2023-2024 Course Catalog

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Academic Policies

Academic Eligibility

Continued enrollment at Virginia Tech is a privilege granted so long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward attaining a degree, maintaining the required minimum Grade Point Average (GPA), and complying with all policies outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Students who maintain the required minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 are considered to be in good academic standing with the university and are eligible for continued enrollment at Virginia Tech. Students on academic probation and warning are eligible for continued enrollment (absent any violations of policies outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Academic Warning: Students earning less than a 2.00 term GPA, but with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher, will be placed on academic warning without notation on the academic transcript. Students on academic warning will be required to consult with the appropriate undergraduate assistant or associate dean of their college and to sign an academic contract. Failure to complete an action plan (academic contract) may result in prohibition from future enrollment(s).

Academic probation is imposed when a student's cumulative GPA is less than 2.00 and a notation will be placed on the academic transcript. Academic probation is lifted when their cumulative GPA is at least 2.00. Academic performance will be reviewed at the end of each regular semester (fall and spring).

A student on probation:

  1. may take no more than 16 credits per semester;
  2. may be required (at the discretion of individual colleges) to consult with an academic advisor regularly and to sign an academic contract acknowledging their performance is not meeting university standards and stating what actions they are committed to taking to improve academic performance.

First suspension will be imposed when a student on academic probation has a cumulative GPA less than 2.00 for two consecutive semesters (Fall and Spring) of enrollment. A student must earn a minimum of a 2.50 term GPA for each (Fall and Spring) semester or raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.00 to avoid being placed on academic suspension.

First Suspension: A student who is placed on first academic suspension at the end of a fall or spring semester will be suspended from continued enrollment through the end of the subsequent fall or spring spring semester. Note: Students placed on first academic suspension at the end of fall semester are eligible to return the subsequent first summer, second summer, or fall semester.

A student must earn a minimum 2.00 semester GPA the first semester back and raise their cumulative GPA to at least 2.00 by the end of the second semester back or earn a minimum 2.50 semester GPA for every subsequent semester following the suspension until their cumulative GPA is 2.00 or greater. A student will be placed on second academic suspension for failure to meet these minimum performance requirements upon their return.

Second Suspension (Fall): A student who is placed on second academic suspension at the end of a fall semester will be suspended from continued enrollment through the end of the following fall semester. Note: Students placed on second academic suspension at the end of fall semester may not enroll in the immediately following summer sessions.

Second Suspension (Spring): A student who is placed on second academic suspension at the end of a spring semester will be suspended from continued enrollment through the end of the following spring semester. Note: Students placed on second academic suspension at the end of spring semester may not enroll in the immediately following winter session. The same minimum returning performance requirements apply for second suspension as for first suspension.

Final Suspension: A student will be permanently dismissed for failure to meet the minimum returning performance requirements after a second academic suspension.

Academic Eligibility Appeals

Students who are suspended due to academic eligibility at the end of fall or spring terms may appeal their suspension to the University Appeals Committee. The University Appeals Committee is comprised of the associate deans of undergraduate studies of the academic colleges and one faculty member appointed by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. A representative of the Dean of Students Office participates as a non-voting member of the committee to provide any information and background available through their advocacy services. The University Appeals Committee is an advisory committee to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Any appeal for exceptions to the academic eligibility requirements must be based on clear extenuating circumstances beyond a student's control that negatively impacted academic performance. If an appeal is based on physical, psychiatric, or disability/learning disability reasons, the appeal must be reviewed by the Health Evaluating Committee. A recommendation letter from the appropriate office is required to complete an appeal petition.

Students must complete an academic appeals petition and submit all required documentation to the associate dean of their major college by the published college deadline. Failure to meet the published deadline results in the loss of opportunity to appeal for the term. Students have a right to appear in person at the appeals meeting. Students may not bring an outside advocate to an appeals meeting.

Full instructions and forms for academic appeals are available on each academic college website along with the dates of the academic appeals meetings. The associate dean of the student's major college may require a preliminary meeting to discuss the appeal. The associate dean also may establish an independent submission deadline prior to each University Appeals committee meeting.

If the University Appeals Committee denies an appeal, the student may request further consideration of the academic appeal by the provost's representative. The decision of the provost's representative is final and there is no further recourse.

Academic Relief

Undergraduate students facing extenuating circumstances that compromise their ability to fulfill academic responsibilities, such as attending classes or completing coursework, for an extended period within a semester, may seek academic relief. Broadly, a student may be eligible for academic relief with a recommendation from an appropriate campus student support entity, such as the Dean of Students Office, Cook Counseling Center, Schiffert Health Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, and the Office for Equity and Accessibility, to support the student’s need for relief. 

Academic relief typically entails a complete withdrawal from all courses in a semester, with these courses being indicated on the transcript as "WP" (Withdrawal, exception).  

