University Academic Advising Center
Kimberly S. Smith, Ph.D., Director of Undergraduate Advising and University Studies
Herbert Bruce, Ph.D., Associate Director
Elaine Matuszek, Associate Director
Advisors: J. Chatham, K. Corea, C. Crawford, H. Goetz, B. Gray, J. Johnson, D. Sano-Franchini, L. Thomas, and L. Varboncoeur
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 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 professional academic 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 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 admission into to their chosen major. For both of these 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 earned 60 credits 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.
- Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
- Art and Art History - Visual Communication Design; Studio Art
- Industrial Design
- Interior Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Minor: Industrial Design
- Accounting and Information Systems
- Business Information Technology
- Finance, Ins. & Business Law
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Minor: Business
- All majors
- Biological Sciences
Academic 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.
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 (CLE), that all degree programs incorporate in their graduation requirements.
In general, CLE requirements are completed in the freshman and sophomore years. Some majors are flexible with regard to which CLE courses can be used to fulfill degree requirements; other majors designate specific CLE course selections. Academic 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 usually able to graduate on time.
|First Semester||Second Semester|
|First-Year Writing||First-Year Writing|
|Natural Science (lab-if required by intended major)||Natural Science (lab-if required by intended major)|
|Social Science||Social Science|
|Humanities/Elective||Humanities/Elective/Major Specific Course|
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 an academic 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.
Anyone applying to the university may apply to University Honors. There are no minimum scores that a student must meet in order to apply. For freshmen who entered University Honors in Fall 2014, the average GPA was 4.24 (with a range of 3.51 – 5.00), the average (Math + Verbal) SAT was 1353 (with a range of 1020 – 1600), and the average ACT composite score was between a 30 and a 31 (with a range of 19 – 36). Our application looks holistically at an applicant's experiences and considers the quality of engagement over sheer quantity, self-awareness and reflection on involvement, and authenticity.
Students who do not enter Virginia Tech in Honors will have an opportunity to apply to University Honors after they have established themselves at the university and met the internal GPA requirement.
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 in the fall or spring term 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 advisor early in their academic career.