Galileo vs Innovate as an Engineering Major

Hey everyone I committed to VT a few weeks ago as an Engineering major and I’m very excited at the prospect of attending such a great school. Go Hokies!

I applied to a few LLCS and I got into Galileo and Innovate today. Both of them look really great and fun and I’m having a hard time choosing which one. I don’t know if I should choose Galileo just because I’m an Engineering major.

Could you guys please compare and contrast both of them on Social Life, Dorm Qaulity Academic Resources, and access to Internships and Research Opportunities?

I personally feel like as an Engineering Major Galileo has better academic facilities for me but I do not want to live in a boring LLC with nothing fun to do. Please let me know down in the comments

I’m looking forward to reading your answers! Thank you so much!

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Congratulations on two great choices!

My son was part of the Galileo community in 2019-20. It was a great choice for him. He made most of his VT friends (3 that he still lives with off-campus) in Galileo. The best part of Galileo is the collaborative community during the first grueling year of engineering. All his new friends suffered together in the difficult first year classes. He always had a support group or study group to join during test and project time.

They had plenty of social activities, if you wanted to get involved. My son balanced Galileo activities with other campus activities - he never felt bored or restricted to Galileo. There’s SO MUCH going on at Tech that it’s hard to feel bored (unless you really want to).

You will still be able to find a group of engineers to work with even if you don’t join Galileo, but it just makes it much easier when you live among them - especially at 1am when you’re stuck on a problem.

The building (Hoge Hall) is, let’s just say, ready for renovation. No air conditioning, lousy elevators, and pretty old appointments (furniture, etc.) But most of the kids just dealt with it.

Aside from the old building I would say that you can’t go wrong with Galileo.

Having said all that, I just took a look at the new Creativity and Innovation District where you would live with Innovate - WOW! Absolutely amazing.

It would be impossible to match or beat that experience in the brand new facility. It looks really special and you are lucky to get invited to join - congratulations!

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind…

  1. As an Innovate member you need to take “MGT 1064 (3.0 credit hours) during the Fall semester and MGT 2064 (3.0 credit hours) during the Spring semester.” This may not seem like a big deal, but believe me, as an engineering student, EVERY credit is like gold. If those 6 credits don’t somehow get counted toward your engineering degree, you very well might need to take an additional semester to graduate. Engineers typically need 128 credits to graduate (vs 120 for other degrees).

  2. If you choose Innovate over Galileo, I would strongly suggest finding an engineering roommate to share the pain of first-year engineering. My son had a 4.3 GPA in high school, including plenty of AP math and physics and he still got crushed by college level math and science. Thankfully he and his group pulled each other through. Make sure you have support around you.

Again, you have two great choices and you should be proud.

Happy to try to help with any questions you have. Good luck!

Let’s Go Hokies!

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Thank you so much for your advice!

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Question for you…

Is it possible to do Galileo first year and Innovate second year?

That might be an option.

I don’t think that’s not possible unfortunately. Even if that is possible, I personally wanna apply for a leadership role as an upperclassmen in whatever LLC I choose so whichever one I choose I’ll probably stay in for a while. I’m strongly leaning towards Galileo academically because of the great Engineering resources they provide. I just don’t know if it’s worth the trade off for worse dorms and potentially less social activities compared to Innovate. I was checking on Reddit and a lot of people were saying that there were much fewer social activities at Hoge Hall compared to Pritchard for Innovate so I’m kind of in a dilemma. Could you please let me know if you know specifically what social activities are going on at Hoge Hall and in Galileo. Thank you!

I don’t know what social activities are currently happening at Hoge. I will ask my son but he’s 3 years removed - things may have changed. I think they did regular gatherings like pizza socials, game night, movie night, and things like that, but the real value of Galileo/Hypatia is the engineering community helping each other through that difficult first year. After first year, most of them leave and spread out throughout campus and off-campus. They’ve made their close friends and they stick with them for living arrangements. I would guess that Innovate kids, especially with the new facility, will stick together in the building longer.

Hoge has a ‘maker space’ but my son only used it once or twice (but some kids spend all their free time there.) It looks like the Creativity and Innovation District has multiple maker spaces and studios.

If your plan is to stay all 4 years in your LLC and be a leader, I would probably recommend Innovate just because of the amazing community of 3 LLCs and the state-of-the-art facilities.

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Parent of a former Innovate member here. Some things to consider:

  • As pointed out by STEM2017, you will have to take 2 required courses for Innovate. Pros - both are easy A’s. Cons - you could miss out on taking some other class that you might have enjoyed more.
  • You will get some earlier exposure to resume building, etc. (this may be true in either LLC).
  • When my kid was in Innovate, it was almost 70% business majors.
  • On a 1-10 scale for my kid and hallmates, “were you glad you did it” and “Did you get useful things and experience from it” rated about a 5. As a parent I would have given it a 6-7.
  • Two things seemed to contribute to their feelings above. One, the program seemed to over-promise and under-deliver to some extent re: exposure to business leaders, entrepreneur treks, etc. Two, the request/requirement to move in 1st day and do Innovate activities didn’t allow them to participate in some other campus-wide first week activities due to schedule conflicts. I wasn’t a fan of this either.
  • You’ll be in the new dorm either way, and the buildings look fantastic.
  • In either instance, your roommate will have to be a member of your LLC (I don’t think that requirement has changed). Keep that in mind in case you have a friend you wanted to room with who isn’t interested or accepted.
  • I believe there is still an entrepreneur club at VT, so you might be able to get a taste of that while still being in Galileo.

Thank you so much for this information! Based on what your saying, I’m leaning towards Galileo due to their being more opportunities that seems to be provided there compared to Innovate. Even if the social programs are worse compared to Innovate, I feel like I could manage low key. Thank you!

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Thank you for letting me know! From what I’m seeing, Innovate has similar social activities as well. I feel like the biggest problem people have with Hoge and Galileo is that there isn’t much going in Hoge itself but Galileo organizes a lot of activities that may be just like other LLCs. Most likely I may choose Galileo but I still don’t feel like letting go of such a fire dorm at Innovate lol. Thank you so much tho!

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You can’t go wrong with either one.

Good luck with your final decision!

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Definitely do your due diligence. My info/experience is a couple years old so things could have changed re: Innovate. I felt it was worthwhile for my kid, but that’s through a parent’s lens. He felt like it was just ok.

A lot of people have commented over the years re: the benefits of shared experience for engineering students - if nothing else it’s added moral support. There are tons of social experiences and clubs that will be available to you outside of Galileo too, and in a variety of ways a dorm is just a dorm.

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Good question! I’ve been wondering about Innovate (D will be a business major in the fall). Do they know for sure whether the new dorm will be completed in time for fall move in?

She has already been talking with 3 other girls to possibly room in a suite with - I’m guessing if she applies to an LLC, any roommate(s) she’s interested in will also have to be in the LLC in order for them to be in the LLC dorm?

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Unless roommate policies have changed, she can only create a roommate group of 2 people. Theoretically a separate roommate group could select the same dorm selection but timing will dictate if that syncs up. Not sure if there are suites in the new dorm. Historically policy has been if a student is in an LLC their roommate must also be a member of the same LLC.