Virginia Tech® home

General Engineering Major

General Engineering Major

While part of the General Engineering program, students complete three different types of courses:

First-Year: the required change of major courses for a restricted engineering degree, which include two semesters of calculus, one semester of English, and two semesters of foundations of engineering.

ENGE: courses that help fill out the foundational engineering experience, including global engineering, major exploration, engineering success skills, as well as ideation and innovation, and more.

Pathways to General Educationrequired courses that count towards the university's general education requirement. Students learn about important human challenges and contemporary problems of the 21st century.

Fall Semester

Course Title Credits
ENGE 1215 Foundations of Engineering 2
ENGL 1105 First-Year Writing 3
MATH 1225 Calculus of a Single Variable 4
CHEM 1035 General Chemistry 3
CHEM 1045 General Chemistry Lab 1
Pathways Elective (Pathway 2, 3, 6a, or 7) 3
Total Credit Hours 16

Spring Semester

Course Title Credits
ENGE 1216 Foundations of Engineering 2
ENGL 1106 First-Year Writing 3
MATH 1226 Calculus of a Single Variable 4
PHYS 2305 Foundations of Physics 4
*CHEM 1045 General Chemistry Lab 1
Additional Course or Pathway Elective 2-3
Total Credit Hours 15-18

*CHEM 1045: General Chemistry Lab is often moved to the spring semester due to capacity constraints. For students interested in Chemical Engineering (CHE), it's very important to take CHEM 1035 and 1045 in the first fall semester to stay on track towards a 4-year graduation timeline.

The College of Engineering change of major required courses for a restricted engineering degree are ENGE 1215; ENGE 1216; ENGL 1105; MATH 1225; and MATH 1226. Although CHEM 1035, CHEM 1045, ENGL 1106, and PHYS 2305 are no longer change of major requirement courses, they may still be necessary for degree progression and completion. Consult the checksheets for your engineering majors of interest for degree requirements. Pathway Electives and/or additional courses are not required to declare a restricted engineering major, but may be necessary to remain on-track for specific disciplines.

If you are expecting transfer credit, you must send all official score reports and transcripts to Virginia Tech. Also, there are equivalency charts, guides, and databases to help you determine if your credit will transfer to Virginia and how it applies to your intended major.

ENGE 1215 and 1216: Foundations of Engineering
A first-year sequence to introduce general engineering students to the engineering profession, including data collection and analysis, engineering, problem-solving, mathematical modeling, design, contemporary software tools, professional practices and expectations (e.g. communication, teamwork, ethics), and the diversity of fields and majors within engineering.

ENGE 1354: Introduction to Spatial Visualization
Spatial thinking skills contribute to performance in many STEM fields. For example, drawing sectional views of three-dimensional objects is an essential skill for engineering students. There is considerable variation in spatial thinking skill in normal populations, putting some students at risk for compromised performance in engineering classes. Counterbalancing these individual differences is evidence that spatial thinking skills can be improved through training and experience. The  Spatial Visualization Course at VT integrates three pedagogical strategies - innovative classroom instruction, cognitive-based spatial visualization training, and manipulation of physical objects to improve performance gains and transfer. Through the curricula students learn and practice outdoor free-hand sketching, design graphics, CAD and prototyping techniques. The instructor applies a student-centered approach, empowering students to take ownership of their learning and their end of semester design creations.

ENGE 1644: Global Engineering Practice
Develop global competencies, especially communication and leadership, in engineering contexts. Learn about the impact of different political, technological, social, cultural, educational and environmental systems on engineering. Integrates semester-long on-campus module with international module following semester exams ("Rising Sophomore Abroad Program").

ENGE 2094: Create!: Ideation and Innovation
One of the introductory courses for the Innovate minor
Apply problem solving framing strategies as part of problem solving design processes. Consider cultural, economic, social, and other perspectives in customer discovery and design processes in order to ensure problem/solution fit. Ideate possible solutions or approaches to address open- ended problems using a variety of methods. Engage in iterative critiques of strategies, solutions and prototypes using methods drawn from industrial design, engineering and the arts. Collaborate in interdisciplinary and diverse project teams. Communicate deliverables in multiple formats and for different audiences. Identify and address impacts of designed services and products through global perspectives, such as patterns of inclusion and exclusion and effects on localized ecosystems.

ENGE 2514: Introduction to Engineering with Labview
Introduces engineering computation and control using the Labview graphical programming language and the text/ matrix-based (and MATLAB compatible) MathScript programming language. Topics include algorithm development, flowcharts, pseudocode, programming control structures, structured programming, object oriented programming (OOP), data-flow programming, data acquisition, analysis and device control.

All Virginia Tech students will complete a general education curriculum, known as the Pathways to General Education. Within the Pathways requirements students will complete courses in seven concept areas, outlined below. Some courses required as part of the engineering curriculum will satisfy Pathways requirements and are outlined in the table below. The remaining Pathway courses are each student's choice are referred to as Pathway Electives. Many students will take at least one Pathways Elective course in their first year, however, this is not required. These requirements must be met by the time a student graduates.


Pathway 1


Foundational: Fulfilled with ENGL 1105 and 1106

Advanced: Major Choice

9 credits
Pathway 2

Critical Thinking in the Humanities

All Majors: Student's Choice

6 credits
Pathway 3

Reasoning in the Social Sciences

AE, MSE, OE: require ECON 2005

CEM: requires ECON 2005-2006

All other majors: Student's Choice

6 credits
Pathway 4

Reasoning in the Natural Sciences

Fulfilled with CHEM 1035/1045 and PHYS 2305 or PHYS 2305 and PHYS 2306

8 credits
Pathway 5

Quantitative and Computational Thinking

Foundational: Fulfilled with MATH 1225-1226

Advanced (CS): Fulfilled with CS 3114

Advanced (All other majors): Fulfilled with MATH 2214

11 credits
Pathway 6

Critique and Practice in Design and the Arts

Arts: Student's Choice

Design: Fulfilled with ENGE 1215-1216

7 credits
Pathway 7

Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States

All Majors: Student's Choice

3 credits

Learn beyond the classroom with our hands-on engineering programs, with opportunities for all engineering students.

Students working in the Frith Lab.

Frith First-Year Makerspace

The Frith First-Year Makerspace is designed to support the development of young engineers through hands-on learning, peer mentoring, and authentic problem-solving. Part collaboration and innovation space, part fabrication and prototyping space, and part learning laboratory, the Frith Lab is integrated into the first-year foundations of engineering courses and enables General Engineering students to learn by dissecting, designing, making, and analyzing engineering products.

Rising Sophomore Abroad Program

The Virginia Tech Rising Sophomore Abroad Program combines a Spring course with a two-week international module abroad in May immediately following the end of the Spring Semester. By giving students a taste of an international experience and increasing their comfort level with global travel, the program promotes additional, more extended international academic experiences such as internships, study abroad programs, or faculty-led programs. The program also allows students the opportunity to make initial contact with a company or university in another country to further their student experience or career prospects.


Students hold up the Virginia Tech flag in front of a building in Oxford.

Undergraduate Research

For students interested in research, but don't know where to start, or think they're lacking credentials to join a team/group, try undergraduate research with Drs. Ben Chambers or David Gray! Work with a team of fellow undergrads, earn academic credit, and build your credentials for internships, co-ops or even graduate school.

Dr. Benjamin Chambers

Dr. Ben Chambers, Associate Professor of Practice |

David Gray

Dr. David Gray, Associate Professor of Practice |

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 > View your General Student Information.

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.
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.

Join us on Instagram for everything General Engineering!