The review procedure for academic relief consists of several steps. Initially, the student's academic college and, where relevant, University Scholarships and Financial Aid, and the Cranwell International Center, offer comments and review. Subsequently, the request undergoes assessment by the appropriate campus student support entity. The Academic Relief Committee evaluates the request, considering the campus entity's recommendations, and arrives at a decision.  

Students who believe they may qualify for academic relief can access the online portal to initiate the process.


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist, and doctorate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Virginia Tech may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org). 

Department Program Description Accrediting Agency Accreditation Period
College of Agriculture and Life Science
Agricultural and Applied Economics Bachelor of Science in Applied Economic Management - Financial Planning Option Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. 2015-2017
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise Dietetic Internship American Dietetic Association 2018-2026
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the baccalaureate level American Dietetic Association 2018-2026
College of Architecture and Urban Studies
Architecture Bachelor of Architecture (5 year professional degree; 160 undergraduate credits) National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) 2012-2018
Architecture Master of Architecture 2 (pre-professional degree + 54 graduate credits) National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) 2012-2018
Architecture Master of Architecture 3 (non-pre-professional degree + 84 credits) National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) 2012-2018
Building Construction Bachelor of Science, Building Construction Science & Mgmt (MS), Environmental Design & Planning (PhD) American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) 2017-2020
Center for Public Administration and Policy Master of Public Administration National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) 2017-2023
Interior Design Program Bachelor of Science Council for Interior Design Accreditation 2018-2024
Industrial Design Program Bachelor of Science National Association of Schools of Art and Design 2009-2014
Landscape Architecture Professional Master of Landscape Architecture Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) 2013-2019
Landscape Architecture Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) 2013-2019
Urban Affairs and Planning Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program (MURP) Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) 2010-2014
Pamplin College of Business
Accounting Undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. Programs Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) 2015-2019
Finance Bachelor of Science in Business, CFP Certification Education Track Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. 2015-2017
General Undergraduate, Master, and Ph.D. Programs Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) 2015-2019
College of Engineering
Aerospace Eng, Biological Systems Eng, Chemical Eng, Civil Eng, Computer Engineering, Construction Eng and Mgmt, Electrical Eng, Eng Science & Mechanics, Industrial & Systems Eng, Materials Science & Eng, Mechanical Eng, Mining Eng, Ocean Eng Bachelor of Science Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) ABET policy prohibits public disclosure of the period for which a program is accredited.1
Computer Science Bachelor of Science Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) ABET policy prohibits public disclosure of the period for which a program is accredited.1
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management B.S. Residential Environments and Design major National Kitchen and Bath Association 2024
Apparel Housing and Resource Management B.S. Fashion Merchandising and Design Textiles an Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission (TAPAC) May 2023 - April 2030
Communication B.A. in Communication, Public Relations major Public Relations Society of America 2013-2019
School of Education All school preparation programs + initial teacher preparation and advanced levels National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) - current accreditation. Next accreditation is with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) 2011-2018
School of Education All school preparation programs + initial teacher preparation and advanced levels Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 2015-2017
School of Education Counselor Education (MA and PhD) Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) 2019-2025
Gerontology Graduate Degree Program Association for Gerontology in Higher Education 2000-present
Human Development and Family Sciences Ph.D. Program (in Blacksburg) Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) Under review for 2023-2029
ROTC - Army Army ROTC is not a degree producing program. However; Upon successful completion of a degree from Virginia Tech, we offer a Commission (as a 2LT) into the United States Army. U.S. Army Cadet Command 2014-Present (Continual) Based upon the Active Duty Orders of the Officers / Instructors assigned to this unit.
College of Natural Resources & Environment
Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation Bachelor of Science - Forestry Major: Forestry Resource Management Option Society of American Foresters 2016-2025
Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation Bachelor of Science - Forestry Major: Urban Forestry Option Society of American Foresters 2016-2025
Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation Professional Forestry Degree (PFD): Forest Operations and Business Option Society of American Foresters 2016-2025
Sustainable Biomaterials Bachelor of Science Society of Wood Science and Technology 2015-2025
College of Science
Chemistry (Major) Bachelor of Science American Chemical Society 2014-2027
Psychology Clinical Training Program, Clinical Psychology American Psychological Association 2014-2021
Psychology Doctoral Program in Psychological Clinical Science Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System 2015-2025
Psychology Professional Psychology - Predoctoral internship programs American Psychological Association 2014-2021
College of Veterinary Medicine
Full College Accreditation American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 2015-2022
Full College Accreditation Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) 2014-present
Public Health Master of Public Health Council on Education for Public Health 2018-20251
Outreach and International Affairs
Language and Culture Institute/English Language Program The Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute provides language-related programs and services for academic and professional development. Commission on English Language Program Accreditation 2008-2017
Virginia Tech
University Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) 2021-2030

notes annual submission of reporting in addition to full review

Applying for Your Degree

All students must apply for a degree by the first semester of their junior year. The application for degree can be found on Hokie SPA under the Degree Menu. Once students have completed the application, they should generate a Degree Audit Report (DARS). The DARS report will help students to be fully aware of all degree requirements, which remain to be completed. This report can also be generated through Hokie SPA.

