Is Virginia Tech Engineering Hard To Get Into?

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

If you want to know if Virginia Tech Engineering has a high admission rate, then you are in the right place! We have collecteded data on the school, including GPA and SAT scores of past applicants, histograms on GPA and SAT scores, acceptance rates, and other statistics. Our goal: make it easy to get the information you need to compare Virginia Tech to other schools!

Located in Blacksburg, VA, Virginia Tech is ranked #30 for the top public universities in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report, and #76 for top colleges in general. Aside from the performance of its impressive athletic department, Virginia Tech boasts some of the greatest research opportunities available for undergraduate students, a study-abroad site in Switzerland, and a commitment to making college accessible to all students, especially veterans.

With an acceptance rate of 70%, there’s a good chance that you’ll be admitted to Virginia Tech, but you’ll still want to make your application as strong as possible in order to ensure your spot in next year’s freshman class. Keep reading to learn more about the tips that have helped CollegeVine’s students get into their choice school.

Applying to Virginia Tech: A Quick Review

You can apply to Virginia Tech using the Coalition Application. We’ve written an extensive guide on this application, so be sure to check out our post The Coalition App: Everything You Need to Know.

Students may apply by the November 1 Early Decision deadline, the December 1 Early Action deadline, or the January 15 Regular Decision deadline. If you’re unsure about whether you should apply early, check out our post Early Action vs. Early Decision vs. Restricted Early Action.

Virginia Tech requires your demographic and application information through Coalition, but it uses its own system to allow you to self-report coursework and test scores. Ultimately, official documents will be required for all admitted students. To apply, be sure to send in all of the following:

  • A complete application via the Coalition App
  • Short answer responses
  • Self-reported academic record (SRAR)
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Optional: general Coalition app essay
  • $60 application fee or fee waiver

For international students: You will need to submit your transcripts through the Coalition application instead of filling out the SRAR for your coursework. Furthermore, international students only have the Early Decision and Regular Decision deadline options to apply.

Virginia Tech Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?

Last year, the acceptance rate for Virginia Tech was 70%. Virginia Tech received 27,423 applications last year and admitted 19,212 students. Of those, 6,836 students actually enrolled, making it similarly selective to schools like the University of Colorado-Boulder and Texas A&M University.

While there’s a good chance you’ll be admitted, you should still take the application process seriously and make sure that every part of your application is as strong as possible. One way to increase your chances of acceptance is to get help from people who have been through the process before such as current students, alumni, or by working with a company like CollegeVine. Connecting with someone who has successfully gained admission to a school like Virginia Tech can make the difference between rejection and acceptance. 

So, How Does One Get Into Virginia Tech?

Virginia Tech uses a holistic review process to select a diverse freshman class. Use your application to highlight your strengths in the following areas.

Academics. Virginia Tech takes your academic preparation seriously. To give you an idea of what to aim for, last year’s incoming freshmen had an average GPA around 3.3, earned SAT scores between 1180 and 1360 or ACT scores between 25 and 30. The admissions counselors also take into account the rigor of your classes, including AP, IB, or dual enrollment courses.

Extracurriculars. Virginia Tech doesn’t care which activities you were involved in throughout high school, but they do want to see that you pursued something you were interested in with passion and excellence. This could mean taking up a leadership position at your school, starting a new organization or initiative, or being recognized for your talents through awards. Whatever you do, show that those activities were meaningful to you and how you went above and beyond in pursuing them.

Character. It’s important that you give the Virginia Tech admissions officers insight into who you are and what your strengths are. Virginia Tech uses a combination of four mandatory short-response questions, each with a maximum word limit or 120 words, to gauge who you are and if you’d be a good fit for Virginia Tech.

Contribution to Community. Virginia Tech is explicitly looking for students who will bring a vibrant presence to campus and who will become dedicated alumni. Use your application to show how your strengths and experiences will enrich the student body and how you’ll engage with the campus and the surrounding community. Your short-response answers will play a huge role in this portion of your application. Draw upon your experiences and interests here to demonstrate that you are a good fit. 

