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Transfer Students

Students work together on a design project.

Students work together on a Rube Goldberg design project.

Once a transfer student has accepted their offer of admission, filled out their pre-orientation form, and completed the items on their Engineering Orientation Checklist, our undergraduate advisors will begin working on tentative semester-by-semester course plans with suggestions on how each student can complete their remaining graduation requirements.  

It is extremely important for new transfer students to regularly check their Virginia Tech e-mail account for communication from our Dean's Office or their new academic advisors.  Our goal is to get you enrolled in all the classes you need once we understand which transfer credits will be awarded.  We may reach out to your requesting syllabi or updates on your in-progress courses, and it is important that you reply back to us as soon as possible.

Courses which have already been evaluated for transfer equivalency are included in the transfer equivalency database; if a course has not been evaluated within the past 5 years, the course will be re-evaluated before transfer credit is awarded.  

Courses from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) schools are regularly evaluated, and course equivalencies can be found in the VCCS equivalency guides.  The College of Engineering publishes more details on the transferrable Physics, Intro to Engineering, and ECE courses, which vary by school within the VCCS system.

Note that Virginia Tech requires a minimum grade of a C or higher at your transfer school for your courses to transfer here. Credits are only accepted directly from the entity awarding credit.  For example, you must send your AP scores directly to Virginia Tech to receive AP credits; we cannot accept your AP credits based on your transcript from your transfer school. 

VCCS students planning to transfer into Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech will have roughly 5 semesters of classes to complete their BSME degree if they finish an AS degree in engineering and complete the courses in the file linked below, which shows the suggested VCCS courses and equivalent VT course numbers:

The College of Engineering will hold virtual orientation for all new transfer students in early summer (typically in June after the deadline to accept offers of admission). The ME Department will hold a virutual orientation for new transfer students planning to major in Mechanical Engineering typically during the week after July 4th. We delay our orientation until that time to make sure that we have had time to review unofficial transcripts, request syllabi for course evaluations, and develop tentative course plans for all of our new students.  

After attending the virtual ME orientation session, students will be given access to their personalized draft course plans and will have a chance to sign up for an individual zoom meeting with one of the ME undergraduate advisors.  We can answer any of the questions you have about your schedule and can develop alternate course plans (examples - more spread out, co-op, or fastest-way-out with summer courses).

We encourage you to review your course plans before your one-on-one advisor meeting and let us know of any possible discrepancies between the courses we expect you to earn credit for and the ones you think you will earn. We make plans assuming that you pass all in-progress courses with the required C or higher final grade, and we often need to make assumptions about transfer courses which have not yet been evaluated.

Note that your course plans are draft plans based on the assumptions we made before orientation, and those plans may need to be updated as we get more information on new course evaluations or changes in the courses we expected you to complete. Our goal is to work with you as a team to refine these plans before classes start in late August. It is your responsibility to double check your plan for accuracy.


Some of the factors we take into account when we develop your course plans are:

  • Not all courses are offered every term. Senior courses are only offered once per year, and senior design must be taken during consecutive Fall/Spring semesters starting in the Fall.  If we suggest a co-op plan, it's usually because you will be out-of-sequence with when our senior courses are offered.
  • Students should not plan to take more than 15-16 credits of technical courses during any semester until they feel comfortable with the workload.  Students should expect to spend at least 3 hours per week per credit outside of class to study, read textbooks, and do homework.
  • 12 credits is considered to be full time for financial aid reasons; students cannot enroll in more than 19 credits during a semester without special premission from our Dean's Office (which is dependent on past performance).
  • Tuition increases with the number of credits up to 12 credits, so we often shift electives earlier to minimize credits during your last semester to decrease your tuition bill that last semester. Electives can be taken during any term before graduation.
  • Engineering-related work experience is highly valued by employers; some will not consider hiring students with no relevant work experience, so we recommend that students leave room in their plans for work experience prior to graduation.
  • Students who have completed a VCCS associates degree may be exempt from taking general education electives; however, they should make sure that they take at least 64 credits at Virginia Tech, as only 65 of the 129 credits required to graduate with a BSME degree can come from a community college.

Students who have completed an Associates Degree in Engineering through one of the Virginia Community College System schools tend to have 5 semesters worth of classes remaining.  Because our senior courses are only offered once per year, a co-op schedule works well to get students back in sequence with our course offerings.  A co-op job involves taking a Fall or Spring plus a summer or two off to get paid engineering work experinece; the student does not pay tution while working and can maintain full time student status if needed by signing up for a 0-credit course for a small fee ($75 per semester).  

Sample schedules are shown below for transfer students with a VCCS AS degree in engineering who have taken the courses with white fill on the degree path sheets:

In Mechanical Engineering, we have three undergraduate advisors, and you are welcome to work with any of us, regardless of who your officially assigned advisor is.  

During the summer, communication will primarily be through e-mail or zoom, but during the academic year, we have walk-in advising hours Monday-Friday, 8am-noon and 1-4pm.

In order for you to register for classes, you must take care of any holds on your VT account and must update any required information.  Transfer credits for any required prerequisite courses must show up as having been awarded on HokieSPA to avoid prerequisite errors, so it is very important to send in your official transcript to the Admissions Office as soon as possible after your final grades have been posted.

Instructions for drop/add are posted on the College of Engineering's Orientation Site.  

After you have attended the ME virtual orientation session (the week after July 4th) and have received your personalized course plans, you will be able to request help from the ME advisors in adding courses you were unable to add through your own due to registrations errors (missing prerequisites which aren't showing up on HokieSPA yet, GE major restrictions, course conflicts with open sections of required courses, etc.).

Disclaimer: Information on this website is unofficial. University catalogs and other official documents take precedence over the information that is available here. The material presented here is to aid you in planning your academic program to best fit your interests. Ultimately you are responsible for making sure that you fulfill the graduation requirements. We present these aids to help you achieve your goal of a degree in mechanical engineering.