Double Major(s): Undergraduate students who fulfill the requirements for two majors concurrently will receive recognition of the second major (double major) by including the additional major on their application for degree on Hokie Spa. Only the primary major will appear on the diploma. Students will receive double major certificates in recognition of the second major. The additional major will be included on students' official transcripts.

Second Undergraduate Degree: Students may earn a second bachelor's degree (and diploma) by earning a minimum of 30 additional credit hours in residence with a minimum 2.00 GPA on all work attempted. All specific requirements must be met for each degree program, including attainment of the 2.00 GPA for all courses in the major. Note: The threshold for the total number of pass/fail hours allowed may not exceed the maximum for the first degree.

In addition to the traditional Commencement, other "Degree Conferral Dates" have been established for each May to May year. The degree conferral dates for fall, winter, and summer, and appear on the diplomas of qualified graduates. The degree conferral dates fall on the last day of final examinations (last day of term) for summer, fall semester, and winter term. Names of Graduates of Summer and Fall terms will appear in the Fall Commencement Ceremony Program only.

No commencement ceremonies are conducted at the end of the summer term, but graduates may attend the fall ceremony after completion of degree requirements. They may also request permission from the department to "walk through" the spring commencement ceremony based on established departmental or college guidelines. Diplomas are not distributed.

Completion of degree requirements is determined after the final grade reports are available. Degrees are regarded as having been conferred on the appropriate conferral date upon determination by the University Registrar that degree requirements have been met. All course enrollments and attendance obligations must have been completed on or before the degree conferral date. University actions, such as Honor System or Conduct System sanctions, may delay the awarding of a degree, the effective term of the degree and release of the diploma. Students with university actions will have their final degree conferral date moved in accordance with the completion of sanctions. Students who are unable to complete degree requirements based on their original application for degree term are responsible for moving their date of completion.

With the exception of spring and fall semesters, students may resolve degree completion problems up to thirty (30) days after the degree term to retain the conferral date on the diploma. Spring and fall degree candidates must resolve any graduation issues by the end of the next month following the degree conferral dates for these terms. Any resolutions of degree completion problems, subsequent to these resolution windows will be conferred on the next degree conferral date. Unresolved degree problems include failure to submit appropriate paperwork to the university.

Assessment of Student Learning Experiences

A critical element in the continuous improvement of programs and services at Virginia Tech is the evaluation of student learning experiences, perceptions, and academic achievement. Each student may be asked to participate in assessment activities, including but not limited to course assignments, surveys, focus groups, end of course evaluations, tests, and personal interviews. Student involvement in these assessment activities will assist Virginia Tech in providing current and future students with high-quality learning experiences in keeping with the mission of the University.

Combination Degrees

The bachelor's degree will be awarded to a student who has satisfactorily completed three years of undergraduate work in an appropriate curriculum and the first year of work in an accredited medical, dental, veterinary, or law school, or medical technology program (biology majors only), or physical therapy program (biology majors only), provided the student fulfills the requirements for the three-year program as follows:

  • At least two of the three years of pre-professional work, including the third year in residence, must be at the university.
  • A minimum of 90 semester hours undergraduate work, i.e. pre-professional school credit, must be earned.
  • Pathways to General Education requirements must be met, plus at least 18 of the 30 hours required in the major during the three-year, pre-professional work program. A department may require more than 18 hours of course work in the major.

Degree Programs

Virginia Tech offers four-year degree programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Also offered are five-year Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture programs. Virginia Tech also offers graduate work in 76 fields of study leading to masters degrees and in 62 fields leading to doctoral degrees. A professional degree is offered through the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, located at Virginia Tech, and a medical degree from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

Directed and Independent Enrollment

Virginia Tech offers several types of courses that can be tailored to the needs of individual students or special groups. By allowing students to pursue topics in which formal courses are not available, these directed and independent courses provide greater flexibility in course offerings. They also provide students an opportunity to assume a greater share of the responsibility for their own education outside the traditional classroom situation.

In order to enroll in a directed or independent course, students must develop a plan of work to reach particular objectives, obtain approval of both the department and the faculty member who will supervise the work, and work with them to arrange hours and credits.

Students must submit an official approval form prior to registration. In most cases, the student's first contact for an independent study, field study, or undergraduate research course is the department offering the course. Registration is through the student's dean's office. Special study courses are set up by the department, and the student registers through Hokie Spa. Some colleges and departments have restrictions on eligibility to register for these courses, and limit the number of hours that can be used toward graduation.

