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Academic Advising Frequently Asked Questions

You can find your assigned academic advisor in your Navigate platform.

Scroll down and on the right-hand side, you will see a block that indicates Your Success Team, this is where you can find out who your academic advisor is and also click on the mail icon to send them an email.

Each undergraduate student at Virginia Tech is assigned an academic advisor. Academic Advisors are your biggest advocates and foster relationships with students while proactively engaging you during various times of the year to ensure your success during school and post-graduation.

It's important to maintain contact with your academic advisor and meet with them at minimum once a semester so we can help you locate tutoring resources, overcome challenges, discuss study abroad options, find ways to gain real-world experience, explore majors, assist you in planning courses, and monitor your progress towards graduation.

You may ask your academic advisor to serve as a reference for a scholarship, internship, job opportunity, or even graduate school. The more contact and communication you have with your academic advisor, the more detailed letter we will be able to provide.

To make an appointment with your academic advisor:

  1. Log into Navigate
  2. Click on Schedule an Appointment on the right-hand side
  3. Click on Your Success Team
  4. Select your academic advisor's name
  5. Click on Find Day and Time to view appointment availabilities
  6. Enter Comments on what you hope to discuss during the meeting when making an appointment so your academic advisor can know how to prepare and do preliminary research if necessary prior to meeting with you

If you forgot what you discussed or need a refresher of your academic advising meeting, your academic advisor will document the notes of your meeting in your Navigate platform.

You can click on the Reports tab under Student Home and click on View Report to view notes.

As the name states, The Success Team in your Navigate platform is critical to students' success at Virginia Tech. This team could include people such as academic advisors, student-athlete coaches, international advisors, HUB Scholarship Mentors, and Student Opportunities and Achievement Resources Program (SOAR) coaches.

The Success Team will also provide a list of the instructors of your courses for the current term. You can email your instructors and Success Team directly from the platform.

Each major and minor has a checksheet that lists all requirements for earning a degree. The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion according to their checksheet.

Students should choose the checksheet for the year they began at Virginia Tech as this will be the curriculum requirements they complete in order to graduate.

Checksheets can be found on the university Registrar’s website at https://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/checksheets.html.

To find the appropriate Checksheet, you can search by majors alphabetically, by colleges, by minor, or by professional licensure. 

The  Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is a computer-generated report for undergraduate and associate level students that facilitates monitoring of a student's academic progress toward degree completion.

DARS allows academic advisors and students to see how coursework is applied to a curriculum, check degree progress, create a plan for future courses, review course history, monitor overall and in-major GPA, and more.

A key feature of the DARS is a What-If analysis which helps to visualize how changing the current academic program (adding/deleting/changing majors or minors) will affect degree progress.

Accessing a DARS Report as a Student

  1. Log into HokieSpa
  2. Click on DARS & Hokie GPS
  3. Click Run Audit
  4. Click Run Declared Programs
  5. Click View Audit

DARS in your Hokie Spa provides you the opportunity to create a "What-If" scenario. These scenarios show you how changes to your major or minor could impact degree completion. To use this tool, you will need to follow the steps:

  1. Log into Hokie Spa
  2. Click on DARS & Hokie GPS - Graduation Plan for Success
  3. Click the Hokie GPS link at the top of the page
  4. Click on Create a New Hokie GPS
  5. Enter the program of the major you are interested in
  6. Enter the First Term you began at Virginia Tech (if you started at Virginia Tech in August 2021, select Fall 2021)
  7. You can add as many minors as you want to determine what your program would look like
  8. Enter a name for your Hokie GPS
  9. Begin with one semester in the future (For example, if we are currently in spring 2022, enter either summer or fall 2022)
  10. You can keep the Years To Graduation as 4 since you will be able to add or delete semesters as necessary
  11. Click Next

This will show you how courses you have currently taken or plan to take will fit into the major or minor.

Note: This is not an official change of major or minor. This is for planning and scenario purposes only.

Where to find Hokie GPS in DARS
Hokie GPS Screen

Biological Sciences

Majors: 
Biological Sciences
Microbiology

Advisors: 
Grace Burden
Rebekah DeToma
Jack Evans
Peter Osebre

 

Chemistry

Majors:
Chemistry
Medicinal Chemistry
Polymer Chemistry

Advisors:
Paul Deck
Jeannine Eddleton
Amy Kokkinakos

College of Science Dean's Office

Major:
Explore Science

Advisor:
Vivek Shastry

Economics

Major: 
Economics

Advisor: 
Erika Perdue

Geosciences

Major:
Geosciences

Advisor:
April Newcomer

Mathematics

Major
Mathematics

Advisors
Edna Jasso-Hernandez
Jessica Hurdus
Jessica StClair
Eric Ufferman

 

Physics

Major: 
Physics

Advisors: 
Melissa McPeak
Diane Walker-Green

 

Psychology

Major:
Psychology

Advisors: 
Courtney Glass
Kurt Hoffman
Christina Minford
Taylor Swan

 

Statistics

Major
Statistics

Advisor
Brandy Respess

 

Academy of Data Science

Major: 
Computational Modeling and Data Analytics

Advisor: 

Scott Whitehead

 

Academy of Integrated Science

Majors:
Nanomedicine
Nanoscience
Systems Biology

Advisors: 
Charlotte Parks
Melanie Sontheimer

 

School of Neuroscience

Majors
Clinical Neuroscience
Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience
Computational & Systems Neuroscience
Experimental Neuroscience

Advisors
Caitlin Cook
Haley Tucker
Emily Vedder

Primary Major Change

When a change of major time opens up, students can request a new primary major through Hokie SPA. Each college will run its own process to determine if it can accept the student and will then notify the student of the decision. This process applies to students who wish to change their primary major. Requests for adding secondary majors will still follow the current paper process.

There are two types of majors at Virginia Tech, restricted and non-restricted. Restricted majors have specific criteria students must meet to be eligible to declare. Please review the restricted majors website for a complete list of restricted majors and their criteria.

