issues such as genetic research and testing, economic development, global warming, math and science education, educational testing, technological change, legal forensics, and income and property taxation are decided not by scientists but by politicians and authorities in other fields. Understanding these issues and the long-term consequences of society's decisions about them requires a good comprehension of the science and mathematics involved. Study in these areas provides students with many of the fundamental skills required for educated, thoughtful global citizenship.


  • Teacher Education
    Vermont College's undergraduate program (formerly known as the Adult Degree Program) is approved by the Vermont Department of Education to prepare teachers for licensure in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary English, secondary social studies, secondary math, secondary science, and K-12 art education.

    Students receive a Vermont license to teach upon successful completion of the program's teacher education option. Vermont has reciprocal agreements with many other states to accept each other's licenses; the Vermont Department of Education Web site lists these reciprocal agreements.


  • Women's Studies
    The feminist movement, one of the great social movements of the twentieth century, has produced an explosion of scholarship focused on the role of women in such diverse fields as law, science, literature, philosophy, politics, art, business, and religion. Women's studies projects can range across time and cultures and can be broadly interdisciplinary or intensely personal. Students study women's fiction, autobiography, poetry, the visual arts, music, the history of women, the roles women have played in shaping society, women's psychology, and feminist theory and philosophy.

    Students may also focus on the role of men in society. As with women's studies, a focus on men can be historical, scientific, cross-cultural, personal, or take a combined approach.


  • Holistic Studies
    The holistic approach, although relatively new to formal college study, has deep roots in Western and world cultures. A holistic education recognizes that the emotions, soul, and spirit are educable and as important for human development and meaning as is the education of the intellect and moral sense. Spirituality, for this reason, has a home in holistic studies. The holistic approach is also characterized by interdisciplinarity, a concern with qualitative and quantitative analysis, and the inclusion of nontraditional content from different cultures and traditions. Used wisely, the holistic approach can be a powerful critical and synthetic tool. Students often undertake holistic studies because they aim to do graduate work in transpersonal psychology, acupuncture, homeopathy, movement therapy, and other expressive therapies.


  • Historical, Social & Cultural Studies
    Adult learners are intensely curious about the world around them. How the economy really works, western and eastern religions, the breakup of the Soviet Union and the new states of central Asia, international terrorism, and history of the common person are some of the topics adults study in the undergraduate program. Some students are also deeply interested in events in which they may have personally participated, such as the Vietnam War or the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, many students are interested in what they can do to shape the future. The study of history, sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics are all relevant to these aims. Study in these areas also has direct application in professional fields. For example, the study of economics, history, sociology, and political science are crucial foundations for business and management, law, human services, and education.


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Degree Criteria


The strength of a liberal arts education-in contrast to on-the-job learning or technical training-is that you get beneath the surface; you learn not only how but also why. In addition, a liberal arts education strengthens the skills that stay with you forever: writing, critical thinking, thoughtful reading, and the ability to learn independently. For these reasons a bachelor's degree is especially attractive to graduate schools and employers. The Vermont College Undergraduate's degree criteria ensure that you are broadly and generously educated. The degree criteria are satisfied through Vermont College Undergraduate study projects and seminars, appropriate learning from approved transfer credit and certified learning (ask for additional information on our advanced standing options).

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