A student may take 12 credit hours of independent study and/or undergraduate research to be counted toward their undergraduate degree, exclusive of independent study and/or undergraduate research courses required by a specific degree as indicated by the respective degree requirements.

Each time the student enrolls in independent study or undergraduate research, the instructor is required to identify a tangible output produced by the student at the end of the course that will be used to determine the student's grade

The time that the student devotes to satisfying course requirements shall be reflected in the number of credit hours awarded based on the Carnegie Foundation definition.

Field Study (X964) courses are work experiences approved by some departments and are selected to augment traditional classroom activities. The student is evaluated on the knowledge and skills acquired as a result of the experience. Emphasis is placed on the academic and practical value of the work.

Independent Study (X974) courses generally involve extensive reading and tutorial sessions with the faculty supervisor and also may involve written papers and other assessments. The subject of Independent Study usually is a continuation in greater depth of a topic covered in a regular course, allowing students to study topics of particular individual interest.

Special Study (X984) courses are designed for a group of students, rather than for a single individual. This type of course may be used to study a timely topic, one in which there is current, but not necessarily lasting, interest. It also may be used to launch an experimental course before incorporating it into the regular curriculum.

Undergraduate Research (X994) courses are individual research projects carried out by students under faculty supervision. The student defines the research topic, proposes a methodology, carries out the research, and writes a report.

Global Education

Virginia Tech students have the opportunity to study abroad through various programs spanning the globe.

Study abroad programs touch on almost every academic discipline and provide the opportunity to develop or strengthen global skills and intercultural competencies. Students can experience an academic discipline at work in an international setting, improve language skills, cultivate new intellectual interests, challenge assumptions about their own and other cultures, and build intercultural networks, understanding, and communication skills of value to future employers.

The Steger Center for International Scholarship, located in the picturesque town of Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, is Virginia Tech’s study center in Europe. Housed in a 250-year-old villa, the Steger Center provides classrooms, a library, an architecture studio, study and lounge areas, a cafeteria, and a garden in an unforgettable setting. The central location allows for excursions to other European sites that complement classroom instruction. Steger Center programs offer courses in architecture, geosciences, engineering, the humanities, University Honors, and Italian that may count toward Pathways General Education, major, or minor requirements. Students may participate in semester-long programs in the fall and spring or short-term programs in the summer.

Virginia Tech has an increasing number of study abroad opportunities in Africa. Growing more rapidly than any other part of the world and representing the next great frontier for innovations in business, science, and technology, Africa is a critical region for the world’s future. The opportunity to live and study shoulder-to-shoulder with Africa’s youth as they rise to meet the extraordinary challenges of their future offers VT students a unique pathway to academic, personal, social, and professional growth.

Faculty-led programs on every continent provide another option for international experience. Participants in faculty-led programs can focus on a specific course or discipline while navigating the culture along with a faculty member and fellow Hokies. Virginia Tech faculty design and lead more than 70 short-term and semester courses abroad throughout the year. Virginia Tech faculty-led and custom semester abroad opportunities include a semester in Paris focused on displacement studies and social justice and a general education sophomore semester in Spain designed to meet the academic needs of STEM, Finance, and Political Science/International Studies students.  

Exchange Programs. Through Virginia Tech’s international partnerships and membership in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) consortium, students can study on exchange for a semester or year at one of over 200 universities worldwide, where they are immersed in the local classroom, culture, and community. Students who participate in bilateral and ISEP student exchange programs pay their regular home campus tuition and fees for the term of study, and tuition at the host university is waived.  Semester exchanges serve all majors and are available across the world: in Latin America (Central and South), Europe (including Iceland and Scandinavia), Africa (North and Sub-Saharan), the Middle East, Asia (East and Southeast), and Oceania.

Additional semester/academic year programs are also available through other study abroad third-party or non-Virginia Tech providers.

Students should meet with an academic advisor early in the study abroad planning process to determine how classes taken abroad will fit into a degree program and how credit is awarded. Students must obtain pre-approval for all credits to be transferred to Virginia Tech for use toward degree completion and must register their study abroad program with the Global Education Office. All non-VT credits taken abroad return as transfer credit: the grade does not appear on the VT transcript and is not factored into the GPA. For course credit to transfer, an equivalent grade of “C” or better is required and courses must be reported on an official transcript either from an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education and authorized to grant degrees in its home country or from a US-accredited college or university. A minimum of 25% of the credits for the degree must be earned at Virginia Tech.

Apart from credits, students and parents considering study abroad programs typically have questions regarding costs. Program costs can vary widely depending on various factors including location, length, and program type. Most forms of financial aid may be applied to study abroad, and there are several scholarships and grants available. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid as soon as they consider studying abroad.

For all questions regarding study abroad, students are encouraged to visit the Global Education Office website, contact us at vtabroad@vt.edu or (540) 231-5888, or visit the office to speak with an advisor. The office is located at 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131.

