What is an academic plan?
An academic plan is an outline of how you plan to spend your time at Virginia Tech. It includes major and minor courses, general education requirements, and co-curricular activities. Typically, an academic plan includes 15 credit hours per semester to stay on track towards graduation. Every academic plan is unique to each student, and should be used as an adaptable guide to and through graduation.
Why is an academic plan important?
Having an academic plan helps to ensure an on-time graduation. While there are many factors in your graduation timeline, a plan helps you to take control over that timeline. Academic planning allows for the exploration of “what-if” scenarios if your interests grow, develop, and change during college. You can explore other majors and understand how your experience will look as you add or change your classes. Planning helps students visualize progress towards their goal. Academic planning can also help you plan around internships, co-ops, and study abroad programs to ensure you get the best academic experience while staying on track in your coursework. Lastly, academic planning can save you money on tuition and ensure you begin your career sooner.
How do I create an academic plan?
You can start by meeting with an Advising Ambassador! Advising Ambassadors are current undergraduate students trained and ready to assist you in developing your academic plan. The Ambassadors host weekly workshops filled with information about using Hokie Graduation Plan for Success (GPS), Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS), checksheets, and other academic planning tools. Attend a workshop and receive 1-on-1 assistance with your plan, and other helpful advising tips!
I’ve created an academic plan, now what?
Now that you have a semester-by-semester academic plan, make sure to share it with your academic advisor to get their feedback. Revisit your academic plan each semester to make necessary adjustments, and take into consideration the course planning dates.
Tools to help create an academic plan:
- Hokie Graduation Plan for Success - Hokie GPS is an academic planning system for Virginia Tech undergraduate students. Hokie GPS receives degree information from DARS and allows students to put together a semester-by-semester plan based on the degree and catalog year.
- Degree Audit Reporting System - The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is a computer generated report for undergraduate and associate level students that matches the requirements of a degree program with a student's completed or in-progress coursework. The audit can be used by students and advisors to determine which major/minor requirements still need to be completed.
- Checksheets - Requirements for graduation based on date of entry and students’ degree-granting majors.
- Timetable of Classes
- Historical Timetable of Classes - The historical timetable uses the information from previous academic years to list what courses were offered. This is helpful context when planning classes that may only be offered in certain semesters.
- Pathways to General Education Guides