Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 
    Apr 13, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Academic Opportunities

The curriculum of Castleton University is designed to provide students both with a solid foundation in the liberal arts and with preparation for selected careers and professions.

To accomplish these goals, Castleton insists that students fulfill General Education requirements as well as the specific requirements of the major or pre-professional program chosen. The General Education requirements provide the common base of knowledge and skills expected of university graduates as well as a sampling of various academic subjects, which have been chosen to broaden the student's knowledge and understanding. As students advance toward their degree, Castleton offers a number of special academic opportunities to enrich their curricular experiences.

Civic Engagement Certificate

This certificate, open to degree-seeking students regardless of major, allows students to develop knowledge and skills necessary for promoting positive change in their communities by combining disciplinary and inter-disciplinary coursework with direct community service, engagement, and leadership. The receipt of the Civic Engagement Certificate will be noted on the student's transcript when the degree is awarded.

Complete the following requirements:

  1. Attend required two-hour orientation and training session.
  2. Declare interest in Civic Engagement program by beginning of junior standing.
  3. Successfully complete four courses designated Civic Engagement: 
    1. At least two of the four courses must be from different General Education Frames of Reference. 
    2. The remaining two courses may be from within or outside the General Education curriculum. 
    3. At least one of the four courses must be at the 3000 level or above.
    4. No more than two courses from any one discipline can be used to complete the four-course requirement.
  4. Complete 160 hours (40 hours average per year) of service fieldwork approved by the Civic Engagement Committee:
    1. Fieldwork related to coursework or to extracurricular activities may be used to complete the 160-hour requirement.
    2. All service, regardless of designation of "service," "engagement," or "leadership" can be counted toward the 160-hour requirement.  
  5. Complete Project/Paper:
    1. After at least three courses and at least 75% of hours are completed, students will prepare project/paper to be completed prior to graduation.
    2. Paper/project may be based upon service hours or Civic Engagement courses, but will be reviewed by a designated panel of faculty at the proposal and final stages.
    3. Project/paper will demonstrate service, engagement, and leadership aspects.

Community Service

Castleton is committed to the idea that community engagement plays a central role in fostering students' personal and social development. Through community service students broaden their life perspective, discover and strengthen their voices, and become aware that their actions can make a difference. The director of community services, internships, and service-learning, located in the Robert T. Stafford Center for the Support and Study of the Community in Moriarty House, creates and maintains partnerships with the community, and coordinates the involvement of students, faculty, and staff in meaningful service initiatives.

Consortium and Contractual Agreements

To broaden the educational opportunities available to Castleton students, Castleton periodically enters into formal agreements with other colleges and universities so that Castleton students can pursue enriching educational work at these other institutions. Consortium agreements can be written between Castleton and other colleges and universities eligible to receive federal financial aid. Contractual agreements are similar to these but are negotiated between Castleton and other higher education institutions, often outside the U.S. that are not eligible to receive federal financial aid but are deemed fully capable of delivering instruction compatible with and supplementary to our curriculum. Students may not complete more than 25% of their degree requirements through contractual agreement study. Students participating in these programs may be eligible to receive financial aid through Castleton for their participation. (Also see related policy under "Prior Approval of Courses for Transfer" and under "Evaluation of Transfer Credits".)

Field Experience

Field experiences are developed in the various departments to provide students with ''real world'' experience in their chosen profession. Field experiences are generally offered as a regular part of a major curriculum with a well-defined, standard set of course outcomes.

First-Year Seminar

Students who graduated from high school within the year prior to matriculating at Castleton are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester.  (Exceptions may be made for students who participated in a full-time early college program.) Transfer students with fewer than 12 credits from an accredited college are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester and those with 12 or more credits are strongly encouraged to take a Transfer Seminar.

These seminars are specially designed courses that emphasize the development of academic skills and the integration of the student into the university community. In conjunction with Common Hour and Soundings, First-Year Seminars assist new students with the transition to university life by providing opportunities for academic, social, and personal development. Students' First-Year Seminar instructors also act as their academic advisors during their first year at Castleton. See General Education Program  for more information.

Honors Scholarship Program

The Castleton Honors Scholarship Program provides high-achieving students with a generous financial aid package, a stimulating academic experience, and a supportive community of peers and professors. The goals of the program are to bolster recruitment and retention of exceptional students and to stimulate a campus climate of intellectual curiosity and academic achievement.

Benefits of the program

  • scholarship of up to $10,000 per year, for four years
  • option to live in Honors housing every year
  • priority registration for classes during the first year
  • enroll in an Honors course every semester of the first and second years
  • opportunity to serve on the student-run Honors Council

Honors Courses

Honors students enroll in one Honors course every semester of their first and second years. Honors courses at Castleton provide a robust, engaging, and enriching experience because:

  • Honors classes have a maximum enrollment of just 20 students.
  • Honors courses are academically rigorous in order to challenge exceptionally motivated students.
  • Honors courses are intellectually stimulating in order to satisfy uncommonly curious students.
  • Honors courses delve into topics with more depth, greater breadth, and at a faster pace, than most courses.
  • Honors courses require a bigger time commitment than most courses (as the students are expected to read more complex material, perform more extensive research, and write more sophisticated analyses).
  • Honors courses are filled with Honors students.

Honors Housing

The purpose of Honors housing is to create a vibrant community that promotes the social life of our Honors students while supporting their academic endeavors. Accordingly, beautiful Audet House is reserved for any Honors students who would like to live with their peers. Honors Housing is staffed by two Community Advisors who are themselves Honors students. The house features special programming geared to Honors students (barbecues, special advising sessions, field trips to graduate schools, etc.). In addition, residents are eligible to participate in the student-run Honors Council, which meets periodically to develop programming and suggest improvements to the Honors Program.

Eligibility for the Honors Program

Reading and Math Combined SAT / ACT Composite Score High School GPA Scholarship Amount
1100 or higher / 24 or higher 3.3/4.0 or higher (88/100)  Up to $10,000

Eligible students are awarded scholarship upon acceptance to the university. Students who choose to accept the scholarship and matriculate at Castleton will be expected to participate in the program. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years of continuous enrollment at Castleton without regard for need as long as the student maintains a 3.0 GPA. Students must meet all eligibility criteria. GPA is calculated by Castleton Admissions using academic courses only on an unweighted 4.0 scale. Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first served basis to bachelor degree seeking students. Amounts are non-negotiable and may be used for tuition only.

First-year students who earn a 3.75 GPA and are nominated by their FYS professors are eligible to receive the Academic Recognition Scholarship, which includes membership in the Honors program.

Independent Study

Independent Study is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to work individually with a faculty member in a subject area, or on a project, that is normally not available through regular course work. Effort should be consistent with the usual expectations of fifteen hours of class time and thirty hours of study time for each credit.

The student must initiate the application with a written proposal to the instructor with whom the student wishes to work. The student must complete an Independent Study Contract form, which can be obtained at Financial & Registration Services. The form requires signatures of the student, the instructor, the department chair, and an academic dean. The completed form must be filed at Financial & Registration Services at the time of registration.

Independent Study may be taken more than once. Students are limited to a maximum of three credits of Independent Study in any one department for a given semester. Veterans or veterans' dependents registered for Independent Study must report their total number of Independent Study credits to the Veteran's Certification Officer at the Registrar's Office.


Recognizing the educational value of activities and studies other than traditional course work, Castleton provides opportunities for individualized learning through Internships, Field Experience, Independent Foreign Study, Independent Study, and Tutorial Study.

Internships provide positions of responsibility for the student in a professional environment under the supervision of an on-site professional and a faculty member. Students are placed with participating employers for work terms during which they may earn up to 12 academic credits per semester in addition to acquiring on-site experience. While internships may be either on- or off-campus experiences, they are generally characterized by an independent design and the integration of classroom work with practical experience. Internships should include critical and reflective components.

An internship is designed to introduce the student to the opportunities, duties, and responsibilities of personal career objectives through an experience collaboratively planned by the student, academic department, the employer, and the Robert E. Stafford Center for the Support and Study of the Community. Thus the student becomes aware of what a potential career looks like on the ground, and also how his or her courses relate to and support the career choice.

Internship work locations may include distant sites to more fully satisfy student requirements and preferences. While all internships carry academic credits, some internship roles also provide financial remuneration.

While the departments may enforce more stringent acceptance standards, Castleton requires as minimum qualifications:

  1. Students must be in good academic standing at Castleton to participate in an internship.
  2. Students must have completed 12 credits at Castleton University.
  3. Students must be matriculated prior to applying for an internship.
  4. The Internship Contract form requires approval of the Castleton faculty supervisor and the on-site supervisor. The department awarding credit determines specific prerequisites for internships.
  5. Internships may be taken either on a pass/no pass basis or for a grade. 