The Global Education Office strives to strengthen the university's mission of global engagement, discovery, and service by connecting faculty and students to peers abroad; inspiring and contributing to the faculty's creation and promotion of cross-cultural learning experiences; and supporting the development of Virginia Tech students into globally competent citizens.

Graduation Requirements and Degree Conferral

In meeting the requirements for an undergraduate degree, a student is expected to complete the degree requirements as outlined in the catalog in effect at the time they first enroll at Virginia Tech. A student will not be granted a degree based upon completion of the requirements set forth in a catalog more than seven (7) years old. Any student who has not graduated in seven (7) years will be moved to the subsequent years catalog.

A student may not follow requirements for graduation listed in a catalog in effect prior to the student's enrollment.

In order to take advantage of curricular innovation, a student may elect to meet the requirements in any subsequent catalog published between their first enrollment and graduation. Before changing catalogs, the student must consult their academic advisor and be approved by the degree program's associate dean. Students are strongly encouraged to maintain continuous enrollment. Any break in enrollment for more than 12 months will result in a change of the student's academic catalog to the catalog in effect at the time of the student's re-enrollment.

Students who declare an additional major and/or minor will follow the requirements in their academic catalog. An exception will be given if the additional major and/or minor was not offered until after the student's current academic catalog, and the student does not elect to change to the subsequent catalog in which that major/minor is available. In these cases, the earliest available catalog will be used for the graduation requirements specific to that additional major and/or minor.

A student must complete all courses with at least a minimum 2.00 GPA for all hours attempted. In addition, a student must present an equally satisfactory record in courses attempted in the major and/or any minor. The number of credit hours required varies from one major to another. Virginia Tech reserves the right to modify requirements in the student's program if necessary. The approved graduation requirements appear at the University Registrar's website: https://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html.

All students must earn 25% of credits required for their respective degree from Virginia Tech. No more than 50% of credit hours earned from a two-year institution may be used to satisfy graduation requirements. Students who must enroll in foreign language courses to complete admission requirements may not use the credits toward completion of the degree.

Undergraduate students are permitted to complete a maximum of 18 of their last 45 hours in absentia and to transfer to complete their graduation requirements, so long as the request to transfer these credits meets all the current requirements in effect (transfer transcript is required and approval of the student's Academic Dean). Also, the credits to be transferred may consist of required as well as elective credits, as long as, prior approval has been obtained from the student's Academic Dean to transfer any required credits. Undergraduate students studying away from campus during their last 45 hours may apply for an individual waiver of the requirement that a maximum of 18 of their last 45 hours may be earned in absentia. Approval of the request will be at the discretion of their academic dean. This does not preclude the requirement that at least 25% of all credits be earned in residence at Virginia Tech.

Graduation with Distinction (Academic Policies Governing Enrollment Section)

Language Study Requirement

Students must meet a language study requirement either through middle and high school enrollment or prior to receipt of the undergraduate degree. The minimum requirement may be met in middle or high school by completing two units of a single foreign or classical language or American Sign Language. Some majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences may require three (3) units of a single foreign or classical language or American Sign Language. Students completing the requirement at Virginia Tech may not count the hours toward degree completion. The requirement also may be met after admission by the following:

  • Earning six (6) semester hours of college-level foreign or classical language credit or American Sign Language. Such credits are in addition to that number normally required for graduation in a student's program of study.

Honor Code and Honor System

The Virginia Tech Honor Code is the university policy that defines the expected standards of conduct in academic affairs. The Virginia Tech honor pledge is as follows: "As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do." Further, students are prohibited from giving and/or receiving unauthorized assistance on their course work.

Each student who enrolls at Virginia Tech is responsible for abiding by the Honor Code. A student who has doubts about how the Honor Code applies to any graded assignment is responsible for obtaining specific guidance from the instructor before submitting the assignment for evaluation. Students should assume that all projects and homework assignments are to be completed individually unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Commission of any of the following acts shall constitute academic misconduct. This listing is not, however, exclusive of other acts that may reasonably be said to constitute academic misconduct.

  • Cheating - The intentional use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise, or attempts thereof.
  • Plagiarism - The copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off the same as one's own original work, or attempts thereof.
  • Falsification - The statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any element of one's academic work, or attempts thereof.
  • Fabrication - Making up data and results, and recording or reporting them, or submitting fabricated documents, or attempts thereof.
  • Multiple Submission - The submission for credit without authorization of the instructor receiving the work of substantial portions of any work (including oral reports) previously submitted for credit at any academic institution, or attempts thereof.
  • Complicity - Intentionally helping another to engage in an act of academic misconduct, or attempts thereof.
  • Violation of University, College, Departmental, Program, Course, or Faculty Rules - The violation of any University, College, Departmental, Program, Course or Faculty Rules relating to academic matters that may lead to an unfair academic advantage by the student violating the rule(s).

