New academic opportunities for students in 2014-15
August 18, 2014
Virginia Tech students have access to new degrees, programs, services, and spaces to meet their academic needs this year.
New Undergraduate Programs
- The College of Science has three new degree programs. The State Council of Higher Education approved for computational modeling and data analytics, microbiology, and nanoscience to begin in spring 2015.
- The College of Natural Resources and Environment has several new degrees. Renamed degrees include majors in sustainable biomaterials and fish and wildlife conservation along with a new major in packaging systems and design.
- The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences has several new majors beginning fall 2014. Students earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication may now major in communication studies, multimedia journalism, or public relations. Similarly, students earning a Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Housing and Resource Management may earn a major in property management, consumer studies, and fashion merchandising and design.
New Graduate Programs
- An interdisciplinary doctor of philosophy degree in translational biology, medicine, and health matriculates its first students this year. The program will emphasize the concept of translational medicine – the transformation of scientific discoveries into diagnostics, therapeutics, and health-promoting behaviors and policies.
- The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, in partnership with faculty in the departments of civil and environmental engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and psychology, will offer a graduate certificate program in human factors transportation safety. The program is designed to give students in-depth knowledge and marketable skills applied to the research, evaluation, maintenance, improvement, and protection of all ground transportation users and their communities from a human factors perspective.
- Virginia Tech is partnering with the University of Kent, Brussels, to offer a new dual degree graduate program. The Two Capitals, Two Masters in the Government and International Affairs program at the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies is designed for students interested in international affairs. Students spend one year at University of Kent, Brussels, and one year at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus, earning a master’s degree from each university. The program begins in spring 2015.
- The School of Architecture + Design’s existing Master of Science in Architecture degree program has a new concentration in urban design. The first cohort of students begins this fall.
New Undergraduate Minors
- The Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is offering a new minor in viticulture, to serve students interested in grape production and winemaking.
- There is a new professional selling minor available through the Department of Marketing in the Pamplin College of Business.
- Students can choose a new minor in national security and foreign affairs offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Expanded Offerings During Winter Session
- Last year was the first time the university offered a new academic special session, winter session, over what has traditional been winter break. Winter session 2015 offers more than 100 courses delivered in a variety of formats – from entirely online, in residence, a blended format with online and face-to-face interactions, and domestic or international winter experiences. Course registration opens Aug. 21.
New Study Abroad Options
- The Global Education Office is finalizing new Virginia Tech faculty-led study abroad programs for the year. Pamplin College of Business plans to offer a new program to Spain called First Year Experience Barcelona Program, in spring 2015.
- The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences plans to offer a new summer program, International Health Systems in Brazil.
- Multiple colleges are working to finalize new study abroad programs for winter session. More information will be available on these opportunities when registration opens later this week.
- Around 20 students will move into Virginia Tech’s newest living-learning community. The Morrill community will engage students in environmental sustainability. The community is expected to grow as the project develops.
- Pamplin College of Business has two new centers that will support research, teaching, and outreach. The Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics will be an interdisciplinary resource in the growing field of “big data.” The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will support students and innovators across campus in entrepreneurship ventures through courses, experiential learning, and mentoring relationships.
First Year Experience Courses
- The Office of First Year Experiences is helping support 24 Pathways to Success courses this year, up from 13 last year. The courses are designed to help first-year students – both traditional freshmen and transfer students – transition to college while developing lifelong learning skills. Each undergraduate college offers at least one Pathways to Success course.
- The opening of the new center section of Davidson Hall will provide a new large classroom to replace the old Davidson lecture hall as well as new chemistry instructional laboratories. The front section of Davidson will begin renovation in 2015.
- The opening of the Signature Engineering Building will provide eight new general assignment classrooms, each with ADA-accessible teaching stations, including a 296-seat lecture hall. Two of the classrooms are also equipped with distance learning systems.
- University Libraries has new spaces available to enhance academic offerings
- The new multipurpose room in Newman Library is intended to highlight learning, research, and creativity as an ideal location for film screenings, lectures, receptions, digital exhibits, and workshops.
- Construction should wrap up this fall on Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology studios on the first floor of Newman. Faculty from the institute will use the space to teach cinema, animation, and sound.
- Over the summer, the second floor commons and study space were renovated, updated with new carpet, paint, furniture, and electrical upgrades to better accommodate students’ technology needs.
- The Veterinary Medicine Library also underwent renovations this summer.