Entrance Requirements

Policy Memorandum No. 68

Recommended by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies
Approved by University Council: April 7, 1986
Approved by the President: April 7, 1986
Effective: Fall 1988

This policy establishes new University admission requirements, beginning in the fall of 1988, as spelled out below. The new requirements are the result of a lengthy study by a committee of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies. The new policy raises from 9 to 14 the number of academic or college preparatory units a high school graduate must have for admission to the University and specifies requirements of an additional science lab class, additional social studies, and more elective credits in academic courses. In addition, while a foreign language has not been a requirement to enter the University in the past (even though some 96 percent of the students enrolled here have studied at least two years of a foreign language in high school), the new policy requires that all graduates of Virginia Tech must meet a language study requirement either by completing two units of a single foreign or classical language study during high school (3 units by the College of Arts and Sciences); by earning 6 semester hours of college-level foreign language credit, such credits to be in addition to the number normally required for graduation in a student's program of study; or by receiving credit by examination for a foreign or classical language.

Following is the resolution and the new admissions standards approved by the University Council as they will appear in the catalog:

WHEREAS, the Standing Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid (CUS) was charged to study the University's entrance requirements, and

WHEREAS, faculty and administrators at Virginia Tech and others in the educational community of Virginia (e.g., State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, parents, teachers, concerned citizens) have questioned the readiness of high school graduates to master college and university studies, and

WHEREAS, Virginia Tech has always maintained high standards for both admission and graduation, and

WHEREAS, the entrance requirements of the University should be reviewed periodically to be responsive to the larger educational community.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the proposed admissions standards attached to this resolution be approved for students admitted beginning Fall, 1988.


Before being formally admitted to the University, the applicant must have graduated from an accredited high school or private preparatory school with a minimum of 18 units. One unit is equal to one academic year of study.

At least 14 of the 18 units must be academic or college preparatory units. Academic or college preparatory units are courses in English, language studies, mathematics, natural science, social science, history and fine arts and must be distributed as indicated below under Required Units.


Of the 18 required units, the following minimums must be met for admission to any curriculum.

  1. English -- four (4) units, one completed each year of high school.

  2. Math -- three (3) units including Algebra II and Geometry. Admissions preference is given to those who complete an additional unit of math beyond Algebra II. (See Additional Preparation below for students in selected curricula requiring a fourth unit in math for admission.)

  3. Social Science -- two (2) units, one unit must be History.

  4. Laboratory Science -- (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) two (2) units required and additional units are recommended. Some curricula encourage, others require, additional units for admission as described in Additional Preparation below.

  5. Additional Academic Units -- three (3) additional academic units must be completed. These may be electively chosen from academic or college preparatory courses offered only in the areas of English, natural science, social science, history, mathematics, computer science, language studies and fine arts. These courses must be comparable in content and purpose to other required academic or college preparatory courses. Particular emphasis in selecting elective academic u