Instances of academic misconduct represent behavior that is of an especially serious nature. The University's normal sanction for academic misconduct is an F* as the student's final course grade. The F* sanction is intended to identify a student who has failed to uphold the values of academic integrity at Virginia Tech. A student who is assessed a sanction of F* as their final course grade shall have it documented on their transcript with the notation "By Committee Action". More severe or lesser penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant.

The Honor Code fosters an environment that promotes fairness, personal responsibility, and integrity. More information about the Honor Code is available at www.honorsystem.vt.edu.

Pre-Professional Preparation

Health Professions Advising (HPA)

The university maintains an office for health professions advising which is located in the Smith Career Center. The services provided by HPA are available to all undergraduate students and alumni considering a career in a health care profession.

Health Professions Advising coordinates all health professions advising for students with an interest in but not limited to medicine (allopathic, osteopathic, and naturopathic), physician assistant, dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, public health, veterinary medicine, genetic counseling and any others graduate level program. Although the majority of health professions students may choose to major in a science program, any major is acceptable to health professional schools so long as certain specific admission requirements are satisfied. Thus HPA provides advice and assists students in preparing for admission to a graduate health professional school. Students interested in a health career are encouraged to pursue a broad undergraduate study in the humanities, and social sciences, as well as biology and the natural sciences. Admissions requirements for qualified students include a competitive grade point average (which varies by health profession), national standardized admissions tests for each health profession, significant participation in volunteer and clinical health care activities, letters of recommendation/evaluation, and an interview at the professional school. Successful candidates exhibit high levels of scholastic achievement and intellectual potential as well as motivation and concern for one's fellow human beings.

The office provides individual advising about careers in health professions, preparation for competitive application to professional schools, and the admission process. This office advises students regarding ways to obtain clinical experience to assist them in gaining practical experience in the health care arena through volunteering and/or working at local or regional hospitals and clinics. The Health Professions Evaluation Committee (HPEC) which is made up of faculty advisors and health professionals from the community, provides on-campus interviews and upon request, furnishes committee letters of evaluation.

Core course requirements vary among the accredited health professional schools but most require two semesters each of Mathematics, English, Biology (with labs), General Chemistry (with lab), Organic Chemistry (with lab), and General Physics (with lab). Other courses which may be required or recommended by schools include Cell and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Communication, Ethics, Economics, Microbiology, and Human Anatomy and Physiology. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue learning far beyond their major and prerequisite requirements. Resources are available in the Smith Career Center for investigating the specific entrance requirements for each school, and students are strongly encouraged to make use of these services.

Pre-Law Advising

Law students and lawyers come from many undergraduate backgrounds, and the skills necessary to succeed in law school and as an attorney can be developed in a variety of courses across a range of disciplines. Law schools do not treat any specific course or major as a prerequisite for admission, nor do they look with special favor on applicants who have graduated from a formal "pre-law" program. Accordingly, Virginia Tech does not offer a formal pre-law major. The university does offer a top-quality education in a large number of fields, as well as counseling about law as a career, preparing for and applying to law schools, and the law school admission process. Students are encouraged to maintain contact with academic and career advisors at Virginia Tech and others on campus with information about legal careers.

For further information on pre-law studies at Virginia Tech, including how to contact a pre-law advisor, see the following website: http://www.prelaw.psci.vt.edu.

Restricted Majors and Programs

Students should be aware that there are some academic majors and programs within the university that have strict entrance requirements or are in such high demand that they cannot accommodate all who wish to enter them. Administrators of these restricted programs must be selective in allowing students to transfer in from other majors within the university and in permitting second majors or minors. Students seeking entrance into such restricted programs should consult the appropriate department.

Restricted programs for internal transfers can be found here: https://www.registrar.vt.edu/contact/undergraduate-majors--brief/restricted-majors.html

Selecting/Changing a Major, Double Major, or Minor

Undergraduate students must be enrolled in the major(s) in which their degree is to be awarded before their senior year, or with a minimum of 30 semester hours to complete before their graduation. Students seeking a double major must be accepted into the second major by the academic department before the university can award the second major.

Changes from one degree program to another (i.e., changes in major) or the addition of a second major or minor may sometimes imply extra course work, which can delay graduation, but changes or additions in most instances require no particular qualifications on part of the student. They usually can be accomplished prior to the senior year, simply by working with one's academic advisor and informing the head(s) of the department(s) and the dean(s) of the college(s) in question.

A major (or second major) cannot be selected after the beginning of the senior year. (See section above on Selecting a Major.) Some departments establish specific deadlines for requesting change of major. Check the University Registrar's website for specific deadlines and the Change of Major module in Hokie Spa to submit the application.

Minors are offered by many academic departments and earned simultaneously with the degree. Minors are not declared nor earned after degree completion. Refer to the section on Graduation Requirements and Degrees and to the appropriate academic department in the college chapters of this catalog to review the requirements for a minor.

Twenty-five percent of the credit hours required for a student's degree must be taken at Virginia Tech.

Procedures to Follow When Changing or Adding a Major or Minor

Students can request a new primary major through Hokie Spa during a change of major window each semester. There are three common change of major times every year, fall, spring and summer. Each respective college facilitates their own process to determine if it will accept the student into the major and will then notify them.

Requests for adding second majors or adding a minor are processed based on your college's established processes. Consult your Academic Dean's office for your college's process for declaring a second major or minor.

Selection of Studies

The regular academic year at Virginia Tech is divided into two semesters, fall and spring. Virginia Tech also offers both summer and winter sessions. Most courses of study require eight (8) terms (i.e., semesters and/or summer sessions) for completion of the bachelor's degree requirements. Completion of the degree requirements for those students who enroll in the Cooperative Education Program, Bachelor of Architecture Program, or Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Program requires five years.

Elective courses are chosen through consultation with the student's advisor. The dean of the college in which a student is registered has authority in such matters as substitution of courses, dropping and adding courses after deadlines, or permission to take an overload.

Students have the assistance of faculty guidance, introductory courses, and special counseling to help them choose wisely which course of study they should take. Every effort is made to assure that all courses listed under the various department of instruction will be offered. Virginia Tech reserves the right, however, to withdraw any course for which an inadequate number of students enroll.

The requirements in a major consist of:

  1. specifically designated courses (all of which must be completed)
  2. restricted (structured) electives from which a minimum number of courses and/or patterns must be completed
  3. electives that are to be chosen from courses in the department not used for specific requirements or restricted electives and not prohibited for majors in the department

Student Responsibilities on Official Student Records

Students are responsible for keeping and being familiar with their own records and for the accuracy of these records.

A student's failure to keep their address updated does not absolve the student of responsibility for matters that require notification by the university. Changes to a student's local address, permanent address, or parent/guardian address should be promptly updated by accessing Hokie SPA. Correct residence hall addresses are established through the Housing and Residence Life Office in 144 New Hall West. If a student is not sure what addresses are on file, they may check Hokie SPA for verification. Virginia Tech requires updating of local address, designation of emergency contact, opt in/out of VT Alerts, and understanding of the Student Code of Conduct prior to registration.

It is the student's responsibility to check their current schedule of classes by accessing Hokie SPA. Errors must be corrected by the established deadline stated in the Timetable of Classes. Course registration will result in a responsibility for payment of tuition and fees. If a student requests or enrolls in courses, the student is responsible for the tuition and fees assessed unless formally resigning by the established university deadlines. It is the student's responsibility to complete and return the Withdrawal/Resignation form by established term deadlines if choosing to disenroll for a given term.

Students are responsible for seeing their advisors prior to registration to assure appropriate curricula planning.

Student Responsibilities: Satisfactory Progress Towards Degree

It is the student's responsibility to satisfy all course requirements as established by the faculty teaching the courses in which they are enrolled. It is also the student's responsibility to be aware of all major, degree, college, and graduation requirements necessary to complete their degree. Additionally, students are responsible for satisfying all university, college, and departmental requirements for progress towards degree.

Student Success Center

(540) 231-5499

The Student Success Center is committed to providing holistic support services and programs that develop self-directed and lifelong learners within a diverse and inclusive environment. The department offers programs and services that enrich the educational experiences of undergraduate students such as tutoring, academic coaching, mentoring, academic strategies courses, and more. All of our services offered are free to Virginia Tech students. The main office is located in Newman Library, Suite 419.

Teacher/Educator Preparation


Virginia Tech's School of Education offers programs leading to teacher licensure in 16 fields of study including school counseling. Educator preparation programs exist at the graduate and undergraduate level depending on endorsement area.

Notable features of the educator preparation program at Virginia Tech are:

  • graduates with a commitment to learning and advocacy for all students
  • a faculty devoted to improving education through research, teaching, and outreach
  • curricula designed to promote culturally competent and trauma informed teaching
  • STEM integration in a comprehensive School of Education
  • graduates with expertise in content fields and related pedagogical knowledge and skills
  • committed clinical supervisors in schools
  • field experiences and internships in diverse school settings
  • the latest instructional technologies
  • a strong demand for our graduates

Students who anticipate entering an educator preparation program can find information at https://sites.google.com/vt.edu/peap/home and should consult the Pre-Education Advisor at peap@vt.edu in addition to any primary academic advisor in their undergraduate major. Decisions about educator licensure should be made early in the undergraduate years so that an appropriate major can be selected and required courses can be taken prior to applying for the educator preparation program. For certain programs seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or better may apply to be admitted to the Dual Student Status for their last semester to take graduate-level education courses and juniors with a GPA of 3.3 or better may apply for admission in the Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program to take graduate courses during the senior year. Information about these options is available on the Graduate School website (www.graduateschool.vt.edu)

Passing scores on relevant Praxis Subject Assessments, the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, and the Reading for Virginia Educators exam (for elementary education teachers) are required prior to receiving a teaching license and prior to admission for some programs. A criminal record check is required by school divisions in Virginia prior to employment, and for most divisions for student teaching.