Step-by-step instructions available on how to apply for a new primary major.

Take Note
Summer 2022 Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Summer 2023
Change of Major Opens
May 5 August 1 December 11 May 4
Deadline to Apply for Restricted Major
May 20 August 12 January 6 May 19
Deadline to Apply for Non-Restricted Major
June 3 August 26 January 23 June 2

To declare a primary major during the change of major application period, students will:

  1. Log into Hokie Spa
  2. Select Change of Major Application (Undergraduate) at the top of the menu

*New students beginning at Virginia Tech must wait until final grades have posted to HokieSpa and they attain a GPA prior to being able to declare or change their primary major

If you wish to explore or declare a major in a different college than the College of Science, it will be helpful to speak with a transitional advisor.

Transitional Advising offers students the opportunity to work with an advisor one-on-one through the exploration, planning, and implementation process. Transitional advising is intended for students who are in transition out of a particular major for various reasons and/or need assistance when not accepted into their desired major.

Virginia Tech offers more than 150 majors from a variety of disciplines to choose from.

You can search through the list of undergraduate majors offered at Virginia Tech by clicking on the link and searching all majors, majors by your areas of interest, college, and more!

To add or drop a second major in the College of Science, students must complete the College of Science Change of Second Major/Minor/Option Form and submit the form to the academic department in which they wish to make the change for their approval.

*For example, if a student's primary major is Chemistry, but they are seeking to add Systems Biology as a second major, they must submit the form to the Academy of Integrated Science which Systems Biology is affiliated with.

Department Website to Add or Drop a Second Major Major(s)
Biological Sciences Biological Sciences
Microbiology
Chemistry Chemistry
Medicinal Chemistry
Polymer Chemistry
Economics Economics
Geosciences Geosciences
Mathematics Mathematics
Physics
Physics
Psychology Psychology
Statistics Statistics
Academy of Data Science
Computational Modeling & Data Analytics
Academy of Integrated Science Nanomedicine
Nanoscience
Systems Biology
School of Neuroscience Clinical Neuroscience
Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience
Computational & Systems Neuroscience
Experimental Neuroscience

Students will need to complete the change of major process for the college they seek to add  or drop a major in. 

If you are unsure of which college the new major is housed, please visit the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Majors website to find out and then use the list below to request a major change.

College Process to Add or Drop a Second Major
College of Architecture, Arts, and Design Complete appropriate AAD Form
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Complete appropriate CALS Form
Pamplin College of Business Complete appropriate PCOB Form
College of Engineering Complete appropriate COE Form
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Complete appropriate CLAHS Form
College of Natural Resources & Environment Complete appropriate CNRE Form
College of Veterinary Medicine
Complete appropriate Public Health Major Form

To add or drop a minor in the College of Science, students must complete the College of Science Change of Second Major/Minor/Option Form and submit the form to the academic department in which they wish to make the change for their approval.

*For example, if a student's primary major is Geosciences, but they are seeking to add Actuarial Science as a minor, they must submit the form to the Statistics Department.

Department Website to Add or Drop a Minor Minor(s)
Biological Sciences Biological Sciences
Chemistry Chemistry
Materials in Society
Economics Economics
Economics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Geosciences Geosciences
Mathematics Mathematics
Physics
Astronomy
Biological Physics
Physics
Psychology Psychology
Statistics Actuarial Science
Statistics
Academy of Integrated Science Data and Decisions
Behavioral Decision Science
Nanoscience
Quantum Information Science & Engineering
Science, Technology & Law
Systems Biology

Students will need to complete the change of minor process for the college they seek to add  or drop a minor in. 

If you are unsure of which college the new minor is housed, please visit the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Minors website to find out and then use the list below to request a minor change.

College Process to Add or Drop a Minor
College of Architecture, Arts, and Design Complete appropriate AAD Form  
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Complete appropriate CALS Form
Pamplin College of Business Complete appropriate PCOB Form
College of Engineering Complete appropriate COE Form
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences
Complete appropriate CLAHS Form
College of Natural Resources & Environment Complete appropriate CNRE Form
College of Veterinary Medicine
Complete appropriate Public Health Minor Form
   
Double Major(s) When an undergraduate student pursues a double-major (secondary major), they must complete the requirements for both majors within the same term. The student will receive a diploma for their primary major (primary degree). The secondary major will not show up on the diploma but will be indicated on the official transcript.
Second Degree

Undergraduate Students pursuing a second degree will receive two diplomas (one for the primary degree and another for the second degree). Students pursuing a second degree MUST complete an additional 30 credits in-residence (at Virginia Tech) beyond the minimum required for their first degree and can be completed in different academic terms. All specific requirements must be met for each degree program, including attainment of the minimum required overall and in-major GPA.

Note: The threshold for the total number of pass/fail hours allowed may not exceed the maximum for the first degree.

Undergraduate students will indicate if they are pursuing a second undergraduate degree when they apply for their degree in Hokie Spa.
 

Steps to Applying for a Degree

  1. Log into Hokie Spa
  2. Click on Degree Menu
  3. Click on Undergraduate Degree Menu
  4. Click on Application for Degree
  5. Select your appropriate level and click Submit
  6. Click on the Apply button next to the appropriate major
  7. Review your name as it will appear on your diploma
  8. Indicate your expected term of completion (graduation term)
  9. Select which degree is this (students should indicate if their second major should be a second major or a second-degree here)
  10. Indicate your mailing address (this is where your diploma(s) will be mailed)
  11. Indicate which ceremony you will be attending
  12. Click Submit
Note: If students will be completing their second degree in a later term than the first degree, select First degree for both majors

The Timetable of Classes is an interactive database accessed through Hokie Spa which can be used to search for courses according to campus, term, subject, course number, and section type.

After each search, the resulting list of courses indicates the Course Request Number (CRN), the department the course is associated with, course number, title, seats available, instructor, days taught, time taught, building location, and final exam time.

If a course or specific sections of a course have any restrictions such as academic level, major, declared in a specific college, etc., this can be seen by clicking on the 5-digit CRN.

The Historical Timetable of Classes database allows you to see if a class was taught in a previous semester.

For example, if you are planning your courses through Hokie GPS in DARS and you want to see if your planning is accurate, you will want to use the Historical Timetable of Classes to determine if those courses you planned have been offered in those particular semesters in the past.

Not every course is offered each semester. Some courses are offered fall only, spring only, or perhaps every other year. If you planned to take a course and you don't see it offered that particular semester on the Historical Timetable of Classes, you will want to change your plans.

*This database does take a minute to load as you search for courses offered in prior semesters.

Course request is a specific period in the fall and spring semesters when students request courses for the upcoming semester. Typically, course request for the spring semester begins in mid-October, and course request for fall semester begins in mid-May. Refer to the designated academic calendar for the most-up-to-date details on when course request begins. Once course request is complete, the Registrar's Office will register students for courses based on availability, restrictions, prerequisites, earned credits, etc.

Students will get their Course Request Results in Hokie Spa shortly before Web Drop/Add begins. Refer to the appropriate academic calendar for the most-up-to-date details on when Web Drop/Add begins.

The instructions below will help students to get an idea of what classes they may need to request in the following semester:

  1. Locate and print your appropriate major(s) and/or minor(s) checksheet
  2. Utilize your Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) in your Hokie Spa and document classes you completed on your checksheet(s) for your General Education Pathways Concepts and Major(s)/MInor(s)
    1. If you do not have a declared major or plan to change your major, you will want to conduct a What-If Analysis in your DARS so you can see how your classes will fit into place with an intended major (instructions for doing a what-if analysis can be found by clicking on the what-if analysis link)
  3. Use the checksheet and DARS to create a Hokie GPS semester-by-semester planner
    1. Look at this video on how to create a Hokie GPS
    2. Look at this video to see how you can make your plan in Hokie GPS

Once you identify the courses you need to register, you can use the Timetable of Classes to identify what courses are offered in that semester. You will want to write down the CRN (5-digit number) for the course you seek to register for as this is what students input into the Course Request screen in Hokie Spa.

 

If students did not request courses during the designated course request period, they can register for courses during the designated Web Drop/Add period. Students will want to view the appropriate academic calendar to identify when Web Drop/Add begins for the upcoming semester/term.

Holds are placed on students accounts for a number of reasons. Students may have holds due to unpaid balances, parking tickets, library fines, failure to submit immunization records, the need to change their major, etc.

Some holds may prevent students from registering for courses and others may not. If a hold affects the transcript process, they will be prevented from viewing their unofficial transcript and from requesting official transcripts. Students and academic advisors are able to view what holds are placed on the students account, when the hold was first put on, and the appropriate office(s) the student needs to contact.

Method for Student to Check for Hold Method for Academic Advisors to Check for Hold
Log into Hokie Spa Log into Hokie Spa and click on the Faculty Access tab  
Click on Hokie Wallet Click on Faculty and Advisor Student Menu
Click on Administrative Holds
Click on List of all your Advisees with Email Addresses > select the term > and then click on View under the Holds column according to your student

There are many ways for you to locate course descriptions and prerequisite information. We will highlight two most popular ways.

   
Timetable of Classes
Select the Term > select the Course Subject > Enter the Course Number (Optional) > click FIND Class Sections > click on the CRN (5-digit number) of the course
Undergraduate Catalog Select the most recent year > Click Course Descriptions > select the Course Prefix (i.e., BIOL, GEOS, MATH, SYSB, etc.) > scroll down to Undergraduate Course Descriptions and view the course description and prerequisites according to the course number

Use the Historical Timetable of Classes. This is a database that allows you to see if a class was taught in a previous semester.

For example, if you are planning your courses through Hokie GPS in DARS and you want to see if your planning is accurate, you will want to use the Historical Timetable of Classes to determine if those courses you planned have been offered in those particular semesters in the past.

Not every course is offered each semester. Some courses are offered fall only, spring only, or perhaps every other year. If you planned to take a course and you don't see it offered that particular semester on the Historical Timetable of Classes, you will want to change your plans.

*This database does take a minute to load as you search for courses offered in prior semesters.

Date of Entry is the term a student begins at Virginia Tech. This is important because the checksheet and curriculum requirements a student follows for graduation are based on the Date of Entry of their academic year. The academic year is defined as Summer through the end of Spring. Those requirements will remain in effect for a period of 7 years from the student’s entrance.

Students failing to graduate within 7 years of their date of entry catalog will be moved to the subsequent Date of Entry catalog. For example, if a student begins Virginia Tech in Fall 2022, they will follow the 2022-2023 checksheet requirements for a major/minor unless they don't graduate by 2029-2030. If they don't graduate by 2029-2030 ,then they will follow the 2023-2024 checksheet and so on until they graduate.

First Semester at VT  
Follow the Checksheet for the Academic Year
Need to Graduate By or Follow Subsequent Checksheet Until Graduation
Spring 2023
2022-2023 2029-2030
Summer 2023 2023-2024 2030-2031
Fall 2023 2023-2024 2030-2031
Spring 2024 2023-2024 2030-2031

Every undergraduate student has the ability to enroll in a maximum of 19 credits each fall/spring semester, 6 credits each winter term, and 9 credits each summer session (Summer I/II). However, under special circumstances, a student can be granted permission to enroll in more than the maximum credits. Students need to show a record of academic success in order to do so.

