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General Engineering Academic Advising

General Engineering Academic Advising

We have a team of academic advisors dedicated to guiding students through the first-year engineering program, General Engineering. Students can view their academic advisor assignment on Hokie Spa under View your General Student Information.

Students are encouraged to meet with their assigned academic advisor to discuss:

  • registering for the next semester's classes
  • course support/tutoring options
  • college success skills, such as time management practices and study strategies
  • dropping a class
  • withdrawing from a class
  • resigning from a semester
  • taking a leave of absence 
  • choosing a major and/or minor
  • taking classes at another institution
  • studying abroad
  • completing undergraduate research
  • accepting a co-op/internship
A collage of our academic advisors: Jennifer Chin, Daniel Newcomb, Devin Erb, Matt Cheatham, Alice Noble, April Mullins, James Newcomer, Maia Greene-Havas, and Jessica Elmore.
Step 1: Schedule Appointment

Click "Schedule an Appointment" on the Navigate homepage.

Step 2: Select Appointment Details

Type of appointment: Advising
Service: Engineering Advising > General Engineering Advising
Pick a date: Date for which you want an appointment.
Click "Find Available Times."

Step 3: Select Appointment Date

Your assigned advisor's name will appear at the top. Select a day and time for your meeting.

Note: Your advisor may have options to meet in-person or virtually. Before you select a date you can scroll down to filter appointments by "in-person" or "virtual" under "How would you like to meet?" If no in-person meetings are available then switch your selection to virtual to find virtual appointment times.

Step 4: Review and Confirm

Review appointment details. Provide a brief comment about what you want to discuss with your advisor, along with a list of your top three Engineering major choices. This will help your advisor prepare for the appointment. Click "Schedule" to confirm the appointment.

Additional information about your advising appointment.

  • You will will receive a confirmation email once you have scheduled the appointment. 
  • Specific details for attending your appointment can be found in the appointment details; when scheduling your appointment; the appointment confirmation email you receive after confirming your appointment; and appointment reminder notifications. 
  • Appointment lengths are 30 minutes and can only be scheduled up to 7 days in advance. 
  • Be prepared for your meeting with a list of questions, a checksheet for your intended major(s), and something to take notes with. 
  • If you need to cancel your appointment you can cancel in Navigate or email your advisor.

An academic plan is a unique and useful tool for every student. It allows students to plan all of the courses needed to fulfill the graduation requirements of the degree they wish to earn. An academic plan can also be a helpful way to determine how to fit in additional activities students may wish to participate in.

Ready to develop a plan? Review How to Create an Academic Plan which includes step-by-step directions, templates, and useful resources.

What's a checksheet?

The university refers to graduation requirements as "checksheets." Degree checksheets are available based upon academic catalog year of entry – or date of entry. For example, a student who came to Virginia Tech in the 2022-2023 academic year would use the 2022/2023 checksheet.

All Virginia Tech checksheets for majors and minors can be found here.

Understanding the Checksheet

At the top of all Engineering major checksheets is information about the department which offers the major, title of the degree, specific major, catalog year the checksheet is for, and minimum credits required to graduate.

Engineering checksheets show a generalized course plan that includes pre-requisites, co-requisites, term offerings, and grade requirements. Review checksheets for all majors you are interested in since requirements vary across majors, specifically regarding minimum grade requirements in specific courses. Additional pages on degree checksheets include information on general education requirements, satisfactory progress towards degree, and specific electives within the degree.

There are special notations on Engineering checksheets. Review our cheecksheet key that defines the special notations found on a checksheet.

A screenshot of an example checksheet for first-year engineering students. There are orange boxes that highlight key information. Please contact your advisor for a walkthrough of a graduation checksheet.
Checksheet Example

Checksheet Key

  1. Semester and year
  2. An OR typically indicates choice between courses, only one course is necessary
  3. Pre-requisite and co-requisite
    Pre = Pre-requisite, courses which must be passed before
    Co = Co-requisite, courses which must be taken at the same time or completed before.
  4. The minimum grade required for this course, if no minimum grade is listed in parentheses, a D- or better is sufficient.
  5. Term offerings are indicated in brackets next to credit hours. If a course has no bracket notation next to the credit hours then the course is likely offered in both Fall and Spring semesters.
    F = Fall
    S = Spring
    SI = Summer I
    SII = Summer II
    SIII = Summer III

Students in a ROTC program may be required to complete an academic plan (Form48/104R/4-yearplan) for their service area (Air Force, Army, Navy, and Navy - Marine Option). An academic advisor’s signature is required. Students in the Citizen-Leader program may be required to create an academic plan as a course requirement and should consult their assigned advisor for a review of their plan.

