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2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog & Academic Policies

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Academic Policies


Academic Common Market Programs

    Virginia Tech has discontinued participation in the Academic Common Market for all majors effective fall 2012. Undergraduate students currently approved for participation in an Academic Common Market (ACM) major may continue to receive benefits as long as they are continuously enrolled full time in the ACM approved major (not to exceed six (6) years following this discontinuance), maintain a 2.0 overall grade point average, and satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Academic Eligibility Policy

    Continued enrollment at Virginia Tech is a privilege that is granted as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward a degree, maintenance of the required minimum Grade Point Average (GPA), and compliance with all regulations stipulated in the University Policies on Student Life.

    The minimum standard for good standing is eligibility to enroll. The required minimum grade point average is 2.00. Students on academic probation and warning are eligible for continued enrollment and good standing (absent any violations of regulations stipulated in the University Policies on Student Life).

    Academic Warning: Students earning less than a 2.0 term GPA, but with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher, will be placed on academic warning without notation on the academic transcript. Students on academic warning will be required to consult with the appropriate undergraduate assistant or associate dean of their college and to sign an academic contract. Failure to complete an action plan (academic contract) may result in prohibition from future enrollment(s).

    Academic probation is imposed when the cumulative GPA is less than 2.00; academic probation is lifted when cumulative GPA is at least 2.00. Academic performance will be reviewed at the end of each regular semester (fall and spring).

    A student on probation:

    1. may take no more than 16 credits per semester;
    2. may be required (at the discretion of individual colleges) to consult with an advisor before beginning a probationary semester, and to sign an academic contract acknowledging his/her performance is not meeting university standards and stating what actions she/he is committed to taking to improve performance.

    First suspension will be imposed whenever one of the following occurs:

    1. A student on academic probation has a cumulative GPA less than 2.00 for the first 2 semesters (fall, spring) of enrollment; or
    2. A student has 2 consecutive semesters thereafter with a cumulative GPA below 2.00.

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

    First Suspension (Spring): A student who is placed on first academic suspension at the end of spring semester will be suspended from continued enrollment through the end of the following fall semester. Note: students placed on first academic suspension at the end of spring semester may NOT enroll in the immediately following summer session.

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

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

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

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

Academic Eligibility Appeals

    The University Appeals Committee is comprised of the associate deans of undergraduate studies of the academic colleges and one faculty member appointed by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.  A representative of the Dean of Students Office participates as a non-voting member of the committee to provide information and background available through the Dean of Students Advocacy team.  The University Appeals Committee is an advisory committee to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. 

    Students who are suspended due to academic eligibility at the end of Fall or Spring terms may appeal their suspension to the University Appeals Committee.   Any appeal for exceptions to the policy must be based on clear extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control that negatively impacted academic performance. If an appeal is based on physical, psychiatric, or disability/learning disability reasons, the appeal must be reviewed by the Health Evaluating Committee. A recommendation letter from the appropriate office is required to complete an appeal petition.

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

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

    If the University Appeals Committee denies an appeal, the student may request further consideration of the academic appeal by the provost’s representative.  The decision of the provost’s representative is final. 

Accreditation

    Virginia Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate, masters, baccalaureate and associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Virginia Tech.

    College/Division and Department:

    Program Description Accred. Agency USDOE Spec. Accred. Agency Accred. Period On-Campus Contact Next Accred. Period
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Agricultural and Applied Economics
    Financial Planning Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. No 2013-2015 Ruth Lytton  
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
    Dietetic Internship American Dietetic Association Yes 2013-2018 Carol Papillon  
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
    Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the baccalaureate level American Dietetic Association Yes 2013-2018 Heather Cox  
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Architecture
    Bachelor of Architecture (5 years) National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) No

    2006-2012

    Henri de Hahn Last Accreditation - 2012
    Master of Architecture (degree + 3.5 years) National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) No

    2006-2012

    Henri de Hahn Next Accreditation - 2018
    Master of Architecture (pre- professional degree + 2 years) National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) No

