Glossary of terms used on this site

Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Begin with Contains Exact termSounds like
All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Term Definition
Academic Advisor

The academic advisor, either a member of the teaching faculty or a professional, works with students on their academic progress, course selection, career and major options, and navigating the academic process at Virginia Tech.

Academic Difficulty
Students experiencing academic difficulty should make an appointment to see their advisor or academic dean to discuss possible sources of academic support and/or the use of the Course Withdrawal Policy.
Academic Eligibility

Continued enrollment at Virginia Tech is a privilege that is granted as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward a degree. The minimum standard for academic good standing is a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00. Academic probation is imposed when the cumulative GPA is less than 2.00 and performance will be reviewed at the end of each fall and spring semester.

If a student on probation obtains a cumulative GPA of 2.00 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 2.00 overall, the student will continue on probation. If the student's semester GPA is below a 2.50 for the probation semester and overall GPA is below a 2.00, the student will be placed on academic suspension. First academic suspension will be imposed for one academic semester (either fall or spring).

The new academic eligibility policy states that courses taken at any other institution while on suspension may NOT ever be transferred back to Tech regardless of grade earned.

Returning Performance after Suspension

A student must either earn a minimum 2.00 semester GPA the first semester following first suspension and raise his/her cumulative GPA to at least 2.00 by the end of the second semester after returning, or earn a 2.50 GPA or higher for every semester following first suspension until the cumulative GPA is 2.00 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 and when a student fails to meet the returning academic performance requirements.
Students placed on first, second, or permanent academic suspension have the right to appeal each suspension to the University Academic Appeals Committee.

Academic level

Academic levels at Virginia Tech for undergraduate students are as follows:

Freshman less than 30 hours 10
Sophomore 30 - 59 hours 20
Junior 60 - 89 hours 30
Senior 90 credit hours and above 40

On forms, such as the force-add one, that require students to enter 'academic level,' students should use the code number that designates their level, such as 10 or 20.

Academic Probation

(see Academic Eligibility)

Academic Suspension

(see Academic Eligibility)

At Risk

Students who are on academic probation or in jeopardy of imminent probation or suspension.

Attempted hours

Attempted hours include all of the coursework on record for a student at Virginia Tech: courses passed (including duplicated courses), courses failed, advanced standing credit, AP credit, credit by exam, courses transferred from other colleges or universities, and courses to which the freshman rule may have been applied.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend class. Most professors will announce their attendance policy on the first day of class or will state their policy in the syllabus. If no mention of attendance is made, ask! Many professors count attendance towards class participation grades, and students who miss classes may receive lower grades.

Auditing a class: 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. The last day to change a course to audit is the last day to add classes, usually the Friday of the first week of classes. A student may enroll as an auditor in any class other than laboratory classes and studio courses, with the permission of both their academic advisor and the class instructor. The lecture portion of laboratory-linked courses and courses with computation periods may be designated as eligible for audit at the request of the academic department head (of the course in question) and on the approval of the student's academic dean. Auditors may not add or drop an audit option after the last day to enter classes. Students will not be allowed to register for credit in any course previously audited.

Blue book

A small notebook with soft blue covers, available at the University Bookstores, that some professors require students to use when writing essay exams. If students are required to use a blue book, the professor will instruct them to bring one (or more) to the exam, or will note this requirement on the syllabus.

Career Advisor

An advisor who helps students, (1) make personally satisfying decisions about careers and majors, (2) obtain career-related experience during college, (3) seek post-graduation employment and/or consider graduate or professional school options.

Changing Exam Times

Students who have three final exams in a 24-hour period, or two final exams at the same or overlapping times, may request permission from their academic dean's office to have an exam rescheduled. 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.


A list of courses required for a particular major, often with spaces for students to "check off" completed courses.

Class ticket

The original class ticket is the scheduling result of the course request entered by students each semester. The class ticket, available on the Hokie Spa, shows which section of each course the student has been enrolled in for a given semester. The sections are identified by a Course Request Number (CRN). Once the DROP/ADD     period opens, students may make changes to their original class ticket.