Located in Blacksburg, Va., Virginia Tech offers a hands-on, engaging approach to education and has 65 bachelor’s-degree programs to choose from. If you’ve set your sights on getting a degree from the VT College of Engineering, you'll have to prove you have what it takes to succeed in their program. To increase your chances of acceptance and stand out among the 20,000-plus yearly applicants, you should have a strong grade-point average and competitive test scores.

Standardized Tests

Virginia Tech will accept either an ACT or SAT scores with your freshman application. If you choose to submit your ACT results, VT recommends taking the exam with the writing portion, as this section is used for placement purposes. If you take the SAT, include the critical reading and math sections. You should take either exam by December of your senior year of high school, so you can send in your scores by the Jan. 28 deadline.

The Highest Score

Although Virginia Tech will look over all of your scores during application evaluation, they are willing to work with you to make your application as strong as it can be. If you took the ACT exam more than once, they will use your highest score for their decision-making. If you took the SAT test more than once, the highest scoring sections will be combined from the various test dates during the evaluation process.

Strengthening Your Application

In addition to standardized test scores, VT also looks at your educational background via transcripts. They want to see a challenging college preparatory curriculum on a freshman application. You must have a minimum of 18 units from a specific list of courses. For VT College of Engineering, you should have Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and another high-level math course; two units of social science; and three years of laboratory science, preferably physics, chemistry and another science course. Four units of English, three units of foreign language and four elective units are also recommended. To give you even more of an edge, take engineering foundations, computer programming and Advanced Placement courses. Your letter and numeric grades are looked at, not the grade-point average. Transfer students should have 12 or more completed college credits with strong grades in freshman English, math and science.

The Average Joe

Although VT has established some general minimum requirements for applicants, many accepted applicants have gone above and beyond. The average combined critical reading and math SAT score for incoming freshmen was 1160 to 1340. No ACT score average was listed by VT, since most applicants submit SAT scores. The average grade-point average among the 2013 incoming freshmen ranged from 3.78 to 4.23. The average transfer student had a 3.0 or better GPA in all completed college coursework.