University Academic Advising Center
Kimberly S. Brown, Director
Elaine Matuszek, Associate Director
Advisors: J. Chatham; C. Crawford; A. Fizzano; H. Goetz; J. Herndon; J. Kelly; T. Lovegreen; M. Penn-Marshall; P. Sheldon; E. Wylie
For further information: 540/231-8440
The University Academic Advising Center serves the university community in several ways. First, it administers the University Studies program for new undergraduate students who want to explore a variety of degree programs before they commit themselves to one particular major. Students who enter Virginia Tech as University Studies students are not limited to pursuing a specific major in their first year. With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students research the full range of degree programs related to their interests and design programs of study that meet graduation requirements while providing the students with the academic flexibility to pursue whichever degree program they ultimately choose. Second, the advising center assists new students who intend to reapply to competitive admission majors. Advisors work with these students in developing programs of study that meet the established criteria for entrance to their chosen major. Third, for these two student populations the University Academic Advising Center serves as both the college and department, providing administrative services, dean's office services, and academic advising until the students enter a specific major.
University Studies is a major but it is not a degree program. University Studies offers a structured advising program that provides students with the necessary support and strategies to investigate and compare academic disciplines so that they can make informed decisions about the degree programs they will pursue. Students can explore any major available at the university while completing course requirements toward a baccalaureate degree. To ensure that students graduate in a timely manner, University Studies requires all students to enter a specific degree program by the time they have completed 60 hours toward graduation (approximately the end of the sophomore year) or have attempted 72 hours.
University Studies students can pursue any major offered at the university; however, students should be aware that some majors are competitive for internal transfer. These programs have established specific criteria and application procedures that students must fulfill in order to be considered for internal transfer into the major. In general, these criteria require students to demonstrate proficiency in designated core courses and, for some programs, in introductory major courses before they are eligible to apply. University Studies students enter and graduate from these restricted programs each year; however, since there is no guarantee of acceptance to these programs, students are encouraged to investigate alternative majors even as they prepare to enter a restricted program.
Restricted Programs for Internal Transfers:
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
College of Architecture and Urban Studies:
Art and Art History - Visual Communication Design; Studio Art
Pamplin College of Business:
Accounting and Information Systems
Business Information Technology
Finance, Ins. & Business Law
College of Engineering:
All majors--including Computer Science
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:
Political Science and International Studies
Faculty advisors in the University Academic Advising Center are familiar with the internal transfer criteria and procedures for all restricted programs and will assist students in fulfilling these requirements.
Curriculum for Liberal Education
All undergraduate students at the university, regardless of their majors, are required to fulfill general education course requirements in English, mathematics, science, social science, humanities, etc. There is a standard set of these courses, the Curriculum for Liberal Education, that all degree programs incorporate in their graduation requirements.
In general, Liberal Education requirements are completed in the freshman and sophomore years. Some majors are flexible with regard to which Liberal Education courses can be used to fulfill degree requirements; other majors designate specific Liberal Education course selections. Faculty advisors assist University Studies students in selecting courses that apply toward as many of the majors a student is considering as possible. Thus, students fulfill degree requirements for graduation while they are exploring majors and are able to graduate on time.
Typical First Year Program
|Natural science (lab-if required by intended major)
||Natural science (lab-if required by intended major)
For University Studies students, as for most students at the university, the first year is primarily devoted to fulfilling Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements. Of course, University Studies students' programs of study vary depending upon the major or majors they are considering. Specific course selections are determined in individual consultation with a faculty advisor.
The requirements to graduate in a specific major are determined by the department and college conferring the degree. In general, students are required to have a minimum 2.0 overall grade-point average and a minimum 2.0 grade-point average in their major in order to graduate. The number of credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree varies from 120 to 136 hours, depending upon a student's major and degree program.
The Honors Program
Students with exceptional intellectual and creative abilities are encouraged to participate in the University Honors program. Through honors sections of regular courses, honors seminars, and independent study opportunities, the Honors Program offers students unique and challenging intellectual experiences. Entering freshmen are invited to participate in the Honors Program if they 1) have a cumulative score of 1300 or above on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum score of 620 on the verbal section and a minimum score of 600 on the math section and 2) they are in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Students may be selected to participate in the program if they maintain an overall 3.5 GPA (grade-point average) while enrolled as full-time students.
University Academic Advising Center students who demonstrate academic excellence are named to the Academic Dean's List and are awarded a Dean's List certificate. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 graded hours (A-F) and must achieve a 3.4 GPA or higher to qualify.
Students who want to enter professional schools but who have not yet chosen an undergraduate major will find that the university offers a variety of degree programs that provide excellent preparation for advanced training in professional fields. Though some professional programs, such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine, require students to complete a minimum number of credit hours at the undergraduate level in chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc., professional schools do not dictate that students pursue specific undergraduate majors. Some examples of undergraduate majors that are frequently chosen as preparation for professional training appear below, but a student can pursue almost any undergraduate degree and be competitive for admission to a professional program.
Opportunities to study at institutions in other countries are available to all qualified students, regardless of their major. Study abroad offers students a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures and peoples while earning college credit. Students who intend to participate in an overseas study experience should discuss their intentions with their faculty advisor early in their academic career.
Virginia Tech 2007-08 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies