Virginia Tech has many new academic opportunities for students to take advantage of during the 2015-16 academic year.

New Undergraduate Programs

  • The College of Science has two new degree programs, both within the college’s Academy of Integrated Science.
    • A Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience is approved for students to begin this fall.
    • A Bachelor of Science in Systems Biology is approved for students to begin in spring 2016.
  • The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences has many new majors.
    • Criminology is a new major offered in the Bachelor of Arts in sociology degree program.
    • Residential Environments and Design is a new major within the Bachelor of Arts in apparel, housing, and resources management degree program.
    • Creative Writing, Literature and Language, or Professional and Technical Writing are new majors offered in the Bachelor of Arts in English degree program.
  • The College of Natural Resources and Environment is offering a new interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management.

New Undergraduate Minors

  • The College of Architecture and Urban Studies will offer a new minor in Building Construction.
  • The College of Natural Resources and Environment will offer a new minor in Geographic Information Science.
  • The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences has multiple new minors available to students this year.
    • The Department of Philosophy will offer a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
    • The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature will offer minors in Arabic and Italian.
    • The Department of English will offer minors in Creative Writing, Literature, Language Sciences, and Professional and Technical Writing.

New Graduate School Offerings

  • The Master of Science in Business Administration in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Pamplin College of Business will commence this fall, only offered in the National Capital Region.
  • The Graduate School is offering access to the Versatile PhD, a resource for graduate students considering non-academic careers.
  • Monique McKay is serving as the new Graduate School ombudsperson.

Academic Resources

  • The Office of Undergraduate Research has a new searchable database for students to explore projects and programs. In addition, faculty who are seeking student researchers are encouraged to submit opportunities to the database.
  • The Student Success Center has a new Peer Academic Coaching program. Students can schedule one-on-one sessions with specially-trained peer coaches. Coaching topics include study techniques, goal setting, note-taking, and more.
  • The Pamplin College of Business has expanded academic and career advising services, with the hiring of six additional academic advisors and two additional career services staff, to centralize the services in the undergraduate programs office.
  • The College of Natural Resources and Environment created a central Advising Center to serve students more comprehensively with the help of a full-time advisor and recruiter.

Common Book

Eric Greitens’ “The Heart and the Fist” is the 2015-16 Common Book. It is distributed to all first-year and transfer students. Faculty who teach those students are encouraged to integrate the book into their curriculum.

Winter Session

Approaching its third year, winter session continues to grow. Currently, more than 100 undergraduate and graduate courses are available, with more being added in the coming weeks.

Living Learning Communities

  • Transfer House is a new living-learning community that offers 35 transfer students the opportunity to live together in Oak Lane. The community will help students transition to Virginia Tech and have access to advising, workshops, leadership opportunities, socials, and more.
  • Innovate has gone from 35 to 75 students and is moving to the newly designed and renovated Pritchard Hall. The new space will include an Innovate Lab and the entrepreneur-in-resident program, where entrepreneurs will stay and work along students in the community for a week.

Global Education

  • Many new programs are still being finalized, but the Global Education Office expects several new offerings for the upcoming 2015-16 winter session, such as:
    • Business and Society in Transitional and Emerging Economies in Cuba and Costa Rica, offered through the Pamplin College of Business.
    • Spanish Language and Culture in Ecuador and English in Myanmar, both offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
    • Architecture and Design in Japan, offered through the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
  • A handful of other new programs are in development for summer 2016.
  • The annual Fall Fair will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Drillfield. Students can receive information about more than 80 programs there.
  • An up-to-date listing of opportunities is available on the Global Education Office website.

Academic Spaces

  • The McBryde Hall 100 auditorium got a $2.8 million renovation this summer, completed just ahead of the fall semester. The heavily used instructional auditorium now has new seating and better accessibility, technology, and acoustics.
  • Another larger classroom, Engel 223, received new seating and improved technology over the summer.
  • Pamplin Hall had several classrooms upgraded:
    • Room 1001 was overhauled. Crews removed the tiered seating, reoriented the room, and installed new desks, chairs, lighting, blackboard and whiteboards, and room finishes.
    • Seats were replaced in Rooms 31 and 2003.
  • Construction on the new classroom building between Derring Hall and Perry Street continues on schedule, with a planned opening in fall 2016.
  • Newman Library also had some spaces renovated this summer.
    • Classroom 207A features a new moveable furniture system with whiteboards and technology support that allows instructors to create different environments.
    • Classroom 3310 on the Torgersen Bridge features a similar system to 207A with moveable furniture, whiteboards, and technology support.
    • The second floor commons is getting new paint, carpet, and furniture as well as more power outlets. Renovations should be complete in September.
    • The fourth floor commons and study rooms are getting new paint, new carpet, and more power outlets. Work should be complete in October.