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New academic offerings at Virginia Tech for the 2016-17 year

August 17, 2016

Summer academy students move-in
Some of Virginia Tech's newest Hokies moved onto campus early, on July 3, as participants in Virginia Tech Summer Academy. They have been taking courses and getting acclimated to the university ahead of the fall semester.

Virginia Tech has exciting new offerings for students in the 2016-17 academic year, including programs, curriculum revisions, resources, and spaces.

New Undergraduate Programs

  • The Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is offering three new majors within the bachelor of arts degree in international studies: international public policy, international relations, and national security and foreign affairs. The department is also offering new minors in international public policy and international relations.
  • The Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, also in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is offering a new major in family and consumer sciences.
  • The School of Neuroscience is offering four new majors within the neuroscience bachelor’s degree: clinical neuroscience, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, experimental neuroscience, and computational and systems neuroscience.
  • There is a new economics track for students majoring in computational modeling and data analytics in the College of Science.

New Graduate Programs

  • The university added a new data analysis and applied statistics master’s degree program.
  • There are two new options for the doctorate in business: executive business research and hospitality and tourism management. The executive business research option “is tailored for high-ability professionals seeking the advanced knowledge and skills needed to conduct research on emerging business issues,” said program director and marketing Professor Dipankar Chakravarti.
  • The Pamplin College of Business and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine have teamed up to develop a program that allows students pursue a doctorate in medicine to earn a master of business administration at the same time. Students will complete the MBA requirements during their medical studies.
  • Within the master of science degree in business administration, students can now emphasize either business analytics or hospitality and tourism management. The analytics focus is a one-year program designed to give students the necessary business knowledge, technical expertise, and professional skills to be effective business analytics practitioners, said Linda Oldham, executive director of the college’s Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics. The hospitality and tourism management focus is housed in the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church and is designed to help students advance their professional career in hospitality and tourism management. The D.C. area is the nation’s hub for hospitality business, said hospitality and tourism management department head Nancy McGehee.
  • The Graduate School also added 12 graduate certificate programs to its catalog. Some are face-to-face either in Blacksburg, Virginia, or the National Capital Region, while others are online: business analytics, business analytics and data mining, database management, data analytics, entrepreneurship in hospitality and tourism management, health information technology, hospitality and tourism analytics and revenue management, information security and analytics, information technology management, international hospitality and tourism strategy, public health, and software development.

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

  • The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is launching a new doctor of veterinary medicine curriculum that integrates the basic and clinical sciences in courses focused on function, incorporates team-based learning in all first- and second-year courses, and allows for early entry into the clinics after the second year. New courses interweave scientific theory and clinical practice so that students can better contextualize what they learn in the classroom. Within the new curriculum, students still choose a track in small animal, equine, food animal, mixed species, or public and corporate veterinary medicine.

Academic Resources and Support

  • The Undergraduate Honor Code has several changes this year that will emphasize academic integrity as a learning process.
  • Pamplin College of Business is partnering with Carilion Clinic and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council to host the first college job fair of the year for local firms interested in hiring Virginia Tech students. The event is Wednesday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m., in Squires Student Center. It is limited to 30 local firms. All majors and colleges are invited to attend.
  • For the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, FAST (Freshmen Academic Success Teams) is a new program within the Rice Center for Leader Development to help facilitate the freshman class’s academic success, said center Director Elaine Humphrey. During the fall semester, all freshman cadets will meet weekly in small groups led by sophomores to report on their previous week’s academic accomplishments and challenges and make a plan for the upcoming week to prepare for their classes. The sophomore leaders piloted a five-week version of the program during the spring 2016 semester, when they were freshmen, Humphrey said.
  • The Department of Engineering Education Undergraduate Advising Team launched Explore Engineering, a new major exploration resource.  Students will be able to utilize Explore Engineering to learn more about the 14 degree-granting engineering majors offered at Virginia Tech. The site provides an overview of each major, curricular interests, desired skills, related majors/minors, career resource links, and ways for students to get involved.
  • The College of Engineering launched a streamlined and detailed official major checksheet for all undergraduate degree requirements.  The new academic planning format provides students with course requirements, term offerings, grade policies, and course pre-requisites and co-requisites.

Global Education

Many programs are still being finalized, but the Global Education Office expects several new offerings for the upcoming Winter Session, such as:

  • Writing the World: Learning Jordan Across Disciplines and Through Service, offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Experiential and Service-Learning in Jordan, also offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Climate Change Impacts and Policy in the Dominican Republic, offered through the College of Natural Resources and Environment

The annual Fall Fair will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Drillfield. Students can receive information about more than 80 programs. An up-to-date listing of opportunities is available on the Global Education Office website.

Additionally, several new courses supported by the Curriculum Globalization Grants will be available on campus during the academic year, such as:

  • A Global History of Race, taught by Brett Shadle, professor in the Department of History
  • Dwelling and Culture: A Collaborative Study of Culturally Sensitive Housing Possibilities in Kuwait City, taught by Heinrich Schnoedt, associate professor in the School of Architecture and Design
  • Visualizing Early Modern Globalism, taught by Michelle Moseley-Christian, associate professor in the School of Visual Arts

Academic Spaces

  • The new classroom building is now open, featuring innovative classroom and lab spaces. Almost 10,000 students will take classes there this fall.
  • The University Libraries has several new offerings in Newman Library:
  • The 3D Design Studio, a 3-D printing center on the second floor that is free to use.
  • Fusion Studio, a new interdisciplinary workspace for long-term projects, that groups can apply to use.
  • New furniture is coming to the fourth floor and modern study carrels coming to the third floor during the fall semester.

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