Term/Session
Request
Fall/Spring Requesting to Enroll in more than 19 credits
Winter Session Requesting to Enroll in more than 6 credits
Summer Term Requesting to Enroll in more than 18 credits

 

Restrictions Regarding Requesting Overload (Overhours) for College of Science Students
If a student’s overall GPA is 2.50 or above No restrictions on requesting overload
If a student’s overall GPA is between 2.00-2.50 Students may request overload only if they are graduating in the specific term and the overload is REQUIRED to complete graduation requirements
If a student’s overall GPA is below 2.00 Students may not request overload

 

Process for College of Science Students Requesting an Overload
Student completes the Request for Overload (Overhours) Form specific to their primary major’s college during course registration, NOT during Course Request
Student lists all courses and planned courses on the form, including planned independent study, field study, and/or undergraduate research credits, etc.
Student must obtain their academic advisor’s signature who will then submit the form to the College of Science Dean’s Office
Students will only be notified if their request for an overload is denied or if an appointment is needed to discuss their request.

*Approval of the overload request does not register a student for the requested courses.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the courses are added after the overload request is approved

Virginia Tech has a process called Request to Force Add which is a procedure that allows students to request to enroll in classes that are already full to their planned capacity or that have restrictions that the students do not meet (i.e., prerequisites, time conflicts, etc.).

Every department handles requests for force adds differently and some departments may not allow this request. Click the link below to view the process for requesting a force add for the department in which the class is located:

Bookmark that page for future reference as procedures change every semester

Virginia Tech has  process called Request to Force Add which is a procedure that allows students to request to enroll in classes that are already full to their planned capacity or that have restrictions that the students do not meet (i.e., prerequisites, time conflicts, etc.).

Every department handles requests for force adds differently and some departments may not allow this request. Click the link below to view the process for requesting a force add for the department in which the class is located:

Bookmark that page for future reference as procedures change every semester

Virginia Tech has a process called Request to Force Add which is a procedure that allows students to request to enroll in classes that are already full to their planned capacity or that have restrictions that the students do not meet (i.e., prerequisites, time conflicts, etc.).

Every department handles requests for force adds differently and some departments may not allow this request. Click the link below to view the process for requesting a force add for the department in which the class is located:

Bookmark that page for future reference as procedures change every semester

Undergraduate student may request to add a course late after the published deadline only for extenuating circumstances and requires the permission of the instructor,  academic advisor or department head, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.

College of Science students must complete the COS Request to Late Add/Drop/Change Grade Mode Form identifying the reason for the late add and have all of the required signatures before submitting it for final approval.

The policy is intended to assist undergraduate students who find themselves enrolled in undergraduate level courses for which they are insufficiently prepared, or for those who initially enroll in majors that they subsequently change.

This policy allows currently enrolled students to designate a grading option of "CW" to a course. Courses with this option are not gradable and do not calculate in the GPA but remain on the academic transcript with the letter grade of "W". 

Undergraduate students are allotted a maximum of three (3) course withdrawals beyond the normal six-week drop deadline date during a student's undergraduate academic career at Virginia Tech until the last day of class. Students should view the appropriate academic calendar for the published deadline for the last day to use a course withdrawal and apply for a W grade policy.

No reason is indicated on the official transcript as to why a student has used a course withdrawal. That is at the student's own discretion.

Students whose primary major is in the College of Science will need to complete the Course Withdrawal Form from the COS Student Forms website by the last day of classes for the particular term they wish to withdraw from a course.

Students can see when their course withdrawal processes in their Hokie Spa > Classic Student Schedule > select the appropriate semester > Grade Option will show Course Withdrawal.

It is strongly recommended that students should meet with their academic advisor before submitting the Course Withdrawal Form.

A student must use all three (3) of their course withdrawals first. Only once they have used all three (3) course withdrawals, can a College of Science undergraduate student request to drop a course late after the published deadline only for extenuating circumstances. This request requires the permission of the instructor,  academic advisor or department head, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.

Students whose primary major is in the College of Science must complete the COS Request to Late Add/Drop/Change Grade Mode Form identifying the reason for the late drop and have all of the required signatures before submitting it for final approval.

Beginning Fall 2016, students may only attempt a course three (3) times. An attempt is when a student is enrolled in a course on the last day to add courses during each semester. Courses designated as repeatable credit (to the limit allowed) are excluded from this policy (i.e., independent studies, internship, etc.)

All course repeats should be done in consultation with a student's academic advisor. Any student who enrolls for a fourth (4) attempt will be dropped from the course. If a student's extenuating circumstances prevent successful completion of the course on a third attempt, the student may appeal (petition) to repeat the course again. College of Science students can appeal to cosadvising@vt.edu.

All courses repeated count in the calculation of the grade point average unless changed to Pass/Fail per policy.

Students may not repeat courses in order to improve their grade average where a grade of C or higher has been earned. An assigned grade of A-D for the second occurrence will be changed to a grade of Pass (P) whenever a graduation analysis (DARS report) detects a repeated course with a C or better grade. Repeating a course where the course is C- or below will result in both instances of the graded course being computed in the grade point average.

Repeating a course subsequent times may affect financial aid and eligibility for certain programs. Students receiving financial aid should check with the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid to determine what, if any, financial aid implications there are for repeating courses.

Veterans, athletes, and international students may have additional rules associated with course repeats. These students should check with their appropriate departments for additional information.

The Pass/Fail (P/F) grading system is available to encourage students to enrich their academic programs and explore more challenging courses outside their majors, without the pressures and demands of the regular grading system.

None of the restrictions below apply to a course if it is only offered on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis.
Courses that are being utilized as Free Elective courses can be changed to Pass/Fail.

Requirements for Students to Change a Course to Pass/Fail
No required course(s) used for Pathways Concepts (General Education), major or minor may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis
(unless the course is only offered Pass/Fail)
Available to all undergraduate students who have COMPLETED a minimum of 30 credits at Virginia Tech
Have an overall GPA of 2.00 or above Students may take up to 12 credits hours of coursework as Pass/Fail, excluding courses that are only offered as Pass/Fail
Only two (2) courses per semester may be taken as
Pass/Fail, excluding courses offered only as Pass/Fail

Under the Pass/Fail grading option, a “P” is granted for earning a “D” or better in the course.

Otherwise, an “F” is given for earning a grade of “D-“ or lower.

