Is the University of Vermont a Good School?

The University of Vermont is located in the Vermont state capital of Burlington.  Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont is nestled along the shores of Lake Champlain and about a two-hour drive from Montreal, Canada.

The University of Vermont is an excellent school for students, especially state residents, who have an interest in STEM programs or environmental and social justice issues and want to attend a liberal public university in a location that offers many opportunities outside the college campus.

If you’re trying to decide which school to attend to further your education, read on to learn more about what makes the University of Vermont a good choice.

University of Vermont

What Makes the University of Vermont a Good School?

The University of Vermont is also known locally as UVM, which stands for Universitas Viridis Montis, or University of the Green Mountains.  It is a well-respected, Public Ivy university and a top 100 research institution. 

With an enrollment of 11,081, it’s sized perfectly to blend the charm and family-feel of a small school with big-school learning opportunities.

U.S. News ranks the University of Vermont as #117 in National Universities.  Let’s take a closer look at UVM to see why it gets that running and what makes it a great place to spend your college years.


According to Parade, Burlington, Vermont ranks as the 16th best college town in the country.  With three institutions of higher learning in town, Burlington is full of college students and the energy and enthusiasm they bring to life.

Burlington is a walkable city located on the shores of Lake Champlain with plenty of outdoor activities around like bike trails and winter sports.  The city is a regional mecca for cultural offerings such as art and music as well as boasting numerous breweries and coffee shops.


Along with all the benefits of its choice location, the University of Vermont provides outstanding educational offerings for both undergraduate and graduate-level students.  Seven undergraduate colleges give students over 100 undergrad degree options and 54 masters and 25 doctoral programs.

The university’s seven colleges include:

  • College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Education & Social Services
  • College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences
  • College of Nursing & Health Sciences
  • Grossman School of Business
  • Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources

In addition to classroom learning, UVM provides students opportunities to apply newly learned knowledge to real-life, hands-on situations through travel-study, service learning, and internships.  Chances abound to work with faculty on research in a variety of subject areas and in modern labs on campus, including a newly opened STEM facility.

Graduate students in the renowned College of Medicine program are also an active presence at nearby Vermont Medical Center.

UVM offers a great education if you want to put in some elbow grease. I’ve loved almost every single professor I’ve had, they’re very supportive. UVM is a small school but large enough that it feels like there’s enough to do and there are enough opportunities. I’m very content with my experience, even though it’s not a diverse study body.

Faculty and Student Information

The 11,081 enrolled students enjoy small class sizes as the norm.  Average undergrad classes run about 34 students.  The student/faculty ratio is an intimate 16:1. 

With such small numbers, professors and students can get to know each other well.  Students aren’t just a number in a huge auditorium at UVM but have the opportunity to interact extensively with their professors.

At UVM, 99% of the classes are taught by professors and 88% of the faculty holds a Ph.D. or the highest possible degree in their field.

The Honors Program at UVM

University of Vermont’s Honors Program brings together highly gifted students from a wide range of campus academic programs into a multi-disciplinary and challenging environment. 

Students are expected to live in the Honors housing at University Heights.  For those who qualify, the Honors Program is a wonderfully enriching experience.


A Vermont resident who attends UVM can expect to pay a total of $32,416 per year in tuition, fees, and room and board.  Of that, tuition is $16,392 and room and board are $13, 354.

Out-of-state students will pay a total of $67,304 of which $41,280 is tuition.

Scholarships, grants, and numerous need-based financial aid options are available for students.  UVM ranks 84/99 for need-based assistance, determined by percentages of students who had need and received partial or complete aid.

UVM is a school that wants to market themselves as being diverse, outdoorsy and plenty of opportunities given. I would consider that to be half true, they do work hard to make themselves more diverse and make the student body feel more united but the followthrough is not always consistent. There are plenty of things to do outdoors but you have to drive to them and not having a car on campus your first year or having trouble to get a parking pass after your second year is almost not even worth it. That being said there are plenty of really cool things to do once you find them and can get to them.

Related Article: 425 Colleges Charging In-State Tuition for Out-of-State Applicants

Campus Life

When it’s time to take a break from studies, the University of Vermont offers students plenty of things to do. There are more than 250 on-campus student clubs and organizations, including 29 honor societies, 7 religious groups, and 6 social sororities.

UVM participates in Division 1 athletics with 9 men’s sports and 12 women’s sports.  Intramural sports provide an [physical outlet and fitness opportunity for many students while also helping build camaraderie with others.

UVM estimates that over 80% of students participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities.  There really is something for everyone!

School Rankings

The University of Vermont is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is # 54 in top public schools, according to U.S. News College Rankings.  It ranks #103 in Best Value among similar schools.  Overall the U.S News gives UVM a score of 59 out of 100.

Niche has UVM ranked as the third most liberal university in the country and # 30 for best agricultural sciences in America.

Is the University of Vermont a Party School?

The University of Vermont has the reputation of being a big party school.  According to comments on Unigo, UVM has historically been known as a light drug user’s paradise.  Liberal political leanings on campus allow drug use to be a more accepted part of student life.

With its strong emphasis on environmental concerns, the school attracts a lot of students who like the outdoors.  That and the vibrant art and music scene in town has resulted in the label of “hippies” being associated with UVM students. 

How Does the University of Vermont Compare to Other Schools?

The University of Vermont compares favorably with other New England schools of similar size.  For example, the University of Rhode Island has similar enrollment numbers and tuition rates.  However, UVM beats URI when it comes to financial aid offered and the quality of students (based on higher SAT and ACT scores).

Another school, the University of New Hampshire, mirrors UVM on most criteria, but again UVM has higher quality students based on SAT and ACT scores and offers more financial aid.


The University of Vermont offers Vermont residents as well as out-of-state students an affordable college experience that leads to a marketable degree.  It’s a particularly good school for those who want to pursue environmental, medical, or STEM-related careers.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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