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Prospective Student FAQs

Have questions? We've got answers!

Below are just a few of the common questions our faculty members and academic advisors hear from prospective students interested in College of Architecture and Urban Studies programs.

Can't find what you're looking for, or need more details? Reach out to our director of academic advising, Rob Jacks, or contact one of our program advisors.

Undergraduate students attend an urban planning lecture

Can I visit campus and meet with someone to get more information about majors in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies?

Yes, absolutely! It’s probably the best way to learn more about Virginia Tech and, more specifically, the programs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. You can explore the campus, talk with faculty and current students, and hopefully, ask lots of questions. Check our website for more information about visits.

For high school students, Undergraduate Admissions offers great opportunities to visit campus and experience Virginia Tech firsthand. For prospective graduate students, the Graduate School offers its own tours of campus. You can find more information and sign up for a tour on their website.

How many years does it take to get an architecture degree?

The professional degree program in architecture, hosted by the School of Architecture + Design, is accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board and takes five years to complete. Upon completion, students receive the professional bachelor of architecture (BArch) degree and are prepared for future licensure after completing the Intern Development Program (IDP), and passing the licensure exam.

What’s it like to study architecture or design?

Each summer, the School of Architecture + Design offers a week-long workshop called Inside Architecture + Design for students entering 9th through 12th grades. It is a hands-on introduction to architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior design taught by our faculty and based on our college curriculum. It's the perfect opportunity to get a preview of what it would be like to study any of these disciplines at Virginia Tech.

Is a portfolio required for admission to programs in the School of Architecture + Design?

Not for undergraduates. Our foundation design laboratories (ARCH 1015, 1016) provide the design fundamentals needed to be a successful designer. A portfolio is required for graduate studies, so be sure to check the submission requirements specific to each degree.

If you have questions regarding the admission requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at, or visit their website.

Is a portfolio required for admission to programs in the School of Visual Arts?

No. Portfolios are not required for undergraduate admission to any major in the College of Architecture & Urban Studies. All admissions decisions are made by staff in VT Admissions, not faculty in the College of Architecture & Urban Studies.

What does the college offer at their location in Switzerland and where is it?

Study abroad is an important part of the majority of our students’ educational experiences. Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship is the town of Riva San Vitale in Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland, which is close to major northern Italian cities such as Milan. The center is home to a number of study abroad opportunities, and in particular, many architecture students in the college choose to participate in a study abroad trip during their fourth year.

For more information about study abroad opportunities available to CAUS students, check out our study abroad page.

Where can I find more information about financial aid?

Several options for financial aid are offered through the Virginia Tech Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid.