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Frequently Asked Questions

The following explanations and answers are provided to give you some general guidance. Please refer to the University Catalog, the Registrar’s Office, or the Pamplin Undergraduate Advising Office for specific explanation.

How do I find out who my advisor is?

All Pamplin students are assigned an advisor in the Pamplin Undergraduate Programs Office, located in 1046 Pamplin Hall. The advisor’s name is available in August through Hokie SPA. You will be with your assigned advisor throughout your time in Pamplin. Advisors assist students with planning the required course work, university and college policies, procedures and core requirements, exploring opportunities, and how to research career options.

How do I change my major to HTM?

A student should come to the HTM office (WAL 362) and schedule a meeting with Tom Duetsch, undergraduate coordinator, to discuss. Students can also go to Pamplin's Change Major for instructions about changing into Pamplin from another major at VT.

What is a DARS report?

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is a computer generated report that shows all requirements completed and yet to be fulfilled in order for a student to complete a degree. You also can find out an overall and in-major GPA in the report.

How do I get a DARS report?

To request a DARS report, you must first submit an Application for Degree through your Hokie SPA account. For more information about requesting a DARS report, visit the Registrar’s website.

When should I apply for graduation?

An application for degree form should be completed on Hokie Spa during the first semester of your junior year. Submitting this degree application creates a Degree Audit Report System (DARS report) and sets your graduation date.  As you take courses at Tech you may find out that your graduation date will change.  Always update your graduation date on Hokie Spa.  It is imperative that you check your DARS report every semester.  Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to insure that graduation requirements are met.

I believe I am ready to graduate, what do I need to do?

For information on graduation, go to the registrar’s website.

The DARS reports says I haven't completed all requirements, but I'm pretty sure I have completed all requirements for graduation. How do I get to the bottom of this?

If you are in your senior year and you are not cleared for graduation when you have planned, see your advisor immediately. You cannot graduate until this is cleared. Sometimes the problem arises from paperwork that hasn’t been completed–a substitution, a declaration, etc. You may need to take a course you did not realize or there may be a substitution that needs to be made.  This is your responsibility and will not clear up by itself.

My transcript says I have 51 hours, but my DARS report says I only have 44! What's going on here?

This happens sometimes. Occasionally, the DARS will not reflect transfer credits or courses taken elsewhere or maybe some other basic glitch has occurred. It’s a simple matter of getting in touch with the Registrar’s Office and ironing out the problem.  Again, see your advisor.

I want to add a class, but I do not have the prerequisites, can I take it anyway?

NO, you should not take the class. Prerequisites are established so students are prepared with the knowledge base needed in order to understand and apply the new information being taught in a class. Prerequisites are generally spelled out in the course description in the undergraduate catalog and in the timetable each semester. The department and the professor that offer the course enforce the prerequisite requirement. Therefore, if in doubt about prerequisites for a course, check with the instructor teaching the course or the department offering the course. It is also a good idea to check your graduation Check Sheet.

What is Policy 91?

Policy 91 is a university-wide minimum guideline to ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree. In addition to the minimum university-wide criteria, Pamplin majors upon having attempted 72 semester credits (students who entered Pamplin as freshmen), or 90 semester credits (students who transferred into Pamplin), are required to:

  1. Achieve no grade lower than a C- in Math 1525 and 1526 (or acceptable equivalents); ACIS 1504, 2115, and 2116; BIT 2405 and 2406; ECON 2005 and 2006, and
  2. Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the combination of courses previously listed.

Students that are identified as not making adequate progress towards their degrees will be notified at 60+ credits (72 + credits for transfer students) and must comply with the College’s procedures for continued enrollment within one semester. Students that do not meet the conditions set forth will be required to leave the Pamplin College of Business (not Virginia Tech). However, under special circumstances (e.g., study abroad, bringing more than 18 credits from high school, transfer students with a 3-part sequence), a student may be eligible for an alternate plan for completing Policy 91. The alternate plan will create a prescribed path for course completion until Policy 91 is satisfied. A student will need to discuss his/her eligibility for an alternate plan with his/her assigned academic advisor.

If I have a higher level math than 1525-1526, can I use this for my PCOB math requirements? If so, would I need to fill out a substitution form?

The PCOB math requirement is Math 1525-1526 OR Math 1015-1016 &2015 OR 1114-1205 & 1206 OR 2015 OR 1205-1526.  Any of these classes would work and do not need a substitution.  Any other courses would need to be approved by the Undergraduate office in the PCOB. Just because a course has a higher number does not mean it could be substituted.

What are the prerequisites for MGT 4394 (Business Policy & Strategy)?

All business major students must have senior standing and complete the five PCOB core courses below before enrolling in MGT 4394.

  1. Pre-requisites:
    1. BIT 3414 – Operations Management
    2. FIN 3104 -Introduction to Finance
    3. MGT 3304 – Mgt. Theory and Leadership Practice
    4. MKTG 3104 – Marketing Management
  2.  Co-requisites:
    1. FIN 3054 – Legal Environment in Business or FIN 3074 Legal, Ethical and Financing Issues for Entrepreneurs

In addition HTM students take a special section of MGT 4394 with the following pre-requisites and co-requisites.

  1. Pre-requisites:
    1. HTM 3444 – Financial Mgt. & Cost Control for Hospitality Organizations
    2. HTM 3524 – Lodging Management.

What are HTM students required to do enroll?

An application for enrollment is submitted to the HTM Departmental office and then approved by the Field Study Coordinator. Once the application is approved, the department will force add the student into the course. Students are required to obtain an internship/job in a hospitality or tourism setting prior to enrollment. The prerequisite for HTM 4964 are:

  1. 300 hours of documented hospitality or tourism experience since graduating from high school; and,
  2. Completion of two of the three required junior level HTM courses (HTM 3414, HTM 3524, and HTM 3444) to be eligible to take HTM 4964.

Where can I find all required documents and detailed instructions for field study?

HTM 4964 General Information and Guidelines.pdf
4964 Employment Verification Form.pdf
Field Study Form I.pdf

Students must submit all forms, the midterm report, and final report on or before specified deadlines and keep a copy of all forms and papers. If documents are lost for any reason, it is the student’s responsibility to produce another copy.

How do I request a substitution?

Course substitutions are allowed for some required courses if the advisor, and the Department Head, and Academic Dean feel that the substituted course provides comparable information to the required course.  You may obtain course substitution forms from Support Staff in the Pamplin Undergraduate office.  You are to complete the form with your requested substitution and return it to your advisor.  If approved by the advisor, the request will be given to the Department Head and then sent to the Academic Dean in the Pamplin College of Business.  If approved at each level, it is sent to the University Registrar’s Office where it is recorded on your academic record.

Where do I find out what courses will satisfy specific core requirements?

You can find out more about this on the Pathways website

How many courses should/may I take a semester?

An undergraduate must take at least 12 hours to be considered a full-time student.  A student may take up to 19 hours without special permission.  If a student wishes to take more than 19 hours, then s/he must seek approval from the Associate Dean.

Are there any HTM electives besides those that are listed on the back of an HTM Checksheet?

From time to time a new HTM course is added to the HTM curriculum.   Therefore, a course might be approved after a specific check sheet comes out. So, any time you see an HTM course that is not listed on your check sheet, check with your advisor to determine if it could be substituted for an HTM elective.  Always check with your advisor and make sure a substitution form is filed and approved.

Can HTM 2454 Travel and Tourism Management be used to fulfill Area 7 course and an HTM elective?

This course can be used as an HTM elective and fulfill Area 7 at the same time (you still need 125 hours to graduate and taking this course would only count as three credits). Students are required to take twelve (12) hours of HTM electives, but beware that six (6) of these hours must be at the 3000 or above level.

Can some courses other than HTM 2454 Travel and Tourism Management be used to fulfill Area 7?

Yes, any area 7 course can be used.

Can HTM 2464 Introduction to Service be used to fulfill the social science requirement and serve as an HTM elective?

No. This course can be used as an HTM elective or fulfill three credits of the social science requirement, not both.  Students are required to take twelve (12) hours of HTM electives, but beware that six (6) of these hours must be at the 3000 or above level.

What exactly is Area 4, the Science Reasoning and Discovery requirement?

The requirement consists of two courses (3 credits each) in the area of scientific reasoning.  The courses do not need to be from the same department.  For example you can take a 3 credit course in geology and a 3 credit course in biology.  There is currently no lab requirement.

Do I need to put a substitution through if I took a geology course instead of Chemistry?

This should not be necessary. However, if it is not showing up on your DARS correctly, see your advisor as soon as possible.

Can I use a study abroad course that is not in HTM as an HTM elective?

The departmental policy is that a study abroad course that is taken in the PCOB can be substituted for an HTM elective.  However, remember you must see your advisor and make a course substitution.

Can advisors force-add students into classes?

No, force-adds are only done at the department level in HTM.

Can an instructor force-add students into his or her class?

No, force-adds are only done at the department level in HTM.

What is required to take courses at another institution?

Students planning to take courses at ANY other school must complete the "Authorization to Take Courses Elsewhere" form (below).  A description of the course must be provided with the form for any school other than Virginia Community Colleges. Once the course is completed with a grade of C or better, the student must have an official transcript sent from the registrar at the school they are attending to VT Registrar.  A student may not receive credit for course work taken at another college or university during any period in which the student has been placed on suspension by Virginia Tech for academic or disciplinary reasons.

Authorization to Take Courses Elsewhere - Form.pdf

How many hours am I allowed to transfer?

No more than 50 percent of the credits required for graduation may be transferred from two-year colleges.  Of the last 45 semester hours before graduation, a maximum of 18 semester hours may be transfer hours.

If I do well in a class at another institution, will it help my GPA?

Transfer hours cannot be used as GPA builders.   Only the credit hours will transfer – not the grades.

What additional courses are required to double major in HTM?

Students must meet all the specific requirements for each degree program. A double major applies to students already in Pamplin (ACIS, BIT, FIN, HTM, MGT, and MKTG).  It will generally require about 21 additional credits, which may be considered free electives in your other major.  Students who complete a double major do not receive an additional diploma.  The double major will be recognized on the student’s transcript. All the requirements must be met the semester the student plans to graduate.

What is a dual degree?

A dual degree is just what it says.  You actually receive two degrees.  However, it requires a minimum of 30 hours beyond one of the degrees. You may actually graduate with one degree one semester, finish up the requirements for your second degree and receive that degree when you are done.

Can I minor in HTM?

The HTM program offers a minor in Event and Experience Management. The Event and Experience Management Minor explores the interaction of human beings, technology and the environment within the event management context. Students will consider and evaluate interconnections between place, culture, and environment in the context of the planning and implementation of a wide range of events. More Information

If I am majoring in HTM and wish to minor in another area, to whom should I speak?

For most minors, the required courses are listed in the catalog, though for some you would need to consult with the department in question.  An advisor in the department you would receive the minor is the best person to speak with as well as your Pamplin Academic Advisor.

Do minors, options, or concentrations appear on the diploma?

No, they do not appear on the diploma. The transcript will indicate the student has completed the minor and/or concentration. Not all options are approved to print on the transcript.

What is the pass/fail option?

The P/F grading option is available to all undergraduates who have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours at Virginia Tech and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.  A student is permitted to take up to 10 percent of the requirements for graduation completed at Virginia Tech under this grading system option.  No required course or course used for the university core curriculum may be taken on a P/F basis.

If I am majoring in HTM, am I allowed to take an HTM course under the pass/fail option?

The only time an HTM student can take an HTM course P/F is if it is not required on the Checksheet.  In other words this course is above and beyond their HTM approved courses and is only being used as a free elective.  As a matter of course it is just better to take all of your major courses for the grade option.

What is an audit?

An audit occurs when you attend the class but you do not receive a grade for the class. It has no effect on your GPA. A student may enroll as an auditor in any class other than laboratory classes, with the permission of both their academic advisor and the class instructor. The last day to change a course to audit is the last day to add classes.

Can I audit any course?

Check with your advisor or college dean before auditing a course. Once a student audits a course, it may not be taken again for a letter grade. Required courses on the check sheet cannot be audited.

Can I report a class in which I have already received a grade?

Students may repeat a course given the following consequences: If a course in which a grade of C- or below is earned is repeated: grades for both attempts will be calculated in your GPA, but the semester hours for only one attempt will count toward graduation.  If  you earned a  C or above  and repeated the course: you will receive only a grade of pass or fail when you repeat it, and the credit hours for the repeated course will not count toward graduation.

I received a D- as a grade in one of my major classes, do I need to report this course?

A “D-” is considered a passing grade unless it has been otherwise specified for that particular class you need a higher grade to pass.  However, the student needs a 2.0 in-major – therefore, the course may be retaken if you want to improve your overall and in-major GPA.

I am not doing well in a class and it is past the drop deadline, is there anything I can do?

Make an appointment to see your academic dean to discuss the possibility of using the Withdrawal Policy. This policy is available for both entering and continuing students.  A maximum of three (3) courses, regardless of the number of credit hours, may be dropped beyond the normal six-week drop deadline date during a student’s academic career at Virginia Tech subject to the following stipulations:

  1. Students must complete the formal request to late drop a course and that request must be made by 5:00 p.m. on the last day of classes for the term in which the class is being taken.
  2. Courses from which a student withdraws under the terms of this policy will appear on their transcript with a W.
  3. Students may request withdrawal from any course irrespective of the grades earned in it up to the point of their request for withdrawal.
  4. To exercise this option, interested students should see their academic advisor to obtain a Course Withdrawal Form and thereafter submit it to their designated departmental representative and academic dean for approval.

Do I have to attend the commencement ceremony?

Degrees are conferred upon candidates who are present in person to receive them at the Commencement ceremony in May.  Degrees may be conferred in absentia if candidates cannot be present at Commencement for good reason.  To arrange for this, a candidate must request permission, in writing, from the University Registrar to be excused from the Commencement ceremony.

Can I attend the Commencement ceremony in another semester?

No, ceremonies are conducted at the end of the summer sessions, but graduates may attend the fall ceremony after completion of degree requirements.  They may also request permission from the department to “walk through” the spring Commencement ceremony.  To participate in the May ceremony, summer graduates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be within 12 hours of completion,
  2. Have an overall and in-major GPA of 2.0, and
  3. Be completing in the degree requirements in the summer.  A form to walk is available in the HTM department

I am graduating in the fall, will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

No, diplomas are not distributed at the fall Commencement ceremony. Diplomas for fall are generally mailed out approximately 12 weeks following the end of the term.

I am not attending the spring graduation ceremony, how do I get my diploma?

Your diploma can be mailed or picked up.  If you want it to be mailed, you must provide a mailing address for your diploma on your Application for Degree (Hokie SPA). You also can pick up your diploma Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Office of the University Registrar located in 250 Student Services Building. You will need to provide a picture ID.

What is the last date to apply for graduation in order to receive a diploma at the Spring Commencement?

This date, which changes from year to year, is on the web in the spring timetable information and deadlines (

What is the deadline to have all my requirements completed and still graduate for that term?

Term Deadline Dates:

  • Fall January 31st
  • Spring June 30th
  • Summer Terms: The same day of the following month that the session ends.

This includes having transcripts received, grades changed and substitutions processed. All course enrollments and attendance obligations must have been completed on or before the degree conferral date. See the University Registrar website.

How can I graduate with "Distinction"?

A student who has completed at least 60 credit hours at Virginia Tech may be graduated with distinction under the following conditions:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.8 or greater – Summa Cum Laude
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.6-3.7999 – Magna Cum Laude
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.4-3.5999 – Cum Laude


How many hours do I need for each academic level?

Academic levels for undergraduate students are as follows:

  • Freshman: 0-29 hours completed
  • Sophomore: 30-59 hours
  • Junior: 60-89 hours
  • Senior: 90+ hours

I am having problems with my professor/instructor, who can I talk with about this?

First and foremost, talk to your instructor. If the problem is not resolved, go to the instructor’s department head. You are also encouraged to speak to your academic advisor on ways to approach your instructor.

Who can I talk to about having problems with one or more of my classes?

The first two resources are your instructor/professor and your academic advisor. Other resources include: The Student Success Center, and the Cook Counseling Center.

I do well on the homework, but my test grades are terrible, what resources are available to assist me?

The first two resources are your instructor/professor and your academic advisor. Other resources include:

What is University Honor System?

Access the University Honor System web site ( and identify what you need to do as a student to uphold the Honor Code at Virginia Tech.