Check the special academic planning resources including instructions and extended checksheets are available to assist cadets in developing their plan.

Course registration is a two phase process at Virginia Tech. Phase 1 is known as course request and happens in March and October each year. This is your opportunity to inform the university of the courses you want to take the following semester. This phase is designed to help departments offer enough seats in their courses to accomodate the demand.

The second phase is known as add/drop and opens about a month after course request each semester. During add/drop, you will be able to build on the courses you receive through course request to finalize your next semester's class schedule. You may need to force-add a class. A force-add is necessary when a course you want to add has a pre-requisite, but your transfer credit for that pre-requisite is not showing on Hokie Spa.

Download and complete the Course Registration Worksheet for a guide through the course registration process!

1. Prepare for Course Registration
  • Resolve holds on your account. You cannot submit a course request or add and drop if you have a hold on your account which prevents registration. Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > View Holds.
  • Complete all pre-registration requirements on Hokie Spa. Review the Registration Tutorial. Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Registration (Add/Drop) and Schedule > Prepare for Registration.
  • Verify your transfer credits are showing on Hokie Spa. You cannot request or add courses if the pre-requisites are not showing on Hokie Spa. Go to Hokie Spa > Grades Menu > Transfer and Other Additional Credit.
  • Complete our Course Registration Worksheet
2. Complete Phase 1: Course Request

Enter your request on Hokie Spa. Watch our Course Request video for extra help!

  • Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Course Request > Enter the CRN for each course > Add CRNs.
  • Don't forget to click or tap the Add CRNs button. 
  • The request system opens at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time and closes at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the respective dates.
3. Complete Phase 2: Add/Drop

Monitor seat availability on the Timetable of Classes and adjust your schedule in real time. Watch our Add/Drop video for extra help!

  • Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Registration [Add/Drop] and Schedule > [Add/Drop] Register for Classes > Select the appropriate semester.
  • Add/Drop opens at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and closes at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the respective dates.

Enrollment Details: A laptop or 2-in-1 tablet meeting COE specifications is required for enrollment in ENGE 1215 and ENGE 1216. The Engineering Software bundle must be purchased. Students must complete both ENGE 1215 and ENGE 1216 to earn Pathways Concept 6d credit. 

Force-Adding: Students experiencing pre-requisite errors for ENGE 1216 due to pending transfer credit for ENGE 1215 may add their name to the electronic force-add request (available 8/12/2024 to 8/29/2024 @ 5pm) to be considered for a force-add for Fall 2024. A force-add will typically not be granted to a section that is full.

ENGE 1215 - Foundations of Engineering: is typically taught fall, winter, spring, and summer II.  Non-engineering students cannot enroll in ENGE 1215 during summer II or fall terms.

ENGE 1216 - Foundations of Engineering: is typically taught fall, spring, and summer I. 

ENGE 1414 - Foundations of Engineering Practice: is only taught in the fall. Non-engineering students cannot enroll in ENGE 1414.

Force-adds are only for pre-requisite issues due to pending transfer credit. Force-adds will not be processed for a course that is full.

Review force-add instructions and contacts for engineering and required non-engineering courses.

Course Drop vs. Course Withdrawal

What is a course drop?
It’s when you discontinue enrollment in a course by the drop deadline. There is no grade penalty. Your total number of credit hours for the semester or session is reduced as the course is removed from your schedule. Remember, full-time status in fall and spring is 12 credits. Depending on the date of the course drop and your course load, you may not receive a refund

What is course withdrawal (W grade policy)?
It's when you discontinue enrollment in a course after the add/drop period. It places a "W" on the student's academic transcript and is not calculated into the GPA. Students remain enrolled in the credit hours associated with the course. A maximum of three (3) course withdrawals can be used in a student's academic career. Students can withdraw from a course through the last day of classes each semester. There are no refunds for tuition or fees for a course that is withdrawn. The deadline to apply the W grade policy is typically the last day of classes.

Do you have an honor code violation?
Unfortunately, you are unable to drop a course or apply the W grade policy. Please contact your assigned General Engineering advisor for more information.

