These are frequently asked questions taken from actual Georgia Tech students during First-Year Orientation (FASET).
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From the Faculty
Q: What qualities make a student successful and outstanding?
A: “Students that actually read the syllabus and get engaged with the course material. It’s important.” – Richard Barke (IAC)
A: “Be engaged, sit in the front, ask questions, and participate.” — Dan Margalit (COS)
Q: What advice do you have for students if they are trying very hard but are genuinely struggling in a class?
A: “Communicate. Reach out to your TA—they know what it’s like to me a student. Setup an appointment for office hours. I know it’s hard being a first-year student and ask for help, but it’s important.” — Michelle Reinhart (COD)
Q: How many hours a day, both week day and weekend, [should] students spend on studying/homework?
A: “All of them. All of your hours.” — Dan Margalit (COS)
A: “It really depends but start somewhere. You may need 6 hours for one class and less for another. Studios are setup a bit differently, so find what works for you and stick with it.” — Michelle Reinhart (COD)
A: “It’s less about the number of hours you put in and more about the level of consistency. Some of the most successful students in my class keep a schedule of how they review course material and study. Make sure you are consistently seeing and studying all of the course material.” — Carrie Shepler (COS)
“Study until you understand it. Be honest with yourself. You should be able to know if you understand the material, don’t wait for a test to tell you if you do.” — Dan Margalit (COS)
Q: How do you grade in your class—should I be worried? Do you round up 89.5%?
A: “We give A’s to so many students who don’t deserve it (obvious sarcasm here!). Take it upon yourself to learn the material and you’ll be fine.” — Dan Margalit (COS)
Q: How do I know which major to choose?
A: “We took all the majors don’t earn any money and we just got rid of them! Find something you love.” — Dan Margalit (COS)
A: “Your life should not revolve around money. It won’t necessarily make you happy (even though your parents may tell you otherwise). Find joy in your life and that includes finding a job that makes you happy. College is a time to explore what your interests are, broaden your horizons, and look beyond your major. You don’t have to have your life planned out today—I promise you; your plans will change. It’s ok to explore your options and use college as a way to do that.” — Michelle Rinehart (COD)
Q: What is the Grade Substitution policy?
A: Undergraduate students may repeat courses for grade substitution according to the following set of criteria. If these conditions are not met, the general policy governing repeated courses applies.
- Undergraduate students may repeat for grade substitution up to two GT courses with posted letter grades of D or F. These courses will be excluded from calculation of their cumulative grade point average.
- A course can be taken for grade substitution only once and must be repeated within one calendar year.
- A course is not eligible for grade substitution if the student was found responsible for any academic misconduct in that course regardless of how many times it is repeated.
- Grades excluded under previous Institute rules (such as the Grade Substitution policy that was in effect up until 2019) count toward the maximum two courses allowed for substitution.
- Once a grade substitution is posted, the student cannot remove the exclusion or change it to another course at a later date. A student cannot request a grade substitution after they have graduated.
- The application for grade substitution must be filed with the Registrar's Office no later than the deadline for withdrawing from a course during the student's next term of enrollment after the course is repeated.
More information about the policy can be found here.
Double Majors/Minors/Exploring Classes
Q: How viable is a double major?
A: Depends on your level of commitment and what majors you are trying to complete (some may have overlapping courses that make a double major "easier" than others). The best bet is to check with your advisor.
Q: When can you declare a minor?
A: At the time an undergraduate student submits a petition for degree, an "An Approved Program of Study for Undergraduate Minors" form must also be submitted. These forms and the requirements for a minor are located HERE.
What Classes to Take
Q: How do I know what classes to take? What is a manageable amount of hours?
A: Your advisor will help you with what classes to take while you are at FASET or during registration. If you did not attend FASET, click here to lookup your advisor and schedule an appointment. The maximum amount of hours a student in academic good standing is 21. The capacity to handle those hours largely depends on the student. Work with your advisor and let them know you intend on taking a larger course load and you can discuss if it is manageable for you.
Q: Are the core classes for most engineering majors the same?
A: Most of the core classes are the same for engineering majors. However, you will want to talk to your advisor to make sure. The College of Engineering also has a specialized First-Year Seminar class called COE 1000 that can help you explore different majors, and keep you on track with what courses to take.
Q: What is the Change of Major policy?
A: First-Year applicants and admitted students may not change their major. However, changing majors is permitted after the withdrawal deadline of their first fall semester. Students would then begin classes for their new major in the spring. Learn More.
Transfer students may pursue a formal change of major after their first semester, however, requesting a major change requires the approval of all academic colleges and departments involved, and is not guaranteed, especially for high demand majors. Learn more.
All About Credits
Q: How do transfer, AP, dual enrollment credits, etc. work?
A: To determine if coursework is transferable to Georgia Tech, please review our policy on transfer credit and transfer equivalency table. The transfer equivalency table lists coursework by institution (domestic and international) that has been evaluated for transfer credit by Georgia Tech’s Registrar Office. The Registrar’s Office at Georgia Tech serves as the authority on transfer credit and manages the transfer equivalency table and academic catalog. They also work with each academic college and department on course evaluation requests for transfer credit.
Pre-Graduate & Pre-Professional Advising
Q: What do I need to do if I'm interested in Medical School, Law School, etc.?
A: The best thing to do is to visit the website for Pre-Graduate & Pre-Professional (PGPP) Advising — part of The Center for Career Discovery and Development (C2D2). You can also visit PGPP advisors in person on the 1st floor of the Bill Moore Student Success Center. If you have any trouble deciding which advisor to contact, where the building is located, or what hours they are available, contact Dr. Shannon Dobranski, Director of Pre-Graduate and Pre-Professional Advising.
Q: What is GT 1000, and is it really worth it?
A: GT 1000 is a one-credit hour, letter graded seminar course offered in both fall and spring semesters that demonstrates Georgia Tech's commitment to supporting the successful transition and experience of new students. Each section meets one hour per week and is taught by either an academic faculty member or an administrator with an advanced degree. Most sections utilize upper-class peer mentors referred to as “Team Leaders” who volunteer to work closely with the instructor to facilitate small group interaction and offer mentoring, advice, and support to first-year students.
And GT 1000 is absolutely worth it! Data has shown that students who take the course do significantly better at Tech than those who don't. Tech is a challenging school and GT 1000 can give you the academic and personal skills that you will need to succeed.
Q: How do I register? What kind of things can put a "hold" on my registration?
A: Registration may seem pretty daunting at first, but there are a ton of resources available here to help you. The resources include registration tutorial videos, schedule of classes, and much more. To view frequently asked registration questions - including information about holds on your account - visit this website.
Q: What do I do if I miss a class because I was sick?
A: Students may need to miss classes due to personal emergencies such as being hospitalized or being in a car accident. The Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students can assist students with documented emergencies by contacting professors on behalf of the student. For more information, please call the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students or complete the Request Assistance Form.
Students who are absent because of participation in approved Institute activities (e.g. field trips, athletic events) will be permitted to make up the work missed during their absences. Approval of such activities will be granted by the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate, and statements of the approved absence may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.