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2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog & Academic Policies

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Academic Policies

University Policies Governing Enrollment


Appeals

    Under extenuating circumstances, the student's academic dean may present, on behalf of the student, appeals for re-admission and other exceptions to academic eligibility policies to the Virginia Tech Academic Appeals Committee. Students presenting appeals based on medical reasons must request recommendations from the Student Health Evaluation Committee. Students may appeal other academic decisions made by their college associate dean to the college dean.

Auditing Courses

    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. 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. Students may not unofficially attend class(es).

Class Level

    A student must have received credit for at least 30 hours to be classified as a sophomore, at least 60 hours to be classified as a junior, and at least 90 hours to be classified as a senior.

Course Prerequisites (University Policy on)

    Many course offering departments enforce prerequisite checking at registration. The automated system checks the student’s academic history and/or current enrollment for verification of compliance. Students without the required prerequisite will be prohibited from enrolling. On occasion, students are permitted to take courses without having the specified prerequisites only upon obtaining the consent of the instructor. Students who enroll in a course for which they clearly have not satisfied the prerequisites or equivalent or obtained the appropriate permission may be dropped from the course. Deliberately false statements testifying to the satisfaction of prerequisites constitute a violation of the honor code. Students have the right to appeal a decision about prerequisites to the head of the department offering a course. Students should recognize that 3000 and 4000 level courses assume a certain level of academic maturity and general background regardless of the stated prerequisites. The course instructor can be consulted regarding the implications of this expectation for a specific course.

Enrollment, Semester Hour

    Minimum full-time enrollment for undergraduate and associate degree students is 12 hours per semester in regular A-F option or P/F option. For each summer session, the minimum is 5 hours. Audit hours are not used in establishing minimum full-time enrollments.

    Full-time enrollment for graduate students is 9 hours or more in regular A-F option, P/F option, or equivalent credit. For each summer term, the minimum is 3 hours. Neither the payment of full fees nor compliance with maximums established as a condition of employment or appointment is a basis for deviation from the definition above.

Graduation With Distinction

    Graduating with distinction is an honor bestowed on those who earn a 3.4 or higher and who complete no less than 60 hours at Virginia Tech. Distinction is denoted on the diploma and on the transcript. Levels of distinction are:

    1. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or greater are graduated Summa Cum Laude.
    2. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.6-3.7999 are graduated Magna Cum Laude.
    3. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.4-3.5999 are graduated Cum Laude.

    Grade Point Averages are not rounded in qualifying a student for distinction. In computing eligibility for graduation with distinction, only undergraduate level work attempted at Virginia Tech will be used. Students may not use hours earned at Virginia Tech as an associate, professional, or graduate level as part of the 60 semester hours required to earn distinction. The notation of distinction on the diploma and on the transcript is independent of the notation of a degree in honors, if applicable. (See section on "The Honors Program" for information about graduating in honors.)

Limits on Acceptable Credits for Degrees

    Not more than 6 credit hours earned from extension courses, radio courses, television courses, and intensive courses (e.g. taken while in active military service, etc.) will be accepted for undergraduate degree credit. Thirty-eight hours of advanced placement credit and/or international baccalaureate and/or Cambridge International Examination credit may be accepted towards the undergraduate degree.

Readmission through the University Registrar or Academic Dean

    Formerly enrolled students who have greater than the 2.0 GPA overall may seek readmission via web course request form if they are eligible to return. Students returning from academic suspension should consult their academic dean's office for readmission procedures. (These procedures vary from college to college within the university.)

    Formerly enrolled students, not in good academic standing who stop enrollment or resign for personal reasons, and later complete course work at another college or university are required to submit their transfer transcripts to certify good standing at all institutions.

    Academic standing and student conduct at other institutions are considered in the deliberation for approval for readmission.

    Formerly enrolled students in good academic standing who resign for personal reasons, do not continue enrollment at Virginia Tech, and later complete course work at another college or university are required to submit their transfer transcripts to their academic dean prior to or during their first term of re-enrollment.

