EXPLORE CAUS: An undecided major in the College of Architecture & Urban Studies that serves as a portal to the college's four and five year degree programs.

Choosing a degree program can be tough. The EXPLORE CAUS major was created to help students who know they are interested in Architecture & Urban Studies disciplines, but not sure exactly which major they want to pursue.  You may apply to EXPLORE CAUS as a first or second choice.  In fact, we recommend prospective students choose EXPLORE CAUS as a second choice to the Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Industrial Design majors.

How Does it Work?

Once accepted to the EXPLORE CAUS major, students will pursue coursework across the College of Architecture & Urban Studies while also taking classes that meet some of their general education curriculum course requirements.  We’ve secured permission for our EXPLORE CAUS majors to take certain classes typically limited to Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Landscape Architecture, Building Construction, Art, Environmental Policy & Planning, and Smart Sustainable City students.  EXPLORE CAUS majors are advised about these courses during new student orientation.

You’ll be advised by Rob Jacks, Director of Academic Advising in the College of Architecture & Urban Studies, and receive advice on taking classes relevant to a CAUS major or majors you’re interested in and assistance with how to transition to another CAUS major.  Students can stay in the EXPLORE CAUS major for no more than 4 semesters before they must switch to another major.

Click to see the flyer for our EXPLORE CAUS major.

Rob Jacks, Director of Academic Advising in the College of Architecture & Urban Studies, serves as the academic advisor to EXPLORE CAUS majors.  Contact him at rjacks@vt.edu if you have questions about the major!

What are the college's degree programs?

Check out these undergraduate majors and minors we offer through our college, and if you have questions and want to learn more, consider scheduling a visit or get a current student’s perspective by contacting one of our college ambassadors.

School of Architecture + Design

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
This 5-year program comprises four major study areas: Virginia Tech Core Curriculum, Landscape Architecture Core Curriculum, Supporting Professional Courses, and General Electives. These courses enable students to receive a well-rounded university education. A required design studio anchors each semester of the 5-year program. Technical, theory, and methods courses complement the studios and complete the program core curriculum.

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design
This program is a balance of design, history, and professional practice. All courses are supplemented by the required University Core Curriculum. This balanced curriculum ensures that every graduate has the knowledge and skill needed to successfully contribute to the work of a design firm as an intern and as a graduate.

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design
This internationally recognized program is fully accredited by the National Associate of Schools of Art and Design and prepares individuals to enter this dynamic field through a rigorous curriculum, and an experienced, dedicated faculty.

Bachelor of Architecture
The Bachelor of Architecture takes five years to complete. The first year students work through a Foundation Program. The second and third years, students work through the Core Professional Program. Fourth and fifth year students complete the Advanced Professional Program.

All architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture majors study together for the first year. The focus in the first year of the Foundation Program is involved with basic elements of design, addressed visually, conceptually, and haptically.

Myers-Lawson School of Construction

Bachelor of Science in Building Construction
This program curriculum focuses on the business and process of making buildings and the performance of buildings including operations, finance, energy, and sustainability. The four tracks – Structural Design, Sustainable Building Performance, Virtual Design Construction, or the Restricted Elective Track – offer opportunities to students who wish to lead in this challenging, changing world.

Bachelor of Science in Construction and Engineering Management
This program facilitates the development of critical, technical, managerial and professional knowledge and skills required for entry into the construction industry or graduate studies. The degrees retains an emphasis on engineering, with a focus on construction theory and applications, while providing students the opportunity to define the areas of business they wish to study to complement their career goals.

School of Public and International Affairs

Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs
This program aims to educate students in the liberal arts while equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and analytical thinking used in planning and policy. Students learn to address the political, economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of growth and change and to help resolve the problems that emanate from them.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning
This program provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social science, planning, and public policy. The curriculum, while providing a broad liberal arts and natural and social science base, has a pre-professional slant involving analytical and communication skills and policy and planning methods to prepare students for employment and graduate study.

School of Visual Arts

Bachelor of Art History
This program is oriented toward the history of western art, although courses are frequently offered on non-western topics. The foundation is a two-semester survey of the history of art. At the intermediate level there are 14 courses offered on a regular basis that cover a wide range of art topics. Upper-level courses are designated as special topics courses. In recent years they have ranged from the Seven Wonders of the World to Japanese prints to the History of Photography.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Art Concentration
The Studio Arts Program is looking to the future to prepare students for the digitally enhanced world by offering a range of classes in new media and creative technologies including digital photography, digital video and visual effects, digital painting and 3D animation and modeling. This program is specially addressed to students who aim to continue their education as artists at the graduate level. A required entry portfolio review determines acceptance into the program.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design Concentration
This program prepares students for a career in graphic design by focusing on conceptual thinking, semiotics, and problem-solving tactics. The program demands individual creativity, teamwork skills and adaptability while preparing students to enter the job market with practical experience and a full, professionally reviewed portfolio. In order for students to be accepted into this program, they must pass a competitive portfolio review.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Creative Technologies Concentration

Creative Technologies is a program that prepares students to become future leaders of many new artistic fields and industries. Students who graduate with a Creative Technologies BFA will go on to pursue careers spanning gaming, film, animation, motion graphics, video production, and fine arts. Some students will also pursue graduate programs in these fields. Creative Technologies classrooms are rigorous and focused. Students are provided with dedicated mentorship and guidance to develop their ideas, and our program has facilitated many ongoing collaborations between students and Virginia Tech faculty. Many Creative Technologies undergraduate students get paid to work on funded research projects.


In addition, minors are available in five areas. Please review the minor checksheets for course requirements.

  • Art History
  • Construction
  • Environmental Policy & Planning
  • Industrial Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Public and Urban Affairs
  • Real Estate