Frequently Asked Questions by Prospective Students

Prospective Student Information Sessions

Q: Do you hold information sessions for prospective undergraduate students in the School of Architecture + Design? Do I need a reservation to attend an information session? Are they the same as the University Admissions information sessions?
A: The School of Architecture + Design holds information sessions to give prospective undergraduate students and their parents an overview of our programs and facilities and meet faculty members and students in their program of choice. So that we can plan ahead for these sessions, we ask that prospective attendees sign up in advance.

If you are also interested in a general university information session and tour of the Virginia Tech campus, please access the website of the Undergraduate Admissions Office at http://admissions.vt.edu/visit.

Please Note: To park on the main Virginia Tech campus on weekdays or during some athletic events, you will need to obtain a visitor parking permit from the Visitor Information Center, 965 Prices Fork Road. (To park at the Visitor Information Center, a parking permit is not required.) Please see http://www.visit.vt.edu/about/about.html.

a+d location

Q: Where are you located?
A: The School of Architecture + Design’s main office is located at 201 Cowgill Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. Cowgill Hall is located on the plaza behind Burruss Hall. Our office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

high school student opportunities

Q: Are Architecture and Design career discovery courses available to high school students during the summer?
A: Yes. inside Architecture + Design is a program open to rising 10th through 12th grade high school students. For additional information, please see the inside Architecture + Design website here.

undergraduate admissions

Q: I am interested in applying to one of the undergraduate programs in the School of Architecture + Design. What is the process?
A: All applications for admission to undergraduate programs within the School of Architecture + Design must be completed through the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Admissions office. Please visit their website at http://admissions.vt.edu/apply.

Portfolio Requirements

Q: Is a portfolio required for admission to your undergraduate programs?
A: No. Many high schools do not teach art, architecture, or design classes. Our Foundation Design Laboratories (ARCH 1015, 1016) provide the design fundamentals needed to be a successful designer. Admissions are primarily based on a student’s grade point average and SAT or ACT score. If you have questions regarding the admission requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at admissions@vt.edu; or http://admissions.vt.edu.

high school classes

Q: What classes should I take in high school to best prepare me for a major in Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design or Landscape Architecture?
A: Advanced placement courses in Math, Science, English, and Foreign Languages are the best preparatory courses. These classes show dedication to one’s learning and are the best preparation for taking the SAT exam. Art and architecture classes are encouraged, but not required.

summer program offerings

Q: Do you offer any educational programs for new undergraduate students prior to the start of fall classes to assist with the transition to studying architecture and design at Virginia Tech?
A: Virginia Tech Summer Academy (VTSA) is a six week program prior to the fall semester designed to ease students’ transitions from high school or from another college to Virginia Tech. By partaking in Summer Academy, students are given many opportunities to take required courses, become familiar with university expectations, make new friends, and discover our campus. VTSA combines popular courses with peer mentoring and academic networking to promote a strong foundational start at Virginia Tech. The Architecture and Design track is specifically designed for entering Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture students or for those interested in transferring into one of the School’s undergraduate majors. In this track, you will be introduced to the learning environment and activities characteristic of Foundation Design Lab, ARCH 1015. Participants in this experience will also be exposed to ways of perceiving and recording the built and natural environment through travel around the region, as well as transforming their findings in ways that enhance their design education. For more information, please visit http://www.vtsa.edm.vt.edu.

undergraduate program curricula

Q: Where can I locate the curricula for your undergraduate programs in the School of Architecture + Design?
A: Please visit the following links:

Pathways to general education (pathways)

Q: What is the Pathways to General Education?
A: The Pathways to General Education curriculum includes core and integrative concepts and student learning outcomes to meet the needs of all students. The Pathways curriculum also offers opportunities for students to complete minors or experiential learning activities, providing a coherent and meaningful general education for undergraduates.

Q: What about the Pathways Area 4 Reasoning in the Natural Sciences Lab Requirement?
A: While undergraduate students must complete 6 credits of Reasoning in the natural Sciences lecture courses, the additional 2-credit science lab requirement was waived by the university in 2004 for certain majors. Students entering the School of Architecture + Design in 2005 or later are not required to take the lab; the 2 credit hours will be made up through free elective credit. Please refer to the Pathways Guide online for further information.

Credit Transfers

Q: I have Advanced Placement, CLEP, International Baccalaureate, and/or credit from another institution. How can I find out if the credit will transfer to Virginia Tech?

A: You may access the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Transfer Equivalency Database to determine how credit taken through another institution will transfer to Virginia Tech.

You may access the AP, IB & CLEP information through the Registrar’s website to determine how this type of credit will transfer to Virginia Tech.

computer requirements

Q: What are the computer requirements for entering students?
A: Please see the Computer Requirement page for more information, including frequently-asked questions about the computer requirements for Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture students.

tuition and fees

Q: Where can I locate information regarding tuition and fees, as well as information regarding the Architecture and Design Fee?
A: Please visit the Bursar’s office website.

STEM Designation

Q: Does the B.Arch program have a STEM Designation?
A: Yes, The Professional Bachelor of Architecture degree (B.Arch) at Virginia Tech is a STEM Designated program in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology (CIP code 04.0902). The STEM Designation allows international students graduating from our B.Arch program to apply for an additional 24-month extension after their initial 12 month-long Optional Practical Training (OPT), with eligibility for a total of 36 months of practical training in the United States.

graduate admissions

Q: How do I apply to one of your graduate programs?
A: Please see the Graduate Admissions page. For more information on our graduate degree programs, please visit our Graduate Degree Programs page.

More frequently-asked questions – undergraduate admissions…