Registration, Requirements for

    Demographic Information: Virginia Tech policy requires annually the collection of specific demographic data for each student: emergency contact entry or emergency contact confirmation, and VT alerts Opt In or Opt Out action.

    Local Mailing Address: Virginia Tech policy requires the updating of a student’s local mailing address to reflect the local residential address while enrolled in school.

    Conduct Policy: Students must annually acknowledge the Virginia Tech’s Student Conduct policy on Arrests and Convictions. The University enacted policy requiring all students, regardless of academic level or campus, to report any arrests, convictions, and/or protective orders to the university.

    VT Alerts: Students must opt in or opt out of the Virginia Tech alert system annually.

    Students will be prohibited from registration until the above information is provided.

    Missing Person Contact: Student(s) may denote a specific third party as emergency contact as primary in cases of missing person(s). Visit Hokie SPA, choose the Hokie Plus menu, add ‘new emergency contact’. In the pull down selection for relationships, choose « Missing Persons Contact ». In the case of such an emergency, the university will first contact the missing person designee before any alternate emergency contact(s).

Resignations

    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 the academic Dean's Office. The student's grade report and permanent record will show that he/she was enrolled for the term and that he/she resigned on the specific effective date.

    A student who resigns after the stated deadline without written authorization for resignation-without-penalty by the respective academic dean 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 will determine the student's academic status (whether or not he/she is eligible to return) based on the student's previous record.

Satisfactory Progress

    University policy requires that all students meet the following minimum criteria to be certified as making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

    1. Have an overall grade point average at or above that specified in the academic eligibility schedule (determined at the end of the Spring semester).
    2. Upon having attempted 36 semester credits (including transfer, advanced placement, advanced standing, credit by examination, and freshman rule hours), students must have passed at least 12 semester credits of Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements.
    3. Upon having attempted 72 semester credits (including transfer, advanced placement, advanced standing, credit by examination, freshman rule hours), students must:
      1. have passed at least 24 semester credits of Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements;
      2. be enrolled in a degree-granting program; and
      3. be certified at the close of the academic year by their department as making satisfactory progress toward a degree, based upon pre-established minimum criteria from departmental checksheets.
    4. Upon having attempted 96 semester credits (including transfer, advanced placement, advanced standing, credit by examination, and freshman rule hours), students must have an in-major grade point average of 2.0 or above.

    Colleges and departments may impose additional requirements. It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with the requirements of his or her college.

Transfer Work while on Suspension

    A student may not receive credit for course work taken at another college or university during any period in which the student has been placed on suspension by Virginia Tech for academic or disciplinary reasons.

Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses

    Undergraduate students may enroll in graduate-level course work in the senior year, provided they have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above and the written approval of the department head and the Graduate School. To enroll in graduate-level course work, the undergraduate student must apply to the Graduate School as a dual registrant. Each term that a student is dually enrolled, he or she must fill out a form in the University Registrar's Office to indicate which courses are being counted for undergraduate credit and which for graduate credit. If graduate courses are used to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements, they cannot be used to satisfy any advanced degree requirements at Virginia Tech. Students may not concurrently have dual status while enrolled in an Undergraduate Dual status.

    Graduate courses may not be taken without prior written approval from the Graduate School.

    Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree status

    High achieving and talented seniors may apply for Accelerated status. The minimum admission requirements are:

    • An advisor for the proposed accelerated program
    • Listing of courses for use on the plan of study
    • Minimum grade point average of 3.3
    • Some programs may include additional requirements

    The Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree status allows students with specific qualifications to allow certain courses to count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree:

    • No more than twelve (12) credit hours may be used
    • All courses must be at the 4000 level or higher
    • No more than six (6) credit may be used at the 4000 level.
    • A grade of B or higher must be earned in each course. No courses may be taken pass/fail.
125 Percent Rule for In-State Tuition

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 23-7.4:F 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 are:

Students with declared second majors and minors: the total credits additional required for earning of the second degree and/or minor will be added to the total prior to computing the 125 percentage. For example, as student’s first degree requires 120 hours. The second degree requires 30 additional hours. The 125% will be computed based on 150 hours.

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Virginia Tech 2014-2015 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies