We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions for the program. If you have additional questions about the program, be sure to reach out to our team at 802-656-2085 or submit the inquiry form available on this site.

Are there any prerequisites for this course? Do I need experience in the cheese industry?

No, this is a foundational course and students do not need prior knowledge.

Do we learn how to make cheese in this course?

No. This course focuses on the cheesemaking process step-by-step, including rind development and cheese aging.  You will come away with a strong foundation of the cheesemaking process but you will not actually learn how to make your own cheese. If you wish to learn cheesemaking here is a collection of cheesemaking books.

What is the structure of the program?

Our professional certificate program and individual modules are 100% online. Modules are released every Wednesday, and you will have flexibility in your access to course material at any time of day.

How will sensory evaluation work in this program?

Students will source up to 4 artisan cheeses locally at a price point of their choosing. Find a store that offers a good selection of fresh American and European cheeses, such as a specialty food store, local food co-op, or local grocery (chain) store. Students will then evaluate the cheeses of their choice through at-home practice and using the materials provided with guidance and input from our professional instructors.

What is the weekly time commitment for the course?

Most students spend about 10 hours per week on the coursework.

What is the structure of the program?

Our professional certificate program and individual modules are 100% online. Modules are released every Wednesday, and you will have flexibility in your access to course material at any time of day.

Can I take this course at my own pace?

This is not a self-paced course. Each module has its own weekly assignments that culminate with a final project and presentation.

Can the program be taken from anywhere, including outside the US?

Yes! We love it when we have students from other countries enrolling in our courses. Our Artisan Cheese & Sensory Evaluation Professional Certificate is 100% online.

Are there any live sessions that are part of the program?

Yes, there will be two optional live sessions; one at the end of Module 1  and the other at the end of Module 4. Dates and times will be announced at the beginning of the c If you cannot attend, they will be recorded and can be viewed at a later time. Please note it is recommended to purchase a piece of American made “sharp cheddar” as you would find in a grocery store such as Cabot, Tilamook, or Sargento. Do not purchase a Clothbound style or imported cheddar cheese from Canada or England.

Are materials included? If yes, will they all be housed on the online site?

Yes, all course materials are included in the price and will be accessed through Blackboard, our online platform.

What types of assignments will we be asked to complete?

The graded assignments are varied and include:

  • weekly cheese discussions and sharing with your peers and instructor
  • submission of final project milestones for instructor review and feedback
  • a final project and presentation that you work on throughout the course including cheese selection, cheese profile, and sensory evaluation
  • weekly knowledge check quizzes

To help prepare you for the graded assignments, each module contains required readings and video lectures from the instructor and other experts in the field.

Is there an internship or hands-on-experience that comes with this program?

No, but students are welcome to use the career centers that include internships and jobs in American Cheese Society and the Vermont Cheese Council career centers.

Do we need to create a final presentation?

Yes. The final assignment in this course is a final presentation and sensory analysis on a cheese of your choice. The final presentation is shared with your peers in the course and is built upon the foundation of work you complete in the first three weeks of the course.  Students enjoy learning about new and unique cheeses in this process.  All step-by-step detailed instructions for the final presentation are provided along with a sample presentation.

How will I be graded?

You will be assessed on your participation in the discussion boards, completion of assignments, and comprehension of the course material. To earn an electronic certificate of completion and digital badge, students must receive a 70% or better in the course. Because this is a non-credit professional program, there is no transcript.

How frequently is this course offered?

UVM offers the Artisan Cheese & Sensory Fundamentals Professional Certificate 3 times per year. The start dates are usually in January, April, and September.

Is financial aid or scholarships available?

Neither federal nor institutional financial aid is available for non-credit professional programs. No scholarships are available currently.

Are payment plans available?

Payment plans are not currently available for this program. Tuition must be paid in full two weeks prior to beginning the program.

What is the payment policy for this program?

Students may register by paying the full program fee online via credit card or by calling us at 802-656-8407 to make a partial payment of $500. Should you make a partial payment, the remaining amount must be paid in full no later than two weeks prior to the start of this offering. If payment is not received by then, you will automatically be dropped from the course the following business day. Refunds will be issued less a $25.00 cancellation fee.

What is the refund policy for this program?

If you need to cancel your attendance, you must notify us via email at learn@uvm.edu or call us at (802) 656-2085 at least three business days prior to the start date of the course to receive a full refund, less a $25 cancellation fee. If a medical condition necessitates cancellation/withdrawal (documentation provided), this will be reviewed by our Studies Committee for any type of refund.

What browser and computing device should I use for this course?

We recommend using a browser other than Internet Explorer with our Blackboard online learning system. Firefox, Google Chrome, or other browsers tend to work more effectively with Blackboard. It’s very important to note that Blackboard will only work with a desktop or laptop computer. It is not designed to be used with phones or tablets (e.g., iPads), so please make sure you have access to a desktop and/or laptop computer and word processing software for the duration of the class. Please ensure that the computer you do use has the full ability and no restrictions to download any third party software as it is crucial for producing your final project.

Do you offer student learning accommodations?

If you are a non-credit student seeking accessibility support, please email access@uvm.edu and the UVM Student Accessibility Services team will be able to assist. In your email, please include that you do not have a 95 number/NetID.