Students are able to register for courses in a brand new special academic session – winter session – that will open up opportunities to fulfill course requirements or explore other areas of interest.

Winter session will fall in between the traditional fall and spring semesters, with courses being offered in residence, online, a blend of face-to-face and online, and winter experience education abroad opportunities.

Courses may help fulfill Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements, major and minor requirements, or specialized areas of focus not typically offered in other academic sessions. In addition to benefiting Virginia Tech students, students from other universities can take courses during winter session and transfer the credit back to their home institution as long as their college or university will accept it.

“Winter session allows students to stay on track for degree completion,” said Wanda Dean, vice provost for enrollment and degree management. “Students can take a course that’s hard to get in the fall or spring. Others may use it as a tool to lighten their load for another semester or even complete their degree in a shorter time period. Some may pursue a winter session course that allows them to explore a new area of concentration, while others will experience an education abroad trip that would not be feasible for them during a longer academic session.”

One option for students is to come to campus in Blacksburg, Va., to take a course. Many of these courses fulfill Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements, such as English, religion, and science options. Others cater to specific major requirements like physical chemistry and statistics for engineers.

For students and faculty who will be away from campus, virtual courses provide the opportunity to fulfill credits from whatever location is convenient. Curriculum for Liberal Education courses will be among the options online. In addition, specialized courses that may be relevant beyond the university’s current study population – such as Spanish for the medical professions – will provide new areas to explore.

Other courses may utilize a blended format with time in residence as well as virtual environments, giving students and faculty the opportunity to meet face-to-face, while offering time away from campus. Time commitment on campus varies from course to course. One unique offering through Pamplin College of Business requires students to commit the first week to study online, and the remaining time getting hands-on experience at the Wells Fargo campus in Charlotte, N.C.

Finally, students can take advantage of specialized education abroad experiences to areas such as India, Senegal, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Italy, and Spain.

Winter session commences for online classes on Dec. 28, 2013, and Jan. 2, 2014, for Blacksburg campus face-to-face instruction. Find additional information on the winter session website or via email. The university will remain closed Dec. 24, 2013, through Jan. 1, 2014.

Students taking face-to-face courses in Blacksburg have special considerations. Students living in residential halls may register to live on campus. Some residential halls require a housing fee. Be sure to check for your facility. In addition, dining services will not operate during winter session. For a full list of offices, buildings, and other support services provided by the Division of Student Affairs and their winter session plans, visit the division’s website.

Currently enrolled or returning Virginia Tech students can use Hokie SPA to add/drop winter session courses.

Students from other institutions may also enroll as a “visiting winter session student.” The deadline to apply is Dec. 16, 2013.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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