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FAQs: Current Students


You will register for courses by signing onto HokieSPA using your Virginia Tech PID and password. You will find the Timetable of Classes there as well.

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, Scholar, 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 OnBoard.

Virginia Tech has a drop period when you can drop courses from your schedule. You may reduce or change your schedule in HokieSPA after you register and before the first day of courses.  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.   If you need to drop your last or only course from your schedule for a particular semester, you must complete a withdrawal/resignation form.  

For more information, visit the University Bursar website.


You should have a working knowledge of the minimum hardware and software requirements, which are listed on our Computer Requirements page.

Yes.  We highly recommend that you use your Virginia Tech email address for all communication for the university.  You may always forward your VT email to another account, but this is how all faculty and staff from the university will communicate with you and how the onine learning management system communicates with you.

You may use our VT 4 help system if there are technical issues.  Refer to the VT Knowledge Base to learn more about managing any issues on your own or with the help of our 4 Help staff.


Courses should be designed to be completed in a 15-week semester or 6-week summer session, depending upon when they are offered.  There are more 12 week extended summer sessions also being offered now.  

To plan your program of study, the program course rotation schedule is located on the Courses page on this website. However, please use the Timetable of Classes on HokieSPA when registering for courses.

Most course materials are located in Canvas for the particular course. After you log in, you should see a link for each active course either as a tab at the top of the window or under the My Active Sites (tab to far right at top).  All courses will appear in Canvas approximately one week before courses begin, but the instructor of the course has the ability to restrict viewing of content until the first day of courses.  If you still do not see a course by the first day of courses, check your schedule to see that you are actually registered for the course and email the instructor of record.

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, 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.

Both VTOnline and 4 Help have lists of software that you can download from the web. If what you need is not on these lists, ask your instructor how to find the materials you need.

Yes, you can receive a tuition waiver or apply for tuition reimbursement if you are a Virginia Tech employee at the time you take the course(s).  A Virginia Tech employee may receive tuition assistance for up to 12 credit hours per academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II).  Understand that employer provided tuition assistance (waiver and/or reimbursement) exceeding $5,250 is taxable in most cases.  The value of the benefit exceeding the allowable exclusion (per IRS) will be added as non-cash earnings for W-2 reporting and taxed accordingly once the $5250 limit has been reached during any calendar year.  If you have more questions about this policy, please contact the Human Resources department at 540-231-9331 or

University Library

As a student in good standing, you have access to all the resources available to Virginia Tech students through the university’s library system. Many resources are available through the Virginia Tech University Libraries website

To learn more about how to access the library system as a virtual campus student, please visit the libraries’ distance learning resource page.

Some of the library services have restricted access. Only people using a Virginia Tech computer are recognized by the system. Use the library resources to get access to materials while you are off campus.

Yes. The library has a distance learning librarian who supports students and faculty away from campus and within the OMALS program.

Academic Progress

The Virginia Tech Graduate School maintains all current academic deadlines for graduate students. Posted dates and deadlines are subject to change each academic year.

Contact your commitee chair about specific criteria for your graduate project. However, you can find general information on Canvas under the tab for the online program, called OMALS Student Site.  You may also contact Jennifer Jones with any questions about deadlines or programmatic or graduate school requirements. 

Contact your committee chair and the graduate program assistant director to confirm you have fulfilled the requirements for graduation. However, general information can be found on Canvas under the OMALS Student Site and through the Virginia Tech Graduate School commencement deadlines page.

Masters Non-thesis Checklist

  1. Approved Plan of Study.
  2. Submit AFDC (Application for Degree or Certificate) through HokieSpa.
  3. Register for course credits during the final semester or as Defending Student Status (DSS).
  4. Submit Final Exam Request Form
     a minimum of two weeks before the presentation date.
  5. Final Exam information will be emailed to your commitee for approval.
  6. Your committee approves the Final Exam Card within 1-2 business days through the electronic signature system.
  7. You should pay all student fees at Student Accounts.
  8. Grades should be posted on all course work (verify your transcripts)
  9. Official transcripts are sent to the Graduate School for transfer credits, if applicable.

You can request a transcript online through the University Registrar or on HokieSpa.