Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs

Karen P. DePauw, Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education

Kenneth Wong, Associate Dean of the Graduate School in the National Capital Region and Director of the Northern Virginia Center

Muhammad Hajj, Associate Dean of the Graduate School

William Huckle, Associate Dean and Director, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education

Christian Matheis, Director, Office of Graduate Recruiting & Diversity Initatives

Monika Gibson, Assistant Dean and Director, Graduate Student Services

Janice Austin, Assistant Dean and Director, Admissions & Academic Progress

Bryan Hanson, Office of the Graduate Student Ombudsperson

About the Graduate School

Virginia Tech has prioritized graduate education and scholarship as central to its academic mission and strategic goals. As such, the mission of the Virginia Tech Graduate School is to enhance the preparation of graduate students for advanced career achievement and better equip them with knowledge and skills for meaningful and relevant contributions as citizens in the 21st century society. The Graduate School is committed to providing a rich learning environment that attracts and retains outstanding graduate students to work closely with outstanding faculty. Working together, faculty and graduate students create new knowledge and scholarship to address the complex issues of today's society and tomorrow's future.

At A Glance

During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Virginia Tech Graduate School enrolled 6,773 graduate students university wide in 150 master’s and doctoral degree programs. Approximately 72% of those students attend classes on the Blacksburg campus, while 28% are at Virginia Tech extended campuses throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia (e.g., Abingdon, National Capital Region, Richmond, Roanoke) and at programs throughout the world (e.g., China, Europe). Doctoral students account for more than 45% of the graduate student enrollment. International students representing more than 100 countries make up 32% of the enrollment. Students from diverse backgrounds account for 15% of the population; the male/female ratio is approximately 59/41%.

These students work with faculty in eight colleges, more than 14 interdisciplinary programs, and the Graduate School. The colleges include the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Pamplin College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, College of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Science, and Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, Virginia Tech has partnerships with Wake Forest University in North Carolina, Georgetown University in Washington DC, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and many international universities to offer collaborative graduate degree programs.

Graduate Education at VT

A 21st century university must not only provide strong training in the academic disciplines but must also encourage and embrace interdisciplinary education and scholarship, sustain master's programs and post baccalaureate professional development opportunities, and enhance the preparation of the next generations of doctoral educated scholars, scientists, teachers, artists, professionals, and faculty. This approach is coordinated through the innovative initiative entitled Transformative Graduate Education (TGE). TGE is a signature program that provides opportunities for doctoral and master's students to explore their roles and responsibilities as faculty members and career professionals, their pedagogical approaches and construction of teaching and learning, and their engagement with society as citizen-scholars. In addition, TGE integrates a critically engaged understanding and use of technology throughout the process. The Graduate School offers graduate courses and a graduate certificate in the Future Professoriate. For more information, see

Another unique feature of graduate education at Virginia Tech is the establishment of the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown. The Graduate Life Center (GLC) provides an intellectually stimulating and rich learning environment that builds a strong graduate community, as well as the physical space and institutional place for 21st century graduate education. See The goal of the Graduate School is to provide quality graduate education in the context of a progressive and vibrant academic community for work in a diverse and inclusive global society.


Virginia Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Virginia Tech.

Program accreditation within the various colleges of the university:

  • American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Accreditation Association of Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Council for Construction Education
  • American Psychological Association (Clinical Psychology or Ph.D. program level only)
  • American Society of Landscape Architects (B.LArch. only)
  • American Society of Planners
  • American Veterinary Medical Associations Council on Education
  • Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, American Dietetics Association
  • Foundation for Interior Design Education and Research
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre (B.A. and M.F.A. degree programs)
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • National Council for Accreditation of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • National Institute of Food Technologists lists the Department of Food Science and Technology
  • Society of American Foresters
  • Society of Wood Science and Technology
  • Virginia State Department of Education

Extended Campus Locations

Virginia Tech offers courses and degree programs at several extended campus locations: Hampton Roads, National Capitol Region (several sites), Roanoke, Richmond, Danville, Southwest Virginia.

For degree offerings at the extended campus locations please filter the academic program listing by the campus you're interested in. The National Capital Region website lists forms and other details relevant to that extended campus


Financial Information

The University Bursar's Office provides statements to students and receives and posts payments to the students' accounts. If a student wants financial information released to parents or others, he or she must provide written authorization to the Bursar's Office, which will allow us to release financial information. The Student Information Release Form can be downloaded from our website ( and sent to us either by fax or mail to authorize the release of information.

