Frequently Asked Questions
- I am currently in another major, and I want to change into HNFE.
- Who is my academic advisor?
- What is a DARs?
- How/when do I apply for graduation?
- Can I take courses at another institution and transfer them to VT?
- What is course withdrawal?
- I took X course last spring and did not do as well as I would have liked. I would like to take the class again. Can I?
- How do I find my overall and in‐major GPAs?
- How many classes can I take P/F?
- What are free electives?
- How can I become a Registered Dietitan?
1. I am currently in another major and I want to change into HNFE. How do I go about this?
See Prospective Students: Current Virginia Tech Students.
2. Who is my academic advisor?
Log in to HokieSpa and select "View Your General Student Information." Your academic advisor is listed, however, faculty mentor information is not listed in HokieSpa at this time. You will receive an e-mail when you have been assigned to a faculty mentor, and you will also be emailed once each semester with your advisor and faculty mentor information.
3. What is a DARs?
Upon applying for your degree, the University Registrar's Office prepares a Degree Audit Report, or DARs, which is an analysis of all course work, listing the courses taken, those left to take, and any deficiency in your GPA. Applying early ensures that each student will have time to take courses that may have been overlooked, and it allows the student to correct the Registrar’s analysis if errors have been made.
Even if students are uncertain as to exactly when they will graduate, they should still apply for graduation at the beginning of the junior year and make a reasonable guess as to their graduation date. The graduation analysis does not commit to graduation, but it serves as an excellent tool by reviewing the requirements left to complete. Students should view it as a planning guide for the senior year.
4. How/when do I apply for graduation?
Students should apply for graduation at the beginning of the junior year by filling out an Application for Degree, available on HokieSpa.
- If you decide to take a course somewhere else, you need to check the VT Transfer Guide to see if the course you plan to take elsewhere will transfer back to Virginia Tech in the manner you anticipate.
- Next, download the Authorization of Transfer Credit—within the United States. TYPE your information on the form. Failure to complete this form means that you do not have permission to take a course for transfer back to Virginia Tech.
- The form asks for the departmental/advisor signature. While you should discuss your plan of study with your advisor, the form must be signed by HNFE in 338 Wallace; therefore, turn the completed form in to 338 Wallace Hall; DO NOT turn the form in to Litton-Reaves, even though that is what the form instructs. Once departmental approval has been given, the form will be forwarded to 1060 Litton-Reaves, and this can take several weeks for final approval. The dean’s office will notify you by email of the approval, or provide further information if the course equivalency is not approved.
IMPORTANT: Upon completion of the course(s), you must request that an official transcript be sent to Virginia Tech. If a transcript does not get to the VT Registrar, you cannot get credit for the course.
Virginia Tech University Registrar
250 Student Services Building
Blacksburg, VA 24061
6. What is course withdrawal?
The course withdrawal policy allows you to drop a maximum of three courses, regardless of credit, during your academic career at Virginia Tech. The deadline for using course withdrawal is always the last regular day of classes for a semester, and you must meet with your advisor to initiate a course withdrawal.The credits for the course remain, so taking a withdrawal does NOT change your status from full time to part time for academic and financial purposes. Before using course withdrawal, international students should check with the Cranwell International Center while athletes should check with their athletic advisor on how this would affect status.
7. How do I find my overall and in‐major GPAs?
The fastest way to find your current overall GPA is to go to HokieSpa and check out your online unofficial transcript. Although the grades for the current semester will not be there, if you look under the GPA column for the previous semester, you will find current and cumulative GPAs listed. The current GPA is for that single semester; the cumulative one is your overall GPA for all the time you have been here.
You can also find that information on your DARS report (either your "real" one or a "What‐If" one). Run an updated DARS report. You will find your current overall GPA and in‐major GPA at the top of the DARs in the bar graph.
8. I took X course last spring and did not do as well as I would have liked. I would like to take the class again. Can I?
A student may not repeat courses in order to improve his or her grade average where a grade of "C or higher has been earned. An assigned grade of "A-D" for the second occurrence will be changed to a grade of "P" whenever a graduation analysis (DARS report) detects a repeated course with a "C" or better grade. Repeating a course where the course is "C-" or below, both instances of the graded course will be computed in the grade point average.
You can receive Pass/Fail credit for 10 percent of the overall hours you take at Virginia Tech. The minimum number of hours you need to graduate is 120, if you take all of your coursework here at Tech, then you have available 12 hours of P/F credit.
If you are a transfer student, however, or you bring in any "outside" credit (even AP credit), the number of Pass/Fail credits you can take decreases: you must subtract your transfer hours from the hours you need to graduate. For example, if you transfer in 60 hours, then that means to reach the magical 120, you'd be accumulating 60 hours at Tech, which would translate to 6 available hours of P/F credit (120‐60=60; 10% of 60=6).
Please review the full Pass/Fail policy in the Undergraduate Catalog.
10. What are free electives?
Free electives are opportunities where students can choose courses from any department in the university. Electives present unlimited possibilities for tailoring a curriculum to fit interests, educational plans, and career goals. Students may even pursue a double major, earn one of the many minors at Virginia Tech, select courses that complement their major, continue special interests or talents, or explore new areas.
Free electives are one of the many ways students can demonstrate their initiatives and interests. Speaking to faculty members, reading about the minors and majors, considering interests and career goals, and meeting with an academic advisor are all helpful in planning how best to use free electives.
One pathway to be eligible to become a Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) requires a student to earn a Verification Statement from an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Nutrition & Dietetics, such as HNFE's. The RD/RDN credential is the recognized credential that allows one to practice medical nutrition therapy.