Academic Programs Office:
Student Advising Information

Undergraduate Students

  • CNRE Checksheets
  • Student Forms
  • Scholarships
    How to apply. How to find scholarships. Scholarships available to all CNRE students.
  • Who is my Advisor?

    An academic advisor is either a member of the teaching faculty or a professional, who works with students on their academic progress, course selection, career and major options, and navigating the academic process. Your advisor will be assigned to you at the beginning of your first semester at Virginia Tech, usually by the end of the first week of classes, or as soon as possible after changing majors. You can find the name of your advisor by logging on to Hokie Spa and going to the General Student Information section. If you have questions about your advisor assignment, please contact Cathy Barker ( in 138 Cheatham Hall.

    Students in the CNRE are required to see their advisor during the spring and fall registrations periods (October and March). Otherwise, you should feel free to contact your advisor at any time about academic questions, concerns about classes, career planning, etc.

  • Meeting with your advisor?
    Complete this form first: Constructing Your Field of Study [PDF 49 KB]
  • How do I change my major?

    If you are a current student in the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) and want to change to a different major or a different option within the college (e.g. a Geography major would like to change to Environmental Resource Management):

    1. Download, print, and complete the Major/Option/Minor Confirmation form
    2. Return the form to Cathy Barker in 138 Cheatham Hall.

    For students outside the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE) who want to change to a major within CNRE, you will need to follow the steps below:

    • Step 1: If your new major is in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, you will be required to meet with an academic advisor in 138 Cheatham Hall to discuss your plans before you begin the change-of-major paperwork. You can contact Cathy Barker ( to make an appointment with a CNRE academic advisor.
    • Step 2: Once you meet with a CNRE advisor, you should complete the Change of Major/Minor form that can be found on the CNRE website under Student Forms. The first signature on the form must be from the Academic Dean of your new major (Dean Stauffer, 138 Cheatham Hall); the second and third signatures required are from your advisor and the Academic Dean in your old major.
    • Step 3: Submit the completed form to Cathy Barker in 138 Cheatham Hall.
    • Step 4: Check Hokie Spa in a few weeks to ensure that the changes are correct and to learn the name of your new advisor in the CNRE.

    If you are changing majors to a college other than CNRE, please be aware that some majors are restricted and require students to complete a sequence of courses prior to submitting an application. Contact the specific department or college and also check their website to find out more about their requirements. In general, you should request a Change of Major application form from the office of the dean of your new major, minor, or concentration. The first signature on the form must be the signature of the admitting department/college. Once you have all the signatures you need, submit the completed form to your new college for processing.

  • How do I add or drop a minor/option?

    Any student at Virginia Tech can add or drop a minor or option by completing a form:

    • Go to the Student Forms section of the CNRE website and download a copy of the Change of Major/Minor form.
    • Print the form, complete the section for adding/dropping a minor.
    • Return the form to Cathy Barker in 138 Cheatham Hall. She will process the change.

  • Course withdrawal (Late Drop) Policy & Procedures

    Under Virginia Tech policy a maximum of 6 hours may be dropped beyond the normal six-week drop deadline date during a student's academic career. The request for withdrawal must be submitted to your undergraduate academic dean's office NO LATER THAN FRIDAY OF THE LAST FULL WEEK OF CLASSES of the term enrolled for the course. Courses with a status of CW will appear on Hokie Spa after final grades and will appear on your transcript with a W grade, but will not count in your GPA hours or in any GPA calculations. The hours WILL remain on your record as hours attempted, so they will not impact financial aid (unless you are on the GI bill).

    Please review the list of considerations below before you begin the withdrawal process. If you decide to proceed with this option, download the Request for Late Drop form that can be found in the Student Forms section of this website. Complete the student information page of the form and then make an appointment with the instructor of the course you want to drop to discuss your request for withdrawal. The form should be returned to 138 Cheatham Hall for the Academic Dean's consideration. If Dr. Stauffer approves the request, he will sign the form and it can be processed.


    • Meet with your instructor to be sure you know exactly where you stand in the course.
    • Map out your remaining time at VT by semester. Can you fit the class in that you are considering dropping?
    • If there is a reasonable chance of passing the course, consider the following:
    • You already have invested a great deal of time in this course.
    • Gaining work experience every summer is critical to your future. Summer school and work experience in your field rarely work together.
    • It's hard to get excited about a course the second time around, so grades often still are low when someone repeats a course.
    • You need to average 15 credits/semester to graduate on time.
    • Most upper level courses are offered only once a year. You may be throwing yourself out of sequence or you may be missing critical prerequisites.
    • If at all possible, you want to reserve your course withdrawals as "insurance policies" for the future.
    • If you are even a credit short of being in the next class (e.g., if you are a junior instead of a senior based on credit hours completed), you may receive less financial aid and will have lower seniority when class schedules are run.
    • If you are in academic difficulty, the fewer hours you take, the higher the semester GPA you need to raise your overall GPA.
    • Discuss with your advisor, and obtain a signature while you are there if you decide to withdraw from the class.
    • Discuss with the Associate Dean, Dr. Stauffer, and obtain his signature.

  • How do I request a course substitution?

    A course substitution (where an alternate course is approved to substitute for a required course due to extenuating circumstances) must go through an approval process before the substitution is reflected on the DARS report. The substitution request form must be completed electronically to facilitate review by the student's advisor, department, and dean. See your advisor about questions related to the process and possible substitutions.

