Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering where to go, who to ask, what to do?

Hokie QuestionsThe following are some questions that our students often bring to their University Studies' advisors. You may find answers to your questions right here on this web page. However, if the answers we have provided are not sufficient, or your question is not listed here, please call our office or email your advisor.

Who is my Dean, what is my major, and what is my college?

I don’t know who my advisor is. How do I find out?

How do I make an appointment with my advisor?

What is the Curriculum for Liberal Education (formerly the University Core Curriculum)?

What is a force-add, how do I force-add, and where do I get a force-add form?

I tried to add a class but got an error saying “major restriction.”  What is wrong?

I’m failing one of my classes.  How do I drop it?

I want to take classes at a college/university near my home. What do I do?

What is a transcript and where can I get one?

I had a great semester. Did I achieve Dean’s List?

I don’t want to be at Virginia Tech this semester but Hokie Spa will not allow me to drop all my classes.  What do I do? 

What is the difference between withdrawing and resigning?

What is course withdrawal?

How do I know if my course withdrawal request has been processed?

I’m in University Studies, and I keep getting emails saying that I need to find a major.  How long can I stay in University Studies?

I transferred out of University Studies into a major, but my new department does not have my advising records and University Studies is still showing as my major on Hokie Spa.  What’s wrong?


Who is my Dean, what is my major, and what is my college?

Dr. Kimberly Smith serves as the Dean of University Studies. "University Studies" is your major and "UAAC" is your college. "UAAC" is the acronym for University Academic Advising Center.

I don’t know who my advisor is. How do I find out?

Advisor information is found on Hokie Spa, under "View your General Student Information."

How do I make an appointment with my advisor?

You can make an appointment with your advisor through the Student Success Collaborative (SSC). Navigate to www.registrar.vt.edu/campus to launch the platform for scheduling appointments. You will also receive instructions from your academic advisor on how to schedule an appointment.

DO NOT EMAIL YOUR ADVISOR TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.

What is the Curriculum for Liberal Education (formerly the University Core Curriculum)?

The Curriculum for Liberal Education is a group of courses that must be completed by every student who graduates from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree.  Students should follow the requirements for the year in which they entered Virginia Tech. Curriculum Guides are published online each academic year, and they explain the requirements.

What is a force-add, how do I force-add, and where do I get a force-add form?

When a class is full, the only way you can add it is by force-adding.  Whether or not you are able to force-add is up to either the Department offering the class or the instructor who teaches the class.

Some departments have specific force-add procedures, and these are always posted on the University Studies website under "Events" at the beginning of the semester. If the department does not have its own procedure, then see the instructor of the class. If he/she agrees to add you to the class, you must get that instructor's signature on a force-add form (forms are available from any academic department).

Once the instructor signs the form, turn it in to the department of the class for processing (e.g., if it is a PSYC class, turn the form in to the Psychology department).  You do not need your advisor to sign the form.  Force-add forms are turned in to the Dean’s office only after the official “add” deadline has passed.

I tried to add a class but got an error saying “major restriction.”  What is wrong?

The section of the class that you tried to add is only available to students in a specific major. There may be other sections available that are not restricted, but you will need to check by going to Hokie Spa and looking in the on-line Timetable.  To find out if a section is restricted, look up the class in the Timetable and double click the section's CRN number.  You can attempt to force-add a major-restricted class by following the force-add procedures outlined above.

I’m failing one of my classes.  How do I drop it?

You can drop a class using Hokie Spa through the University’s posted deadline (usually about six weeks into the semester).  The class is removed from your schedule and your transcript.

See your advisor to discuss whether other options are available to you, and read the questions below about Course Withdrawal.

I want to take classes at a college/university near my home. What do I do?

Complete the University Studies' Authorization to Take Courses at Another University. If you receive authorization, then register for the class(es) at the institution you want to attend.

After the coursework has been completed, you are responsible for requesting that an official transcript from the school where you took the class(es) be sent to Virginia Tech’s Office of the Registrar.

What is a transcript and where can I get one?

