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Click to view a brief presentation on the 125% rule for in-state tuition and see how it may impact you.

The Code of Virginia establishes rules for eligibility for in-state tuition for all students enrolled at public institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Section 23.1-509 of the Code of Virginia further requires undergraduate students to maintain progress toward the degree to comply with continued eligibility for in-state tuition. Students with entry dates Fall 2006 and after may not exceed attempted hours that total 125% of the minimum credit hours needed for a specific degree program and retain in-state tuition eligibility. Students exceeding 125% will be assessed a surcharge for each semester of continued enrollment after exceeding the credit hour threshold. For the purpose of this state law, all credits attempted (Virginia Tech and Transfer) are used in the calculation of the percentage. The requirement does allow the subtraction of credits awarded for Advanced Placement, Advanced Standing, International Baccalaureate, and Credit by Exam from the attempted totals. Important resources to assist you so as to avoid the credit hour surcharge include:

  • Credit Hour Surcharge Costs, Virginia Tech Bursar.  Click on the relevant term link.  Please note that the Excess Credit Hour Tuition surcharge is per credit hour. To calculate the total surcharge for a term, multiply the surcharge amount per credit hour by the number of credit hours enrolled (up to 12 credit hours per semester in Fall and Spring terms).
  • State Code of Virginia, Section 23.1-509

Filing Appeals:

Students may file an appeal of the credit hour surcharge based on one or more of the following reasons:  

  • Medical documentation of illness
  • Medical documentation of a disability
  • Documentation of active services in the armed services military
  • One time major change from a degree-seeking major to another degree-seeking major. 

Documentation and letter of appeal may be forwarded to:

Office of the University Registrar
250 Student Services Building (0134)
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061

How many credits can I attempt before violating the 125% Rule and how can I calculate my limit/threshold?

The credit hour threshold refers to the number of credit hours that can be attempted before violating the 125% Rule for In-State Tuition. This number varies from student to student. One of the most important pieces to understanding the 125% Rule, is the timing in which the credit hour threshold is determined. The 125% Rule credit hour threshold is determined at the time the student receives the initial warning notice (email from the Office of the University Registrar).

The warning notice is sent to all students who receive In-State tuition, once they have attempted (attempted hours = VT coursework + transfer credit + in-progress coursework + pre-registered coursework) 100% of the required hours of their primary degree program. Students may receive the warning email more than once. The calculation on which the warning notice is based is automated and does not account for many factors that can affect an individual student's standing (additional degrees, minors, etc.). The warning email serves two main purposes.

  • The warning email informs the student that they have attempted the number of hours required to graduate with his/her primary degree, are paying In-State tuition, and thus, may be approaching violation of the 125% Rule. *The limit/threshold has NOT been exceeded when the warning email is received, but based on mass-generated, automated calculations, the student may be getting close*.
  • The initial receipt of the warning email “locks-in” the student’s specified/declared degree program. The specified degree program consists of a) primary major + b) additional/dual degrees + c) minors. All additional degrees/minors MUST be applied for/declared as such on the student record for them to be included as part of the specified degree program. Double majors are not included and do not increase a student’s 125% rule limit. At the time of the receipt of the initial warning email, the student’s specified degree program is locked-in. This means that whatever the specified degree program is at the time of the initial warning is the basis of the student’s 125% Rule threshold, and it will remain that way. Obviously, students are free to make changes to their degree programs after this warning notice, but any changes will have NO EFFECT on their 125% threshold.
To determine students’ 125% rule credit hour threshold, they will need to know the time in which they first received their initial warning notice. Once the date of the receipt of the warning notice has been confirmed, the following information will be needed to calculate the threshold.
  1. Hours Required to complete the primary degree on the student record at the time of the receipt of the initial warning.
  2. If an additional/dual degree has been declared and applied for as such at the time of the receipt of the initial warning, 30 hours will be for each additional degree.
  3. The hours required to complete each minor that was declared on the student record at the time of the initial warning.
125% x (a + b + c)
 
Below are two example threshold calculations for students:
  1. At the time the initial warning notice was received, Student A had a specified degree program of: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry as a primary degree (120 required hours), no additional degree(s), and no minor(s):

    125% x (120 hours) = 150 hours

    Student A has a 125% Rule credit hour threshold of 150 hours.