Passing grades are not calculated in the GPA, whereas a failing grade is calculated in the GPA

Courses can be changed to Pass/Fail no later than the Last day to change grade option from A-F to P/F deadline
(review the academic calendar)
Once credit is received for a course taken under the Pass/Fail grading option, the course cannot be repeated under the “A-F” grading option

 

If students meet the criteria, they can change the course to a Pass/Fail basis by completing the Request to Change Course to Pass/Fail or A-F Form from the COS Student Forms website.

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to take courses at another US institution if they wish to do so.

A student whose primary major is in the College of Science must receive approval PRIOR to enrollment at the other institution. Failure to secure prior approval may result in the coursework being deemed unacceptable for transfer.  

College of Science students must complete the Authorization to Take Courses Elsewhere (US) Form from the COS Student Forms website and submit it to their academic advisor for approval. The academic advisor will submit the form to the College of Science Dean's Office for processing. Allow a MINIMUM OF 3 WEEKS for the approval process. You will receive an email when the request form has been reviewed notifying you if the course(s) is approved, denied, or additional information is required.

When intending to transfer courses to Virginia Tech, students must use the appropriate database to determine course equivalency. The databases can be found at https://transferguide.registrar.vt.edu/.

Types of Transfer Credit Database to Use
Notes
If you plan to attend a college in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS)
VCCS Course Equivalents
Only classes listed in the current database are approved for transfer for the current year.
If you plan to attend any institution outside of the Virginia Community College System
Transfer Equivalency Database If your course is not on this database, please attach the course syllabus with this form for review of course equivalency. You can obtain the syllabus from the institution you seek to transfer the course from

 

Policies Governing Transfer Credits to Virginia Tech
If prior approval is not obtained for your course(s), you may not receive transfer credit
Courses must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university
A student will NOT receive transfer credit for any course with a grade lower than "C". Grades with a "C-" or below will NOT TRANSFER
Grades do not transfer, only credits transfer. Thus, transfer credits will not impact GPA
A course completed at Virginia Tech takes priority over an equivalent transfer course, regardless of when the transfer course is taken or the grade is earned
Of the last 45 credit hours before graduation, only 18 credits hours will transfer
Only courses for a primary degree will transfer. Students graduating with more than one degree must complete the additional 30 credit hours in residence at Virginia Tech
To graduate with a Virginia Tech degree, a minimum of 25% of total credits for majors and minors must be taken at Virginia Tech
No more than 50% of credits required for a degree may be transferred from a community college (maximum of 60 credits for College of Science majors)
Correspondence courses will not transfer
Courses must be college-parallel, not terminal courses in a vocational program
**Course taken elsewhere while a student is on suspension will not transfer

Credit may be allowed by special examination where command of a subject can be demonstrated in place of formal course work. Credit by Exam is not available to students who have previously audited or enrolled in the course or have previously attempted credit by examination for the course. Only currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible for special examinations.

If credit by examination is approved, the offering department shall have full responsibility for determining the type of examination to be given and what constitutes a passing grade.

A maximum of 12 credits may be awarded. Approval must be obtained from the head of the academic department offering the course.

Credit established by examination may NOT be used to satisfy the in-residence requirements for graduation. No grades or quality credits will be assigned. Credit by exam is graded on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis only.

There is a $10.00 per credit fee for the examination and fees are subject to change at the beginning of an academic year.

Official Transcript Unofficial Transcript

The official transcript is the complete record of all academic work attempted at Virginia Tech, regardless of degree-seeking status or program level. The university does not provide official transcripts that segregate individual courses, schools, terms, or levels.

Official transcripts can be ordered online 24/7 through the National Student Clearinghouse. Transcripts may be ordered for electronic delivery, first-class mail, or for pick up in the Office of the University Registrar.

Students can view and print/save their unofficial transcript in Hokie Spa by following the instructions below:

  1. Go to Hokie Spa, > click Transcripts and Certifications Menu > View Unofficial Transcripts > Submit
  2. Press Ctrl+P. The Print Dialog box will appear.
  3. In the printer name drop-down, select Adobe PDF (or whatever PDF viewer is on your computer). Click OK.
  4. The Unofficial Transcript will be saved as a PDF document to your default save location
    (For example: your desktop or “My Documents” folder)
Undergraduate Full-Time Enrollment Status
Fall/Spring Semesters
12 or more credit hours in A-F grade option or Pass/Fail grade option
Winter 5 or more credit hours in A-F grade option or Pass/Fail grade option
Summer 12 credit hours combined for all parts of term

Example: Enrollment of 12 credit hours in the twelve-week session.
Example: Enrollment of 6 credit hours in the first six-week session and enrollment of an additional 6 credit hours in the second six-week session.

*https://www.registrar.vt.edu/registration-enrollment.html

Audit hours will not be used in establishing minimum full-time enrollment. Neither the payment of full fees nor compliance with maximums established as a condition of employment or appointment is the basis for deviation from the definition above.

Financial Aid

Students must be registered a minimum of Six (6) credits per semester to be eligible for prorated federal financial aid.
Students must be registered a minimum of Twelve (12) credits per semester to be eligible for full federal financial aid.
Students should contact the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid to determine the minimum number of enrollment credits per semester to be eligible for state and institutional aid.

Dropping Hours After Drop/Add
If a student drops credits after the end of the add period, their financial aid may be adjusted based on their course load and date they drop a course.

An important fact to keep in mind, if they are a current or previous Federal Direct Loan (subsidized/unsubsidized loan) borrower with an in-school deferment status and drop to below half-time (five (5) credit hours or below) as an undergraduate student, they will go into the six-month grace period to repay the Federal Direct Loan(s).

If students have further questions, they should be directed to speak with:

Department Email Phone
Office of University Scholarships & Financial Aid finaid@vt.edu 540-231-5179


 

International Students

International students at Virginia Tech must be enrolled in 12-credits for undergraduate students to be considered full-time to maintain legal status.  International students are not allowed to drop below full-time without prior authorization from the Cranwell International Center and only under very limited circumstances.