    2006-2012

    Henri de Hahn Next Annual report due - December 2014
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Building Construction
    Bachelor of Science American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) No 2008-2011 Yvan Beliveau Next Accreditation - 2017
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Center for Public Administration and Policy
    Master of Public Administration National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) No 2009-2012 Karen Hult Next Accreditation - 2016
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Interior Design Program
    Bachelor of Science Council for Interior Design Accreditation No 2006-2012 Lisa Tucker Last Accreditation - 2012
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Industrial Design Program
    Bachelor of Science National Association of Schools of Art and Design Yes 2009-2014 Ed Dorsa Last Accreditation - 2010
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Landscape Architecture
    Professional Master of Landscape Architecture Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) No 2007-2013 Brian Katen Last Accreditation - 2013
    Next Accreditation - 2019
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Landscape Architecture
    Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) No 2007-2013 Brian Katen Last Accreditation - 2007
    Next Accreditation - Currently in progress
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Urban Affairs and Planning
    Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program (MURP) Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) No 2010-2014 Diane Zahm Last Accreditation - 2014
    Next Accreditation - 2019
    College of Engineering, All departments within college
    All Undergraduate Programs Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) No 2014-2020 Erik Westman  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Communication
    B.A. in Communication, Public Relations major Public Relations Society of America No 2013-2019 Robert E. Denton, Jr.  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, School of Education
    All school preparation programs + initial teacher preparation and advanced levels National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) - current accreditation.  Next accreditation is with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Yes 2011-2018 Nancy Bodenhorn  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, School of Education
    All school preparation programs + initial teacher preparation and advanced levels Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) No 2009-present Nancy Bodenhorn  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, School of Education
    Counselor Education (MA and PhD) Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs No 2000-2015 Gerard Lawson  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Gerontology
    Graduate Degree Program (recognized as a "program of merit") Association for Gerontology in Higher Education No 2000-present Rosemary Blieszner  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Human Development
    Master's Degree (in Northern Virginia) Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) No 2013-2019 Eric McCollum  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Human Development
    Ph.D. Program (in Blacksburg) American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) No 2010-2016                 Self-study due October 2015 Scott Johnson  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Music
    Bachelor's Degree (Music) National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation (NASM) Yes 2010 - 2015 Recently submitted self-study, hosted site visitors and received the visitors report. An additional 10 year accreditation is anticipated in the spring (2015 - 2025) Tracey Cowden  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, ROTC - Army
    Army ROTC is not a degree producing program.  However; Upon successful completion of a degree from Virginia Tech, we offer a Commission (as a 2LT) into the United States Army. U.S. Army Cadet Command No 2014-Present  (Continual)  Based upon the Active Duty Orders of the Officers / Instructors assigned to this unit. COL Kevin W. Milton or Ms. Debra Harry  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Theatre Arts
    Bachelor's Degree (Theatre Arts) National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) Yes 2009-2018 Patricia Raun  
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Theatre Arts
    MFA (Theatre Arts) National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST Yes 2009-2018 Patricia Raun  
    College of Natural Resources and Environment, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
    Professional Forestry Degree (PFD): Forestry Resource Management Option Society of American Foresters No 2005-2015 Janaki Alavalapati  
    College of Natural Resources and Environment, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
    Professional Forestry Degree (PFD): Environmental Resources Management Option Society of American Foresters No 2005-2015 Janaki Alavalapati  
    College of Natural Resources and Environment, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
    Professional Forestry Degree (PFD): Urban Forestry Option Society of American Foresters No 2005-2015 Janaki Alavalapati  
    College of Natural Resources and Environment, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
    Professional Forestry Degree (PFD): Industrial Forestry Operations Options Society of American Foresters No 2005-2015 Janaki Alavalapati  
    College of Natural Resources and Environment, Sustainable Biomaterials
    Bachelor of Science Society of Wood Science and Technology No 2005-2015 Audrey Zink-Sharp  
    Pamplin College of Business, Accounting
    Undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. Programs Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) No 2009-2015 Reza Barkhi  
    Pamplin College of Business, Finance
    CFP Certification Education TRack Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. No 2013-2015 Ruth Lytton and/or Derek Klock  
    Pamplin College of Business, General
    Undergraduate, Master, and Ph.D. Programs Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) No 2009-2015 Robert Sumichrast  
    College of Science, Chemistry
    Bachelor's Degree American Chemical Society No approval granted—no specified time range Joseph Merola  
    College of Science, Psychology
    Clinical Training Program, Clinical Psychology American Psychological Association Yes 2007-2014 Bob Stephens  
    College of Science, Psychology
    Professional Psychology - Predoctoral internship programs American Psychological Association Yes      
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Full college accreditation American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Yes 2008-2015 Jennifer Hodgson  
    College of Veterinary Medicine
      Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) No 2008-2010 Jennifer Hodgson  
    College of Veterinary Medicine, Public Health
    Master of Public Health Council on Education for Public Health Yes      
    Outreach and International Affairs, Language and Culture Institute/English Language Program
    The Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute provides language-related programs and services for academic and professional Commission on English Language Program Accreditation Yes 2008-2017 Donald C. Back  
    Virginia Tech

    University accreditation

    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Yes 2010 - 2019 Kenneth Smith  

     

Applying for Your Degree

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

    Double Major(s): Undergraduate students who satisfy graduation requirements for two curricula concurrently may request recognition of the second major on their transcripts (also known as "double major"); however, only the primary major will appear on the diploma. Students earning multiple majors concurrently will receive a double major certificate(s).

    Second Undergraduate Degree: Students may earn a second bachelor's degree (and diploma) by earning a minimum of 30 additional credit hours in residence with a minimum 2.0 GPA on all work attempted. All specific requirements must be met for each degree program, including attainment of the 2.0 GPA for all courses in the major. Note: threshold for total number of pass/fail hours allowed may not exceed the maximum for first degree.

    Traditionally, degrees are conferred upon candidates who are present to receive them at the Commencement ceremony in May. Candidates may have their degrees conferred in absentia if they cannot be present at Commencement. To arrange for this, a candidate must indicate to the University Registrar either via Hokie SPA or in writing to be excused from the Commencement ceremony.

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

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

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

    Students may resolve degree completion programs up to thirty (30) days after the degree term to retain the conferral date on the diploma. Any resolutions of degree completion following the thirty day resolution window will be conferred on the next subsequent term following resolution of the problem(s). Resolutions of degree problems include failure to submit appropriate paperwork to the university.

    With the exception of spring, diplomas for all other "Degree Conferral Dates" are ordered after course work completions are established. Diplomas are distributed either by mail or in person to graduates who appear in the Office of the University Registrar, or at the next Commencement ceremony, if available.

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Assessment of Student Learning Experiences

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

Combination Degrees

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

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

Degree Programs

    Virginia Tech offers four-year degree programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Also offered are five-year Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture programs. Virginia Tech also offers graduate work in 63 fields of study leading to master's degrees and in 51 fields leading to the doctorate. The professional doctor of veterinary medicine is offered through the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, located at Virginia Tech.

Directed and Independent Enrollment

    Students develop a plan of work to reach particular objectives, obtain approval of both the department and a faculty member who will supervise the work, and work with them to arrange hours and credits.

    Students must submit an official approval form prior to registration. In most cases, the student's first contact for an independent study, field study, or undergraduate research course is the department offering the course. Registration is through the student's dean's office. Special study courses are set up by the department, and the student registers through web course request. 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.

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

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

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

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

Education Abroad

    Virginia Tech sponsors education abroad programs in many countries around the world. These programs provide opportunities for students in almost every discipline.

    The University's Center for European Studies and Architecture (CESA) in Switzerland, provides a unique place for undergraduate students to live and study. Curriculum for Liberal Education courses and specialized programs in architecture and in business are offered at CESA. Students study for one semester in the university's center in the small town of Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, and make field trips to other European sites to complement their classroom studies. Semester long programs are also available in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and in Lugano, Switzerland.

    Semester/academic year programs are also available through exchange programs and other study abroad providers. There are over 100 universities in 40 different countries to choose from. Some of the more popular locations are Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Ecuador, and the United Kingdom, to name a few. VT students who participate in bilateral and ISEP student exchange programs pay the same tuition and fees that they would pay for a regular term at VT. Virginia Tech's summer faculty-led programs enroll the greatest number of students. Tech has summer options in more than 25 countries, ranging from Australia to South Africa, and lasting 2-8 weeks. A Virginia Tech faculty member leads each program, and students will normally be enrolled in Tech courses.

    Students who plan to study abroad should discuss the transfer of credits earned with their academic dean prior to leaving the Virginia Tech campus. All credits to be transferred to Virginia Tech for use toward degree completion should be approved before they are taken. Credit must be awarded from approved internationally accredited higher education institutions. This is particularly true of courses completed in foreign universities for which there is no Virginia Tech equivalent. Students who cannot arrange credit transfer details before departure should remain in contact with their academic dean’s office while they are abroad.