  2. At the time the initial warning notice was received, Student A had a specified degree program of: Bachelor of Science in Psychology (120 required hours), an additional degree of Bachelor of Arts in Economics (30 additional required hours), a minor in History (18 required hours).

    125% x (120 hours + 30 hours + 18 hours) = 210 hours

    Student B has a 125% Rule credit hour threshold of 210 hours.

The 125% Rule Evaluation Audit

The Office of the University Registrar has developed a tool within the Degree Audit Systems (DARS) to provide students with an opportunity to run a “What-If” degree audit to provide a rough outline of their standing with the 125% Rule at DEGREE AUDIT MENU. The instructions for running the 125% Rule Evaluation audit are below:

1. From the Request an Audit screen, click “Select a Different Program:”

Step 1 Screenshot

2. From the Degree dropdown menu, select 125% Rule for In-State Tuition Evaluation and from the Graduation Term dropdown menu, select your graduation term. Then, click on Run Different Program.


Step 2 Screenshot

3. An Evaluation audit will be generated. Click View Audit to see the evaluation.

Step 3 Screenshot

4. The evaluation audit will be displayed. To review the audit, click the arrow next to the red X and the evaluation will display.

Step 4 Screenshot

**PLEASE NOTE** – The 125% Rule for In-State Tuition Evaluation Tool is a generalized evaluation and the credit hour threshold is not specific to each individual student. For the purposes of this generalized evaluation, the credit hour threshold is fixed at 150 hours. This represents the minimum credit hour threshold for any undergraduate student at Virginia Tech. It is possible that not all transfer hours will contribute towards the total attempted hours. Any transfer credit earned before high school graduation, attempted at a private institution, or attempted at an institution outside of the State of Virginia does not contribute to the attempted hours. Depending on your specified degree program, your credit hour threshold may be more than the fixed 150-hour threshold used in this calculation – additional credits may need to be added or removed from contributing to the attempted hours. For a full, detailed evaluation of your specific standing with the 125% Rule for In-State Tuition, please contact VA125Rule@vt.edu.**

Q:  Are there any limitations placed on in-state tuition?  If so, what are they?
A:  To maintain in-state tuition rates, students must graduate by the time they have attempted 125% of the minimum credit hours required for their declared (specified) degree programs (This includes any Major, Double Majors, Options, Minors, and Additional Degrees).

Q:  What happens if I do not graduate by the time my “credit-hours-attempted” exceeds 125% of the minimum credit hours required for my declared degree program?
A:  Students who do not graduate by the time they have attempted 125% of the minimum credit hours required for their specified degree programs will incur a tuition surcharge.

Q:  What is a Tuition Surcharge?
A:  The tuition surcharge is the additional tuition that students must pay for continued enrollment after their attempted credit hours equal or exceed 125% of the minimum credit hours required for their declared degree programs.

Q:  Concerning in-state tuition rates, what may be counted as comprising the minimum hours required for my declared degree program?
A:  Your specified degree program consists of your primary degree, additional degrees (not double majors), and any minors. In order for these to be counted towards your DECLARED degree program, you must have applied for all degrees and minors that you are pursuing.

Q:  What is meant by DECLARED degree program?
A:  Your declared (specified) degree program consists only of those degrees, majors, and minors that you have applied for on the Application-for-Degree form on Hokie Spa.

Q:  What is meant by the term “Credit Hour Threshold”?
A:  The credit hour threshold is 125% of the minimum number of credit hours required to complete your declared degree program. Any attempted hours beyond this threshold trigger the tuition surcharge.

Q:  Is there anything on my declared degree program which does not increase my 125% threshold?
A:  Yes, double majors and major concentrations (options) do not increase the credit hour threshold.

Q:  I am told that I must take a class each semester to remain a member of the Regimental Band.  Can these classes be used to increase my credit hour threshold?
A:  No.  Only those courses specified by your declared degree program can be used to determine your credit hour threshold.

Q:  As a member of the VT Corps of Cadets, I am told that I must take certain classes to remain a member of the Corps.  Can these classes be used to increase my credit hour threshold?
A:  No:  Only the courses required of your specified degree program may be used to increase your credit hour threshold.

Q:  Does declaring an additional degree increase the credit hour threshold?
A:  Yes, a declared additional or dual degree will add a minimum of 30 credit hours to the total required to complete the degree. However, the additional degree must be declared no later than the acadmeic year prior to the term in which you exceed the credit hour threshold. Each declared minor will also increase the total degree hours by the minimum required hours to complete the minor.