The following guideline identifies the general number of internship hours expected for a specified credit award:

40 hours per week for 14 weeks = 12 credits
30 hours per week for 14 weeks = 9 credits
20 hours per week for 14 weeks = 6 credits
10 hours per week for 14 weeks = 3 credits
100 hours = 2 credits
50 hours = 1 credit

Hours for internships worth more than twelve credits are determined by arrangement. Information may be obtained from the Robert E. Stafford Center for the Support and Study of the Community in Moriarty House.


Castleton students may enroll in the University of Vermont's Army ROTC program. The four-year Military Studies program consists of the Basic and Advanced Courses described in detail on UVM's website. Most of the first two years of this program can be taken on campus at Castleton when demand is sufficient, but some training will take place at UVM and Army facilities. The junior and senior years of the ROTC program are offered at UVM, to which Castleton students will travel approximately once a week. Two-, three-, and four-year Army ROTC scholarships are available to qualified applicants. Information is available through the Castleton Admissions Office.

The Basic Course is open to all first-year and sophomore students and is designed to introduce interested students to the Army, the role of an Army officer, and basic military skills. Please see Financial & Registration Services for a registration form. Other than for Army ROTC scholarship students, the Basic Course incurs no military obligation. All military studies courses will be recorded on the Castleton transcript and will count as elective credit.

The Advanced Course is open to qualified junior and senior students who have either successfully completed the Basic Course, the Army ROTC Basic Camp, or Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training. The course is designed to prepare students for careers as Army officers. Students are required to successfully complete a 35-day Army ROTC Advanced Camp the summer following their junior year. Upon completion of the Advanced Course and a bachelor's degree, graduates are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army, Army Reserves, or Army National Guard.


Service-learning is an approach to teaching whereby faculty seek to meet educational objectives of their courses by having students work in, with, and for the community. Critical to successful service-learning is the notion of mutual benefit to both students and community partners. All service-learning courses build in opportunities for students to reflect on what they have learned in the field. The activities and projects that are developed as part of service-learning courses must result in educational benefit for students in ways that tie directly to goals of the curriculum, but they must also contribute to meeting community needs identified by one or more community agencies.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Castleton encourages study abroad as a wonderful way to understand the world and our place in it. Student travelers are expected to have a 2.5 GPA and they must be in good standing as outlined by the "Code of Conduct" in the University Handbook.

British Experience: Castleton offers a Semester in Greater London at Roehampton University. Students are accompanied to London by our faculty and enroll at Roehampton, living in suites with British students. Information about costs, course offerings and travel/housing arrangements can be obtained in the office of the Associate Academic Dean.

Fall in the Field: Castleton's Semester in Santa Fe provides a hands-on, multicultural experience in the American Southwest. Faculty from Castleton teach in Santa Fe for the semester. Students live in Santa Fe learning about the cultures (Native American, Mexican and Anglo) and history of the area through course work and service. They also make field trips to Native American sites and other national parks.

Short Travel Courses: Travel courses of shorter duration (10 to 14 days) are offered with some frequency. These courses are listed in the semester or summer course schedule and have gone to Machu Pichu in Peru, St. John for coral reef checking, the Galapagos, and Belize to explore what remains of Maya culture. For examples of the kinds of courses that have been offered, see http://www.castleton.edu/travel; courses change regularly.

Study Abroad: Any student with good advance planning may study abroad. The Spanish and Global Studies majors require all students to spend time abroad, arranged in consultation with the Study Abroad Advisor or the International Resource Coordinator. Students wishing to participate in non-Castleton programs abroad should first consult with their departmental advisor and, after selecting a program, get pre-approval for course work to ensure that credits will transfer back to Castleton.

Tutorial Study

Tutorial studies are designed to alleviate scheduling conflicts. Students may be allowed to take an existing course independently, provided that the faculty member involved wishes to offer the course on this basis. The student must initiate the process with a written proposal to the appropriate instructor. The form, which can be obtained at Financial & Registration Services, requires signatures of the student, the instructor, the department chair, and an academic dean. The completed form must be filed at Financial & Registration Services at the time of registration.