When it opened in 1872, Virginia Tech was known as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school underwent several name changes over the next several decades and eventually become known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The first student at the school was a sixteen-year-old from the small town of Sinking Creek, and his older brother was the second student. The school had less than 29 students when it opened but grew to more than 130 by the end of the school’s first year of operation. In the present era, the school has placed a focus on increasing diversity, accessibility, the arts, and research. In the last decade, the school’s administration has undertaken significant fundraising for new construction and expansion projects.

Virginia Tech Accreditation Details

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Assoc. accredits Virginia Tech to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges is a national accrediting body with regional groups that provide institutional accreditation to colleges and universities across the country. Virginia Tech also holds departmental and program accreditation in a number of areas. For example, the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the American Dietetic Association, and the Bachelor of Architecture is accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board. The Master of Public Administration is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

Virginia Tech Application Requirements

Virginia Tech receives over 20,000 applications each year and has an acceptance rate of 73 percent. Although the school does seemingly have a generous acceptance percentage, the school does have high requirements for its application materials. Students interested in applying to Virginia Tech should strive to obtain an SAT score of at least 1200, but higher scores are better for ensuring acceptance. A score above 1380 offers a student a very good chance of acceptance. Virginia Tech also requires good grades for admittance, and the average high school GPA for freshmen is 3.95 on a 4.00 scale. In addition to standardized test scores and a high school transcript, students must also submit the school’s official paper application, an in-state tuition form if applicable, and an application fee of $60. The school not only requests that students send along mid-year high school grades but also final grades after graduation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Virginia Tech is a public school, and in-state students pay less in tuition than out-of-state students. Tuition for undergraduate students living in Virginia is $12,852, and tuition for out-of-state students is $29,975. All students pay the same amount of room and board at $8,424 per year. One of the interesting features of tuition at Virginia Tech is that students who come from families that make less than $75,000 a year are insulated against future tuition increases, and students that come from families that make less than $100,000 are partially insulated against future tuition increases. The school also offers discounts on tuition for the summer semester when students enroll in accelerated programs.

Students attending Virginia Tech are eligible for federal student aid, as well as university scholarships and other financial assistance. The deadline for applying for scholarships at Virginia Tech is February 15th, and students must also submit their FAFSA form to qualify for a financial aid award. To qualify for aid through the Federal Direct Student Loan program, a student must be enrolled in at least five credits. The school may also adjust a financial aid award if a student drops below nine credits. Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships and grants if they qualify, as well as calculate the estimated cost of attending Virginia Tech when figuring out how to pay for college.

Online Degrees Available

Virginia Tech offers a wealth of different programs and degrees through its Virginia Tech Online program, and students may work toward several online graduate degrees and certificates. Goals of Virginia Tech Online study faculty include supporting students in advancing their careers, providing flexible schedules and small class sizes, and challenging students academically with the latest in online learning technology. Certificates available through Virginia Tech Online include Natural Resources, Security Studies, Information Policy and Society, and Nuclear Engineering. Graduate degrees include Ocean Engineering, Information Technology, and Urban Affairs and Planning.

Several of the programs offered online by Virginia Tech rank highly in “best of” lists by publications like “U.S. News & World Report.” For example, the Information Technology online graduate program was ranked second in the nation for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. The Graduate Program in Information Technology (VT-MIT) is a degree and certificate program that combines classes from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering and the Pamplin College of Business. The school describes its program as “innovative” in that it seamlessly blends seven essential modules that include Health Information Systems, Networking, Business Information Systems, and other related disciplines. The school updates its modules on a regular basis to ensure the program remains current with industry trends.

Another well-regarded online program at Virginia Tech is the Ocean Engineering program, which offers the Master of Science in Ocean Engineering. The program focuses on the design of naval ships and related topics. All classes are offered online-only, but students do get to experience two-way, live communication with their professors, as well as pre-recorded lectures. Students must complete thirty credit hours to receive their graduate degree. Those courses include Applied Numerical Methods, Advanced Ship Dynamics, and Advanced Ship Structural Analysis. Students also have the opportunity to take a variety of electives like Principles of Naval Engineering, Boundary Layer Theory and Heat Transfer, and Naval Ship System Design and Effectiveness. The program also offers to tracks with a thesis or non-thesis option.

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Virginia Tech’s online education options offer recent graduates, as well as individuals already engaged in a career the opportunity to seek career advancement through graduate-level study. Not only does the school provide a wide range of graduate degree and certificate options, but the degrees offered by the school are highly valuable in today’s science and technology environment. Students who are interested in timely degrees and knowledge that will lead to excellent career opportunities in areas like nuclear engineering, information technology, and natural resources should investigate Virginia Tech Online, as well as the on-campus programs offered by the respected university.