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Virginia Tech

Online Master of Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Is the VT-MIT program accredited?

Yes, the VT-MIT program is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

How does the VT-MIT program compare to others?

The VT-MIT program is currently ranked #2 by U.S. News and World Report 2015. But rankings aren’t everything. You are encouraged to research several programs to find the best fit for your personal, professional, and academic goals. Here’s a good article from U.S. News & World Report - 7 Critical Steps to Find the Right Grad School.

Is distance learning right for me?

Distance learning requires the ability to work independently. When separated from the instructor, it is up to you to take responsibility for what you learn. In general, students who succeed in distance learning are actively involved in their learning, are able to focus on their goals, prioritize their responsibilities, and reach out for the assistance they need.

What are the credentials of the faculty teaching in this program?

Virginia Tech faculty members have significant industrial and business experience. Adjunct faculty members typically have full-time positions in industry. It should be understood that adjuncts, just like regular faculty, typically have Ph.D. degrees in an appropriate discipline and are practitioners in their disciplines.

How long does it take to complete the VTMIT program?

Most of our students are working professionals, and take 1 - 2 courses each semester. Average completion time is 2 ½ years. If you wish to accelerate your program of study, that is possible with careful planning. An accelerated program of study will typically take 15 - 18 months to complete and is only recommended for students who do not have other professional obligations.

What does the degree say on the diploma?

Master of Information Technology. This is an interdisciplinary degree, being that it is offered in joint by the Pamplin College of Business and the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Your degree does not state the location (online).

I’m a college senior, am I eligible for admission to this program?

We like for applicants to have at least a year or two of work experience prior to applying for admission. However, we do accept applications from well-qualified undergraduates in their final semester. If your application for admission is accepted, we would grant a “conditional admit” which basically means you must provide your final official transcript showing the conferred degree before you are allowed to start classes.

I’m currently working in a different field, but have a strong interest in switching careers. I don’t have a background in I.T. Am I eligible for admission to this program?

Yes - assuming you meet our admissions criteria. The VT-MIT program was designed at the direction of SCHEV, the governing body for all Virginia public universities, and it was designed to provide a path into the Information Technology field for students without specific undergraduate preparation in Computer Science or Electrical and Computer Engineering (although about 65 % of our incoming students majored in CS, ECE, or MIS in undergraduate school). For those with little or no programming experience, we highly recommend that you take ITP120 Java Programming I at Virginia Western Community College prior to starting your first class. This will ensure that you have some programming experience and a comfort level with the terminology prior to starting classes.

Admissions

How do I get an application for admission?

The application for the MIT program is online, as part of the Virginia Tech Graduate School application.

What types of transcripts do you need?

The graduate school requires official transcripts from every institution where you have received a conferred degree. We are able to accept scanned official transcripts for the review period. The transcript copy must be legible and it must be a scan of an official transcript (some institutions allow students to print out transcripts with no seals or signatures over the web, those will not be accepted by the Graduate School). All pages must be scanned in and if there is writing on the back that must be scanned in also. Should you receive an offer of admission, we will require an official sealed transcript or an e-script directly from each institution.

I have credits from another university or community college. Will they transfer to Virginia Tech?

The VTMIT program totals eleven courses (33-credit hours), so transfer credits are not accepted. If you have academic or professional proficiency in one area, you are encouraged to choose another concentration.

Do I have to take the GRE or GMAT or the TOEFL?

The GRE and GMAT are not required. The TOEFL is required for applicants who did not receive their bachelor’s degree from a US, Canadian, or British university and whose first language is not English. The minimum acceptable score for Virginia Tech is 80 (electronic) 550 (paper).

What is an acceptable list of companies providing evaluation and translation of international transcripts?

Report must show an equivalent grade point average under our system and degree conferred from World Education Services.

What if my undergraduate GPA is lower than a 3.0?

Candidates who meet our admissions criteria but whose undergraduate or graduate GPA is below the minimum of 3.0, but is above 2.75, as required by the Graduate School at Virginia Tech may qualify for provisional admission. The applicant must demonstrate other experience or qualifications that show the potential to undertake graduate study. Upon successful completion of four foundation courses (earning a B or better in each course) the student is changed to Regular Status.

