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Undergraduate Advising

Students should utilize walk-in advising hours on the first floor of Randolph Hall (113A, 113, and 112) for questions and can see any of our undergradaute advisors, regardless of their formal advisor assignment.  Drop-in hours are typically 8:30-11:30am and 1-4:30pm, Monday-Friday. Walk-in hours will be in-person so please be sure to follow the university’s safety guidelines for in-person meetings.

We prefer to use drop-in hours since there's almost never a wait to speak with an advisor, appointments through Navigate must be made at least 24 hours in advance, and we have a high rate of "no shows" for appointments since students often find their plans changing without notice.

To schedule a virtual appointment, please use Navigate. If you do not see appointment availability, please view the "Drop In Advising" hours. If you are unable to meet with an advisor in-person, please e-mail an advisor for help. If a meeting is needed and the student is unable to come to campus (for example, the student is away at a co-op job or is sick), the advisor can work directly with the student to set up a zoom meeting.  

Note that during peak advising times (for example, during the first week of classes, course request, drop deadline, course withdrawal deadline, opening of drop/add), advising appointments will not be accepted through Navigate so we can help as many students as possible.  Students can come to walk-in advising hours or e-mail the advisor to seek help.

Video tutorial

Student Responsibility:

Student shares the responsibility for developing an advising partnership with the advisor. Over time, the partnership results in increased responsibility for the student. The student will:

  • Communicating goals, needs, wants, and concerns to the advisor in a respectful and sincere manner;
  • Keeping abreast of their own academic progress and requirements related to their academic program;
  • Making, keeping, and being prepared for appointments with advisor;
  • Informing the advisor of changes in plans and/or circumstances that might impact academic performance;
  • Knowing departmental procedures for changing advisors; and
  • Bringing concerns regarding quality of advising to the attention of the advisor

Advisor Responsibility

The advisor shares the responsibility for developing an advising partnership with undergraduate students. This is achieved through the advisor:

  • Communicating with students and delivering individualized and accurate information in professional sincere manner;
  • Being informed of, and providing accurate information about current academic policies and procedures;
  • Keeping appointments and being available for assistance;
  • Providing appropriate referrals, contacts, and information;
  • Doing appropriate follow-up with students; and
  • Seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities for professional development

Students will receive personalized advising. We work with students from orientation to graduation. Our mission is to work with students to create personalized educational plans that are compatible with their interests, career, and life goals. We follow the University’s Advising Philosophy and advising guidelines.

Please complete this anonymous survey to help improve the advising program in Mechanical Engineering.

Students wishing to add Mechanical Engineering as a major should refer to the College of Engineering Change of Major webpage.

Current ME students planning to switch out of ME and into a different College of Engineering should contact the advisor for the new major they plan to pursue. This meeting should take place before the student fills out the COM form.

Current ME students planning to switch out of the College of Engineering should speak with an Advisor in the department they plan to pursue. If the student is not sure which major outside of engineering they would like to pursue, the student should contact Tiera Lanford.

ME students who requests a force add for an ME or NSEG course should email their ME Advisor. We do not force add for time or professor preference. We also do not force add into elective courses. In ME, a force add is never guaranteed. If a student does receive a force add, they should not attempt to drop or switch sections of that class. The student will not be able to get into a different section.

If an ME student is requesting a force add into another major’s courses, they need to contact the Advisor for that department. You can look up an Advisor’s contact information using the search feature on the Virginia Tech website. (Example, if you need a force add into MATH 2114, then you need to contact a Math Advisor).

Students from other majors requesting an ME course: unfortunately, we cannot grant access to our courses for non-ME students because we do not have the seat capacity to do so. You should work with your Academic Advisor to determine an alternate course.

All Academic forms for College of Engineering students are located on the College of Engineering website.

Students should meet with an ME Advisor to discuss career interests. We can help you determine a general curriculum path that will meet the needs of your interest including co-ops, internships, undergraduate research, and co-curricular activities.

Virginia Tech has an amazing Career and Professional Development office located in Smith Hall with resources to help students determine their career interests. You may visit their website to schedule an appointment with a peer career advisor and professional career advisor. 

Internships
An internship is a great way to get some work experience during your summer(s) away from VT. We highly encourage students to participate in internships in their freshmen and/or sophomore years to help determine their career path. Internships can range anywhere from 4 weeks to 2 months and can be paid or unpaid. Typically, 76% of ME students will participate in at least one internship before graduating. Only 8% of internships have been unpaid.

Co-ops
Co-ops are a longer version of an internship and typically take place during the academic school year. Getting work experience while in college is very important for Mechanical Engineering students. While a co-op is not required for the degree, it is highly encouraged. Students who participate in co-ops should consider enrolling in the CEIP program through Career and Professional Development. Students who participate in co-ops tend to graduate with higher GPAs than students who do not. They may also start senior year with a job offer after graduation. You can use your co-op experience to help determine what career you do and do not want as well as what type of company and environment you want to work in. Approximately 30% of students who responded to CPD’s exit survey, said they got their first job from their co-op experience.

To determine how participating in a co-op may impact your course plans, please see your ME Advisor.

Students are highly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research and/or independent studies. To qualify for undergraduate research, and ME student must:

  • Have a 2.5 in major and overall GPA at VT.
  • Be in good standing with the department.

To be able to count research and independent study for major elective courses, an ME student must:

  • currently be in or have completed the junior 1st semester ME curriculum (ME 3414, ME 3024, ME 3524, and ME 3624)
  • take the course A-F
  • enroll in ME 4994 or ME 4974

To enroll in research or independent study, the student must reach out to a professor and discuss research/study opportunities. Determine how the work will be monitored and graded. The professor must submit their research opportunity to the COE and then the student can submit their research/study form.