Green Mountain College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Green Mountain College
Green Mountain College (GMC) is the #1 rated college and curriculum for sustainability in...

Green Mountain College

Poultney, Vermont

First In Sustainability


Green Mountain College (GMC), rated #1 in sustainability in the nation, dynamically ties environmental awareness and activism into its curriculum. With the help of its top-notch faculty, all of whom are leaders in their fields, GMC successfully instills the drive for meaningful change in the hearts of each of its students. These students graduate with the knowledge and skills to make a living while making a difference: 97% of recent graduates report being employed or in graduate school and 95% of recent graduates report being satisfied or highly satisfied with their work.


Located in the beautiful Lakes Region of Vermont and near Vermont’s famous ski areas, GMC offers a wide range of outdoor and campus activities. Students can choose from 22 majors and 33 minors and certificates, all of which include the integration of the award-winning Environmental Liberal Arts general education curriculum.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
582 undergraduate students
97% of undergrad students are full time
49% male — 51% female
90% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
40 full-time faculty
42 part-time faculty
14 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
98% of first year students live on campus
85% of all students live on campus

School Location

Green Mountain College’s 155-acre campus is located in Poultney, Vermont, a historic rural town surrounded by Vermont’s beautiful lakes and world-famous ski areas. The nearby Dean’s Reserve provides 80 acres of opportunities for research and recreation. Students can also work and study on Cerridwen, the College’s nationally recognized, certified organic farm. The campus is an easy drive to the town of Burlington (home of Bernie Sanders and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream) and the Adirondack & Green Mountains, and it lies only a few hours from New York and Montreal.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices 

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning  
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X


66% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)


38% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 4%
White 53%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 33%


Green Mountain College competes in the NCAA Division III North Atlantic Conference.

7 Men’s Sports: cross-country, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, golf, and track and field
7 Women’s Sports: basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and track and field

Other Information

Green Mountain College is the leader in sustainability based education. Founded in 1834, Green Mountain College is a four-year, co-educational, private liberal arts college. It is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Academic Programs Adventure Education; Animal Conservation and Care; Art; Biology; Business; Communications Studies; Education; English; Environmental Studies; Fine Arts; History; Interdisciplinary Studies; Natural Resources Management; Philosophy; Psychology; Renewable Energy & Ecological Design (REED); Resort & Hospitality Management; Self-Designed; Sociology/Anthropology; Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production; Wilderness & Outdoor Therapy; Writing

More Distinctions

  • #1 curriculum for sustainability - The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

  • #1 college for sustainability - AASHE

  • Gold rating  - AASHE

  • Peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating Green Mountain College’s sustainability based educational excellence:

    Cosette M. Joyner Armstrong Gwendolyn Hustvedt Melody L.A. LeHew Barbara G. Anderson Kim Y. Hiller Connell , (2016),"When the informal is the formal, the implicit is the explicit", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 17 Iss 6 pp. 756 - 775.

  • Top 10% in reflective and integrated learning, student-faculty interaction, and high-impact educational practices. - National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

  • Top 15 on Sierra Magazine’s “Cool Schools” list for seven straight years

  • Perfect “green rating” in the last four editions of Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll. In the 2016 listings, GMC was ranked third in the nation.

  • Top “50 College Gems With Bargain Tuitions and SAT Optional Policies.” - Forbes

  • In 2011, GMC became the nation’s first climate neutral campus through a strategic combination of efficiency, clean energy, and local carbon offsets.

  • First LEED Gold building in Rutland County, VT

Environmental Liberal Arts Core Sequence

A college education is most valuable when it educates student not only to be masters in their concentrated fields, but also to be well-rounded citizens who are knowledgeable of a variety of issues and perspectives. Through the Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) core curriculum, Green Mountain College stretches students’ limits with courses that teach valuable subjects beyond their majors.

What makes GMC’s liberal arts core so unique is its overall, goal-oriented focus. Each course within the ELA program exposes students to the importance of environmental sustainability. Students learn to think critically, analyze data, and communicate effectively, all while applying their new skills to the issues that affect every living being on earth. Education becomes truly engaging in every ELA course, which integrate exciting service-learning and field trips intertwined with their coursework and class discussions.

Broadened Horizons

Environmental conservation requires an astute awareness of a variety of international cultures, as today’s economic and ecological challenges are global in scale. Because GMC highly values this internationally conscious outlook, it offers a breadth of programs that make travel abroad possible for any student who is interested. Among the options for faculty-led courses abroad include such places as Brazil, China, Italy, New Zealand, and Nepal. Additionally, GMC has created student-exchange programs in partnership with the University of Wales-Aberystwyth, Nagoya University in Japan, and South Korea’s Hannam University.

While some students can choose to travel overseas, many are drawn to “Eco League” colleges, six schools stretching from Maine to Alaska that hold the same green values at GMC itself.


Campus Ministries  
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

Majoring in Sustainable Innovation

No matter the major a student may choose, they are guaranteed to take part in the innovative, sustainability-based initiative that drive the GMC community. Vermont’s surrounding ecosystem opens up countless opportunities as a living laboratory for research and exploration, and the high-tech facilities on campus are filled with top-of-the-line equipment.

Students in the humanities, social sciences, and professional studies can take part in a variety of field experiences, including volunteer work with nonprofits, providing services to benefit rural poverty, and conducting interviews to understand the social impact of environmentally harmful industries. Students make a real impact on the world, contributing their innovative ideas to the growing body of sustainability efforts. For example, students from the “Renewable Energy and Ecological Design” class created a solar garage that provides power to an electric truck on the College’s farm.

Committed, Caring Faculty

Green Mountain College’s faculty members are inspiring leaders. Over 90% of the College’s professors hold the highest-level degree in their respective fields, and some have even received Fulbright awards for their scholarship. What is most important, however, is that each and every one of them is highly committed to forming meaningful, productive, and personal relationships with all of their students. GMC faculty pride themselves in being knowledgeable mentors, helping guide students toward both academic and professional success. With a faculty-to-student ratio of 14:1, students receive individual attention and guidance to help them realize their greatest potential. Classes are small, so students don’t get lost in the crowd. In fact, a recent National Survey of Student Engagement showed that Green Mountain College placed in the top 10% for student-faculty interaction.

First-Year Experience

Students new to Green Mountain College are welcomed quickly and comfortably into the dynamic college lifestyle with the help of relationship-building first-year programs. Through a series of commonly shared experiences, first-year students are given all the tools they need to succeed in college as well as an engaging insight into GMC’s mission of environmental conservation.

Leading up to freshman orientation, new students participate in the Wilderness Challenge, an adventurous series of outdoor activities within the beautiful Vermont ecosystem. Hiking, kayaking, and more, they bond and form lifelong friendships before their classes even begin.

All GMC students enroll in “Images of Nature and Culture” and “Voices of Community,” two preparatory classes that develop upper-level writing skills through engaging course topics. These common learning experiences deepen students’ understanding of their place in this ecologically and culturally rich world. Supplemented with frequent field trips, these courses excite students to become strong, knowledgeable writers.

Learning Communities, Service Learning, Research with a Faculty Member

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, Green Mountain College students reported higher levels of engaged learning compared to the national average.

  • 43% of GMC students participated in a learning community (vs. 33% national average)
  • 95% of GMC students engaged in service learning (vs. 61% national average)
  • 59% of GMC conducted research with a faculty member (vs. 36% national average)


Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 18 56 54 7 0 0 0 135

Live Your Passion

GMC’s appeal doesn’t stop at what it offers in the classroom; the College’s surrounding Vermont landscape guarantees many pleasant days both on and off campus. For a calm, relaxing afternoon excursion, students can amble down to the bubbling brooks of the nearby Poultney river. And for a lively, invigorating night of community bonding, they can gather on Main Street with their friends. GMC students are like-minded, inclusive, and ready to welcome new friends who appreciate and challenge them to grow. Few places are more beautiful a welcoming than Green Mountain College, a school rooted in compassion for everyone and everything.


It’s no secret that Green Mountain College prides itself in its respect for the world’s ecosystems. Though the college takes its mission of sustainability very seriously, its students and faculty are just as committed to having fun with what Earth’s natural resources have to offer. The Green Mountain Adventure Programming, or GreenMAP, makes outdoor recreation easy for anyone to enjoy.

GMC students have the opportunity to become Trip Leaders, inspiring individuals who bring the heart of GreenMAP to anyone looking for an adventure. In charge of thrilling excursions among the beautiful Vermont wilderness, Trip Leaders get to serve as safe, life-changing, and fun volunteers.

Make Connections

Making friends is easy through GMC’s breadth of student clubs and thrilling in-class, hands-on projects. More than 40 student-led groups bond over a variety of interests and hobbies, including Quidditch, karate, academics, veganism, and more. Additionally, those who crave action and adventure immerse themselves in athletics and outdoor adventure activities.

