Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


I am a Communication major here at Virginia Tech, and although the school is not known for my major, we have a really great program. The teachers definitely know your name if you take the initiative. Just like anything in life, if you don't go for it, how are you supposed to get it. As I get older, my classes get smaller and smaller but if you are in a lecture class, there's no reason for you not to introduce yourself and let the teachers get to know you.


Academics here are very challenging. I have gotten to know several professors on a one-on-one basis, and I think learning is highly valued. However at the same time our moto is "That I may serve" and we all hold that very close.


good classes, easy going professors, lots of lectures


I only have one very large class here at Tech. All of my other classes usually range from 30-40 students. Students for the most part feel comfortable and confident in their academic environment, which I have come to find is an easy place where I can learn to become a more successful student.


-Some of my professors know my name, however not all. A lot of my classes that I have taken have been somewhat large, but I do not mind it! I study several hours a week.


I have small classes, so all of my professors know my name. I think that most students at Tech get a lot out of their major classes, but not from their random electives. I love the English department. It's very small, and it's like a little family. The education at Tech is more geared towards getting a job, but that doesn't mean that they don't also promote learning for its own sake.


Some of my professors know my name, like for my small classes, but not for my larger classes. Students study a lot or not a lot depending on their major, what classes they're taking, what kind of person they are, and what type of stuff they have going on at the time. Some weeks I barely do anything while other weeks I'm pulling multiple all nighters in a row. In small classes, class participation is pretty common but in lectures there is not a whole lot of that. I'm in University Studies (undecided) so I am basically just taking a whole lot of different classes to fulfill requirements and to figure out the subjects I am interested, and disinterested, in. I have until the end of my sophomore year (60 credit hours) to figure it out. I am taking an "exploring careers" class this semester to help me figure out some sort of direction and I think it has really helped me figure out more about myself and what I am interested and might want to pursue.


In the School of Architecture + Design at VT, the professors take spend a lot of individual time with the students. One thing I have noticed, and appreciate, is the time our professors take to make sure we find jobs after school. They really are looking out for our futures.


Virginia Tech's School of Architecture's undergrad program was ranked #1 in the United States this year! Class size depends on major and class level. In the architecture department, students have close relationships with professors. Professors are friendly and would like to have intellectual conversations with students however in the larger lecture classes the student must take the intiative to make that contact.


As I got farther into my major my professors knew my name. It is important to go to office hours to establish a personal relationship. There have been a few professors that I met up with outside of class and office hours. One professor assisted me in my oversea travels by telling me good places to eat and visit. It is geared towards learning.


Acedemics at Tech depend on who is teaching them. The teachers are extremely diverse and you will have a different teaching style, grading style, ect with every teacher that you have.


I have honestly never had a professor I did not like at Virginia Tech. My favorite class at Tech is an elective class called World Regions, taught by John Boyer. He wrote the textbook for the class, which is hilarious! I have never had so much fun and learned so much. I truly could not wait to go to class. Students study often, and usually in large groups at places like the math emporium and the library. Intellectual conversations are frequent outside of class, because we are lucky enough to have professors that prompt us to expand our thinking and understand new ideas. I have grown so much as a person during my time here. Some students are competitive, but not in a way that has come accross as negative or abrasive. I would rather say that students here work hard to achieve their own individual goals. Virginia Tech's academic requirements have gone up each year since I've entered. I came to VT with a high school GPA of a 3.8. Now I would say that the typical GPA of the freshman class is even higher than that. The best part of education at Virginia Tech, besides the amazing professors, is the fact that what we learn here not only puts us on a career path, there is also an element of learning just for it's own sake. I think that some universities tend to focus on one or the other, while at Virginia Tech we have a healthy balance between the two.


Classes are big but i feel like you get that at any large state school.


My major is very competitive (Finance). The classes are definately challenging and I have to dedicate a good amount of my time to work and study. For a couple classes, I would have large lectures twice a week and one recitation. The recitation is a smaller sized class and is very helpful when you want to ask questions and the teachers (sometimes TAs) are there to help. Office hours are also another resource when looking for help. I rarely spend time outside of class with teachers.