    Most forms of financial aid may also be applied to education abroad programs, and there are several scholarships and grants available. We encourage students to contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid as soon as they consider studying abroad.

    For more information about education abroad opportunities, contact the Education Abroad Office at 526 Prices Fork Road, Room 131, or consult this website: www.educationabroad.vt.edu.

Graduation Requirements and Degree Conferrals

    The approved requirements in effect for the term/year of application of degree apply. A student must complete all courses with at least a minimum 2.0 GPA for all hours attempted. In addition, a student must present an equally satisfactory record in courses attempted in the major and/or any minor. The number of credit hours required varies by major curriculum. Virginia Tech reserves the right to modify requirements in the student's program if necessary. Requirements for program’s degree must be approved two years prior to their effective graduation date. The approved graduation requirements (referenced as graduation "Checksheets") appear at the University Registrar website: http://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation/checksheets/index.html.

    All students earning degrees from Virginia Tech must have earned a minimum of twenty-five (25) percent of the credit for their respective degrees from this institution. No more than fifty (50) percent of credit hours may be transferred from a two year institution. Students who must enroll in foreign language courses to complete admission requirements may not use the credits toward completion of the degree.

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

    Graduation with Distinction (Academic Policies Governing Enrollment Section)

Language Study Requirement

    Students must meet a language study requirement either through high school enrollment or prior to receipt of the undergraduate degree. The minimum requirement may be met in high school by completing 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 3 units of a single foreign or classical language or American Sign Language. Students completing the requirement at Virginia Tech may not count the hours toward degree completion. The requirement also may be met after admission by 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 that number normally required for graduation in a student's program of study.
    2. Receiving credit by examination for a foreign or classical language or American Sign 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 privilege is intended to recognize informal non-academic learning experience and is not offered to a student who has had regular classroom instruction in that foreign language. (Contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures for more information.)

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Honor Code and Honor System

    The Virginia Tech Honor Code is the university policy that defines the expected standards of conduct in academic affairs. The Honor Code embodies a spirit of mutual trust and intellectual honesty that is central to the nature of the university, and represents the highest possible expression of shared values among the members of the university community.  

    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.

    Violations of the Honor Code in academic affairs include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Cheating: Cheating includes the actual giving or receiving of any unauthorized aid or assistance or the actual giving or receiving of any unfair advantage on any form of any academic work, or attempts thereof.
    2. Plagiarism: Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off same as one's own original work, or attempts thereof.
    3. Falsification: Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any circumstances relating to one's academic work, or attempts thereof. Such acts include, but are not limited to, the forgery of official signatures, tampering with official records, fraudulently adding or deleting information on academic documents such as add/drop requests, or fraudulently changing an examination or other academic work after the testing period or due date of the assignment.

    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.

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Pre-Professional Preparation

Pre-Health Advising

    Office of Health Professions Advising (OHPA)

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

    The Office of Health Professions Advising coordinates all pre-professional health advising for students with an interest in but not limited to dentistry, genetic counseling, health administration, medicine (allopathic, osteopathic, and naturopathic), nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, public health, veterinary medicine, and any others. Although the vast majority of pre-health students major in a science program, any major is acceptable to health professional schools so long as certain specific admission requirements are satisfied. Thus OHPA provides advice and assists students in preparing for admission to a professional school; it is not a degree program. Students interested in a health career are encouraged to pursue a broad undergraduate study in the humanities, social sciences as well as biology and the natural sciences. Admissions requirements to identify qualified students include a competitive grade point average of 3.5/4.0 or higher, national standardized tests for each health profession (Dental Admission Test [DAT], Graduate Record Examinations [GRE], Medical College Admission Test [MCAT], Optometry Admission Test [OAT], and the Pharmacy College Admission Test [PCAT]), significant participation in volunteer and clinical health care activities, letters of recommendation/evaluation, and an interview at the professional school. Successful candidates exhibit high levels of scholastic achievement and intellectual potential as well as motivation and concern for one’s fellow human being.

    The office provides individual advising about careers in the health profession, preparation for application to professional schools, and the admission process. This office works collaboratively with students to assist them to gain practical experience in the health care arena through volunteering and/or working at local or regional hospitals and clinics. A limited number of students may be placed with local physicians for a one-semester two-credit preceptorship. The Health Professions Evaluation Committee which is made up of faculty advisors and health professionals from the community, provides on-campus interviews and upon request, furnishes committee letters of evaluation.