Green Mountain College’s sustainability projects both on campus and within the Poultney community are engaging, and every student who participates can’t help but bond with their colleagues. Hands-on initiatives draw students together, helping them naturally form friendships that are rooted in service. Just a few of these projects include installing solar panels around the community, working with elementary students in nearby schools, and tending to the animals on the campus farm.

Living-Learning Communities

A school founded on principles of community engagement and global wellness, Green Mountain College prides itself in fostering an inclusive environment for every incoming student and visitor. As part of an initiative to strengthen the GMC community, the College offers nine specialty residence floors that house students who share a similar interest. Themed around subjects related to sustainability, creative arts, activism, and more, these specialty floors bring students together into an environment that anyone would love to call home.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing X
Other housing options  

A Delicate Balance

Rounding off the Environmental Liberal Arts curriculum, every GMC student enrolls in a seminar-based capstone course that challenges them to determine the responsibilities of a truly engaged citizen. Each semester, a new capstone course is created to tackle a contemporary issue, asking students to think creatively about new movements and policies. Through their capstone courses, students refine their skills as researchers, writers, and environmentally conscious change-makers. By the end of the course, each student completes a project that reflects both their academic aptitudes and their global values.

Dedicated to Student Success

From the first moment that students step foot on Green Mountain College’s campus, they can access a rich array of services and facilities that can enrich their college experience. Helpful faculty in the College’s support services gladly work one-on-one to help any student grow as academics and excel toward their professional careers.

The Calhoun Learning Center, located within the campus library, offers free, individual tutoring services as well as occasional skill-building workshops that teach students new time-management and study strategies. In addition to the resources GMC provides to help students succeed during college, the new Center for Careers, Advising, and Teaching (or CAT) shows students how they may succeed after college. The CAT Center is comprised of three offices whose faculty are dedicated to providing clarity and direction to all of their students’ postgraduate plans. They meet individually with each student throughout their college careers and help them every step of the way, from choosing their majors to writing their résumés and applying for jobs.

Alumni Career Network

GMC’s Alumni Career Network puts students in touch with graduates who are excited to show students what a Green Mountain degree can do for them. GMC alumni are excellent resources for professional contacts, job leads, and career advice. Such a prestigious network of professionals guarantees that students who attend GMC continually reap the benefits long after their four years on campus.

Green Mountain alumni are driven to inspire those who come after them. Every Spring, select alumni return to campus to host TED-Talk-style panels in which they explain what it means to be a changemaker in the professional world.


70% of GMC students complete one or more internships, many of which lead to post-graduation employment. Some notable internships include:

  • Office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Washington D.C.
  • Green Mountain Power Energy Innovation Center, Rutland, Vt.
  • Greenpeace, San Francisco, Cal.
  • Institute for Community Inclusion, Boston, Mass.
  • Monterey Bay, Monterey, Cal.
  • The Nature Conservancy, Vermont Chapter, Montpelier, Vt.
  • Rutland County Women’s Shelter, Rutland, Vt.
  • United Nations Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, New York, N.Y.



825 Total Applicants
544 Total Admissions
132 Total Freshmen Enrollment

65.94% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes


Very Important
Academic GPA

Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank
Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Volunteer work
Level of applicant’s interest

Standardized test scores
Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Religious affiliation/commitment
Racial/ethnic status
Work experience


  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 480 590
SAT Math 460 530
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 18 24
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


One may apply to Green Mountain College directly or through the Common Application.

Step 1: Apply


Step 2: Provide Supporting Information

  • Official High School Transcript
  • SAT scores
  • or ACT scores
  • or a completed GMC Insight Portfolio essays and Academic Writing Paper
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter of Recommendation


Step 3: Receive a Decision

A student will receive their letter of acceptance and financial aid packet. Applications received by December 31st receive priority attention.


Net Price Calculator 


Tuition $33,898
Fees $1,962
Total $35,860
Room and Board (on campus) $11,492
Estimated Total On Campus $47,352


Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-17 ESTIMATED

$32,228 First year students
$25,928 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-17 ESTIMATED

77.32% on average, the percentage of need that was met
16% of financial need students that had need fully met

$25,928 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,006 Average need-based loan

Scholarship Information

Green Mountain College offers a range of scholarships to help make a GMC education affordable. Learn more here.