The most unique class I have taken was World Regions with Professor John Boyer. He made the class interesting and captured the attention of his students by relating to our age-group mentality. He didn't simply repeat sterile lectures.


I can only say from my opinion but as a bio major, I have had three group projects my entire time at tech. I have only had to read for a handfull of classes. Going to class for most of my major classes was the most important thing. I have had at least two labs a year. I have talked to maybe 4 professors during their office hours the entire time I've been at Tech. The academis requirements are fair. VT is geared towards getting a job. I definately enjoy my learning experience here.


Depending on major & year, professors might know your name. Beginner classes are too big usually to have a personal relationship with the students. I feel most students are very competitive since everyone was the top of the top from their high schools.


In some of my classes the professors knew my name but then I am the shy, quiet type that does not like to talk. My favorite class was Byzantine Art History Class, less favorite was freshman engineering class. Class participation is common is the smaller classes but not the big lecture classes. The students have intellectual conversations outside of class. I work at the bookstore and we often get bored and have strange intellectual conversations about a wide range of topics. The art history classes I think are geared more towards learning for its own sake which I like. The department ofters extra information about careers in the field but the classes themselves are mostly for learning sake.


Your professors will know your name if you bring yourself to their attention. Attend office hours, stay a couple minutes after class and talk. Depending on your major your class sizes will vary from large to small. It is what you make of it.


Last week I walked past my English professor and he stared me in the eyes and said, "Hello Kelley, how are you". I almost yelled my response, I was just so surprised. These professors will get to know you if you want to get to know them. I have yet to have a professor that isn't fully open and patient with his students, and office hours are a really convenient way to get a hold of them. People here can't get away with slacking. Just because 'Ivy League' isn't stamped on our front porch doesn't mean that it is easy to get on the Dean's list. You HAVE to study, you HAVE to do well on mid-terms and fluff grades if you want to pass the courses. I cannot count how many times I have sat back after eating a hearty D2 meal, rubbed my belly, and started off on what I learned in my Geology course. It sounds completely nerdy but my friends and I genuinely are interested in most of our courses and will often casually chat about their highlight moments. When the conversation turns into debate about society, religion, and politics I can only smile because I can feel my mind growing and understanding more everyday. My least favorite course thus far has been sociology. It was a drag. Overheads and the occasional movie that our quickly aging professor couldn't ever seem to sufficiently play, rounded out a boring Tuesday and Thursday morning. What I finally realized though, is that it was the professor that made the course boring. The information was generally thought-provoking...professors just can't get by making us stare at power points all day. It makes it seem like my eyes are been dried from my skull. It will be the end of me. Honestly though, most seem to be learning this and my Geology professor this semester puts up overheads and stands in front of them to point and gesture and engage the class with his movement. My American literature professor takes this movement to a new level when he does personal theatrical productions, playing, by himself, up to three characters so we can better comprehend a situation we read about. He runs across the front of the room changing his voice and simultaneously creeping us out and teaching us how to 'see' what is happening with The English department, though some students still crinkle their eyebrows and wonder why I'm at a TECHNICAL school for English, is amazing. They don't think I'm weird at all. Every professor in the department seems to be passionate about their specific subject area. We had an Intro class that all majors are now required to take, and although the course is just getting off the ground the concept behind it is extremely important for English majors. We made a resume and learned in depth about the different tracks available in English and future internship, study abroad, and career opportunities for specifically English-inclined students. In my Geology lab we are correlating sediment samples. Boring? Maybe. Practical? Yes. That is an actual job in the Oil Industry (and who doesn't want to work for them?). It was the first time I really felt like I was doing something that could be a future career. Labs are where what we learn turns into something tangible. A friend of mine went into a forest and learned how to control a forest fire and route which houses would be threatened...on a Tuesday afternoon. How cool!


