Answers to Your Questions
- What are the prerequisites for getting into the degree program?
You must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. You should have a 3.0 GPA (4 point scale), unless there are documented extenuating circumstances.
- Should I ask for letters of reference to be sent?
Yes! It is your responsibility to ensure that three letters of reference have been sent or electronically submitted. These will be carefully read and may determine whether or not you are admitted. Choose your references wisely.
- How do I apply for courses?
Apply for regular student status through the Graduate School. You can apply online, print necessary forms, and access other relevant information.
- Do I have to take the GRE or TOEFL?
The GRE is optional. The TOEFL is required for applicants whose first language is not English. However, those who have obtained U.S. citizenship or have a previous degree from an academic institution where English is the language of instruction do not need to take the TOEFL.
- What does it mean to be admitted to the Graduate School under "provisional student status"?
Students deviating from the minimum requirements may be admitted with "provisional status" to the Graduate School. Refer to policies on the Graduate School website.
- What do I do if I want to switch from another college at Virginia Tech?
If you would like to switch from another college at Virginia Tech to the Agriculture and Life Science College, you need to have the first college you applied to either accept, decline or withdraw your application. Once this information shows up in the Banner system (normally within 24 hours), you can apply to the Online Masters in Agricultural and Life Sciences program by applying online through the Graduate School again. You will be required to pay the application fee again.
After you have applied to our college, ask the other college to forward to our program your references, transcripts, and other supporting documents.
- How do I apply to the program?
You can apply online through the Virginia Tech Graduate School.
- What is the deadline to apply to the program?
The program has an open enrollment period, meaning that we accept applications until approximately two weeks before the start of each semester. Applications received after the start of a semester are reviewed for admittance the following semester.
- If I register online, is the information I submit secure?
All the information you enter into our online enrollment form is completely secure. Data are passed in an encrypted format, and only Virginia Tech enrollment personnel are able to access the data. VTOnline privacy statement
- What happens if I decide not to take a course after registering for it?
Virginia Tech has a drop period when you can drop courses from your schedule. Notify firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you decide to drop. You will receive a full refund if you drop prior to the start of the course, and you will receive a partial refund depending on how long the course has been in progress. For more information, visit the University Bursar website.
Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid
- Is there an application fee to register for distance learning courses?
There is a one-time, non-refundable application fee for credit courses.
- How do I pay for my course?
Payment options include:
- Check or money order in the exact amount due (or cash if you can pay in person). Make checks payable to Treasurer of Virginia Tech. Mail your payment to: Office of the University Bursar, 233 Burruss Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061
- Online by credit card. To pay by credit go to MyVT and follow the instructions under Student Accounts.
Receipts will not be issued by mail unless specifically requested. For more information, visit the University Bursar website.
- How do I get a refund if I drop a course?
Refunds are payable to you (not necessarily the check-writer) and mailed back to your permanent address. The amount of tuition and fees refunded depends on the date you drop the course. Please refer to the University Bursar to determine how much of a refund you might expect.
- Can I get financial aid?
Financial aid is available to degree-seeking students who qualify. Financial aid is not available to non-degree seeking students, even if they are enrolled in a distance-learning course.
Credits, Transfers and Transcripts
- I have credits from another university or community college. Will they transfer to Virginia Tech?
Transferring credit into a degree program is up to your graduate committee. First, you would select a major advisor and then two other faculty committee members. This committee will make that decision. Our program is flexible and would certainly allow for some substitute classes. Most committees should be reasonable and allow such transfers to occur, providing they make sense. You are in partial control of this because you can select your advisor.
You can find a description of each course in the program in the courses section of this website. Compare it with any course you wish to transfer. The closer the match, the easier it will probably be to transfer your courses into the program.
- Are course credits transferable to other universities or degree programs?
Check with your new university to determine the credits that they will accept. Note that there is no difference between credits earned in distance learning courses and those earned in on-site courses.
- How do I get a transcript?
You can request one online through the University Registrar.
- Will my transcript say "distance" or "correspondence"?
No. Distance learning courses carry the same weight and requirements as on-site courses. Your transcript will make no distinction between the two types.
Hardware and Software Requirements
- What are the hardware and software requirements for courses in the proposed program?
You should have a working knowledge of the minimum hardware and software requirements, which are listed on our Computer Requirements page.
- What is a PID?
Your PID is a unique Personal IDentifier. Your PID belongs to you and you only; it, along with your PID password, gives you access to Virginia Tech e-mail, MyVT, Blackboard, some of the library databases, and more. You must have a PID if you are taking a course through Virginia Tech. To create and manage your PID, visit My PID.
- How do I get a PID?
Your PID will be assigned to you by the University after you have become an enrolled student. The University will also assign you a temporary password, which you will need to change. Once you get your PID, you must activate it before you can access University services. To activate your PID, visit My PID.