I have had family/personal problems and need to quit this semester, what do I need to do?

Contact your academic advisor, the Dean of your college and/or the Cook Counseling Center (

I have been sick and missed alot of classes, now I cannot catch up, is there anything I can do?

Contact your academic advisor.

I have a learning disability, can tech provide assistance for me?

Services for Students with Disabilities ( can assist you with your academic needs.

What are academic probation and/or suspension?

A student’s academic eligibility is based on his/her hours attempted and hours transferred, not on hours passed. Probation is a period when your cumulative GPA is below 2.0. Virginia Tech requires that all students maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain in good standing. Academic probation is imposed when the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 and performance will be reviewed at the end of each fall and spring semester.  If a student on probation obtains a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better by the end of the probationary semester, the student’s status will change to academic good standing. If a student has at least a 2.5 in the probation semester, but below a 2.0 overall, the student will continue on probation.

If the student’s semester GPA is below a 2.5 for the probation semester and overall GPA is below a 2.0, the student will be placed on academic suspension. Academic suspension is a period of time during which a student is not eligible to be enrolled in classes at VA Tech due to academic deficiencies. Classes taken at community colleges or other colleges and universities while on suspension can never be transferred back to Tech.  First academic suspension will be imposed for one academic semester (either fall or spring).

What happens after academic suspension?

A student must either earn a minimum 2.0 semester GPA the first semester following first suspension and raise his/her cumulative  GPA to at least 2.0 by the end of the second semester after returning, or earn a 2.5 GPA or higher for every semester following first suspension until the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or greater.

If a student fails to meet the returning performance outlined above, a second academic suspension will be imposed. The second academic suspension shall consist of one calendar year following its imposition. Upon return from second academic suspension, students must meet the same minimum standards for performance as required by first suspension.

Permanent academic suspension shall be imposed subsequent to second academic suspension when a student fails to meet the returning academic performance requirements.

Am I allowed to take a graduate-level course?

Seniors with a 3.0 or better GPA may enroll in 5000-level courses for undergraduate credit within their department when qualified by the course instructor and the department head.  Taking 5000-level courses outside the department requires Graduate School approval.   Should the student become a graduate student, these courses may not be used for graduate credit.

Can I add or drop a class after the deadline?

A request to add a class after the last day to add classes must be submitted directly to the Academic Advisor’s Office (1046 Pamplin) for approval by the Associate Dean.

The College of Business uses the following procedure concerning requests to drop.  First, a student should go to the Academic Advisor’s office (1046 Pamplin) and request a form to drop a class beyond the deadline.  The student should then complete the form and report to the department head or designated representative to discuss the matter.  The department head will then approve or deny the request.  If the request is approved, the student must then take the form for approval by Associate Dean Lara Khansa.  If the request is denied by the department head, there is no need to see Associate Dean Lara Khansa.

If there are extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s realm of control (such as documented financial problems, domestic problems, health problems, etc.) a request may be favorably reviewed.  Each case, of course, is judged on its own merits and a decision is made accordingly.  Note:  Doing poorly in a class, lack of interest, or dropping a course because it is not required is not acceptable requests in and of themselves.

I have a final exam conflict, how can I get the time of an exam changed?

If you have more than 3 final exams in a 24-hour period, or two final exams at the same or overlapping times, you may request permission from your academic dean’s office to have an exam rescheduled. From beginning exam time one day to the same time the next day does not constitute a 24-hour period (EX. 7:45 Monday, 2:00 Monday, and 7:45 Tuesday). If one of your instructors has another section of the same course, ask if you may reschedule your exam and take it with that section. If the instructor agrees, obtain his or her signature in the appropriate space. If no instructor has a section with which you may take the exam, check with the instructors to see which of them is willing to give you a special exam and have that instructor indicate approval. If you cannot find an instructor who will approve a change, you should do it with the academic dean’s office of the college. Each college has a form in the academic dean’s office which a student must complete by the published deadline each semester (refer to the semester calendars in the class timetables for deadlines) to request a final exam be rescheduled. Exams are not typically rescheduled for reasons other than those stated above. Note:  The professor must offer the exam during the regularly scheduled time, unless the professor has the Associate Dean’s permission.