I love my classes this semester. I changed my major from wildlife science to English. Last semester i hated my classes because i really am not very talented at science, my brain works better along the English line. I am only a freshman, so i haven't really developed a good understanding and opinion about the requirements and the relevancy of the classes. Right now, i am working more towards learning what i can than getting a job and Tech helps me with that. My most favorite class is Greek and Roman Mythology. I love the professor because he is very enthusiastic about the subject and the students can feel his passion for the subject. Unfortunately, at least in my classes, class participation is very minimal. I don't know if it is a fear of being wrong, or looking like a "teacher's pet" or just boredom and inattention, but there isn't much class participation in my classes.


My professors do know my name, if I take the initiative to get them. My favorite class is political theory, it keeps me interested and is not merely memorizing facts. My least favorite is biology, mainly because I don't like science and think it is a very boring subject. Students' study habits range. Some hardly study and make me wonder how they're still allowed to attend VT but some students study a lot and it shows in their grades. Class participation is pretty common. Big lectures usually have recitations so you can participate more but even in the lectures the professors interact with the students. VT students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class: about politics, the environment, spirituality, etc. Competitiveness varies among students. I'm only a freshman but the most unique class I've taken is nations and nationalities. It was not what i expected at all but I learned a lot from it. Everyone should be able to take it. My major is political science and requires a lot of reading and essay writing and even more reading. I haven't spent time with professors outside of class YET but me and my friends are doing lunch with my comparative government professor soon. VT's academic requirements should be made stricter. I see so many students who get in and then barely maintain the minimum grade requirement. Education at VT is geared at toward getting a job. I get so many e-mails about job fairs and such and professors really push you to think on your own.


One of the benefits of majoring in English is the small classes. So far, I have taken 16 credits of English classes, and none of them have had more than 30 people. The professors know my name and are more than willing to meet with me during office hours to help me. Even professors of large lecture classes tend to be this way. So far, I have had no trouble getting help from professors when I need it.


Class sizes can range anywhere from 600 person lecture halls, down to as little as 10 people. It really all depends on your major and which class you're taking. I've experienced both extremes, and they're both fine in their own respect. As an underclassman, you'll face mostly big lecture classes. In such cases, the professor won't know you unless you put forth the effort to be known. If you're in a very popular major, you may be faced with these huge classes for the majority of your time here. If, however, you choose a less common major (as I did), you will quickly find yourself in very small, intimate classes. These smaller classes are also much more prevalent in upper level courses. Most students spend a fair amount of time studying - we are in college, after all. But I don't think you'll find yourself becoming a reclusive, bookish hermit. Obviously, regular upkeep on readings/assignments is conducive to good grades - but most people only really hunker down and STUDY when test/exam times arrive. One thing I have to say about professors is that they really do care about us. Unlike other schools' professors, who are more concerned with their own research than furthering the education of their students, Tech is very committed to helping us acquire the tools and knowledge we need for successful careers. Of course some are better than others, but on the whole the professors are knowledgeable, down-to-earth and always willing to help. Professors are also extremely beneficial with helping you find and pursue opportunities - whether it be a job, internship or study-abroad program. In fact, I am participating in a study abroad program and am in the tropics of north-eastern Australia right now! Being here would never have been possible if it weren't for the help of a certain professor who has since become my personal academic advisor.


Professors can know your name if you take the time and initiative to talk to them outside of class and through emails and such. I know I have contacted teachers before and they've remembered my history and my name. It's nice. My least favorite class would have to be Pre-Calculus and Calculus. It's horrible! It's an online class and it's held at the Math Emporium. It's hard to find students that actually like traveling to the Math Emporium to take quizzes/tests. I say students study a good amount of the time. I think everyone tries to balance schoolwork with leisure activities and extracurricular activities. Class participation really depends on class size. If a class is more than 100 students, then class participation is limited to almost non-existant. Smaller class sizes almost insist on participation so that the class doesn't die of boredom and inactivity. VT students do have intellectual conversations outside of class. This past year has been filled of political talks.


