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Academic Guidelines

Beginning the program

Offers of admission to AdvantageVT are generally valid only for the semester for which admission is offered. However, a start date can be deferred under exceptional circumstances, as when a student cannot obtain a visa in time to arrive before the beginning of her or his starting semester. Requests for deferrals should be directed to the AdvantageVT Admissions Office.

Program deposit

Seats in the AdvantageVT program are subject to availability and allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis. To secure a seat in the program, admitted students are required to pay a $500 deposit within 10 days of receiving their acceptance.  Students who fail to pay the deposit on time may lose their position if all available seats are filled before their deposit is received.

Admission status

A student admitted to the AdvantageVT program must complete the program in its entirety to qualify for matriculation.  The Office of Undergraduate Admissions authorizes provisional admission for AdvantageVT students with the stipulation that such students successfully complete all levels in their AdvantageVT program before being granted regular admission status.   Students are not permitted to matriculate from AdvantageVT to their majors until this condition is met. 

Students failing to complete the AdvantageVT program successfully will forfeit their admission status and be dismissed from the university.  

Final high school transcripts

Students who apply for admission to AdvantageVT during their senior year of high school must submit final transcripts before a formal acceptance letter will be issued by the Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Offers may be revoked for students who fail to maintain the minimum GPA requirement (see above) through their high school graduations.

Denial of admission

Virginia Tech reserves the right to deny admission to students who have been academically dismissed or suspended or to those convicted of a felony. Students have a continuing obligation to report to the Student Conduct at Virginia Tech any arrests or convictions that occur subsequent to signing their application form.

Program composition

Following is a breakdown of instruction in the AdvantageVT program. Credit-bearing courses may be subject to some variation. 

  First Semester Second Semester Third Semester
English Language Classes English for Academic Purposes 300 English for Academic Purposes 400 English for Academic Purposes 500
College Preparedness Training University Success Seminars University Success Seminars  
Credit-Bearing Courses   1st Semester First-Year English  2nd Semester First-Year English
1st Semester Pathway-appropriate mathematics 2nd Semester Pathway-appropriate mathematics
  Pathway-appropriate subject course 
Optional Lab Hours     Lab meeting for chemistry or physics course

Academic credit

Students successfully completing AdvantageVT will earn up to 18 credit hours toward bachelor’s degree requirements.

Level placement

The standardized English language test (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE) score submitted for admission purposes determines a student’s placement level. (See Admission Requirements and Eligibility.)   

Making academic progress

AdvantageVT course instructors will explain their grading policies at the beginning of each semester and will provide a syllabus, or course plan, that details how their classes are graded. Students are expected to monitor their own progress during the semester based on homework, tests, projects, and other learning activities, as described in the course syllabi.  

Advancement and completion

In order to advance in AdvantageVT from semester to semester, students must meet the following standards:

  • Engineering pathway: a 3.0 or better GPA in credit-bearing courses.
  • Business and Science pathways: a 2.5 or better GPA in credit-bearing courses.  
  • A minimum of 70% proficiency (2.0 GPA) in English for Academic Purposes and University Success Seminar courses.

Maintained through the end of the program, these grades constitute successful completion of the AdvantageVT-Master’s program.

Students failing to meet these requirements will be given the opportunity to repeat one semester in the program. Students who repeat a semester and still do not meet AdvantageVT progression requirements will be dismissed from AdvantageVT and from the university. 

Program advising

Advising plays a very important role in developing confidence and individual responsibility. Program advising helps students understand the various components of AdvantageVT, supports performance and improves the overall experience. 

Students are required to meet at least twice during each semester with their assigned program advisors, more often if their advisors determine the need. Students failing to meet with their advisors for these required meetings may be removed from AdvantageVT.  

Group meetings with Virginia Tech advisors in engineering, business, or science departments will be periodically arranged. These advisors will give valuable advice about how to prepare for intended programs and how to meet the department’s expectations once students begin their undergraduate studies.

Tutoring

Tutoring is available upon request or upon recommendation of program instructors. Individual or small-group tutoring sessions address challenges in academic work and are intended to help students successfully manage their course work. 

Attendance, probation, and expulsion

Students are expected to attend classes regularly, do all assigned homework and turn in assignments on time, participate in class activities and discussions, and otherwise actively engage in learning experiences. 

Failing to attend classes can have a significant impact on class grades. Instructors determine whether students will be permitted to make up work or tests missed due to absences.  

