Welcome parents!

We hope that you were able to make it to the College of Science parents’ orientation session “VT 101.” This web page is meant as a follow up to some of the things that we talked about, including calendar information, web pages, etc.

The information on these pages is provided as a tool to answer your general questions and to guide you in discussions with your student. It is not intended to include all academic policies and procedures.

The University has also created a Hokie Parents page with more useful tips for guiding your student through life at Virginia Tech.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please e-mail cosadvising-g@vt.edu

Problem Solving Resources

Students should see their academic advisor for help choosing courses or understanding graduation requirements. Every student has an assigned advisor whose name can be found on Hokie Spa, our registration and student records system. Contact information for advisors can be found on the academic department's web page or by searching the vt.edu directory. Search People.

Many of the advisors also teach classes and have other responsibilities that take them out of their offices during business hours, so students should see their advisors during scheduled office hours or make an appointment so that they do not waste a trip.

The university also maintains an  Student Advising  web page with a variety of useful resources.

Our students records system also has a Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) feature that allows students to run a customized report that lists all of their degree requirements and indicates which have been completed. We advise students to run a DARS report using Hokie Spa each semester once they have completed about half of their coursework and to see their academic advisor with questions about how to read the report or about its accuracy.

If there are any errors in a student’s transcript, including recording of AP or transfer credit, they need to contact the Dean’s office.

Students who want to take courses at another university should contact the Dean’s office IN ADVANCE to make sure they know how courses will (or will not) transfer before they complete them.


The best resources when students have a problem in a course are the instructor or teaching assistant. Often students who are having difficulty in a course are encountering the same stumbling blocks, and the instructors and teaching assistants are the experts in getting past these sorts of issues. Students should make sure to visit during office hours (almost always printed on the syllabus or on the Blackboard course web page) or make an appointment if office hours conflict with their other courses to make certain that they do not waste a trip. Another great resource is the Blackboard link, "other students". This gives the names and emails of the other students in the same course section. Often students do better when they find other students to study with and (where allowed by class policy) work on homework with. Finally, many departments operate a tutoring center staffed by senior undergraduates and graduate students that offer help answering course questions.

For students who feel they need tutoring in a course, the Student Success Center, offers free tutoring in the most common freshmen and sophomore level classes. Students need to go to their web site to make an appointment for tutoring. Tutors are senior undergraduate students who did excellent work in the subject.

Many students will find that the study skills they developed in high school won't carry them through college. For students who have problems in multiple courses, difficulty with exams or time management, the Cook Counseling Center offers group study skills clinics and online tutorials. Students do need to sign up in advance.


Students who are having difficulty registering for courses that are full or restricted should contact the department office for that course. This must be done prior to the deadline for adding courses for that semester.

If a student has a concern about an instructor, they should contact the department head for that instructor’s department.

In case a student thinks that a grade was not calculated correctly or wishes to dispute a grade, the student should always contact the instructor first. If they are unable to resolve the question with the instructor, the next point of contact is the instructor's department head.


Students can drop a course on Hokie Spa prior to the announced drop deadline. They can also withdraw from 6 hours of courses during their time at Virginia Tech before a deadline during the end of the semester by getting a form signed by their advisor and then meeting with one of the Deans.

Students who need to resign from all of their courses need to complete paperwork at the Dean’s office and meet with one of the Deans.

Virginia Tech does not have a university wide attendance policy, but many faculty do have attendance policies for their class. In particular, it is common for faculty to require students to attend the first day of class or be dropped from the course – this information is available on the timetable. If a student needs to miss a single course they should consult the course syllabus for the faculty member’s attendance policy and contact the faculty member, in advance, in person or by e-mail.

Students who need to miss an exam or more than a single class from each course for health related reasons should go to Schiffert Health Center. They provide documentation to faculty of health related absences. Similarly, students who need to miss an exam or more than a single class for a non-health related reason should go to the Office of Student Life.

Schiffert Health Center

Dean of Students Office

Virginia Tech offers students 3 levels of career advising. The first is a Departmental Career Advisor, someone who specializes in careers for students in their major. Student scan locate their DCA by contacting their academic advisor or referring to their department’s web page.

The College Career advisor can give advice about all of the majors in the college. In addition, they can sets up employer panels, resume writing seminars and works to organize job fairs (including internship and co-op fairs) for the benefit of students in the college. Finally, we have a university Office of Career Services , where students can find information on career fairs, major fairs, career advising, majors guides, and job listing web sites.

Tuition: All issues concerning paying tuition are handled by the Bursar's Office.

Scholarships and Financial Aid: Most information about scholarships and financial aid are handled by the Tuition and Financial Aid office. The College of Science does offer a few competitive scholarships. Students are notified about the application process around holiday break each year.

Accommodations: Students who need accommodations for disabilities are encouraged to contact Services for Students with Disabilities.

When all else fails, students should

contact the Dean’s office for assistance!