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Program Information

Only those students who have been accepted into Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering will be considered for admission to this program. In order to attend STEP, you must officially accept and plan to enroll in the College of Engineering. If you have any questions, please email STEP.

students have lunch with a professor


The cost to participate in STEP is $3,000. This fee covers housing, meals, and coursework. Students will be responsible for additional expenses such as transportation to and from Virginia Tech for the program. Students will also be responsible for personal incidentals such as course supplies and materials, laundry, and entertainment. Please note: the STEP fee does not cover the cost of course materials.

Financial assistance is available based on financial need, resulting in a fee range of $500 - $3,000. To qualify for financial assistance for STEP, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form must be submitted to Virginia Tech's Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. No refunds will be given for the program. If you have any questions, please email STEP.

Academic Areas

The STEP program focuses on coursework that has historically been difficult for first-year engineering students. Program participants will take courses in chemistry, math and engineering fundamentals. These courses are taught by university instructors and are desinged to be similar to the pacing and academic workload of courses students will experience during their fall semester. Courses taken during STEP are not for academic credit. 

Daily Schedule

Program participants will attend classes Monday - Thursday of each week. Classes typically begin at 8AM and end at 4PM these days. On Fridays, students participate in a variety of professional development activities including meeting with engineering graduate student mentors, engineering faculty seminars, lab tours, and industry tours. On Saturdays and Sundays, program staff plan fun, team building activities for participants. Some of these activities will be optional and some required. During free time, students are welcome to explore campus and the surrounding community.


Participants will be housed in a traditional Virginia Tech residence hall (men and women on separate floors) with one roommate. Dorms are not air-conditioned. Participants will have access to campus facilities, including the use of the athletic and student union centers. 


Program participants are provided meals at the on-campus dining hall D2. Particpants are also welcome to visit local restaurants close to campus.


Once you are accepted into STEP, you will need to purchase your computer immediately. The College of Engineering has specific computer reqirements. Please check that your computer meets the requirements before purcahsing. Participants are also required to purchase a software package through Virginia Tech. This is required for all incoming engineering freshman. If you have financial issues or concerns, please email STEP


Transportation to and from the Virginia Tech campus is the responsiblity of the participants. You are permitted to drive your car to and from the program. However, you will need to purchase a parking permit for your vehicle. Participants are NOT allowed to drive during the program and must turn their keys into the program director upon arrival on campus.

Blacksburg Transit (BT)

Blacksburg is a small town - you can get almost everywhere you need to by walking. In addition, the BT, a public bus system, goes just about anywhere you would want. You must show your Hokie Passport to ride the bus. Blacksburg is a relatively safe community; however, we recommend you always walk in pairs during the evening, even on campus. For the field trips and special events, we will provide necessary transportation.

Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity

220 Gilbert Street (MC 0275)
Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061
Phone: (540) 231-7411
Email CEED