If students have further questions, they should be directed to speak with:

Department Email Phone
Cranwell International Center international@vt.edu 540-231-6527

 

The student will need permission to drop below full-time status by completing and submitting a reduced course load request online through IntlHokies.

IntlHokies is an abbreviation for International Hokies, Virginia Tech’s online immigration services portal for international students. Through IntlHokies, international students are able to access a wide range of immigration resources and services from Cranwell International Center. More specifically, IntlHokies enables international students who are advised by Cranwell International Center to submit immigration-related requests, upload related documents, and track the status of the request.

IntlHokies can be found at https://international.vt.edu/immigration_services/IntlHokies.html.


 

On-Campus Residence

To qualify for on-campus housing, undergraduate students must be currently enrolled, full-time (12 or more credit hours), and have paid all applicable charges related to campus housing.  If the student falls below full-time status, they will not be automatically released from their contractual obligations and may be permitted to remain in the residence hall as long as the student is not in violation of any University policies and/or regulations.

If students have further questions, they should be directed to speak with:

Department Email Phone
Housing and Residence Life housing@vt.edu 540-231-6205

 

 

Student-Athletes

Student-athletes must be enrolled "full time" (12 credits for undergraduates) each semester to maintain NCAA eligibility for practice and competition. If student-athlete wishes to drop below 12 credits, permission must be obtained from the University Registrar and consultation with a Student Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) counselor.

Unless a student is enrolled in the final credits needed during the term of graduation, a drop below "full time" status will immediately render them ineligible to compete and practice and may have financial aid consequences.

Please note that a student's use of VT's Course Withdrawal policy does not affect full-time status.

Department Phone
Student Athlete Academic Support Services 540-231-6165

 

 

Study Abroad

All students studying abroad for a semester are required to be enrolled in at least the equivalent of 12 or more Virginia Tech credit hours to maintain full-time status.  Students will also need to follow the minimum full-time enrollment requirement for their host university/program which in many cases will be more than 12 credits.

If students have further questions, they should be directed to speak with:

Department Email Phone
Global Education Office vtabroad@vt.edu 540-231-5888

 

 

Veterans

All beneficiaries withdrawing or resigning from a semester or reducing their course load must notify, in writing, the Office of Veteran Services. This may have an adverse impact on their eligibility for benefits.

Department Email Phone
Office of Veteran Services veteran@vt.edu 540-231-5815


 

Tuition & Refund

Tuition is the primary charge for educational services leading to degree credit. Tuition is determined by a number of factors, including the student’s residency status (in-state/out-of-state resident), the number of credit hours for which the student is registered, the student’s course of study, and the student’s classification level.

TUITION & FEE RATES BY ACADEMIC SEMESTERS
Tuition & Fee Rates https://www.bursar.vt.edu/tuition-fee-rates/tuition-fees.html

 

The Bursar's Office provides a refund schedule for withdrawals, resignations, and reduced course load for the fall/spring semesters. These are published on the Bursar’s website under Refund Policy. Students considering reducing their course load or resigning should always review examples of the calculation of any refund before actually dropping the course or resigning.

If students have further questions, they should be directed to speak with:

Department Email Phone
Bursar’s Office bursar@vt.edu 540-231-6277

All majors require a minimum number of credits required to graduate. All majors in the College of Science require a student to achieve a minimum of 120 credits. There may be times that courses for the major and general education are less than 120 credits. In this case, students would have to take free elective courses that will help the student accumulate credits that count towards degree requirements to ensure they earn the minimum 120 credits. Other majors in different colleges may have different minimum credit requirements.

If a student is pursuing a minor that is not required for the major, those credits from the minor can be used as free electives.

Before taking a course for free electives, students should check with their academic advisor as there are some courses they will not count for degree requirements.

Restrictions for Free Electives
If a student took a course and wants to take the same course again, courses that cannot be repeated for credit cannot be used (Review the Undergraduate Catalog > Course Descriptions > Course Prefix)
Courses that duplicate or partially duplicate another course you  have taken cannot be used as free electives (Review the Undergraduate Catalog > Course Descriptions > Course Prefix)
Courses that may not count towards degree requirements cannot be used as free electives (Review the Undergraduate Catalog > Course Descriptions > Course Prefix)
If students have not met the Admissions foreign language requirement, the 6 credits of college-level foreign or classical language credit or American Sign Language will NOT count towards degree requirements

A course substitution allows one course to count for another course and is reflected in the DARS report.

Students must have an acceptable reason for not completing the required course and must go through an approval process to request a substitution. Students should contact their academic advisor to discuss a course substitution.

The Timetable of Classes will indicate the day and time of your final exam for your course(s).

You can search for a particular course and the last column on the right will indicate Exam (Click on Exam Code).

Picture of where to find final exam time on Timetable of Classes

If students have conflicting final exams or have three or more exams in a 24-hour period, they can request to change a final examination by completing the Request to Change Final Examination Form from the College of Science Student Forms website, obtain the instructor's signature, and follow the instructions on the website to submit the form for processing.

Exam change requests due to travel, business, or family plan will not be approved.

Requesting to reschedule final examinations must be completed by the deadline available on the academic calendar. Students who are unable to take an examination because of illness or circumstances beyond the student’s control may reschedule the examination.



Progress Towards Degree (Policy 91) is designed to make sure students stay on track for their chosen major and continue to make progress during their time at Virginia Tech. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are on pace to meet all major, degree, college, and graduation requirements needed to complete their degree. If student’s don’t meet progress towards degree, they will be required to change majors.

In order to ensure students are on track for completion of their degree, students may refer to the corresponding Checksheet(s) and Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) for their degree requirements.

Majors may indicate students must earn a minimum grade in a required course for the major, maximum number of course attempts, or must have completed specific courses by a certain number of attempted credits.

If you have questions regarding the 125% Rule after reviewing the Registrar's website, please contact registrar@vt.edu.

Students are not able to drop their only class on their own through Hokie Spa and will need to complete the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form from the COS Student Forms website.

When You Are Dropping All Courses
Process
Required Signature(s)
Dropping all your courses on or after the first day of classes but prior to the deadline to resign without grade penalty

If you are resigning from Virginia Tech on or after the first day of classes for the semester/session but prior to the deadline to resign without academic penalty, please complete the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form with the appropriate signatures and submit it to the COS Dean’s Office Document Portal.

Once all appropriate signatures are on the form, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs will sign and submit the form to the Registrar’s Office on the student's behalf.

Student

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

Additional signatures may be required if:

You live in a residence hall

You are affiliated with the Corps of Cadets

You are an international student

Visit the Bursar's Resignations & Reduced Course Load Policy website > Policy Details by Year and Term for more information about how a resignation will affect tuition reimbursement.

Note: This will not stop their enrollment at Virginia Tech and wll also not count as one of their three course withdrawals.

Students are not able to drop their only class on their own through Hokie Spa and will need to complete the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form from the COS Student Forms website.

When You Are Dropping All Courses
Process
Required Signature(s)
To drop all courses before the start of the semester/session
If you are withdrawing from Virginia Tech before classes begin for the semester/session, please complete the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form and submit it to the Office of the University Registrar
Student
Dropping all your courses on or after the first day of classes but prior to the deadline to resign without grade penalty

If you are resigning from Virginia Tech on or after the first day of classes for the semester/session but prior to the deadline to resign without academic penalty, please complete the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form with the appropriate signatures and submit it to the COS Dean’s Office Document Portal.

Once all appropriate signatures are on the form, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs will sign and submit the form to the Registrar’s Office on the student's behalf.

Student

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

Additional signatures may be required if:

You live in a residence hall

You are affiliated with the Corps of Cadets

You are an international student

 

Visit the Bursar's Resignations & Reduced Course Load Policy website > Policy Details by Year and Term for more information about how a resignation will affect tuition reimbursement.

Note: This will not stop their enrollment at Virginia Tech and wll also not count as one of their three course withdrawals.

Students are not able to drop their only class on their own through Hokie Spa and will need to complete the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form from the COS Student Forms website.

Prior to the first day of winter courses and while the University is open before Winter Break, students can complete the form and submit it with just their signature to registrar@vt.edu. The Registrar's Office will drop the course(s) from their winter schedule.

If students decide they wish to drop their winter course(s) while the University is closed for Winter Break, they will need to email the Student Withdrawal/Resignation Form with just their signature to winter@vt.edu.

Note: This will not stop their enrollment at Virginia Tech. It will just drop them from all or their only course for the winter term. This wll also not count as one of their three course withdrawals.

Undergraduate students who attempt at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F grade option and who earn a 3.4 GPA for either spring or fall semester are included on the Dean's List for that term. Deans' Lists are not compiled for summer sessions.  

College of Science students will receive an electronic certificate to their Virginia Tech email address within six weeks of the start of the subsequent semester the student was on the Dean's List.

If there are any questions about not receiving an electronic certificate, please contact cosadvising@vt.edu.

Since diplomas are no longer given at the Fall/Spring commencement ceremony, it is important you apply for your degree as soon as your junior year so your diploma can be mailed to your appropriate mailing address.

This is also where you state your intent to walk at the Fall or Spring graduation ceremony.

To apply for graduation:

  1. Log into Hokie Spa
  2. Click on Degree Menu
  3. Click on Undergraduate Degree Menu
  4. Click on Application for Degree

If you are unable to indicate on your Application for Degree in Hokie Spa your intent to walk in the Fall ceremony, you will need to notify the College of Science Dean's Office Advising Team of your intent to walk in the fall ceremony.

You can send an email to cosadvising@vt.edu

If you are unable to indicate on your Application for Degree in Hokie Spa your intent to walk in the Spring ceremony, you will need to notify the College of Science Dean's Office Advising Team of your intent to walk in the Spring ceremony.

You can send an email to cosadvising@vt.edu

The College of Science does not provide graduation chords.

If students are graduating with honors distinction, students will purchase the honor sash from the University Bookstore. To qualify for an honors sash, students must have completed the following:

  • 3.40 or better overall GPA
  • Completed at least 60 credits at Virginia Tech

Please allow 10-12 weeks after commencement to receive your printed diploma. Certified Electronic Diplomas (CeDiploma) may be available prior to receiving your printed diploma. You will be notified via email when your CeDiploma is available to order with instructions on how to order it.  

If you need verification immediately following graduation, you may request a certified letter or order your official transcripts through Hokie Spa.

As long as students graduate from Virginia Tech, the Virginia Tech email address will remain active indefinitely.

Students that graduate will lose their paid account access to Zoom. However, they will still have a free zoom account with their VT email address. This allows graduates to host meetings up to 45 minutes but have no cloud recording capabilities.

If graduates want to purchase a Zoom account like they had while a student at VT they can but they can not use their VT email address to do so.

   
Fall/Spring In order to be eligible for full federal, state, and institutional aid students qualified for, undergraduate students should be enrolled full-time, which is defined as a minimum of 12-credits per semester.
Summer

Undergraduate students must be enrolled at least half time, which is a minimum of 6 credits over the summer in order to receive federal loans.

Students are encourgaged to contact the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid for futher information on eligibility and qualifications.

To be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, all students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP.)  The regulations provided by the U.S Department of Education are geared toward improving program integrity.  Virginia Tech has established its own policy to adhere to these guidelines while ensuring student success.

If a student drops credits after the end of the add period, their financial aid may be adjusted based on their course load and date they drop a course.

Students should be directed to speak with:

Department Email Phone
Office of University Scholarships & Financial Aid finaid@vt.edu 540-231-5179

Scholarship Application Instructions

All students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for a scholarship.

Any continuing College of Science student will be considered for College of Science scholarships if they:    

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Have completed at least one semester of course work at Virginia Tech
  3. Have a declared major in the College of Science (includes Explore Science)
  4. Meet scholarship specific criteria
  5. Complete the General and College of Science scholarship applications using Scholarship Central
  6. All College of Science scholarships are one-year scholarships. Students must apply/re-apply every year to be considered.
   
Enrollment Purposes Students studying abroad for a semester are required to be enrolled in at least the equivalent of 12 more more Virginia Tech credit hours to maintain a full-time status.
Financial Aid Students should speak with the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid to see if they are eligible for financial aid.
Research It's critical students research the country / city / institution they're thinking about studying abroad in so they're not surprised when they get there.  The main goal is they have an enjoyable and comfortable experience while studying in a different location. 
Scholarship Students can apply for various scholarships from the Global Education Office website.

In the early stages of thinking about study abroad, you should meet with the following team:

   
Global Education Office Peer advisors take first-visit meetings during scheduled walk-in advising hours to explain (among other things):
  • How to find programs that meet your needs/wishes
  • Application process
  • Credit transfer procedures
  • Scholarships/financial aid
  • Global Education policies  
Academic Advisor

Mention your study abroad plans any time you are discussing your academic plan. Don’t view study abroad as something separate, instead, think of it as part of your curriculum.

Academic advisors can:

  • Help determine the best time to study elsewhere
  • See how study abroad fits your degree progress
  • Check which and how many courses you are required to take in order to graduate on time
  • Determine if the courses offered abroad are a good match for the courses you need to take
  • Ascertain if there are prerequisites you need to take at Virginia Tech before going abroad
  • Determine flexibility with course selection (including major(s), in your minor(s), CLEs, electives)
Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid They can help answer questions about:
  • Whether a particular type of aid (i.e. 529 plan) can be used for study abroad
  • Types of aid or assistance (loans) that are available
Cranwell International Center Check with the Cranwell International Center to see if they can connect you with international students. They can help answer your questions about living in their home country (i.e. culture, customs, educational system, transportation, money matters, communication, socializing norms, housing, laws, safety, free time and other topics).

A college education does more than train students for a career. It helps students develop intellectual skills that will enhance their professional, civic, and personal lives for years to come. Students will learn how to analyze the world around them from different perspectives, how to communicate their ideas and understand the ideas of others, how to solve problems and how to apply their knowledge to real-world projects.

Pathways Concept courses are Virginia Tech's general education program and is about one-third of the courses students take during their college years. Students are required to complete the general education program as part of their degree requirements.

When choosing courses for this program, students should not just choose courses because they believe it is an easy A. This defeats the purpose of the program. Students should choose courses that they believe will challenge them to expand their knowledge, develop additional skills, and view perspectives from a different lens to anticipate challenges and develop solutions to challenges in their field.

The Pathways Concepts program consists of seven (7) key concepts students must fulfill for their general education requirements.

Pathway Concept Description
1f Foundational Discourse
1a Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
5f Foundational Quantitative and Computational Thinking
5a Advanced/Applied Quantitative and Computational Thinking
6a Critique and Practice in the Arts
6d Critique and Practice in Design
7 Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States

Students can view the Pathways Guide by Concept to get an idea of what courses will apply to specific concepts.
Students can view the Pathways Guide by Alphabet to get an idea if the courses they are interested in will apply to specific concepts.

The  Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is a computer-generated report for undergraduate and associate level students that facilitates monitoring of a student's academic progress toward degree completion.

DARS allows academic advisors and students to see how coursework is applied to a curriculum, check degree progress, create a plan for future courses, review course history, monitor overall and in-major GPA, and more.

Accessing a DARS Report as a Student

  1. Log into HokieSpa
  2. Click on DARS & Hokie GPS
  3. Click Run Audit
  4. Click Run Declared Programs
  5. Click View Audit
When the report is viewed, students can scroll to the PATHWAYS CONCEPT sections and click on the > to expand the section.
 
If the section has a green checkmark, it means the Pathways Concept is complete.
If the section has a red x, it means the Pathways Concept still needs courses to be taken
If the section has three dots in a blue square, it means the Pathways Concept is intended to be completed with currently registered courses
 
However, if the REQUIRED MAJOR COURSES THAT MAY DOUBLE COUNT WITH PATHWAYS GE CONCEPTS has a red X, it means that there are courses required for the major to complete specific Pathways Concepts. You can click on the > to expand the section to determine what specific courses are required to complete the General Education courses for the major.
 

Looking at Pathways Concepts that are completed and need to be completed

Looking at Pathways Concepts that are completed and need to be completed in DARS

Pathways Minors are thematic, cross-disciplinary programs that allow students to examine important topics from a variety of perspectives while completing general education requirements along the way.  

There are 29 Pathways minors, and to-date, over 200 students have graduated with a Pathways minor and over 1000 students are currently enrolled in one.

*Note: data accessible Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Reviewing your major(s) checksheet will help you determine if any of your major courses can count for your Pathways Concepts.

Checksheets can be found on the University Registrar’s website at https://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/checksheets.html. To find the appropriate Checksheet, you can search by majors alphabetically or by college.

Students should choose the checksheet for the year they began at Virginia Tech as this will be the curriculum requirements they complete in order to graduate.

To get an idea of what courses from the major will count for Pathways Concepts, you will need to look at the Pathways to General Education Requirements on the checksheet and if any Pathways Concepts have specific courses listed in them, that means they are required for your major and will also count towards Pathways Concepts.

From the Date of Entry 2022-2023 Clinical Neuroscience checksheet example below, the following courses are required for the major and will count for Pathways Concepts:
Concept 4: BIOL 1105 and BIOL 1106
Concept 5F: MATH 1025 and MATH 1026
Concept 5A: STAT 3615

Pathways Concepts Requirements for 2022-2023 Clinical Neuroscience checksheet

Pathways Concepts Requirements for 2022-2023 Clinical Neuroscience checksheet