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

Pre-Law Advising

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

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

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Restricted Majors and Programs

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

    Restricted programs for internal transfers are as follows:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise

College of Architecture and Urban Studies
Architecture
Art & Art History -- Visual Communication Design; Studio Art
Industrial Design
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture

Pamplin College of Business
Accounting and Information Systems
Business Information Technology
Finance, Insurance & Business Law
Hospitality and Tourism Management
Management
Marketing

College of Engineering
All majors

College of Science
Biology

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Selecting or Changing a Major, Double Major, or Minor

    Undergraduate students must be enrolled in their major(s) of choice prior to the beginning of their senior year, or by the time they have 30 semester hours to complete before their graduation. Students seeking double majors must be accepted into the second major by the academic department before the university can award the second major.

    Changes from one degree program to another (i.e., changes in major) or the addition of a second major usually can be accomplished prior to the senior year, simply by working with one's academic advisor and informing the head(s) of the department(s) and the dean(s) of the college(s) in question. A major (or second major) cannot be selected after the beginning of the senior year. (See section above on Selecting a Major.) Some departments establish specific deadlines for requesting change of major. Check the department’s website for specific deadlines and required application materials.

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

    Students should be aware that changes, such as changing or adding majors or minors, sometimes imply extra course work, which can delay graduation.

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

Procedures to Follow When Changing or Adding a Major or Minor

    Students should submit their applications for changing majors or adding minors two weeks prior to the start of each semester's registration period. This will allow students adequate time to assess their situations before deciding to transfer and registering for the following term.

    The procedure for changing majors or adding a minor is as follows:

    1. Request an "Application for Change in Curriculum" from the office of the dean of your new curriculum.
    2. Follow the instructions given on the "Application for Change in Curriculum" form.

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Selection of Studies

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

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

    Students have the assistance of faculty guidance, introductory courses, and special counseling to help them choose wisely which course of study they should take. Every effort is made to assure that all courses listed under the various department of instruction will be offered. Virginia Tech reserves the right, however, to withdraw any course for which an adequate number of students do not enroll.

Student Responsibilities Regarding Satisfactory Progress Towards Degree

    It is the student's responsibility to satisfy all course requirements as established by the faculty teaching the courses in which s/he is enrolled. It is also the student's responsibility to be aware of all major, degree, college, and graduation requirements necessary to complete his or her degree. Students are also responsible for satisfying all university, college, and departmental requirements for progress towards degree. (See this chapter for university requirements; consult the departmental listings in this catalog for major requirements.)

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Student Responsibilities Regarding Official Student Records

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

    A student's failure to keep his/her address updated does not absolve the student of responsibility for matters which require notification by the university. Changes to your local address, permanent address, or parent/guardian address should be promptly updated by accessing Hokie SPA. Correct dorm addresses are established through the Student Housing Office in Eggleston Hall. If you are not sure what addresses are on file, you may check Hokie SPA for verification. Virginia Tech requires updating of local address, designation of emergency contact, opt in/out of VT Alerts, and understanding of the Student Conduct policy prior to registration.

    It is the student's responsibility to check his/her current schedule of classes by accessing Hokie SPA. Errors must be corrected by the established deadline stated in the Timetable of Classes. Request for course(s) will result in a responsibility for payment of tuition and fees. If a student requests courses via course request or during dropadd, the student is responsible for the tuition and fees assessed unless formally resigning during the established university deadlines. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and return the Withdrawal/Resignation form by established term deadlines if choosing to disenroll for a given term.

    Students are responsible for seeing their advisors during course request week so as to assure appropriate curricula planning.

Student Success Center, The

    www.studentsuccess.vt.edu
    (540) 231-5499

    The Student Success Center supports undergraduate learning from enrollment to degree completion by offering programs and services that cultivate students who become effective, self-motivated learners. The department  offers free academic support, such as academic coaching, tutoring, and study skills seminars to undergraduates  at Virginia Tech. Programs and activities for students who are already succeeding academically, and simply want to enrich their educational experiences at Virginia Tech are also available.  All of programs and services are free to Virginia Tech students. The  main office is located on the first floor of Femoyer Hall where we also have a classroom, conference room, tutoring space and staff offices. Additional staff offices are located on other floors in Femoyer.  