Students are expected to attend all classes and to make academic progress. At least 85% attendance is required in English for Academic Purposes classes and University Success Seminars. Students failing to meet this requirement will be placed on probation for the following term.  Similarly, students who fail to meet academic progress requirements will be placed on probation for the following semester. 

Written warnings will notify students of their probationary status.  Students on probation will be expelled if they fail to correct their attendance or performance issues. 

All students are expected to adhere to the university’s Student Code of Conduct. Appropriate conduct is expected at all times. Improper behaviors — such as disrupting a class, interrupting others, speaking a language other than English in class, being rude to teachers or fellow students, or harassing others — will not be tolerated. Inappropriate conduct may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Undergraduate matriculation requirements

To matriculate into the undergraduate program, students must complete Level 3, Level 2, or Level 1 and satisfy the following criteria:

  • Engineering pathway: a 3.0 or better GPA in credit-bearing courses.
  • Business and Science pathways: a 2.5 or better GPA in credit-bearing courses.  
  • A minimum of 70% proficiency (2.0 GPA) in English for Academic Purposes and University Success Seminar courses.

Upon successful completion of the above, students will be conferred credentials for their completion of AdvantageVT and cleared for undergraduate admission.

Performance report and transcripts

Performance reports that summarize grades earned in courses are issued to students at the conclusion of each semester. Grades are determined according to standards stated in course syllabi. 

Results for all semesters are summarized on transcripts, one for credit-bearing courses and the other for the EAP and seminar courses. The first is available for download (in an unofficial form) through the Virginia Tech website, and the second is available upon request from the AdvantageVT program director.

Grades for English for Academic Purposes courses are determined on the following scale: 

Grade Description Percentage Range GPA
A Excellent 90-100 4.00
B Above average 80-89 3.00
C Average 70-79 2.00
D Unsatisfactory 60-69 1.00
F Failing Below 60 0.00
W Withdrawal N/A N/A
I Incomplete N/A N/A

Students are required to provide copies of transcripts for credit-bearing courses to their AdvantageVT advisors at the end of each term of study and at the end of the program. 

Students not meeting AdvantageVT completion requirements

Students not meeting AdvantageVT progression or completion requirements have the option to transfer to other institutions; the assistant director of student services can help with transfers. Credits earned in AdvantageVT will be transferrable to most universities. 

Withdrawals and Incompletes

AdvantageVT policies concerning withdrawals and incompletes are as follows:

W – Withdrawal

A grade of withdrawal (W) is given in EAP and seminar classes only in instances when a registered student has departed prior to the end of classes in a given semester, and then only in serious and compelling cases where the cause of withdrawal is clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of a final grade is not possible. 

With regard to credit-bearing courses, withdrawal follows the Virginia Tech policy, available in the Undergraduate Course Catalog for the relevant academic year.

A withdrawal from any course constitutes total withdrawal from AdvantageVT, and therefore a student who has withdrawn must reapply for admission if he or she seeks to return. A grade of withdrawal may be assigned only by the AdvantageVT program director.

I - Incomplete

A grade of "incomplete" (I) is assigned in AdvantageVT classes when a student has been doing satisfactory work in a course, but for unforeseen reasons is unable to complete course requirements within the required time frame for end-of-semester grading. Such reasons must be judged appropriate by the AdvantageVT program director and the instructor.  With this understanding, an agreement must be reached between the instructor and the student as to when remaining course requirements must be satisfied, not to exceed 30 days from the end of the semester. The instructor is responsible for assigning a final grade upon completion and evaluation of the work agreed upon. An incomplete mark (I) remaining on the student's record more than 30 days will automatically become a failing grade (F) and will be counted as such in determining grade-point averages.

Academic integrity

All students in AdvantageVT are expected to know, understand, and adhere to the Virginia Tech Honor Code. The Honor Pledge, which summarizes that code, states: “As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”

Cheating, plagiarism, falsification, fabrication, multiple submissions, and complicity are the violations of the Honor Code. These violations are defined in the honor code, available at the link above. 

The consequences for violations of the Honor Code are described in the section of “Academic Dishonesty Sanctions”; the decision about which consequences will apply to any particular violation are generally decided by the VT Undergraduate Honor Council, and may include expulsion from the university. 

Further expectations with respect to student conduct are available in the LCI Student Handbook and the Code of Conduct.