Detailed information regarding tuition and fees, payment deadlines, Customer Service Window hours, the Budget Tuition Plan, and much more can be obtained by viewing the website at

Summer School Fees

Information on summer school tuition and fees as well as costs for room and board can be obtained on the bursar's website (


Students are assessed the same rate for tuition and fees for auditing courses as for courses taken for credit.

Late Payment Fee

A $50 late payment fee will be charged to students whose payments are received after the statement due date.

Reinstatement Fee

A $75.00 fee is charged to students whose registrations are cancelled due to non-payment of fees, but are given permission by their dean to add classes after the deadline. The $75 reinstatement fee is in addition to the $50 late payment fee.

Billing Address

Billing statements are sent to one of the addresses provided by the student on HOKIE SPA. If you wish to have all statements from the Office of the University Bursar sent to a billing address, please provide this address on the billing address segment of HOKIE SPA. If you choose this option, all statements will be sent to this address and other addresses listed will not be used in mailing statements to you.

If no billing address is provided by the student on HOKIE SPA, statements are sent to the mailing address (MA) except for the July and December statements. These statements include tuition and fee charges for the fall and spring semesters, and since the majority of students are not in Blacksburg at the time July and December statements are mailed, the permanent address (PR) is used for mailing statements for these two months.

In summary, the address hierarchy used for mailing monthly account receivable statements is BI (billing address), MA (mailing or local address), or PR (permanent address) for each month except July and December. For these two months the hierarchy is BI (billing address), PR (permanent address), or MA (mailing address).

Payment Information

Statements are prepared and sent out on the 15 of each month (If the 15 of the month occurs on a weekend, statements are processed on the Friday before the 15). Payments for monthly statements are due on the 10 of the following month. (If the 10 of the month occurs on a weekend, payments will be due the following Monday.)

Billing statements for fall semester charges will be processed in July with an August 11 due date. However, should you add classes, a meal plan, or a room after the July statement is processed, you will be billed in August with a September due date for these additional charges.

Billing statements for spring semester charges will be processed in December with a January 12 due date.

Classes are dropped for non-payment of past due billed charges the second Friday after classes begin for fall and spring semesters.

Late fees will be charged to your account based upon the due date on the statement. For example, you have received a statement with an amount due of $3,000 with a due date of January 12. If your payment is received on January 13, a $50 late fee will be charged to your account.

A monthly finance charge of 1-1/2 percent per month will be assessed on unpaid prior term charges.

Payment Directions

Payment should be made in cash or by check/money order in the exact amount due by the date shown on the statement. Checks/money orders should be made payable to "Treasurer of Virginia Tech."

Payments should be mailed to our payment address: Virginia Tech, P.O. Box 7620, Merrifield, VA 22116-7620. Payments should be sent with the payment stub from your statement. Payments received without a stub will be delayed. Do not use the payment address for certified or express mail, scholarship checks, or any other correspondence; those items should be sent to our office address: Virginia Tech Office of the University Bursar, 150 Student Services Building, Blacksburg, VA, 24061

Budget Tuition Plan

Virginia Tech's Budget Tuition Plan (BTP) offers a convenient method for planning and budgeting tuition, fees, room, and board. The BTP can cover all or part of the fall and/or spring semester's charges. This plan provides the opportunity for the student or parent(s) to divide the cost of education into four monthly direct debits to the checking account of your choice, instead of paying one lump sum by tuition payment deadline each semester. The only cost for this service is a $45 non-refundable fee that is due with your application. Contact the Office of the University Bursar for additional information, call at 540/231-9316, e-mail at, or visit our website at

Refund Policy

If the student has provided the Bursar with bank information for the purpose of direct deposit, refunds will be paid by direct deposit. If not, refunds will be paid by check and held at the cashier's window for pick-up by the student on Tuesday's and Thursday's only. Refunds will be made to the student under the following rules:

Tuition Refunds

The refund schedules below list the possible student refund. Depending on your course load, you may or may not be entitled to a refund. If you are planning to withdraw, resign, or reduce your course load, please contact the Bursar's office at 540/231-6277 for refund information. If you are receiving financial aid, please contact your financial aid counselor prior to resigning or reducing your course load below full-time status.

Fall and Spring Semesters

Tuition Refund Table for Reduced Course Loads
Semester Class DayStudent Refund
One through five100% of Tuition and Fees
Six through eight90% of Tuition ONLY
Nine through nineteen50% of Tuition ONLY
Twenty through thirty-seven25% of Tuition ONLY
After day thirty-seven0%
Tuition Refund Table for Withdrawals & Resignations
Semester Class DayStudent Refund
One100% of Tuition and Fees
Two through eight90% of Tuition ONLY
Nine through nineteen50% of Tuition ONLY
Twenty through thirty-seven25% of Tuition ONLY
After day thirty-seven0%
  • The comprehensive fee, technology fee, and capital fee are nonrefundable and no reduction will be made after the beginning of classes for resignations.
  • All refunds will be calculated from the official date of resignation, which may not necessarily be the last day of class attendance.
  • No refund will be granted for a resignation that occurred in a previous fiscal year.