Candidates who meet our admissions criteria, but whose undergraduate and/or graduate GPA falls below a 2.75 may qualify for admission as a Commonwealth Campus student. Commonwealth Campus admittance into the Master of Information Technology Program is limited, and granted at the discretion of the Program Director upon review for regular admission. A Commonwealth Campus student will be allowed to take four foundation courses and upon successful completion (earning a B or better in each course) the student will be invited to re-apply for Regular Admission. While in Commonwealth status, a student is ineligible for Financial Aid.

Prerequisites

What are the prerequisites?
  1. A conferred bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Minimum grade point average of 3.0 of 4.0 in the last 60 credit hours of coursework. See admissions types for alternate admissions options if you don’t meet that criteria.
  3. Proficiency in using the Java computer programming language or experience in another programming language such as C, C++, C#, is expected. . An online course that meets this requirement is ITP120 Java Programming I, specifically offered through Virginia Western Community College. It is tailored to VTMIT students who have no programming experience, or those who need a refresher. It is fully online, and is offered every semester - Spring, Summer, and Fall. However, you don’t need to complete this prior to applying. There are a few courses that do not require a background in programming. If admitted, you can start with those courses while completing the prerequisite. Some courses (namely the Networking courses) require additional background in calculus. See the individual course descriptions for more information.
Do I have to complete all of the prerequisites before I apply?

Not necessarily. If you are near completion of your bachelor’s degree, you may apply for a future term. If your application for admission is accepted, we would grant a “conditional admit” which basically means you must provide your final official transcript showing the conferred degree before you are allowed to start classes. If you do not have any programming experience, we would require that you take either the Java prerequisite course at Virginia Western Community College http://virginiawestern.edu/faculty/vwwolfd/VT120/ITP120VT.htm or a similar program. You are welcome to call the program office at 703-538-8464 if you have any questions regarding the prerequisites.

When will I find out if I have been accepted into the Master of Information Technology Program?

We have a rolling admissions cycle and accept applications year-round. An application must be complete in order to be reviewed. The admissions committee meets twice each month, and your application will be reviewed in the order in which it was received. You can expect a decision within 2 -3 weeks of your application being complete. If you haven’t received a decision in that time frame, please check your application to be sure all of materials have been submitted. Then, call the program office at 703-538-8464 for an update.

How much computer background do I need?

You must have experience with Java, C, C++, C#, or other modern programming language. If you have no programming experience, or need a refresher, consider enrolling in Virginia Western Community College’s ITP120 Java Programming I. It is fully online, and is offered every semester - Spring, Summer, and Fall.

How much mathematics and electrical engineering background do I need for the engineering modules?

Two semesters of calculus are recommended to be successful in the networking module.

Newly Admitted Students

Do all courses run for 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. Students can take courses during the fall, spring, or summer terms. Courses have scheduled deadlines, scheduled exams, and online meeting times that must be followed. For more information, visit http://www.registrar.vt.edu/dates_deadlines/timetable_calendar/index.html

When should I file a plan of study?

A Plan of Study is the road map for your degree program. Graduation will be contingent upon approval of the formal Plan of Study that will be created for you electronically in the HokieSpa student record system by the VTMIT department.

The graduate school requires a plan of study be entered by the program department by the time the student has completed fifteen credit hours of coursework. You may use the Plan of Study document (PDF) to make tentative plans for your graduate program. It will be important to give consideration to course prerequisites and to projected course offering schedules.

Where do I find the course website?

All program courses are accessed through the Scholar portal at https://scholar.vt.edu/portal

Are all the course materials available online?

No. Only some of the materials will be available online. You should still expect to have to purchase some textbooks, course packets, or software. To get a list of the materials you need, contact the instructor of the course that interests you (or visit the course website if one is posted).

Where can I get the textbooks, packets and software that might be required for the class?

Instructors place orders through either the VT Bookstore or the online NVC bookstore. You are welcome to compare prices and shipping times at other bookstores. Your instructor will let you know which materials are available online and how to obtain any special materials not available in bookstores.