How to Make Your Application Stand Out

Every application is different, but over the years we’ve seen these strategies help our clients craft applications that are three times more likely to gain favorable admissions results.

Take advantage of the Coalition App’s Locker tool. Virginia Tech only uses the Coalition App, so why not begin preparing for your application by using the Coalition’s built-in tools? The Locker tool allows you to add important documents and make notes about your involvement starting in 9th grade. If you plan on applying to Virginia Tech in your senior year, be sure to create a MyCoalition account now so you can begin adding to your Locker, which allows you to make sure that you don’t leave anything out of your application.

Tell your story. Virginia Tech wants to know who you are; they give special consideration to first-generation college students, and they want to know what you’re passionate about and what has impacted your life. Whatever you don’t include in your application, they won’t know about, so be sure to highlight your strengths, values, and passion throughout your application.

Don’t include a letter of recommendation. An unusual not-to-do, Virginia Tech explicitly says that it will not review letters of recommendation. If you’re using the Coalition App to apply to several schools, some of which do require letters of recommendation, the Virginia Tech admissions counselors won’t think anything of it and will simply ignore that piece of information.

However, some students think they should send additional information, such as letters of recommendation, to improve their chances of admission; for example, some students choose to email or mail a letter of recommendation to get the admissions counselors to make an exception for them. If you do this, you’ll likely annoy the admissions counselors at best, or ruin your chances altogether at worst. In short, don’t send information that a school explicitly states it won’t review.

Surviving Virginia Tech Engineering

 Tip #1: Take good notes, and keep them all after your classes are over.

Engineering textbooks can be dense, but endure through the tedium. Do your reading – all of it – and keep a highlighter and page markers handy. After the class is over, keep your most useful and well-written textbooks as reference. Your notes, annotations, and highlighting will be invaluable later on. You may even want to keep a “Rules of Thumb” notebook, allowing you quick access to your most-used formulas.

Tip #2: Get to know your professors.

Develop a relationship with your professors so you feel comfortable approaching them and asking for help. Get to know one or two key professors particularly well, and turn to them for help with your homework, insight into the industry, and even job or program references.

Tip #3: Ask questions, both in class and out.

Your professors want you to learn. But if the only thing you ever ask is, “Will this be on the test?” then you are not taking advantage of their knowledge or willingness to help. Ask for additional examples to clarify difficult equations and concepts. More often than not, your fellow students will thank you for speaking up, and your professor will appreciate your active investment in the material.

Tip #4: Try to solve a problem before asking for help.

No one wants to do your homework for you. You’ll be more likely to get help if you’ve already begun the effort. Even if you’re totally lost, make a legitimate, prolonged effort to solve a problem before asking for help. When you do seek help, be prepared to discuss what you tried already, and bring your scratch paper showing your attempts.

Tip #5: Form a study group.

Working alone can get exasperating if you find yourself stuck on a problem. Working with others will not only introduce other viewpoints to approaching a problem, it will also provide encouragement and camaraderie in the face of frustration.

Tip #6: Teach someone else.

One of the most effective ways of ensuring you understand something is by explaining it to someone else. Before you move past a subject, make sure you not only answered the question but also can replicate and explain the process. Each new subject and concept will build on the last, so don’t move on until you’ve mastered each new idea.

Tip #7: Diversify your engineering classes.

Take classes in all sorts of engineering, even if they are not your concentration. Understanding not only the subject matter, but also how other types of engineers approach and solve problems, will lend insight into your own field, from biomedical to mechatronics and robotics to chemical to environmental engineering and beyond.

Tip #8: Take classes outside engineering, particularly design classes.

The most successful engineers are insatiable learners, so seek to broaden your skill set generally. A design class can teach you how to represent information visually and how to talk about an idea from a big picture perspective. A writing class can hone your skills for communicating your ideas to others. A business class can prepare you for organizational tasks and leadership roles later in your career.

Tip #9: Hone your communications skills, including conversation, writing, and presentation.

The best and most innovative ideas in the world have no hope of growing past the drawing board if you are unable to communicate them effectively. And today, most technical communication between team members and leadership happens over email, which is a form of writing. Learn to present an argument simply and without agenda, and always read your emails through once or twice before sending.

Tip #10: Learn another language.

Engineering knows no political or cultural borders; engineers are in demand everywhere in the world. Increase your worth by becoming proficient in another language, and don’t be afraid to think of your career on a global level. Want to build bridges in China? You should learn Mandarin.

Tip #11: Build your portfolio.

Participate in as many hands-on projects as possible, especially those outside the classroom. Future employers look for both coursework and relevant experience, and a well-organized and articulate portfolio will be invaluable during your job search. Your practical project experience will also reinforce the “in theory” knowledge you gain in class.

Tip #12: Get a summer internship.

One of the best portfolio buildings blocks is the summer internship. Internships do more than build your resume; they demonstrate to potential employers that you can commit to a long-term role and work as part of a team. As a student, it is never too early to start your electrical engineering career.

Tip #13: Build your network.

Do not wait until you need a job to start building professional relationships. In addition to getting to know your professors and peers, attend extracurricular lectures, workshops, and networking events, and get to know as many people working or studying in your field as possible. Take a genuine interest in the work of others, ask lots of questions, and don’t be afraid to seek guidance or advice from those of advanced experience. They were once neophyte engineers too!

Tip #14: Scour the resources of professional engineering associations and companies.

Professional engineering associations, such as the National Society of Professional Engineers, are an invaluable resource for jobs, advice, and networking. Identify organizations that share your values and interests, and make as many contacts as possible.

Tip #15: Skip the honors class.

In the engineering field, your GPA matters. If you struggle in calculus, don’t kill yourself in Honors Calc; take the easier class, learn the material thoroughly, and take the higher grade.

Tip #16: Learn when to lead and when to back down.

Engineers often work in teams, and every team has one or more leaders. You should feel comfortable in both leading and following the directions of others. Hone your leadership skills and learn how to effectively influence group decisions, but recognize when your contribution should be to take orders and follow direction.

Tip #17: Work on the problem before the team meets.

The best results occur when a group discusses ideas that have already been fleshed out by individual members. Learn to do your own work and self-motivate. Always arrive at the team meeting with ideas in mind.

Tip #18: Be a perfectionist.

In the words of one engineer, “In the working engineer world, a 99% correct product can cost millions of dollars in damages.” Adopt the mindset of practicing something until it is perfect, as opposed to going as quickly as possible and settling for a B. When your work is 100%, even if it is slower, it is valuable.

Tip #19: Identify your inspiration.

What made you decide to study engineering? Who do you look up to in your chosen field? Learn about how individuals and companies have sought and found success, and replicate their behaviors. For new inspiration, check out these electrical engineering resources.

Tip #20: Take heart and persevere.

Engineering is a difficult course of study for everyone, no matter their IQ or test scores. Frustration can lead to feeling like an imposter. Every future engineer has struggled through seemingly impossible problem sets, cranky professors, and gut-wrenching exams. In the face of inevitable small failures, recognize that you are challenging yourself like never before, and push on through the difficult experiences.

Not an engineering student yet?

In that case, getting started is the most important tip we can offer for you! While it seems obvious, people can be reluctant to take the first step or not know where to begin. We’ve listed several schools below to help you get started.

What If You Get Rejected?

Virginia Tech is a popular option for many students. If you find yourself receiving a no-thank-you at the end of the admissions process, don’t be too hard on yourself. Bright, motivated, resourceful students will find success, or create it, anywhere they go.

Although Virginia Tech does accept admissions appeals, we do not recommend petitioning your decision. If you choose to appeal, you will need to supply them with new information (NOT letters of recommendation!) along with an explanation of why this information was not included in your application to begin with. There is no guarantee that your decision will be reversed, even if you follow the appeals process to the letter.

You do have the option to transfer into Virginia Tech—around 49% of transfer applicants are admitted each year. Competitive transfer applicants have a college GPA of 3.0 or higher, and still need to submit many of the same materials that freshman applicants supply with the exception of standardized test scores. You can reapply after taking a gap year, but this path is riskier than simply committing to another school and requesting to take a gap year there.

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.

Leave a Comment