A transcript is an official record of your coursework at Virginia Tech.  Transcripts may be required when you apply to other colleges or universities and often when you apply for employment.  You may obtain copies of your OFFICIAL transcript either in person from the Office of the Registrar, Room 250, Student Services Building, or by mail or online; instructions are on the Registrar's website. There is a charge for an official transcript, and there is usually a waiting period for preparing it; most institutions that require a transcript will also require that it be sent to them directly by the Registrar’s office.

An UNOFFICIAL copy of your transcript can be obtained from Hokie Spa anytime.

I had a great semester. Did I achieve Dean’s List?

Students who earn a 3.4 GPA on 12 or more hours attempted A-F achieve Dean’s List.  Pass/Fail hours do not count toward Dean’s list eligibility and summer sessions are not included in Dean’s list eligibility.  Students who achieve Dean’s List will receive an email invitation to request a Dean’s List Certificate.

I don’t want to be at Virginia Tech this semester but Hokie Spa will not allow me to drop all my classes.  What do I do?

You need to withdraw or resign.  See the next question for more information.

What is the difference between withdrawing and resigning?

A student withdraws no later than the first day of the semester; no dean’s signature is required.

Beyond the first day, a student resigns, and a signature is required from the University Studies office.  The form for withdrawing and resigning is the same.

What is course withdrawal?

The policy is intended to assist undergraduate students who find themselves enrolled in undergraduate level courses for which they are insufficiently prepared, or for those who initially enroll in majors that they subsequently change. This policy allows currently enrolled students to designate a grading option of "CW" to a course. Courses with this option are not gradable but remain on the academic transcript with the letter grade of "W". A maximum of three (3) courses (regardless of credit) may be dropped beyond the normal six-week drop deadline date during a student's undergraduate academic career at Virginia Tech subject to the following stipulations:
•    Students must formally request to apply the W Grade option to a course by the last day of classes of each term. The deadline appears in the deadlines listing of the online Time Table of Classes.
•    Courses with the new grade mode of "W" will appear on the transcript with a "W" grade, but will not count in the GPA hours nor in any GPA calculations. The "W" signifies that this policy was invoked and does not reflect the rationale for its use. The reasons for use remains the student's purview.
•    There are no refunds of tuition and fees as a result of application of the policy. However, utilization of this grade option policy may affect Reasonable Academic Policy requirements for continued receipt of federal financial aid. Students are urged to consult with their financial aid advisor.
•    A student decision to invoke this policy is irrevocable and unappealable.
•    Application of the W grade option may not be employed to reduce or obviate any penalty otherwise accruing to students under the University Honor System. Previously processed W grade options will be voided if the course is penalized per an Honor System action.
•    Students may request a W grade option change for any course, irrespective of the evaluation earned in it up to the point of their request for withdrawal. However, if a registration hold exists at the time of application of this policy, the student must take action to remove the hold within five (5) working days of the application or the request will be voided. Students are responsible for resolving their registration holds with the appropriate university office.
•    Students already enrolled when this policy takes effect who have exercised their option to use the previously existing Freshman Rule shall not be eligible to use this policy.
To exercise this option, interested students should see their academic advisor to obtain a course withdrawal form and submit it to their designated departmental representative and academic dean for approval.

How do I know if my course withdrawal request has been processed?

During the semester, look at your class schedule (NOT your transcript) on Hokie Spa.

Once grades for the semester are posted, look at your transcript on Hokie Spa.

I’m in University Studies, and I keep getting emails saying that I need to find a major.  How long can I stay in University Studies?

You can stay in University Studies until you have completed 60 hours toward graduation, or until you have attempted 72 hours, even if some of those hours do not apply toward graduation.

I transferred out of University Studies into a major, but my new department does not have my advising records and University Studies is still showing as my major on Hokie Spa.  What’s wrong?

If you have allowed an appropriate amount of time for the change to have taken place (at least 5 working days), you should contact your new Dean’s Office. By that time, your records will have been sent from University Studies to the office of the Dean of your new College. It is then their responsibility to officially change your major so that it shows correctly on Hokie Spa and to forward your advising records to your new Department.  Following is a list of Dean’s office contacts:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Anna Taylor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Carolyn Harris, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

College of Engineering, Christi Boone, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Karen Watson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

College of Natural Resources and Environment, Cathy Barker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      

College of Science, Mikhelle Taylor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pamplin College of Business, Barbara Townley, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.