Since I'm an English major in smaller classes my professors do know my name. Even in large classes, if you take the time to introduce yourself it can be more personal experience. My favorite class was Intro to Creative Writing I took last spring. We wrote short stories and creative nonfiction everyday, read out loud, and workshopped. Students study Sunday through Thursday afternoon--then it's time for fun. We work hard. Very hard. We talk about class outside of class and we know what's important but it doesn't stop us from having fun in college. Students are competitive for GPA, scholarships, internships, study abroad opportunities--you name it and if someone wants it they will work hard to get it. The English department here seems so warm. I've only been in the department for one semester so I'm still feeling my way around, but all my professors genuinely want me to do well and are more than willing to read over my papers and help me with ideas for other classes. One professor even gave our class her cell phone number because she knew that it would take her so long to respond to her emails. I feel like I'm getting an education that is more that just learning for learning's sake. I'm learning to be a better writer, reader, thinker, and I know that it will help me in the future.


Yes professors know my name. Favorite is nations and nationalities ane least favorite is floral design. Students study more than average. Class participatin is very common. At time there are intelectual conversations, students are somewhat competitive. Unique class is arabic. My major is Internatinal studies but it is still a very small department. I do not spend time with professors. Academic requirments are great. No comment on last question


For the most part, if you put in the effort your professors will know your name. My classes are mainly larger (200-300 students), so the professors don't have as much interaction with the students, but in my smaller classes, my professors definitely know my name and everyone else's too! The most unique class I've ever taken was probable Philosophy: Existetialism, War, and Terrorism. It was a good one!


Professors: Few know my name Fav Class: Resourses Geology Least: Math1015 Intellectual Conversations: Yeah outside of class some. Competitive: Depends on what Unique: German Major: International Studies, they are Ok, but the advisor isn't very helpfull. Professors: I used to talk to Herr Bishop for German after class. Requirements: Fair VT Degree: geared toward learning for me.


Professors in my major, and some out of major do know my name. I believe that my favorite class has been International Marketing because we had a lot of food brought in, a lot of video clips, a lot of presentations. Least favorite is probably Cross Cultural Harmony in French because of the amount of work it involves that I believe is frivolous and not characteristic of a typical French class. Students study a bunch. Class participation is definitely more prevalent in smaller classes, or classes with buddy buddy teachers. Yes students have intellectual conversations outside of class, that's what coffee shops are for. Students are extremely competitive. I really believe all of the fashion classes are very unique. How many people make suits and bathing suits in class?? The fashion department (in AHRM) is slowly dying. We have close to zero funding, professors are leaving and are not being replaced, our studios and labs need to be updated to accommodate the amount of people who have joined the major. We are very much forgotten, and it's terrible to see, because there are so many talented and dedicated people trying to make this work. Don't spend time with professors outside of class. Academic requirements are fine. Education is in the middle of getting a job and learning for its own sake.


Most of my professors know my name this semester, because I'm in relatively small classes. In the one large lecture class I have, my professor doesn't quite know my name, but he recognizes me. Class participation is strongly encouraged, even in lectures. None of my professors are annoyed if you have a question, and one actually gave me an answer in the next class because she didn't know the answer. The students here aren't really competitive with one another, at least not that I've noticed. If someone has a problem, you help them. My friends and I sometimes continue discussions we've had in class after the class is over.


One thing I really appreciate about Tech is that they push you to consider your future. They want you to be professional and there are so many opportunities for you to work towards this. There are seminars, mock-interviews and people to help you with your resume. There is even a Professional Seminar (1 hr credit) course that I took that was quite helpful as well. Organizations encourage you to participate. This has given me so many wonderful lines to add to my resume! There are also plenty of opportunities for service, which is wonderful and should absolutely be taken advantage of! I feel oftentimes that I am surrounding by very intelligent people with whom I can have meaningful conversations. I learn from those around me every day. Tech does not just accept anybody. Neither do they let just anyone teach. My professors are wise and I learn so much from them. Many of them will give out their numbers, and respond to e-mails very quickly and efficiently. They are more than willing to meet with you in their offices as well. Take advantage of these wonderful instructors. Not only can they teach you a lot; they can be great references as well. Respect your teachers and form relationships with them. It is absolutely worth it. These professors are very passionate and knowledgeable about what they teach and they really care about you as a student.


most professors do not know my name or care to know. my fav class was world regions, least favorite was history of east asia. Students study as litte as the must and there is a lack of intellect in the air, especially during football. Education is technical, for a job, not for the purpose of learning.