Are you an athlete, an international student, receiving military benefits, or receiving financial aid?
Student athletes should consult with their SAASS advisor for NCAA eligibility requirements.

International students chould consult with Cranwell International Center to determine any impact to their visa status.

Students receiving military benefits should contact the Office of Veteran Services

Students receiving financial aid (grants, loans, and/or scholarships) should speak with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy

Steps to Drop a Course

  1. Investigate options to be successful and decide if dropping from the course is your best option.

    a). Calculate your current course grade using our helpful gradebook.

    b). Run what-if semester GPA scenarios. Calculate your semester and overall GPA using the GPA calculator. Your quality points and GPA hours are located on Hokie Spa > Transcripts and Certifications Menu > View Unofficial Transcript.

  2. Confirm the minimum grade needed for the course.

  3. Research which courses require the course you are dropping as a pre-requisite.

  4. Determine how the course drop will impact your academic plan.

  5. Consult with your academic advisor for any questions related to course drops. Review your graduation checksheet too! 

  6. Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Registration (Add/Drop) and Schedule > Add/Drop-Register for Classes. Find the course you wish to drop in the Summary window. Select Drop from the Action drop-down menu. Select Submit.

  7. Once you select Submit, you have dropped the course. You no longer need to attend or participate in the course.

Verify your Course Drop

Advisor approval is not needed to drop a course. Once you select Submit, the course is dropped immediately. You no longer need to attend or participate in the course.

  1. Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Classic Student Schedule.

  2. Confirm the course is no longer listed on your schedule.

Steps to Course Withdraw

  1. Investigate options to be successful and decide if withdrawing from the course is your best option.

    a). Calculate your current course grade using our helpful gradebook.

    b). Run what-if semester GPA scenarios. Calculate your semester and overall GPA using the GPA calculator. Your quality points and GPA hours are located on Hokie Spa > Transcripts and Certifications Menu > View Unofficial Transcript.

  2. Confirm the minimum grade needed for the course in which you are requesting the W grade.

  3. Research which courses require the course you are requesting the W grade policy from as a pre-requisite.

  4. Determine how the course withdrawal will impact your academic plan.

  5. Consult with your academic advisor for any questions related to the course withdrawal. Review your graduation checksheet too! 

  6. Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Classic Student Schedule to obtain the subject, course number, and CRN. 

  7. Complete and submit the College of Engineering Course Withdrawal Request Form online. Don't forget to check the box to receive an emailed copy of your answers (helpful for future conversations with your advisor).

  8. As soon as you've submitted the form, you are withdrawn from the course. You no longer need to attend the course, do the coursework, nor take any exams.

Verify your Course Withdrawal

Your request will be processed provided there are no holds on your account and you have not exceeded the maximum of three withdrawals. Requests are processed manually, so it will take several business days to complete. The withdrawal goes into effect on the submission date. You no longer need to attend the course, do the coursework, nor take any exams.

  1. Go to Hokie Spa > Course Registration and Schedule Menu > Registration (Add/Drop) and Schedule > View Registration Information.

  2. Check the grade mode next to the course to ensure a "W" is listed.

In college, it is normal and expected for students to utilize support services. Success is defined differently by each individual. The tools below are intended to support you in achieving success in a way that is meaningful to you. Making use of these tools will prove favorable as you navigate through your college experience and continue to progress toward your personal success.

Course Support
The Student Success Center, as well as some academic departments and student groups offer tutoring and course support options, many at no out of pocket cost. Check out this page of comprehensive course support for engineering and non-engineering courses

Learning Strategies and Study Skills
In addition to tutoring and course support, knowing how to properly learn and study is essential to thriving academically. Take a look at our study skills resources.

Peer Mentoring and Coaching
Whether you are looking to improve academically, connect with campus resources, or build relationships, there are a number of peer programs to consider.

General Engineering sponsors a number of events and workshops each semeter to provide students with additional support in areas most discussed in our one-on-one advising appointments. Students are encouraged to review the calendar associated with the GE Virtual Advising Canvas site for reminders of our events and workshops. Other events of interest to GE students are posted to our GE Student Opportunities page in the GE Virtual Advising Canvas site.

Very relevant advising news from your advisor in VT Engineering Education

The weekly academic advising newsletter is sent from the advising team directly to students to their email address. Full of helpful tips, events and opportunities, read all the details from our latest issue right here, or check out past issues on our newsletter site.