    • Step 1: Open the electronic substitution form from the Student Forms section of the CNRE website and complete it. The more thorough your explanation and attached supporting materials, the more likely your substitution request will be given serious consideration. Save a copy of the completed form, print the form, and sign the hard copy in the appropriate place.
    • Step 2: Take the signed form (with supporting material(s) attached if appropriate) to your advisor for discussion and possible signature.
    • Step 3: Send the saved electronic copy of your completed substitution request and supporting material to your department's Curriculum Committee Chair or Head (see list below by department). Hand carry the hard copy signed by you and your advisor to the same person.
    • Step 4: If/when your Department Curriculum Committee Chair or Head approves your request, they will send the signed form to 138 Cheatham Hall for final review and signature by the Academic Dean.
    • Step 5: Several weeks after your signed substitution request has been forwarded to the Academic Programs Office, check your DARS to see if your substitution request has received final approval and has been processed. If you have completed the course you are using as a substitution or have registered for the course, that area on your DARS should show as completed.

    Department Contacts for Substitution Approvals

    • Fisheries and Wildlife - Dr. Bill Hopkins
    • Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation - Dr. Marc Stern
    • Geography - Dr. Bill Carstensen
    • Wood Science and Forest Products - Dr. Audrey Zink-Sharp

  • Course Request/Course Registration

    Course Request is a time period when students "request" courses that they would like to take for the next semester via Hokie Spa. This is your best chance to get into courses, so try not to miss the Course Request period! Registration is a time period when students ADD and DROP courses from their class schedule for the next semester, via Hokie Spa.

    About one week before Course Request begins, a pre- registration newsletter will be sent to students electronically via the CNRE listserves. Please read the entire newsletter BEFORE seeing your advisor or coming to the Academic Programs Office for additional information.

    Note: All students are required to meet with their advisors during the October and March registration periods.

  • Course Registration Worksheet [PDF 12 KB]
  • Timetable of Classes

Graduate Students

Transfer Students

  • Planning to transfer to VT from a Virginia Community College (VCCS) and choosing courses to take?

    Students intending to transfer to Virginia Tech in the College of Natural Resources and Environment should initiate contact with the Academic Programs Office before beginning your VCCS classes and maintain contact as you choose courses and prepare to transfer. We can alert you to pending changes in course requirements, provide guidance that can enhance your possibility of acceptance to Virginia Tech, and speed completion of your four-year degree.

    Contact Suzie Leslie at 540-231-3484 or to initiate communication and to plan a possible visit.

    Admissions will expect you to select your community college courses to fulfill the first year of the requirements for your intended major. For most CNRE majors, we suggest that students transfer to Virginia Tech after one year if they hope to complete a bachelor degree in four years. Major-specific courses required in the sophomore year are often not available at the community college.

    The Registrar's homepage contains most of the information you will need to know about taking courses in order to transfer to Virginia Tech. Click on the Transfer Guide on the left menu bar to access this information.

    Once you decide on a field of study, course requirements for all majors at the university can be found on the Registrar's homepage. These requirements are summarized on "checksheets". To access the checksheet of requirements for your intended major, look on the left menu bar and click on Graduation Requirements/Checksheets.

    Ready to choose your courses at your community college? A specific list of course recommendations by major for VCCS students planning to transfer to Virginia Tech is available in the Transfer Guide section of the Registrar's homepage:

    1. Go to the University Registrar's homepage.
    2. Choose Transfer Guide on the left menu bar.
    3. Choose VCCS information on the next page.
    4. Choose Course Recommendations by VT Major.
    5. Select your intended major from the drop-down box.

    Here is an example of recommended first year courses for a student majoring in Wildlife:

    Wildlife Science - WSCI (B.S.)

    This is a recommended program of study for students planning to transfer to the College of Natural Resources to earn a Bachelor of Science degree as a Wildlife Science (WSCI) major.

    Recommended VCCS Courses VT
    1st. Sem.
    2nd. Sem.
    Virginia Tech Course Application
    First Year
    BIO 101, 102
    BIOL 1105+1115, 1106+1116
    CHM 111, 112
    CHEM 1035+1045, 1036+1046
    ENG 111, 112
    ENGL 1105, 1106
    MTH 271, 272
    MATH 1016, 2015
    Transferable course (Area 2)
    Liberal Education Area 2
    ECO 201 or 202 or Core Area 3
    ECON 2005 or 2006 or Liberal Education Area 3
    Students not familiar with computer use and basic word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software applications and internet use should consider taking a computer course. Competency in these skills will be expected.

  • I have already taken courses at a Virginia community college. How will my credits transfer?

    If you have already taken VCCS courses and need to know how the credits will transfer to Virginia Tech, see the list of Virginia Tech Courses and Transferable VCCS Equivalents available in the Transfer Guide:

    To see which VCCS classes will meet Virginia Tech's Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE) requirements, see

    CAUTION! Many VT majors require specific courses in each CLE area. DO NOT work your way through VT's CLE courses without checking on the CLE requirements for your intended major.

  • Planning to transfer to VT from another 4-year institution (or from a 2-year school outside the Virginia Community College System) and choosing courses to take?

    Students transferring to VT from a non-VCCS institution will need to use the Transfer Equivalency Database to identify courses from your college that may transfer to Virginia Tech.

  • General questions about transfer requirements?

    For general information about transfer requirements at Virginia Tech, please visit the Transfer Guide on the Registrar's web site mentioned above and the Admissions website.

    Expect to need a minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of all courses required in the freshman year for your major before being offered admission. Preference will be given to students whose college coursework includes Freshman English, Mathematics (as required by the specific major) and Science (as required by the specific major). See the Admission's website for details.


Contact the Academic Programs Office

For general questions, contact the following in the Academic Programs Office at 231-5482:

Dean Stauffer

Associate Dean of Academic Programs

Suzie Leslie

Coordinator, Undergraduate Advising

Cathy Barker

Student Services Coordinator Academic Programs