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Programs of Study

College of Engineering

Virginia Tech is home of the commonwealth's leading college of engineering, known in Virginia and throughout the nation for the excellence of its programs in engineering education, research and public service. It is the state's largest engineering college, and now ranks among the top five suppliers of new B.S. degrees in the United States.

U.S. News & World Report's "America’s Best Colleges 2010" survey again ranked the Virginia Tech College of Engineering's undergraduate program 14th among all accredited engineering schools. This places Virginia Tech among the top 3 percent of more than 600 institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The magazine's 2011 report on "Best Graduate Schools," the college cracked the Top 25 schools of engineering.

The College of Engineering also is known for its "Hands On, Minds On" leadership in transforming engineering education. One prime example is the Joseph F. Ware, Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory, where students design and construct competition projects including Formula SAE race cars, Baja SAE vehicles, human-powered submarines and airplanes, radio-controlled aircraft, and hybrid electric vehicles. The lab has received its share of media attention, but it’s the opinion of our students that hit home best: "The Ware Lab is a place where I can be creative," said Kimberly Wenger, a senior in mechanical engineering from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., who has served as student leader of Virginia Tech's Blind Driver Challenge team. "It is a chance for all students to get their heads out of their books and apply all the ideas that professors teach us in a real-world application. It is a place where you can learn skills necessary for your future. You can make mistakes and learn from them."

High School Preparation & Admission to the College

A challenging college preparatory curriculum is your foundation for success in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. Specifically, you must present a minimum of 18 units. Four units of English is the standard requirement. The university requires three units of math (including algebra I, algebra II, and geometry), but College of Engineering students must have a fourth unit beyond these three. (The fourth unit must be in a higher-level math such as trigonometry or pre-calculus.) Two units of social science are required. The university requires two years of laboratory science (biology, chemistry, or physics), but engineering students must have at least three years, with physics and chemistry preferred.

Other ways to prepare for engineering studies include taking engineering foundations, computer programming, and advanced placement courses, and participating in math and science clubs and fairs.

In addition to your transcript, SAT or ACT (plus writing) scores are required of freshman applicants.

Curriculum & Opportunities

First-year students are admitted into general engineering, where they complete introductory coursework and learn the basics of design, teamwork, and technical communications.

All entering students are required to have a tablet PC. The curriculum emphasizes the use of computers in the analysis and solution of problems. Detailed specifications on the type of computer required differ from the rest of the university, and are announced in late spring. For more information, visit the Engineering Computer Requirement website.

Each engineering degree requires a senior capstone design experience to allow students to draw on their creativity, imagination, and motivation, as well as their undergraduate education. Qualified students may complete a combined B.S./M.S. degree in five years.

College of Engineering students participate in a variety of activities, including projects and competitions on local, regional, and national levels. Members of student organizations coordinate events which include speakers, conferences, a college-wide open house, and an annual engineering exposition. Virginia Tech College of Engineering students are leaders in many organizations and athletic teams both on- and off-campus. Students can also participate in residential theme housing programs designed for engineering students. For more information on Hypatia or Galileo, see www.eng.vt.edu/academics/ceed_learn_com.php.

All undergraduate degree programs in the College of Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (for engineering degree programs) or the Computing Accreditation Commission (for computer science) of ABET.

Faculty & Facilities

Virginia Tech is one of a handful of schools offering a formal freshman engineering program, taught by full-time faculty members whose primary responsibility is to teach and advise entering freshmen. By providing a solid foundation, this first-year program helps freshmen choose and succeed in a College of Engineering degree program.

Undergraduate students in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech have two facilities of their own for hands-on work. In the Frith Freshman Engineering Design Lab, students participate in a variety of practical experiences involving reverse engineering, measurements, and activities ranging from robotics to fuel cells. In the Joseph F. Ware, Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory, undergraduates from all College of Engineering departments design and construct their own projects, including the human-powered submarine, hybrid-electric and fuel-cell-powered vehicles, Formula SAE race cars, radio-controlled airplanes, and Baja SAE all-terrain vehicles.

The computer requirement for Virginia Tech College of Engineering freshmen has been changed from a laptop to a convertible tablet PC to reflect the increased technology needs of students. Tablet PCs enable students to take their computers everywhere.

Freshman Curriculum

All freshmen are admitted into the general engineering program in the Department of Engineering Education, allowing them to get acquainted with the different degree programs before making final decisions about a major. Students who successfully complete their general engineering requirements may apply to the department of their choice at the end of the spring semester of freshman year. If you have questions about the freshman general engineering program, please contact the Department of Engineering Education (540/231-6555; enge@vt.edu).

 

First Semester Second Semester
Calculus Calculus
Elementary Linear Algebra Vector Geometry
Engineering Exploration Exploration of the Digital Future or
Exploration of Engineering Design
Freshman English Freshman English
General Chemistry + lab Physics + lab
Elective General Chemistry + lab (CHE Majors)
  General Chemistry (BSE Majors)
 

C++ Programming (EE & CPE majors)

  Java (CS majors)
  Elective (all other majors)