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Frequently Asked Questions — Prospective Students

Q: Do you hold information sessions for prospective undergraduate students in the School of Architecture + Design? Do I need a reservation to attend an information session? Are they the same as the University Admissions information sessions?
A: The School of Architecture + Design holds information sessions to give prospective undergraduate students and their parents an overview of our programs and facilities and meet faculty members and students in their program of choice. So that we can plan ahead for these sessions, we ask that prospective attendees sign up in advance.

If you are also interested in a general university information session and tour of the Virginia Tech campus, please access the website of the Undergraduate Admissions Office at

Please Note: To park on the main Virginia Tech campus on weekdays or during some athletic events, you will need to obtain a visitor parking permit from the Visitor Information Center, 965 Prices Fork Road. (To park at the Visitor Information Center, a parking permit is not required.) Please see

Q: Where are your main offices located?
A: The School of Architecture + Design’s main office is located at 201 Cowgill Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. Cowgill Hall is located on the plaza behind Burruss Hall. Our office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Q: Are Architecture and Design career discovery courses available to high school students during the summer?
A: Yes. inside Architecture + Design is a program open to rising 10th through 12th grade high school students. For additional information, please see the inside Architecture + Design website — /students/inside-architecture.

Q: I am interested in applying to one of the undergraduate programs in the School of Architecture + Design. What is the process?
A: All applications for admission to undergraduate programs within the School of Architecture + Design must be completed through the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Admissions office. Please visit their website at

Q: Is a portfolio required for admission to your undergraduate programs?
A: No. Many high schools do not teach art classes, and few teach courses in architecture or design. Our Foundation Design Laboratories (ARCH 1015, 1016) provide the design fundamentals needed to be a successful designer. Admissions are primarily based on a student’s high school grade point average and SAT or ACT score. If you have questions regarding the criteria for admission, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at; or

Q: What classes should I take in high school to best prepare me for a major in Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design or Landscape Architecture?
A: Four units of high school English is a standard requirement. The university requires three units of math (including algebra II and geometry), but the College of Architecture & Urban Studies strongly recommends an additional unit of higher math. Two units of social sciences (including history) are required. Two units of lab science (chosen from biology, chemistry, or physics) are sufficient for most majors, but additional natural science courses, particularly in biology, are recommended for landscape architecture. Advanced placement courses in Math, Science, English, and Foreign Languages are excellent college preparatory courses. These classes show dedication to one’s learning and are the best preparation for taking the SAT exam. Art and architecture classes are encouraged, but not required.

Q: What is the foreign language requirement?
A: Students who do not complete 2 units of a foreign language in high school must earn 6 credits of college-level foreign language study; these credits are in addition to those normally required for graduation.

Q: Do you offer any educational programs for new undergraduate students prior to the start of fall classes to assist with the transition to studying architecture and design at Virginia Tech?
A: Virginia Tech Summer Academy (VTSA) is a six week program prior to the fall semester designed to ease students’ transitions from high school or from another college to Virginia Tech. By partaking in Summer Academy, students are given many opportunities to take required courses, become familiar with university expectations, make new friends, and discover our campus. VTSA combines popular courses with peer mentoring and academic networking to promote a strong foundational start at Virginia Tech. The Architecture and Design track is specifically designed for entering Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture students or for those interested in transferring into one of the School’s undergraduate majors. In this track, you will be introduced to the learning environment and activities characteristic of Foundation Design Lab, ARCH 1015. Participants in this experience will also be exposed to ways of perceiving and recording the built and natural environment through travel around the region, as well as transforming their findings in ways that enhance their design education. For more information, please visit

Q: Where can I locate the curricula for your undergraduate programs in the School of Architecture + Design?
A: Please visit the following links:

Q: What are Virginia Tech's general education requirements?
A: The Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE) is a vital component of undergraduate education at Virginia Tech, required for every undergraduate student, providing students with a broad base of knowledge and transferable skills, through the study of the Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Histories, Languages, and the Arts. (More info...)

Q: I have Advanced Placement, CLEP, International Baccalaureate, and/or credit from another institution. How can I find out if the credit will transfer to Virginia Tech?
A: You may access the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Transfer Equivalency Database to determine how credit taken through another institution will transfer to Virginia Tech. You may access AP, IB & CLEP information through the Registrar’s website to determine how this type of credit will transfer to Virginia Tech.

Q: What are the computer requirements for entering students?
A: Please see the Computer Requirement page for more information, including frequently-asked questions about the computer requirements for Architecture, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture students.

Q: Where can I locate information regarding tuition and fees, as well as information regarding the Architecture and Design Fee?
A: Please visit the Bursar’s office website.

Q: How do I apply to one of your graduate programs?
A: Please see the Graduate Admissions page. For more information on our graduate degree programs, please visit our Academic Programs page.

More frequently-asked questions - undergraduate admissions…