Being a freshman, there is probably few professors that actually know my name. At tech many of the intro classes are at least 300, more around 500 or more and then sometimes you luck out with a class size around 100. With large classes like that, its hard for professors to get one on one time with students to learn name and so far the only way for this to happen is to use office hours. Office hours are a laugh to a lot of students because its walking all the way across campus to ask questions or to say hi when you can run to someone in your hall or during those times you are either in class or busy trying to do something else.


You have to try to sign up for floral design! It is such a popular course that you pretty much can't get into it unless you are a senior, but you have to try! I took this course during my fall semester of my senior year, and it was awesome! Every week you get to take home a fresh flower arrangement that you created yourself-- I got more flowers from this class than I have gotten ever from my husband!


-Yes -Favorite: Media Institutions, World Regions, Visual Media, Comm Skills, Creative Dance. Least favorite: I can't really think of a class that I disliked that much... -A lot -Depends on the class, but usually, yes -Certain students do -Not really, from my experience -World Regions -Comm is an excellent major. It is broad, and I find it very interesting. Anyone interested in learning about and somehow working in the media and should consider this major. -Not usually, but I am close with a few of my professors and enjoy talking to them outside of class -I think they are very fair, and if you stay on top of things, you can definitely graduate on time. I am actually in the process of graduating a semester early. -Both


Because I'm an English major, my classes are small enough for my professors to know me by name. I could never pick a favorite class, because all of them are interesting and useful for future jobs. Students spend a lot of their time studying-academics has first priority for most students. The education offered by VT is a perfect blend of allowing students to take classes they are interested in, while preparing them for a job or for grad school.


My professors know my name--English is a small major. Language and Society is really interesting because you talk about dialects and language differences, but I really like my British Author class about Jane Austen. Least favorite--no idea. I study, read, and write papers everyday. However, English majors have a lot of work to do, despite what everyone thinks. The farther along you are the more you study, but the better you are at it. I've always studied a lot to keep up my grades, but I definitely study more now than I did as a freshman. In my bigger classes, I never said anything (more than 100 people). Now, I talk everyday in all of my classes--for most of them, it's part of my grade. I have intellectual conversations outside of class, but only with certain people and not all the time. It happens. I'm competitive with myself more than anyone else. Some people might compete with others, but I don't have a clue what grades other people get. It's nothing like high school where you might be trying to be the best in the class. I'm ranked really high in my major, but I have no idea who is up there with me. Unique class would be Writing Center Theory--I get to tutor in the Writing Center for the class. As an English major, I read everyday and write lots of papers. I don't think there's such a thing as an "easy major" at Tech--people may have majors with easier subject matter (of course English is easier than engineering), but I still have to work hard to make good grades. Some majors only need to study about 4 times a semester for their 4 exams, but I have work everyday. That's hard when you have other things to do. The English department is amazing--very supportive and familiar. I spend time with professors outside of class--meet with them in their offices, etc. Tech definitely requires a lot of students in order to complete majors--more than UVA. Why do you think there are so many double majors at UVA? I wonder if people have ever looked at that, or just assumed UVA has better liberal arts programs just because Tech isn't based on liberal arts? I think my education is geared toward getting a job. Sometimes I wonder why I learn some things, but Professional Writing is very career-oriented--I do things any technical writer would do. Also, in my literature classes, I learn things I'll need when teaching.


In my personal experience I have found that you get what you take out of professors at VT. Personally, I like to attend class, do my work and keep to myself without interfering with my professors much. And, this tactic worked, I made the deans list every semester...Some students have found going to professor office hours helpful though. As a history major however, my classes were frequently 40+ students so I never knew my professors on an individual basis. But beware, this comes to bite you in the butt when you need professor recommendations for grad school etc. Try and have one or two friendly professors you can rely on and always come back to if you need help. How much you are going to need to study for classes can be generally determined before you even sign up for a course. By reviewing before you sign up for certain professors you can pick and choose your course load with relative accuracy. Education here isn't really geared towards getting you a job or getting you to know the course information. Professors aren't going to go out of their way to help you unless you go out of your way to get them to help you!


Classes are unfair, the actually classes dont prepare you for the tests. The tests don't test your understanding of the material, just your ability to retain useless information. I have also had some really rude professors.


As a senior, I have had many teachers, but I would say only an average 4 know my name. The majority of classes at Tech are large lecture hall classes where you can have 400 other students in one class. It just depends on whether you like that style of learning or not. For my general college classes, I have enjoyed having large lecture classes. As you move up in your major, classes get smaller and class participation increases. You become closer with your teachers and your class mates as group products and discussion become more a prevalent. The Communication department is unique at Tech because of the fact that you have to apply to switch into the major. I switched from University Studies and it was a huge ordeal to try to get into Communication. Course Request for Communication is also frustrating because there is not enough teachers and classes offered for the requirements given to us.


Virginia Tech prepares you for life after college. It can be challenging and I think you get out of it what you put into it. Student are studying always and everywhere. Some kids can get competitive with grades but I have enough stress just getting through some of my classes.


My class sizes are realy huge and sometimes it feels impersonal but the professors will usually give you their time and help if you show up for class and too there office hours. I love my advisor and she always gives us emails of any job opportunities in our field that se hears about. It is very competitive.


-yes ..more so my junior and senior years -my favorite class was marketing channels and logistics because my professor gave u real world examples and he was no bullshit -daily -yes unless its a early morning class -yes, I've had conversations about God, politics, and life with multiple people -none of my friends are -Geography of Wine -I am a marketing major because I wanted a business degree. There are so many directions and career paths associated with a business degree. The department offers a variety of classes pertaining to marketing - research, advertising, real estate marketing, etc. -If I want advice on a project or have questions, I go to their office hours. Many professors require us to set-up appointments with them throughout the semester -Same as most other schools -Learning for its own sake


My film professor knows me, and Film is what I care about so that's off the chain. I have many intellectual conversations outside of class but I personally don't like to get too philosophical on people. It gets boring when people think they're so smart. Nobody knows much in the big picture, so I'd rather


Professors know my name, favorite - world regions, least - Intermediate accounting, students study hard and play hard, students in class participation is very common, Yes vt students have intellectual convos, students are not competitive with each other, Unique class = dating marriage and divorce, Accounting dept - very strong and very well funded and most teachers know you on a first name basis, Professors are accessible outside of class, VT academic requirements are good, My majors academics are geared toward getting a job


Professors of small classes know my name. As a junior, almost all of my classes are of curriculum that I am interested in and the only classes I do not enjoy attending are the ones where the professor is unenthusiastic and gears the class periods toward answering questions from the reading rather than lecture on the material. Students will study some most days of the week in preparation for intense studying the few days before an exam. Students do have intellectual conversation outside of the classroom on US and world politics, religion, literature, and much more. Students are competitive but not the extent of a university like Virginia. VT students compete against themselves and the class curve to get the highest grade they can. Overall the atmosphere concerning academics is focused, serious, at times stressful, but not at an extreme. The most unique class I've take has been Language and Logic, a philosophy course which satisfies a math credit since logic is mathematical. We studied arguments and analyzed the flaws in legal cases which opened my eyes to how much the English language can be manipulated. I am a finance major. I believe in the importance of an understanding of the country and global monetary system and overall economy in order to make sound judgments about how to allocate my personal assets and other decisions over the course of my life. Considering the complexity of this topic and my interest in it, I am confident Virginia Tech will supply me with resources to make this wealth of knowledge into a promising career. I go to professors for clarification sometimes outside of class times. The academic requirements at Tech are fair. Professors are always concerned with students getting an understanding of the material and gear the work to prepare us to be able to preform the types of tasks that exist in the professional field.


I was a liberal arts major, so most of my professors knew my name. I wouldn't say Virginia Tech is even close to the level of educational superiority as a school like UVA. I didn't find my classes challenging overall.


Professor knows my name Favorite class: Nonfiction Creative Writing, Least favorite: Media Effects Students don't study enough Class participation is mediocre Students rarely have intellectual conversations