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Undergraduate Orientation Information for Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences Orientation Advising Team


Contact information for the team members is available here.

Welcome to the Virginia Tech Biological Sciences Department! 

Step 1 - Start Here

Make your Orientation advising appointment by clicking here

How to schedule an advising appointment (Zoom)

Once you make an appointment in Navigate go to Step 2 ("PREPARE FOR YOUR ADVISING APPOINTMENT").

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact the Bioadvising Team at 540-231-6407 or during regular business hours at least 10 days prior to the appointment.


Step 2

Before your Biological Sciences department orientation advising appointment:

  • Complete the Biological Sciences 2021 Orientation Survey sent to you by email.
  • Review this Registration Tutorial and complete the Preparing for Registration steps in HokieSpa. This tutorial will also help to introduce you to the drop/add process you will follow during your orientation advising appointment.
  • Explore the Biological Sciences Undergraduate Webpage or the websites (and course requirements) of any other major or minor you might be interested in.
  • Create a list of classes of interest.
  • Scores from AP/IB/DE/Transfer credit  (check in your Hokie Spa to see if available there) and unofficial academic transcripts; have them available for your appointment.
  • Be ready with a list of questions  - the advising team is interested in your success and persistence in school and is happy to help answer all questions.

Tips: Remember that students can view their academic advisor assignment on Hokie Spa under View General Student Information the first week of classes.

Step 3

  • You will need to enter the Zoom meeting ID or URL to enter the meeting that you receive by email.
  • You must successfully tell us your FERPA self-passcode to remain in the advising appointment.
  • Review information in the "PREPARE FOR YOUR ADVISING" appointment section above as needed. You may also want to watch this video about the conditional add/drop feature for course scheduling.



We will place you into an appropriate course before your orientation advising appointment based on the information that we have at the time. Be sure to submit any transfer credit documentation that you may have to the Biological Sciences 2021 Orientation Survey.

  • If AP exams were completed during a span of multiple years, you may need to contact the College Board and ask that your scores be merged and sent to Virginia Tech again (college code 5859).
  • Students must earn a C or better to receive transfer credit from courses taken at other colleges and universities. If you have submitted a transcript with a COVID-19 specific grading scheme that does not clearly indicate whether a grade of C or better was earned in a course, an explanation of the actual grade must be provided to the Registrar's office. This verification will be requested on the Hokie Spa transfer credit screen.
  • The table below shows the maximum number of credits allowed to transfer from various sources. Students who exceed the maximum in any category will need to submit a Credit Decline Form to This form should be discussed with an orientation advisor before it is submitted.
AP 38
IB Diploma 38
IB Certificate 30
Cambridge International 38
Community College(s) 60
Multiple Sources 90
  • The College Success Strategies course (UNIV 1004)  is a 3-credit (A-F) course. Course credit earned in UNIV 1004 cannot be applied toward graduation requirements. The credits earned will be used to determine full-time student status, for financial aid, and for other eligibility issues. The grade you earn will be computed in the semester in which you are enrolled in the class as well as your cumulative GPA. The goal of the UNIV course is to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness necessary to achieve success in college and life. This course is restricted to first-year/transfer students or students having a GPA of 2.5 or less.
  • General Education Pathways Courses


Contact information by membership is listed below.


The Office of Veteran Services works with Virginia Tech’s Bursar’s Office, Registrar’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Services to receive and process all documentation related to veteran and military student educational benefits. They also collaborate with university and community partners to ensure that veterans and military dependents are connected to the financial, academic, and social resources necessary for a successful transition to and through their course of study at Virginia Tech.

Biological Sciences majors can satisfy VT's foreign language requirement in one of three ways:

  • Speak a native language that is not English.
  • Have taken at least two years of a single foreign or classical language in high school.
  • Earn 6 semester hours of college-level foreign or classical language credit. These 6 credits are in addition to the 120 hours required for a biological sciences degree.

The Biological Sciences LLC is ORION.

  • Be sure to enroll in the LLC first-year experience course. It is equivalent to Biological Sciences BIOL 1004 for all students. Orion’s course is COS 1015 so be sure to drop BIOL 1004 if you sign up for Orion!

Student-Athlete Free Time Codes

  • Student athletes must be enrolled full time (at least 12 credits) every semester to maintain NCAA eligibility for practice and competition. If a student athlete wishes to drop below 12 credit hours, permission must be obtained from the University Registrar and consultation with a Student Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) counselor.
  • Freshman student athletes must pass 24 degree-applicable credit hours during their first academic year (ex: summer, fall, spring, summer)
  • All student athletes must complete a minimum of 6 degree-applicable credit hours every fall and every spring.
  • All student athletes must complete a minimum of 18 degree-applicable credit hours during the combination of fall and spring semesters each year.

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides accommodations to students on a case-by-case basis depending on the type of disability they may have. SSD offers a host of accommodations, including classroom accommodations, accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing students, the SSD testing center, note-takers, alternate text, and housing accommodations. Students who wish to receive accommodations must register with SSD. 

If you've been accepted to VT as a biological sciences major but have already decided that you no longer want to be a biological sciences major, you'll still need to attend our biological sciences department orientation advising appointment to complete your fall course schedule. However, you should also meet with a transitional advisor. Information is available Click here for information about transitional advising.

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