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Teacher Education at Virginia Tech

    Email: edinfo@vt.edu
    Website: http://www.soe.vt.edu

    Virginia Tech’s School of Education offers programs leading to licensure in 17 fields of study. All educator preparation programs are at the graduate level. Students seeking a teaching or other educational license should consult the School of Education Office of Academic Programs website (http://www.oap.soe.vt.edu/) for details on specific programs of interest.

    The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and all programs are approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Graduates qualify for an educational license or endorsement in other states.

    Undergraduate students who anticipate applying for a master’s degree in education should consult an advisor in the Office of Academic Programs (OAP) (edinfo@vt.edu) or the academic advisor in their undergraduate major. The OAP includes a Pre-Education Advisor as a resource for all undergraduates considering entering a career in education.   Decisions about entering graduate programs in education should be made early in the undergraduate years so that an appropriate major can be selected and required courses can be taken prior to applying for the graduate program. Seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or better may apply to be admitted to the Dual Student Status for their last semester to take graduate-level education courses. Juniors with a GPA of 3.3 or better may apply for admission in the Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program to take graduate courses during the senior year. Information about these programs is available on the Graduate School website (http://graduateschool.vt.edu)

    Applicants for teacher education programs must submit passing scores on Praxis I: Academic Skills Assessments or acceptable scores on the SAT or ACT prior to acceptance into the School of Education. Passing scores on relevant Praxis II: Specialty Area Tests, the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment, and the Reading for Virginia Educators exam (for elementary education teachers) are required prior to receiving a teaching license and prior to admission for some programs. A criminal record check is required by school divisions in Virginia prior to employment.

    Notable features of the teacher education program at Virginia Tech are:
    • graduates with a commitment to learning and advocacy for all students
    • a faculty devoted to improving education through research, teaching, and outreach
    • an emphasis on science, math, and technology within a comprehensive School of Education
    • graduates with expertise in content fields and related pedagogical knowledge and skills
    • committed clinical supervisors in schools
    • field experiences and internships in diverse school settings
    • the latest instructional technologies
    • a strong demand for our graduates
    Applications for School of Education programs may be submitted on line through the Graduate School website: http://www.graduateschool.vt.edu

Undergraduate Courses of Study

    Undergraduate courses of study leading to bachelor's degrees at Virginia Tech are listed below. In addition, many options and specialties pertaining to each academic college are described in the individual college chapters in this catalog.

    • College of Architecture and Urban Studies
      Art
      Architecture
      Building Construction
      Environmental Policy and Planning
      Industrial Design
      Interior Design
      Landscape Architecture
      Public and Urban Affairs
    • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
      Agribusiness
      Agricultural Sciences
      Animal and Poultry Sciences
      Applied Economic Management
      Biochemistry
      Biological Systems Engineering
      Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
      Dairy Science
      Environmental Science
      Food Science and Technology
      Horticulture
      Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
    • College of Engineering
      Aerospace Engineering
      Biological Systems Engineering
      Chemical Engineering
      Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Computer Engineering
      Computer Science
      Construction Engineering and Management
      Electrical Engineering
      Engineering Science and Mechanics
      Industrial and Systems Engineering
      Materials Science and Engineering
      Mechanical Engineering
      Mining Engineering
      Ocean Engineering
    • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
      Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management
      Classical Studies
      Communication
      English
      French
      German
      History
      Human Development
      Humanities, Science, and Environment
      Interdisciplinary Studies
      International Studies
      Music
      Philosophy
      Political Science
      Spanish
      Sociology
      Theatre Arts
    • Pamplin College of Business
      Accounting and Information Systems
      Business Information Technology
      Economics
      Finance
      Hospitality and Tourism Management
      Management
      Marketing Management
    • College of Natural Resources and Environment
      Environmental Resources Management
      Fisheries Science
      Forestry
      Geography
      Meteorology
      Natural Resources Conservation
      Wildlife Science
      Wood Science and Forest Products
    • College of Science
      Biological Sciences
      Biochemistry
      Chemistry
      Economics
      Geosciences
      Mathematics
      Physics
      Psychology
      Statistics
    Note: Students seeking teaching licensure in English, history and social sciences (geography, political science, and economics), mathematics, chemistry, biological sciences, physics, earth science, theatre arts, music, foreign languages, and English as a second language should contact the Center for Teacher Education. For elementary education, see human development, or contact the Center for Teacher Education.

