Academic Requirements for Freshmen

Each year, over 20,000 people apply to be among approximately 5,900 entering students. Before you can be considered for freshman admission, you must complete:

  • 18 units of high-school course work
  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of math (includes algebra I, geometry, and algebra II)
  • 2 units of laboratory science (chosen from biology, chemistry or physics)
  • 2 units of social science (one must be history)
  • 3 additional academic units (foreign language is highly recommended)
  • 4 elective units

Some majors have other requirements, such as an additional year of advanced math or lab science. Most students who are selected for admission have completed more than the minimum requirements and have at least a B+ grade point average.

Freshman Holistic Review

Admissions directors use a holistic approach throughout the application review process. Many factors are considered to include:

  • Rigor of academic program
  • Grades in academic courses
  • Standardized test scores
  • Ethnicity
  • First-generation
  • Leadership and service
  • Legacy
  • Major requested
  • Participation in Virginia Tech pipeline programs
  • Personal statements
  • Disciplinary record
  • Residency
  • Veteran status
  • Service/UT Prosim
  • Employment
  • Research experience

Some majors, such as engineering and architecture, have other requirements for advanced math and/or lab science. For more information, check specific major and college requirements. Most students who are selected for admission have completed more than the minimum requirements and have at least a B+ grade point average.

NOTE: Please be aware, the information presented by links above may not be up to date.

ACT/SAT Requirements

Virginia Tech will accept scores from both the old SAT and redesigned SAT. This replaces our previous policy of accepting only the redesigned SAT scores. If you took the SAT before Spring 2016 and will also plan to take the redesigned SAT, please send both scores to Virginia Tech. Because the redesigned SAT is a different test than the current SAT, a numerical score on one test will not be equivalent to the same numerical score on the other. CollegeBoard has provided concordance tables which can be found here.
Virginia Tech will allow applicants for Fall 2017 to submit both old and new SAT test results to meet admission testing requirements.

Note: If you plan to take the SAT, we recommend using the free SAT test-preparation program available online at

What about the essay?

The redesigned SAT makes the essay portion optional, and we will not require it of our applicants. We will store the result, though, and may use it in research that helps us understand the possible future value of those scores in freshman advising and course placement. Meanwhile, the College Board makes it easy to see which institutions do require or recommend the essay portion on their website.

Fall 2016 Freshman Snapshot

SAT* scores ranged from 810 to 1600
ACT scores ranged from 17 to 36

(SAT scores reflect critical reading and math section scores only)

Please note: These are not minimum requirements for admission to Virginia Tech.

For more information about the incoming class of 2020, please see the complete Freshman Snapshot.

Home Schoolers and Others in Non-Accredited Programs

In order to be competitive for admission to Virginia Tech, students from other than accredited schools (including home-schooled students whose programs are not accredited) must provide the following documentation for review by the admissions committee:

  • Application for admission
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts
  • Grades (level of performance)
  • SAT and/or ACT test scores

Virginia Tech attracts highly competitive students nationwide and from over 100 countries. An increasing number of these students have unique educational backgrounds that require additional evaluation. The university administration recognizes that students from other than accredited schools may not study in the traditional classroom environment and that they are unable to provide the traditional documentation needed to evaluate their academic performance. Virginia Tech believes that providing this population the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in their college preparatory curriculum through the above-listed documentation will be beneficial to both the student and the university.

Please be sure to include with your application package transcripts of any college course work you may have completed.