The School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and all programs are approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Graduates may qualify for an educator license or endorsement in other states.

More information can be found on the School of Education, Office of Academic Programs website (https://liberalarts.vt.edu/departments-and-schools/school-of-education/support-offices/office-of-academic-programs.html).

University Enrollment and Academic Progress

Registration Procedures

  1. Registration for continuing students occurs in the middle of each semester during which currently enrolled students may request classes for the next semester. Students register for summer school (if they plan to attend) beginning in December. Students register for fall semester during spring semester.
    1. Students should consult their completed Pathways Planner and review it with their departmental advisor. Both should be aware of such considerations as the student's current GPA, the course load in hours and in effort required, pre- and co-requisites for courses so limited, the student's relationship to the eligibility schedule, and fulfillment of Pathways General Education requirements and those for major, minor, or cognate. If the student fails to meet with their advisor, a hold may be placed on their registration.
    2. When a schedule is designed, the student utilizes the course request module in Hokie SPA to enter the course requests.
    3. Prerequisite checking is enforced by some departments. The registration system will review the student's academic history to determine compliance with any prerequisites.
    4. Overloads (more than 19 hours per semester, seven each summer session, or six for winter session) require permission of the student's academic dean. The student will be scheduled for the first available 19 hours (seven in summer and six in winter) requested.
    5. Every student must annually provide an up-to-date local address, an emergency contact, opt in/opt out of the VT Alerts system and all students must acknowledge the continuing duty to report arrests and convictions to the University. Students are prohibited from registration until the requirements are updated in the student record system.
    6. The student's current class schedule may be printed by accessing Hokie SPA; the student is then responsible for verifying that they are in fact enrolled in the courses and sections they have been attending.
  2. Approximately three weeks after the close of registration, course request results are available and may be accessed through Hokie SPA. The web class ticket will include detailed information regarding sections which are full, conflicting, withdrawn, or restricted which explains why these sections were not added to the student's schedule. See item number six (6) below for details about why a student's course selections are sometimes ignored, or why a student's schedule might be purged or held from registration.
  3. Students may adjust their schedules on a space available basis during the drop/add period. Students should consult with their advisors before making any changes except those for convenience (usually time). 1000-level Mathematics and English courses, because of the high demand, currently have restrictions on section changes. As a rule, any student who drops a 1000-level English or Math course via Hokie SPA or department will not be allowed to force-add another 1000-level English or Math course that term. A student should be aware that dropping below full-time status (12 semester hours) may jeopardize financial aid, campus housing, and degree completion. Some courses may drop students for failing to attend the first class. Refer to the comments section of the course in the Timetable of Classes.
  4. A Force-Add form permits admission to a class over the desired enrollment threshold, but not over room capacity. This request is submitted via a "force-add" form available in the department offering the course, and requires the instructor's (or, in some departments, departmental) permission. Requests for force-adds are processed by the department offering the course. Caution: The force-add transaction permits enrollment in courses with conflicting times.
  5. Responsibility for Payment of Tuition and Fees: all students who initiate enrollment are responsible for the payment of assessed tuition and fees. Only the submission of an official withdrawal prior to the first day of class may remove the student from any applicable fee responsibility. Failure to attend class(es) or to submit appropriate university paperwork is not a justifiable reason for removal of assessed fees retroactively.
  6. Late Adds and Drops Adjustments to a student's schedule after the last date to carry out a specific transaction (see Academic Calendar for deadline dates) require permission of their own academic dean. Thus, a Business major wishing to late-drop an English course requires approval from the College of Business, not that of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. A late-drop request based on mental or physical illness requires a recommendation from Schiffert Health Center and/or Cook Counseling Center. Faculty cannot add or drop students from their rosters.
  7. Administrative Disenrollment and Held Registrations Failure to pay tuition bills by a posted deadline (usually by the end of the second week of classes) may result in the student being administratively disenrolled (removed from the system). A schedule may be held (made inaccessible to department staff, as well as to students using drop/add, thereby precluding transactions of any type) for nonpayment of fees other than tuition (e.g., parking tickets), for Honor Code or Student Conduct violations, for academic ineligibility (due to department and/or academic suspension), or for failure to make progress toward a degree. This last hold is imposed by the student's dean, while all other holds are imposed by other respective offices. The student should check with the office imposing the hold, as only that office is authorized to remove the hold. The Office of the University Bursar processes all billing for tuition and fees; contact the Office of the Bursar if you have questions about your bill or do not receive a bill.