Summer Terms

Tuition Refund Table for Reduced Course Loads
Semester Class DayStudent Refund
One through three100% of Tuition and Fees
Four through eight50% of Tuition ONLY
Nine through fifteen25% of Tuition ONLY
After day fifteen0%
Tuition Refund Table for Withdrawals & Resignations
Semester Class DayStudent Refund
One100% of Tuition and Fees
Two through three90% of Tuition ONLY
Four through eight50% of Tuition ONLY
Nine through fifteen25% of Tuition ONLY
After day fifteen0%
  • The comprehensive fee, technology fee, and capital fee are nonrefundable and no reduction will be made after the beginning of classes for resignations.
  • All refunds will be calculated from the official date of resignation, which may not necessarily be the last day of class attendance.
  • No refund will be granted for a resignation that occurred in a previous fiscal year.

Medical Resignations

  • A student withdrawing for medical reasons will be charged a daily tuition rate for each day enrolled.
  • Withdrawal for medical reasons must be accompanied by a statement from the Student Health Services at Virginia Tech indicating the student is unable to continue in school due to medical reasons.

Room and Board Refunds

Students holding a residence hall contract or a board plan who leave the university during the first week of class will forfeit $100 of their residence hall fee and $100 of their board fee. Thereafter, the semester room and board charge, less $100, will be apportioned over the first six weeks of the semester. The student will be charged a weekly rate for each week enrolled, plus $100. A student who withdraws after the beginning of the seventh week of the semester will be charged the full room and board rate.

Students who purchase a declining balance meal plan will be charged a forfeiture fee of $100 during the first week. Beginning in week two and throughout the remainder of the semester, students will forfeit the base cost and will be refunded any unused dollars in the declining balance account.

Unused cash Dining Dollar deposits will be refunded in total for meal plan holders. Students who have only Dining Dollar accounts and not a meal plan will receive the balance of all cash deposits minus $15. Questions concerning adjustments to room charges should be directed to Residential and Dining Programs at 540/231-6201. Questions concerning adjustments to meal plan charges should be directed to the Hokie Passport Office at 540/231-5121.

Collection of Past Due Receivables for Students

Any amount owed to the university including, but not limited to, tuition, fees, room, board, loans, notes receivable, and amounts due for goods and services provided is considered a receivable to the university. A receivable becomes past due if payment is not received by the payment due date. At 90 days past due, the receivable becomes delinquent.

For currently enrolled students, the primary collection tool is the placement of a "HOLD" by the Office of the University Bursar on a student's record. This "HOLD" restricts certain student activities, such as the ability to add or drop classes, receive grade transcripts, and to register for future academic terms. Once established, the "HOLD" remains in place until the debt is paid in full. Once a student is no longer enrolled, the collection procedures utilized for other "non-student" receivables are implemented.

Individuals who do not pay all fees and charges owed are responsible, in the event of their default or the return of a check for payment of said fees and charges, to pay a penalty fee, to pay interest at the highest rate allowed by law, and for all reasonable administrative costs, collections costs, and attorney's fees incurred in the collection of funds due the university. Addresses must be kept current on HOKIE SPA in order for the university to send statements in a timely manner. Students, faculty and staff can change their address on the HOKIE SPA. Non-receipt of statements is not a valid defense for non-payment; it is the responsibility of the individual who has incurred the debt to see that the debt is discharged.

For non-students, a dunning message is included on each month's statement alerting the customer to the next collection steps that will be taken. If payment is not forthcoming within the stated period, the account and all pertinent information are forwarded to an outside collection agency or the State Attorney General's Office, as appropriate, for collection. In the event the collection agency is unable to collect, the account is reported to a national credit bureau, thus affecting the debtor's credit rating.

In addition to the above measures, the university also lists the account with the Virginia Department of Taxation for set-off debt collection procedures. This means that any state income tax refund due the debtor will be reduced by the amount of the receivable owed by the debtor.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is in full compliance with the Virginia Debt Collection Act and all regulations promulgated by the State Department of Accounts and the Office of the Attorney General.

Office of the University Bursar
150 Student Services Building
Fax: 540/231-3238

Full-Time Enrollment Status

Financial Aid

Virginia Tech awards financial aid to qualified students in the form of grants, loans, and employment. Sources of aid come from federal agencies, university academic departments, and private foundations and corporations. Interested applicants should inquire about fellowships and teaching and research assistantships through the university academic department in which they will be enrolled. Additionally, all students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor by March 11 to be considered for priority awarding. FAFSA forms and information are available after January 1 on the Web at

Applicants for financial aid must list Virginia Tech's institutional code number, 003754, and/or the official name of the university (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or VPI&SU) on the FAFSA in order to have the analysis of their FAFSA sent to the university's Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Students must complete and submit a new FAFSA to the federal processor each year to be considered for aid at Virginia Tech.

All offers of financial aid are contingent upon receipt of anticipated federal and state funds by the university. Awards may be reduced or canceled if anticipated funds are not received. Offers of financial aid are subject to full-time enrollment (9 hours) and maintenance of satisfactory academic progress.

Virginia Tech administers a comprehensive financial aid program that totals $179 million for all students. Approximately 70 percent of Virginia Tech students receive some form of aid.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to receive aid from federal need-based programs, an applicant must satisfy the following eligibility requirements: meet university application requirements; be enrolled as a degree-seeking student; be a citizen or an eligible non-citizen; submit a completed FAFSA; and be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the university policy for Title IV recipients (refer to website Full-time enrollment is required for Federal Work-Study, Perkins Loans, and some other awards. Fellowship and assistantship recipients must also enroll for at least 12 hours a term.

Federal Title IV Programs

Federal Work-Study Program

This federal program provides employment opportunities to students with demonstrated financial need. All federal work-study positions pay at least minimum wage. Departments post positions on the jobs database at

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Stafford Loans are long-term, low-interest loans authorized by the federal government for the educational expenses of eligible students enrolled at least half-time. Students apply for subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (which are interest free) and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (which accrue interest) by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Repayment normally begins six months after the student leaves Virginia Tech or drops below half-time status.

Federal Perkins Loans

This program provides long-term, low-interest loans from Virginia Tech to students with financial need. The interest rate to first-time borrowers is five (5) percent. Repayment of both principal and interest begins after the student leaves Virginia Tech or drops below half-time status. Repayment is made to Virginia Tech, and once funds are repaid, they are used to make loans to other Virginia Tech students.

Additional Information

Additional information on financial aid may be obtained by writing, calling, or visiting:

Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
200 Student Services Building (0222)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: 540/231-5179
Fax: 540/231-9139

All information is correct at the time of publication. Current information is available from our website.

Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits

Applicants who wish to receive VA Educational Benefits should apply through the Office of the University Registrar or visit their website at


Most departments at the university offer assistantships. Students should contact the academic departments to inquire about the availability of assistantships.

University Mission

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research, and outreach, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life.

Graduate School Mission

The mission of the Virginia Tech Graduate School is to advance graduate education as a critical component in the transmission of new knowledge, new research, new ideas, and new scholarship in the university. The Graduate School is committed to providing a rich learning environment that attracts and retains outstanding graduate students. They work closely with outstanding faculty to advance knowledge and understanding that enables us to address the complex issues of today's society and tomorrow's future. Our viability as a top research university depends upon our ability to prioritize graduate education and research as central to the academic mission of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Graduate School Responsibilities

The Graduate School is responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of graduate education throughout the university. Graduate School personnel work in partnership with the faculty, program chairs and department heads, the deans, graduate students (particularly through the Graduate Student Assembly), and the Commission on Graduate Studies & Policies (CGS&P) to further graduate education at Virginia Tech. The Graduate School is responsible for:

  • Implement academic policies and procedures;
  • Assisting with the preparation of new graduate degree options and programs;
  • Implementing enrollment management strategies at the graduate level;
  • Overseeing admission of graduate students;
  • Monitoring graduate students' progress toward degrees, accepting and approving theses and dissertations, and certifying the successful completion of graduation requirements;
  • Certifying eligibility of graduate students to hold assistantships (GTAs, GRAs, GAs);
  • Managing tuition remissions and scholarship and fellowship programs;
  • Implementing the health insurance subsidy program;
  • Coordinating university-wide graduate recruitment efforts;
  • Advocating and promoting a nurturing climate for graduate education, including the sound mentoring of graduate students;
  • Coordinating the university-wide graduate student orientation and GTA training;
  • Processing documentation for international students (e.g., visas) and assuring federally mandated compliance;
  • Administering the Graduate Honor System;
  • Preparing the future professional;
  • Facilitating interdisciplinary programs.