Q:  Can I change my declared (specified) degree program?
A:
  Yes, you can change your specified degree program at any time however please be aware changing majors may necessitate additional coursework which could cause you to exceed the credit hour threshold and incur the tuition surcharge. You should work with your course advisor to carefully plan your degree program so that you are able to accomplish your academic goals and avoid the tuition surcharge.

Q:  At what point in my academic career is the credit hour threshold determined?
A:  The credit hour threshold is determined based on your academic record at the time the final notification email is issued (Please see “warning email” question below). Adding additional majors or minors after this time will not alter the credit hour threshold calculations. After this point in time, changing your specified degree program will not affect your threshold in any way.

Q:  What happens if I cross the 125% credit hour threshold?
A:  Students who exceed the credit hour threshold must pay a tuition surcharge for each term of enrollment after crossing the threshold. This tuition surcharge is essentially double the normal in-state tuition rate.

Q:  What credits are included in determining my standing relative to the 125% threshold?
A.  All attempted Virginia Tech credit hours as well as transfer credit work from Virginia collegiate institutions are used in your standing relative to the credit hour threshold.

Q:  Is there anything that does not count against my credit hour threshold?
A:  Yes, the State Guidelines allow for the subtraction of credits awarded for high school dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, Advanced Standing, International Baccalaureate, and Credit by Exam from the attempted totals. Transfer credits from non-Virginia public colleges and universities may also be excluded from the credit hours attempted totals.

Q:  Can I drop transfer credit to avoid this surcharge?
A:  No. Effective Spring 2023, students do not have the option at Virginia Tech to choose to disallow transfer credit. All Virginia public institution transfer credit, with the exception of high school dual enrollment and credits disallowed by university requirement, must be used in the 125% credit hour threshold calculations. 

Q:  Is there anything I can do to avoid violating this regulation?
A:  Absolutely! It is very important that you consult with your academic advisor and review the resources available on this page.

Planning for the completion of your degree requirements prior to reaching the credit hour threshold is critical in avoiding the tuition surcharge. In many, if not all cases, proper planning and compliance with university guidelines will prevent the application of the tuition surcharge. It is therefore imperative that you work with your academic advisor to clearly define your academic program and to declare all the degrees and minors you are pursuing.

Q:  Can I appeal to have the Surcharge waived once it has been applied to my account?
A:  While the Code of Virginia allows for a tuition surcharge waiver process, the standards set forth in the State Guidelines are both limited and rigorous. For more information on tuition surcharge waiver criteria, please refer to the SCHEV regulations.

Q:  What types of notifications can I expect to receive concerning this regulation?
A:  You may receive the below email types.

  • The first is a warning email. The purpose of this warning email is to inform you that you have attempted the minimum hours necessary to complete your degree. At the time you receive this email you will not have triggered the tuition surcharge, but you are getting close. You may receive more than one warning email.
  • The second is a final notification email. This email is sent to your during your senior year. Changing your specified degree program after the date of this email will not change the basis of your credit hour threshold.
  • The third email, which is sent only to those students who have crossed the 125% threshold, notifies them that they will be assessed the tuition surcharge. Through careful planning and diligent study, you should avoid receiving this email.

 

**PLEASE NOTE** 

The above concerns certain limitations on In-State Tuition, sometimes referred to as the 125% Rule for In-state Tuition. Please be aware that certain financial aid programs use similar or identical terminology. This notification does not deal with Reasonable Academic Progress (RAP) or Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) or any other financial aid regulations. To determine if financial aid will be affected by the application of the 125% In-State Tuition Surcharge, please contact the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Academic Probation

Academic probation is imposed when a student's cumulative (overall) GPA is less than 2.00. Academic probation is lifted when their cumulative (overall) GPA is at least 2.00. Students are placed on academic probation at the end of fall and spring semesters ONLY, and the student's academic record is reviewed the following semester they are enrolled, excluding summer and winter terms.

A student on academic probation is eligible to receive credit for coursework taken at another college or university, but not during any period in which the student has been placed on academic suspension by Virginia Tech.
 

Academic Suspension

The minimum standard for good academic standing is a cumulative (overall) GPA of 2.00. Students are placed on academic suspension at the end of fall and spring semseters ONLY, and the student's academic record is reviewed the following semester they are enrolled, excluding summer and winter terms. If a student is not successful, they are placed on Academic Suspension.