- Help! I cannot log in to MyVT to change my PID password.
You may need to upgrade your software (free).
- Do I have to use my VA Tech e-mail address (PID) or can I provide a different address?
You MUST check your Virginia Tech e-mail every day. Even if you request otherwise, Virginia Tech services and your instructors will use your VT e-mail address by default. You will miss important course and University messages if you do not check this address. There are three options that make checking your VT e-mail easier:
- Can I read my e-mail on the web?
Yes. Virginia Tech provides WebMail. E-mail accessed through WebMail stays on the Virginia Tech server only for a short period of time, so always download mail to your hard drive with your e-mail application (e.g. Eudora, AOL, Outlook).
- How often should I check my e-mail?
You should check your e-mail at least once a day.
- How do I access Blackboard?
- Who should I contact if I have problems using Blackboard?
General Course Questions
- How do online courses compare to face-to-face courses in terms of workload?
You should expect to do as much work in an online course as you would in a face-to-face course. You may have to do more reading, writing, and independent research than you would in a face-to-face course. In general, you should expect to work hard and be self-motivated.
- How long do I have to complete the requirements for a course?
Courses should be designed to be completed in a 15-week semester or 6-week summer session, depending upon when they are offered.
- Do all courses follow a set term or are there some that I can schedule on my own time (open entrance or exit)?
All courses follow the Virginia Tech academic calendar. You can take courses during the fall, spring, or summer terms. Courses have scheduled deadlines, scheduled exams, and online meeting times that you must follow.
- Where do I find the course website?
All courses are available through the Blackboard portal (http://learn.vt.edu/). Once you log in to Blackboard, look for the particular course number and name, and follow that link.
- Are all the course materials available online?
No. Only some of the materials will be available online. You may have to purchase some textbooks, course packets, or software. Contact the instructor of the course or visit the course website to get a list of the materials you need.
- Where can I get the textbooks, packets and software that might be required for a course?
Many instructors will enable you to purchase course materials from the University Bookstore, which will mail your books to you. You may also be able to purchase books from other online sources, such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Books-a-Million. Your instructor will tell you which materials are available online and how to obtain any special materials not available in bookstores. Remember to plan ahead when ordering course materials so that you get them when you need them. Please do not wait until the last minute.
- How do I work on research projects when I do not have a university library near me?
The University Library is well equipped to assist distance learners. Many library materials (e.g. databases, journals, dissertations) are available online and open to all students taking courses. The library also has a service called ILLiad that is specifically designed to mail the materials you need right to your home. The library also employs a full-time distance learning librarian who can provide assistance related to specific research issues. For more information, please visit the library's Extended-campus users page.
- Can I get books and articles from the library without coming to Blacksburg?
Yes. The library has an interlibrary loan service called ILLiad. Using this service, the library will mail your materials for free (as long as you live outside of Montgomery County, Virginia). Log in to ILLiad and follow the instructions for completing the correct request form.
- Why am I denied access to use some library materials such as online databases?
Some of the library services have restricted access. Only people using a Virginia Tech computer are recognized by the system. Use your Virginia Tech PID to access EZProxy, which recognizes you as a Virginia Tech affiliate.
- Is there someone at the University library who can help me find what I need?
Yes. The library has a distance learning librarian who supports students and faculty away from campus.
May 23, 2013
Courses Spring 2012
- AEE 4884: Youth Program Management
- AEE 5104: Research Applications in Agricultural & Extension Education
- CSES 5114: Soils for Professionals
- ENT 5234: Managing Arthropod Pests
- ENT 6004: ENT 6004: Design & Analysis of Agricultural Experiments
- ENT/PPWS 5624: Animal & Plant Biosafety and Biosecurity
- FST 5034: Good Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices
- HNFE 5684/PHS 5214: Program Development in Health Education
- HNFE 5694/PHS 5044: Public Health Administration
- HORT 4764: Vegetable Crops
- HORT 4784: Vegetable Seed Production
- HORT 5764G: Advanced Vegetable Crops
- HORT 5784G: Advanced Vegetable Seeds
- PPWS 5204: Principles of Plant Disease Management
- PPWS 5214: Diseases of Crop Plants
- ZZZZ 5904: Project and Report (Note: "zzzz" should be replaced with abbreviation of your concentration, ex. CSES 5904)
Dates to Remember
Apr 23: Web Drop/Add begins for Fall Semester 2011.
May 13: Web Drop/Add closes for Fall Semester 2011.
August 6: Web Drop/Add reopens for Fall Semester 2011.
August 22: Last Day for Students to withdraw from Fall Semester to avoid tuition and fee charges.
August 22: Classes began.
August 26: Last day for students to add classes and to add or drop audit option.
September 30: Last day for students to drop fall 2011 classes without grade penalty.