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2009-2010 Undergraduate Course Catalog & Academic Policies

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Academic Policies

Using This Catalog

  • Miscellaneous abbreviations used only in the course descriptions include:
Fall semester
Spring semester
hours in classroom
First summer session
hours in laboratory
Second summer session
  • The Roman numeral designations for the terms in which courses are offered are intended only as general guides and do not indicate binding agreement to offer in those terms.
Course Descriptions
The following undergraduate departmental course offering abbreviations are used in the tables and course descriptions in the undergraduate catalog.
AAEC — Agricultural and Applied Economics
AEE — Agricultural and Extension Education
ACIS — Accounting and Information Systems
AFST — Africana Studies
AHRM — Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management
AINS — American Indian Studies
ALS — Agriculture and Life Sciences
APSC — Animal and Poultry Sciences
AOE — Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
ARCH — Architecture
ART — Art and Art History
AS — Aerospace Studies (AFROTC)
AT — Agricultural Technology
BC — Building Construction
BCHM — Biochemistry
BIOL — Biological Sciences
BIT — Business Information Technology
BMVS - Biomedical & Veterinary Sciences
BMSP - Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology
BSE — Biological Systems Engineering
CEE — Civil and Environmental Engineering
CEP — Cooperative Education Program
CHE — Chemical Engineering
CHEM — Chemistry
CHN — Chinese
CLA — Classics
COMM — Communication
COS — College of Science
CS — Computer Science
CSES — Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
DASC — Dairy Science
ECE — Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECON — Economics
EDCI — Curriculum and Instruction
EDCT— Career and Technical Education
EDHL — Health Education
EDPE — Health, Physical Education, Recreation
EDTE — Technology Education
ENGL — English
ENGE — Engineering Education
ENGR — Engineering
ENSC — Environmental Science
ENT — Entomology
ESM — Engineering Science and Mechanics
FA — Fine Arts
FIN — Finance, Insurance, Business Law
FIW — Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
FOR — Forestry
FL — Foreign Languages
FR — French
FST — Food Science and Technology
GEOG— Geography
GEOS — Geosciences
GER — German
GR — Greek
HEB — Hebrew
HD — Human Development
HIST — History
HNFE — Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
HORT— Horticulture
HTM — Hospitality and Tourism Management
HUM — Humanities
IDS — Industrial Design
ISE — Industrial and Systems Engineering
IDST— Interdisciplinary Studies
IS — International Studies
ITAL — Italian
ITDS — Interior Design
JPN — Japanese
JUD — Judaic Studies
LAR — Landscape Architecture
LAHS — Liberal Arts and Sciences
LAT — Latin
LDRS — Leadership Studies
MATH — Mathematics
MASC — Mathematical Sciences
ME — Mechanical Engineering
MGT— Management
MINE — Mining and Minerals Engineering
MKTG — Marketing
MN — Military Navy (NROTC)
MS — Military Science (AROTC)
MSE — Materials Science and Engineering
MUS — Music
NR — Natural Resources
PHIL— Philosophy
PHYS — Physics
PPWS — Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science
PORT— Portuguese
PSCI — Political Science
PSYC — Psychology
REL — Religion
RUS — Russian
SOC — Sociology
SPAN — Spanish
SPIA — School of Public and International Affairs
STAT — Statistics
STS — Science Technology Studies
TA — Theatre Arts
UAP — Urban Affairs and Planning
UH — University Honors
VM — Veterinary Medicine
WOOD — Wood Science and Forest Products
WS — Women's Studies
Changes in Catalog Information
  • Caution: The course offerings and requirements of Virginia Tech are under examination and revision continually. This catalog presents the offerings and requirements in effect at time of publication, but in no way guarantees that they will not be changed or revoked.
  • The regulations and policies may change to meet new needs or as legislation is approved. Such changes are published in the President's Policy Memoranda.
  • The policies and regulations that appear in this catalog are not meant to form a contract or to constitute an offer of one. Current information may be obtained from the following:
  • Undergraduate Admission Requirements: Director of Admissions.
  • Course Offerings: Academic departments offering the course(s) in question.
  • Degree Requirements: Office of the University Registrar, head of major department, or dean of the college.
  • Fees and Tuition: Office of the University Bursar.
Course Numbering System

    The first digit in course number designations denotes the year in which the course ordinarily is found in the curricular outlines or "checksheets," which are available from the major department or academic advisor. The second and third digits make the course number unique within a department. The fourth digit is 4 if the course is a one-term terminal course, 5 if the course is the first term in a sequence, and 6 if the second term in a sequence. As a general rule, courses with 0 as the first digit do not carry university credit. Agricultural Technology courses, however, are an exception.

Cross Listed Courses

    Courses that are cross listed between departments may not be counted twice toward meeting graduation requirements. No credit will be allowed for a course taken that duplicates subject matter in a course for which credit already has been received. Cross listed courses are indicated in the title line of course descriptions; for instance, REL 3454 is listed as follows:


    The first number is the Religion course number, while the number in parentheses indicates that the course is cross listed with Philosophy.

Graduate Courses Listings

    Information regarding graduate courses (5000 and above) may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Prerequisite Notations and Requirements

    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 have not clearly 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. Students must consult with the instructor if they wish to use the Pass/Fail option in a course for which they do not have the prerequisites.

    Students should note prerequisite and corequisite requirements as stated in the course descriptions. Courses in a series may be taken independently where the series of course numbers is separated by commas (e.g., 3135, 3136), in the catalog listing. Where the series of course numbers is connected by hyphens (e.g., 4135-4136), the first course is prerequisite for the next one.


    The numbers on the right hand side of tables listed under certain departments denote the number of hours the class meets each week during the term and, in parentheses, the number of credits allowed for the course. A listing such as 3(3) means that the course meets three hours each week and three credits are earned.

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Virginia Tech 2009-2010 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies