Virginia Tech®home

VIA

VIA Living-Learning Program Logo
Students in VIA LLC

Trying to find your ideal major can sometimes feel like an overwhelming process. In the VIA Living-Learning Community, we are a group of explorers who are dedicated to working together to support one another as we explore our options to find the right path for each student.

We aspire that students will leave VIA having:

  • Identified or declared a major.
  • Defined career goals.
  • Experienced community engagement.
  • Developed a sense of belonging rooted in community.
  • Developed leadership skills.

Eligibility

VIA is open any student with an undecided major. This can include University Studies or undecided majors within each college. You must also commit to living in Pritchard Hall.

  • Participate in a series of workshops, co-curricular activities, and events designed to:
  • Build a community within VIA.
  • Explore majors and careers.
  • Develop decision-making skills.
  • Write a professional resume and acquire networking skills.
  • Engage in service learning opportunities.
  • Serve one another in the spirit of the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).
  • Gain valuable leadership skills through involvement with our student leadership council.
  • Help plan educational and social events throughout the year for VIA residents.
  • Benefit from formal and informal peer mentoring opportunities to support and encourage you throughout your exploration process.
  • Have ready access to your academic advisor, local professionals, and others to discuss potential majors, classes, life plans, and more.
  • Live in Pritchard Hall, which is conveniently located in the heart of Virginia Tech’s campus just a short walk from multiple dining centers, two gyms, the library, academic buildings, an outdoor fitness park, and other support offices that can help with your transition to college.

All first-year residents of VIA must take the course UNIV 1824-Pathways to Success: Exploring Your Future during the fall semester.

University Studies believes starting you on the right path during your first year is crucial to your academic and personal success at Virginia Tech. We created the Pathways to Success course to facilitate your academic success and provide a smooth transition to college. The course is taught by your academic advisor and undergraduate peer mentors.

It is designed to establish fundamental knowledge and skills that facilitate success not only during college, but also for the rest of your life, including:

  • Academic success skills.
  • Major and career exploration.
  • Research and communication skills.
  • Knowledge of campus resources available to students.
  • Various activities that incorporate problem solving, inquiry, and integration of knowledge.

Why VIA?

Hear from some of our VIA students on why they chose VIA!

I chose to join VIA because the idea of being a part of a group with people in a similar position as me made everything feel a lot less overbearing and helped me to feel less stressed. It made me feel like I was already a part of a group, rather than being all alone, which made a big impact on my feeling accepted in VT. As an incoming freshman who is undecided, knowing that almost everyone else already has some sort of major picked can feel really awkward, but VIA is full of people just like you who don’t know what they want to do either. FInding others like you gives you commonality and room to start getting to know each other and make friends.

Going into college at the start of my freshman year, I was really excited but also pretty nervous. I knew that many great memories and friendships would be formed here, but I wasn't really sure what to expect or how I was going to manage being totally responsible for my own schedule--food, keeping on track with assignments, getting enough sleep for classes, etc. VIA seemed promising to me--I figured that it may be a good place to make friends, since I'd be living with other kids in my same position: unsure about their true passions and going through the weird transition into college. I was ultimately proven correct: the relationships that were formed with my freshman and mentor friends, as well as with my RA, will last for a very long time, if not for the rest of our lives. I'm also now closer than ever to declaring a major thanks to our introspective discussions, and I was able to effectively balance outside groups with VIA--I was a Marching Virginians mellophone in Fall 2019. Ultimately, I'm very happy that I joined VIA because I was able to form relationships that couldn't have been made any other way or anywhere else, being part of a group made the transition into college much easier, and it really did help me in my major-decision process.

When I had decided to join Virginia Tech I had a general idea of what I wanted to do; however, I wanted to explore the different options that were available to me. I knew I wanted to pursue science but I didn’t want to limit myself to the science LLC, since I may have found something not science related to major in. I also felt that joining a community of people exploring different subjects could help expose me to more options than I can fit into a schedule. I'm glad I chose VIA since it allowed me to do everything I wanted and more. VIA helped me discover new majors and showed the requirements I needed to meet to get into said majors. It also allowed me, through weekly meetings, to network and build relationships with not only fellow students but also major figures in specific fields. VIA not only helped me pick academics, but it also allowed me to be better oriented with the school and stay organized to keep up with my academics. VIA not only helps you get a better grip on your major or academics but can also help you to get better situated into college life.

When I was going into college freshman year I was jumping around between a few majors and I was finding it difficult to settle on one. That is why I joined VIA. I thought it would be nice to be surrounded by fellow students in a similar situation to mine. I am so glad I decided to accept my offer to join VIA. I have met so many amazing people and had so many wonderful experiences that I do not believe I would have met or experienced had I not joined the llc. I made friends through classes, clubs, and other activities, but it was also nice knowing I was friends with the majority of the people in my own hall as well as the guys VIA hall. I was a part of BARC and Wishmakers, and next year I will be the representative for the college of University Studies. Going into college can be scary and daunting, but VIA truly made me feel as though I was a part of a community. I am incredibly grateful for my freshman year experience and I look forward to continuing being friends with the people I have met for years. Thanks to VIA, I am settled on both majors and minors and felt as though I was not alone throughout the process.

When I applied to VT, I didn’t know what major to get into. Throughout high school, I had the interest of going into Environmental Science or Sustainable Biomaterials; however, I didn’t want to commit to any specific major yet. I feared that I would lose interest and then have to make the shift. I wanted to go undecided so I would take broad foundations classes to find my interest. Luckily, VT not only had the undecided option, but they also had this Living-Learning Community option on top of that. I was worried that just the undecided option wouldn’t help guide me to what I truly wanted to do. I found VIA, an LLC for undecided students. Having undecided students around me made me feel better since I can easily converse and relate to those in my situation. VIA also has great advising and programs to explore your interests and walk you through freshman year. The VIA community has awesome people to be friends with and a family to fall back to. While I made many friends outside the VIA community in clubs, classes, intramurals, among other activities, there are always those in VIA within my own dorm hall that I can hang out with and feel included. VIA was one of the best choices I made freshman year; in VIA, I made friends that I will stay in touch with after freshman year, and I decided to declare a business major in either finance or accounting while minoring in Env. Policy. While it was a big jump from Env. Science and Sus. Biomaterials, I feel Jason and the rest of the program really helped build this foundation for me as a college student and guided me to the person I am today.

Going to college represented a milestone in my educational career. As the first person to go to college in my family it gave me a euphoric feeling and excitement. I knew I wanted to pursue a pre-med path, but was unsure of which major to choose. Biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, chemistry, or engineering? I wanted to be part of a program that followed my passions and future endeavours. VIA provided me with a platter of opportunities to explore the majors I was interested in. Through fairs, speakers, online resources, and through the required class I was able to find the perfect major for me; one that would provide me with the necessary classes for med school, research, and that merged my passions together. In addition to finding the right major, I was also looking for a tight knit community, a place to make the most out of my VT experience and where I could thrive. VIA not only provided that, but also close friendships and unforgettable memories. I was also able to make friends and find academic opportunities out of the LLC. I was able to be part of various clubs, work at the dining services, be part of honor societies, dean's list, and be part of the delegation representing VT at the ACC Leadership Symposium. VIA and Jason provided me with guidance and help throughout my freshman year. I truly believe that VIA made my first year at Tech one of the best, and definitely made home, home.

For me, joining VIA was sort of a spur of the moment decision. I never really knew what I wanted to do, because everything either seemed like it wasn’t for me, or it was too out there to be something I could make a career off of. So after my mom told me about how she found this LLC dedicated to helping people figure out what they want to do, I was like “why not”. I haven’t regretted my decision since. Since I’ve joined VIA, I have decided what majors I want to pursue, what career field I want to go into, and how I’m gonna achieve these goals. I have made tons of friends, connections, and meaningful relationships, that both will mean a lot to me for the rest of my life, as well as networks into ways to grow my knowledge and understanding into the career field I want to go into. Going into college was definitely unnerving at first, but because of VIA I was able to make friends and adjust really easily. Overall, VIA has been a significant part of my college experience, and it would not have been anywhere near the same without it.

I ultimately chose to join VIA because I did not know what I wanted to major in, and while VIA helped me figure that out, I quickly learned that VIA offered a lot more than guidance. The VIA community allows students to make the transition to college much easier and provides loads of fun and opportunity. Going into my time at Virginia Tech, I was especially worried about making friends. VIA made this much easier on me. I met people the first day that I hang out with all the time and have made a group of friends that I will never forget. I also figured out that I like science and declared biology as my major after the first semester. If you are going into college with an undecided major, even if you have a general idea of what you want to do, VIA is for you. I am so happy I chose to join VIA, and I recommend it to any student at VT.

After a year of VIA, I can say that joining it was a good choice. There was a solid group of friends that I made from it, along with guidance and advice for discovering and selecting a major to choose from the countless amount that this school offers. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do before I came here, and after a year at this LLC, I honestly still don’t know, but I can say that I’ve gained the drive to explore and at least try out a variety of subjects, from Computer Science to Psychology to Residential Property Management. VIA does a great job at highlighting the resources that students can use to explore what they want to study here at Tech, and I felt that these resources helped me be open to try out these different major paths. I’d definitely recommend VIA for anyone who’s unsure about what they want to study and need a kickstart to help them find their way.

For more information or to ask a question, please contact Program Director Jason Johnson at jwjohns@vt.edu.