University Studies and Scholarship Support
Director: Zackary Underwood, Ph.D.
Assistant Director: Page Fetter
Advisors: J. Chatham, H. Goetz, J. Johnson, and D. Sano-Franchini
The Office of University Studies and Scholarship Support 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 a University Studies major 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 office 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 their chosen major. For both of these student populations, the Office of University Studies and Scholarship Support serves as both the college and department, providing administrative services, dean's office services, and academic advising until the students enter a specific major. The office also supports students on certain scholarships towards meeting scholarship requirements. Advisors act as mentors for students on scholarship to encourage academic success and renewal of their annual scholarship. University Studies and Scholarship Support is not the academic or advising home for scholarship students.
University Studies is a major but it is not a degree-granting 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 History
- Creative Technologies
- Industrial Design
- Interior Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Studio Art
- Visual Communication Design
- Minor: Industrial Design
- Accounting and Information Systems
- Business Information Technology
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Marketing Management
- Minor: Business
- Minor: Digital Marketing Strategy
- Minor: International Business
- Minor: Professional Sales
- All majors
Academic advisors in the University Studies and Scholarship Support are familiar with internal transfer criteria and procedures for all restricted programs. Advisors 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, Pathways to General Education, which all degree programs incorporate in their graduation requirements.
In general, General Education requirements are completed in the freshman and sophomore years. Some majors are flexible with regard to which General Education courses can be used to fulfill degree requirements; other majors suggest specific major courses which can count towards specific General Education requirements. Academic advisors assist University Studies students in selecting courses that apply towards 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/Major Specific Course||Humanities/Elective/Major Specific Course|
For University Studies students, as for most students at the university, the first year is primarily devoted to fulfilling Pathways to General 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.
The freshman application to Virginia Tech automatically includes consideration for admission to the Honors College and consideration for any relevant Honors College recruitment scholarships.
The Honors College does not consider minimum test scores. They look holistically at an applicant's experiences and consider the quality of engagement over sheer quantity, se;f-awareness and reflection on involvement, and authenticity.
A student's application to Virginia Tech automatically serves as an application to the Honors College. There is no separate deadline to be considered for the Honors College.
University Studies 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. 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.