A student on academic suspension is NOT eligible to receive credit for coursework taken at another college or university during any period in which the student has been placed on academic suspension by Virginia Tech. If they are not eligible to attend Virginia Tech due to their academic suspension status, they are not eligible to receive transfer credit during that timeframe.

First Academic Probation

The first time a student's cumulative (overall) GPA is below a 2.00

  • The student will receive an email from their academic college regarding their status which will outline the procedure to follow and the implications of not achieving good academic standing
  • Is required to work with an academic coach and their academic advisor
  • Must complete the College of Science Academic Comeback: Student Reflection Form from the COS Student Forms website and consult with their academic advisor to develop a plan stating what actions they are committed to taking to improve academic performance.
  • May take no more than 16 credits per semester
  • Must earn a cumulative (overall) GPA of 2.00, or a minimum Term GPA of 2.50 to continue at Virginia Tech. If the Term GPA is at least 2.50, but the cumulative (overall) GPA is below 2.00, the first academic probation is continued and the first academic suspension does not take place.
  • If the student's cumulative (overall) GPA falls below 2.00 and the Term GPA is below 2.50, the student will go on first academic suspension.

First Academic Suspension

The student is suspended for one regular term.

Fall: A student placed on first academic suspension at the end of fall semester is suspended for one regular term (spring) and cannot enroll in classes until the following summer/fall semester. They could return the first summer session, second summer session, following fall semester, or following winter session.

Spring: A student placed on first academic suspension at the end of spring semester is suspended for one regular term (fall) and is NOT eligible to return until the following Winter semester. The student CANNOT enroll in the immediate summer session.

When a student returns to Virginia Tech after a First Academic Suspension, their status will be "Second Academic Probation" and will need to follow guidelines under that section.

Second Academic Probation

Assigned to a student returning from first academic suspension. Upon return from First Academic Suspension, they must achieve either a minimum 2.00 Term GPA or a minimum 2.00 cumulative (overall) GPA their first term back from academic suspension (fall/winter/spring/summer).

Following the first term back, they must then earn a minimum 2.50 Term GPA their subsequent terms back until they attain the minimum 2.00 cumulative (overall) GPA.

  • The student will receive an email from their academic college regarding their status which will outline the procedure to follow and the implications of not achieving good academic standing
  • Is required to work with an academic coach and their academic advisor
  • Must complete the College of Science Academic Comeback: Student Reflection Form from the COS Student Forms website and consult with their academic advisor to develop a plan stating what actions they are committed to taking to improve academic performance.
  • May take no more than 16 credits per semester
  • If the student does not achieve the minimum 2.00 Term GPA their first term back or their cumulative (overall) GPA falls below 2.00 and the Term GPA is below 2.50 (subsequent terms), the student will go on second academic suspension.

Second Academic Suspension

The student is suspended for two regular terms.

Fall: A student placed on second academic suspension at the end of fall semester is suspended for two regular terms (spring & fall) and CANNOT return for first or second summer session within their academic suspension window.

Spring: A student placed on second academic suspension at the end of spring semester is suspended for two regular terms (fall and spring) and CANNOT enroll in the first or second summer session within their suspension window.

When a student returns to Virginia Tech after a Second Academic Suspension, their status will be "Third Academic Probation" and will need to follow guidelines under that section.

Third Academic Probation

Assigned to a student returning from a second academic suspension. Upon return from Second Academic Suspension, they must achieve either a minimum 2.00 Term GPA or a minimum 2.00 cumulative (overall) GPA their first term back from academic suspension (fall/winter/spring/summer).

Following their first term back, they must earn a minimum 2.50 Term GPA their subsequent terms back until they attain the minimum 2.00 cumulative (overall) GPA.

  • The student will receive an email from their academic college regarding their status which will outline the procedure to follow and the implications of not achieving good academic standing
  • Is required to work with an academic coach and their academic advisor
  • Must complete the College of Science Academic Comeback: Student Reflection Form from the COS Student Forms website and consult with their academic advisor to develop a plan stating what actions they are committed to taking to improve academic performance.
  • May take no more than 16 credits per semester
  • If the student does not achieve the minimum 2.00 Term GPA their first term back or their cumulative (overall) GPA falls below 2.00 and the Term GPA is below 2.50 (subsequent terms), the student will go on final academic suspension.

Final Academic Suspension

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

Undergraduate students that faced extenuating circumstances that compromised their ability to fulfill academic responsibilities, such as attending classes or completing coursework, for an extended period within a PREVIOUS 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 previously completed 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.  

What is the process?

  1. As part of the process, students whose PRIMARY major in the College of Science seeking academic relief need to attend a meeting with one of the following College of Science Dean's  Advising Office staff.
    Susan Haymore | COS Director of Undergraduate Advising
    Sarah Bechtel | COS Associate Director of Undergraduate Advising & Academic Initiatives

  2. Initiate Request (A request for academic relief must first be initiated by the student seeking academic relief. Current enrollment is necessary to enable access to the portal. Applications for academic relief cannot be submitted if you are not a current Virginia Tech student.)

  3. Academic Dean Review (An academic dean will review your request and consider other available options, such as an "I" grade, late drop, etc.)
    • Additional Review as Applicable (University Scholarships & Financial Aid and the Cranwell International Center will provide comments and review if applicable)
       
  4. Student Support Entity Review (Your request will be reviewed by the most appropriate support entity, Dean of Students Office, Cook Counseling Center, Schiffert Health Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, or the Office for Equity and Accessibility, and any required supporting documentation will be collected.)

  5. Academic Relief Committee Review (Your request will be evaluated by the committee with consideration of the campus entity recommendations.)

  6. Processing by University Registrar (Any applicable record changes will be processed by the Office of the University Registrar.)

Important Information

  • This process only applies to undergraduate students. Graduate students will be directed to the Graduate School.
  • Academic relief may be approved with conditions and/or require a meeting with your academic dean. Any conditions must be met for your relief to be processed.

How do I apply?

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

Has my Request Been Processed?

You will be notified of a successful submission and of the final outcome. You may also check the status of your request by accessing the online portal.

What if I met with an outside mental health provider that is not Cook Counseling Center?

You will need to send the Outside Mental Health Provider Form to your external provider. Once you receive it back from your provider, then email the form to cosadvising@vt.edu.

Students earning less than a 2.00 term GPA, but with an cumulative (overall) GPA of 2.00 or higher, will be placed on academic warning without notation on the academic transcript. While the overall GPA is still in good academic standing (2.00 or higher), we're concerned about your most recent performance and want to help students address the challenged faced to help them succeed.

College of Science students on academic warning will be required to complete the Academic Comeback: Student Reflection Form from the COS Student Forms website and consult with their academic advisor.

The assignment of a grade is the sole prerogative of the instructor of the class. It is incumbent on the instructor to establish the criteria for grading in the syllabus that is distributed at the beginning of the term. All grades are to be based on established grading criteria and not on personal conduct or opinions unrelated to academic standards. An individual student may not do extra work to raise their grade.

If a student feels that a grade has been calculated incorrectly or has been assigned in a prejudiced or capricious manner, the student should discuss the matter with the instructor.

A grade appeal must be made by the student, and as soon as possible but not later than the end of the student's subsequent term of enrollment after the grade in question has been assigned.

Steps to Take to Appeal a Grade

  1. First, the student attempts to resolve the matter with the instructor. If a student feels that a grade has been calculated incorrectly or has been assigned in a prejudiced or capricious manner, the student should discuss the matter with the instructor.
  2. Second, the student should appeal to the department/division head. If the discussion between the instructor and student does not resolve the issue, the student should appeal to the department/division head of the course.
  3. In the unusual circumstance, that a resolution does not occur at the department/divisional level, the student may appeal to the college academic dean (not the dean of the college) of the course who will attempt to reconcile the matter by whatever mechanism seems most appropriate for that college, and for that case.

Academic Suspension may be appealed using the Academic Appeal Petition Form from the College of Science Student Forms website and by submitting the necessary documentation. Appeals for academic suspension are for addressing unusual and extenuating circumstances that prevented students from raising their GPA to the required level.

*As noted on page one of the Academic Appeal Petition Form, if your appeal is based upon physical, psychiatric or disability/learning disability reasons, you will need to first contact the appropriate office (Schiffert Health Center, Cook Counseling Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, or Dean of Students) for an academic relief recommendation.

College of Science students receive an email within 1 week of the final grades deadline for the fall and spring terms identifying if they are on first or second academic suspension. The email will provide instructions on how College of Science students may appeal.

While not required, ideally, the student should speak with their academic advisor prior to filling out the academic appeals petition. The academic advisor would be able to discuss the policy as outlined on the petition, assist the student with knowing realistic classes that could be taken during the next term of enrollment, and what grades would be necessary in order to change the student's academic status.

View the deadlines to appeal academic suspension and appeal meeting dates.

A student may enroll as an auditor in any class other than laboratory classes and studio courses, with the permission of both their academic advisor and the class instructor. The lecture portion of laboratory-linked courses and courses with computation periods may be designated as eligible for audit at the request of the academic department head (of the course in question) and on the approval of the student's academic dean of their primary major.

Auditors may not add or drop an audit option after the last day to enter classes. Students will not be allowed to register for credit in any course previously audited. Audit is a mechanism for a student to reserve a seat in a course, with no performance evaluation of the student.

Students may not unofficially attend class(es). If the student or faculty expect evaluation of coursework, then the student must either enroll as a Pass/Fail (P/F) option or for a letter grade. If a faculty member wishes to restrict the participation of auditing students in selected activities, then that should be stated in the syllabus.

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.

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.

Due to Virginia Tech's residency requirements, students are able to transfer back a maximum amount of credits.

  • No more than 50% of a student's graduation requirements can be transferred from a two-year institution
  • Of the last 45 credits before graduation, a maximum of 18 credits may be transferred (27 of the last 45 credits must be taken at Virginia Tech)
  • A maximum of 38 credits of Advanced Placement credit can be awarded
  • A maximum of 38 credits may be awarded with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
  • A maximum of 30 credits may be awarded with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Certificate
  • A maximum of 12 credits may be awarded for CLEP
  • A maximum of 38 credits may be awarded via the University of Cambridge International Examinations
Due to these requirements and students possibly seeking to transfer additional credits than allowed, students have the opportunity to decline transfer credits or reinstate credits they've declined.
 
Students must complete the Credit Decline and Reinstatement Form from Virginia Tech's Registrar's Office Forms website and submit it to the Registrar's Office.

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.

Examinations

The final examination enables a student to demonstrate their command of the subject and provides the faculty member an opportunity to review student performance and the character and quality of the course. Final examinations are held at the close of each term according to a schedule established by the university.

An instructor may not change the date or time of a final exam without the approval of the dean of the college. Students may request permission from their college academic dean (not the dean of the college) to reschedule a final exam if they have conflicting exams or if they have three (3) or more final exams in 24 hours. College of Science students can request this by completing the College of Science Request to Change Final Examination Time Form.

Otherwise, permission to reschedule a final exam is granted by the academic dean only in very unusual circumstances. Students who are unable to take an examination due to illness or circumstances beyond their control may reschedule the examination. Deferred final exams must be authorized only by the student's academic dean or by Schiffert Health Center.

Students are entitled to review their graded examination papers. Failure to take an examination yields a zero (0) grade for the examination, weighted as specified in the course statement on grading criteria. The faculty member administers and grades the examinations.

Re-Examinations

Re-examination of one (1) final exam is available only for students who are candidates for a degree in the same term as the final exam.

After a term is over, a re-examination in one course in which the final grade earned is C- or below may be authorized if the student was enrolled in the course during the final term of their senior year and if a satisfactory re-examination in the course will qualify the student for graduation. The student must make the re-examination request to the academic dean (not the dean of the college) of their college and must complete the exam as soon as possible after the first examination.

For the student to be granted a re-examination, approval is required by the instructor, the student's department head, and the student's academic dean in the college of their primary major. In determining the validity of the student's request, consideration is given to class performance and completion of assigned work. The University Registrar provides verification of compliance with the requirements of this policy.

The student must complete the Re-examination Approval Form which can be obtained through the student's primary majors dean's advising office.

Once the form is complete, it can be submitted to the Associate Registrar for Academic Programs & Compliances/Graduation Analysis.

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.

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 academic dean's office of their primary major. Special Study courses are set up by the department and the student registers through their Hokie Spa registration portal. 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.

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 (2964/4964): 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. Pass/Fail grade option ONLY (Note: you are only allowed to count 12 P/F credits toward your graduation requirements).

Independent Study (2974/4974): 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.. Usually involves a written paper/review/synthesis relevant to the topic. Pass/Fail or A/F grade option.

Undergraduate Research (2994/4994): Individual/group research projects carried out by students under faculty supervision. The student and faculty supervisor decide on the project, how the student is to participate in the research, and the graded product. Usually involves active participation in a research domain including data collection, data analysis, literature review, conference presentations, and/or manuscript writing. Pass/Fail or A/F grade option.

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 (2) 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 credits toward degree completion.

The requirement also may be met after admission by one of the following:

  1. Earning six (6) semester hours of college-level foreign or classical language credit or American Sign Language. Such credits are in addition to the number normally required for graduation in a student's program of study.
  2. Receiving credit by examination for a foreign language. The credit by examination option is available only to students who have gained knowledge of a foreign language without the benefit of formal training. This option is intended to recognize informal, non-academic learning experience. This option is restricted and does not carry credit towards graduation.  See College Board CLEP for available tests and procedures.
The Office of the University Registrar runs a foreign language program in mid-October for students admitted in the fall semester, and in mid-February for students admitted in the spring semester. The program searches students' high school courses to award credit for the foreign language requirement. This program has been expanded to also include students whose native language is not English. 
 
Transfer students may need to be reminded to submit their high school transcripts if they will meet the foreign language requirement through coursework completed in high school.
 
 

 

Letter Grade Definition
A-D- A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-
CA Committee Action
 
F Failure
I

Incomplete
A grade of "I" (Incomplete) may be given when the requirements of a course other than the final examination have not been completed due to illness or extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. The "I" grade is the prerogative of the instructor.

To remove an "I" grade, lecture course requirements must be satisfied during the student's first subsequent term of enrollment, and laboratory course requirements must be satisfied prior to the end of the first term during which the course is offered and the student is enrolled.

Incomplete grades are automatically converted to "F" if requirements are not fully satisfied during the period of time allowed.

The GPA is unaffected by the "I" grade, unless or until the "I" is converted to an "F" for failure to complete the course requirements within the allotted time.

NG

No Grade
Students who appear on a class list but never attended or returned graded work may be assigned an NG.

NG's calculate in the GPA as an F.

NR

Not Reported
This grade is assigned automatically by the system in the event that a faculty member does not submit a grade by the grade entry deadline. An "NR" grade will not be calculated as an "F" in the student's GPA and will not be converted to an "F" at a later time.

P

Passing

Passing does not calculate in the student's GPA.

RP Repeated Course
A student 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 "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, both instances of the graded course will be computed in the grade point average.
S Satisfactory/credits only
W Course Withdrawal
Courses from which a student withdraws under the terms of the policy will appear on their transcript with a "W" grade, but will not count in the GPA hours nor in any GPA calculations. The "W" signifies that this policy was invoked and does not reflect the rationale for its use. The reasons for use remain the student's purview.

COVID 19 Credit/No-Credit Grade Option for Spring 2020

In order to support students due to the transition from in-person to online course delivery, a new Credit/No-Credit grade option was created for undergraduate students for the Spring 2020 term.

   
CC

Credit for course equivalent to a C- or better

  • Student receives credit for the course.
  • Grade does not calculate into the GPA.
  • Grade satisfies major, minor, degree, and prerequisite requirements
CE

Formerly referred to as CD
Credit for course equivalent to a D or D+

  • Student receives credit for the course.
  • Grades does not calculate into the GPA.
  • Will satisfy any requirement that a D or D+ would have usually satisfied
CN

Equivalent to a failing grade (D- or F) in the course

  • No credit earned for the course.
  • Grade does not calculate into the GPA

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 "FAILURE DUE TO ACADEMIC HONOR CODE VIOLATION."

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 coursework.

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, or Faculty Rules relating to academic matters that may lead to an unfair academic advantage by the student violating the rule(s)

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.

A grade of "I" (Incomplete) may be given when the requirements of a course other than the final examination have not been completed due to illness or extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. The "I" grade is the prerogative of the instructor.

To remove an "I" grade, lecture course requirements must be satisfied during the student's first subsequent term of enrollment, and laboratory course requirements must be satisfied prior to the end of the first term during which the course is offered and the student is enrolled.

Incomplete grades are automatically converted to "F" if requirements are not fully satisfied during the period of time allowed.

The GPA is unaffected by the "I" grade, unless or until the "I" is converted to an "F" for failure to complete the course requirements within the allotted time.

Students do not re-register for a class in which a grade of “I” was earned in order to complete the incomplete.
All "I" (Incomplete) grades must be removed prior to graduation.

Students will need to complete the following form:

  1. Request for Incomplete Grade

A student may experience a situation that impacts their ability to maintain continuous enrollment (health, family obligations/emergency, military service, financial hardship, academic reasons, or any other personal reason). Procedures for requesting a leave of absence are outlined below based on a student's academic level.

Undergraduate and Associate

Undergraduate and associate level students may request up to two leave of absence periods for a length not exceeding 1 year during each period. To request a leave of absence a student must be eligible to enroll in the term leave is being requested. A leave of absence request will grant a student one year of time away from Virginia Tech while maintaining their catalog year outlining their program curriculum. Following an enrollment gap of two primary (Fall/Spring) terms, a student's catalog year will be updated based on their term of re-enrollment. A student on a leave of absence will not have access to any student facilities or resources not available to the general public. At any point, when a student is ready to return to Virginia Tech during or after their leave of absence, they will complete the return to Virginia Tech request form.

*International students on a VISA cannot use the Leave of Absence form and instead must contact Cranwell International Center to discuss their options in stepping away from their academic studies.

*Students participating in any study abroad program should register their plans with the Global Education Office and should not complete a leave of absence request.

Graduate

Please consult the Graduate School website and/or catalog for current requirements and access to the applicable form.

Midterm grades are produced for freshmen and transfer students whose first term of enrollment is the fall semester. Beginning Fall 1996, students whose first term of enrollment is summer will also receive a midterm grade report during the fall semester. "Satisfactory" is given for work earning a grade of C or better and "unsatisfactory" is given for work earning a grade of C- or below.

The midterm grade is not part of the student's permanent academic record and is only intended to be an early indication of the student's progress.

Students previously enrolled at Virginia Tech that have not completed their degree may wish to return to complete their degree with an expanded knowledge not reflected in their earlier records.

If a student returns to the university after an absence of at least five (5) consecutive years, they may request in writing to have their academic records evaluated by the college academic dean of their primary major.

Such transcripts will be evaluated in the same manner that transfer student transcripts are considered. This may allow the student to refresh their overall and in-major GPA to 0.00.

Criteria Regarding Requesting Obsolete Credit

  • Students will need to complete a minimum of 25% of the required credits in-residence at Virginia Tech (30 credits for a 120 credit degree program) as new coursework.
  • Courses with a grade of C or higher, including Pass (P), will be allowed for credit for a degree.
  • Courses with a grade of C- or lower will not be allowed for credit for a degree.
  • All courses will remain part of the student's permanent record.

College of Science students will need to complete the following forms:

  1.  COS Request for Obsolete Credit
  2. Obsolete Credit Rule Evaluation Record

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

University Policy 91 outlines university-wide minimum criteria to determine if students are making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degrees. Every major has different criteria for progressing towards a degree. Students can determine what the criteria are by viewing the appropriate major(s) checksheet for the year they began at Virginia Tech and reviewing the Progress Toward Degree Policy.

Not meeting progress towards degree may have implications leading to the student being required to change their major.

  • Students must meet all residency requirements to earn a degree at Virginia Tech.
  • 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.

A student may resign without academic penalty by completing an official Virginia Tech resignation form on or before the published resignation deadline for each term. The student can request this resignation form from either the University Registrar's Office, the University Registrar's website, or their academic Dean's Office. The student's grade report and permanent record will show that they were enrolled for the term and that they resigned on the specific effective date.

A student who resigns after the stated deadline without written authorization for resignation without academic penalty by their respective academic dean of their primary major will receive automatic "F" grades in all courses in which the student is enrolled. The transcript will carry the notation, "Suspended by committee action for unauthorized resignation," and the hours for which "F" grades were received will be included in the cumulative GPA for both academic eligibility and graduation requirements.

In the case of authorized resignations after the deadline, grades will not be assigned, and the academic dean of the student's primary major will determine the student's academic status (whether or not they are eligible to return) based on the student's previous record.

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.

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 will also not count as one of their three course withdrawals.

We are happy to see you are interested in returning to Virginia Tech! Any undergraduate or associate level student unable to register due to registration inactivity will need to complete a short (up to 3 questions) request form. Registration inactivity is when a student does not enroll in two consecutive primary terms (Fall/Spring) and also does not have future registration beyond that point. This process assists Virginia Tech in providing a successful return to campus plan for you, by notifying your academic advisor of your return and providing you with information on useful resources.  

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