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University Enrollment and Academic Progress

    Registration Procedures
    1. Registration for continuing students is an eight-day period (Course Request) in the middle of each semester during which currently enrolled students may request classes for the next semester. Students register for summer school (if they plan to attend) beginning in December. Students register for Fall semester during Spring semester.

      1. Students should consult their completed Pathways Planner and review with his/her departmental advisor. Both should be aware of such considerations as the student's current GPA, the course load in hours and in effort required, pre- and co-requisites for courses so limited, the student's relationship to the eligibility schedule, and fulfillment of College and Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements and those for major, minor, or cognate. If the student fails to meet with his/her advisor, a hold may be placed on their registration.
      2. When a schedule is designed, the student enters the course requests by accessing Hokie SPA.
      3. Prerequisite checking is enforced by some departments. The registration system will review the student’s academic history to determine compliance with any prerequisites.
      4. Overloads (more than 19 hours per semester, or 7 each summer session) require permission of the student's academic dean. The student will be scheduled for the first available 19 hours (7 in Summer) requested.
      5. Every student must annually provide an up-to-date local address, an emergency contact, opt in/opt out of the VT Alerts system and all students must acknowledge the University Conduct Policy. Students are prohibited from registration until the requirements are updated in the student record system.
      6. The student's current class schedule may be printed by accessing Hokie SPA; the student is then responsible for verifying that he/she is in fact enrolled in the courses and sections he/she has been attending.

    2. Approximately three weeks after the close of registration week, course request results are available and may be printed by accessing Hokie SPA. The web class ticket will include detailed information regarding sections which are full, conflicting, withdrawn, or restricted which explains why these sections were not added to the student's schedule. See item number six (6) below for details about why a student's course selections are sometimes ignored, or why a student's schedule might be purged or held from registration.

    3. Students may adjust their schedules on a space available basis using web DROPADD, an electronic schedule adjustment program. Students should consult with their advisors before making any changes except those for convenience (usually time). 1000-level Mathematics and English courses, because of the high demand, currently have restrictions on section changes. As a rule, any student who drops a 1000-level English or Math course via Hokie SPA or department will not be allowed to force-add another 1000-level English or Math course that term. A student should be aware that dropping below full-time status (12 semester hours) may jeopardize financial aid, campus housing, and degree completion. Some courses may drop students if not attending the first class. Refer to the comments section of the course in the Time Table of Classes.

    4. A Force-Add form permits admission to a class over the desired enrollment threshold, but not over room capacity. This request is submitted via a "force-add" form available in the department offering the course, and requires the instructor's (or, in some departments, departmental) permission. Requests for force-adds are processed by the department offering the course. Caution: The force-add transaction permits enrollment in courses with conflicting times.

    5. Responsibility for Payment of Tuition and Fees: all students who initiate enrollment either by course request or by dropadd are responsible for the payment of assessed tuition and fees. Only the submission of an official withdrawal or resignation removes the student from any fee responsibility. Failure to attend class(es) or to submit appropriate university paperwork is not a justifiable reason for removal of assessed fees retroactively.

    6. Late Adds and Drops Adjustments to a student's schedule after the last date to carry out a specific transaction (see Hokie SPA for deadline dates) require permission of his/her own academic dean. Thus, a Business major wishing to late-drop an English course requires approval from the College of Business, not that of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. A late-drop request based on mental or physical illness requires a recommendation from Student Health Services. Faculty cannot add or drop students from their rolls.

    7. Purged and Held Registrations Failure to pay tuition bills by a posted deadline (usually by the end of the 2nd week of classes) may result in the student's schedule being purged (removed from the system). A schedule may be held (made inaccessible to department staff, as well as to students using DROPADD, thereby precluding transactions of any type) for nonpayment of fees other than tuition (e.g., parking tickets), for Honor Code violations, for academic ineligibility (due to department and/or academic suspension), or for failure to make progress toward a degree. This last hold is imposed by the student's dean, while all other holds are imposed by other offices. The student should check with the office imposing the hold, as only that office is authorized to remove the hold. The Office of the University Bursar processes all billing for tuition and fees; contact the Office of the Bursar if you have questions about your bill or do not receive a bill.

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    Virginia Tech 2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies