In keeping with Virginia Tech's land grant mission of providing teaching, research, and service to citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Graduate School has established the Commonwealth Campus Program. The Commonwealth Campus Program is designed to respond to the demand for graduate level course work by prospective students, many of whom are experienced working professionals, who do not wish to immediately undertake study toward graduate degrees. These students seek to take a limited number of courses to expand their knowledge and understanding in specific content areas. Most seek opportunities to study with Virginia Tech faculty to enhance their professional development, to sharpen their workplace skills, and to learn about the latest issues, trends, and concepts in a chosen discipline or area of study. Others may wish to broaden their understanding of competence in fields outside of their respective disciplines. Whatever the reason or the stimulus for pursuing coursework, the Commonwealth Campus Program provides an alternative to more traditional learning opportunities available at Virginia Tech.
Enrollment in graduate courses (4000 level and above) as a Commonwealth Campus student carries with it the responsibility of any student enrolled in a graduate course. Commonwealth Campus students are expected to meet all course requirements, to participate fully in all course activities, and to complete all assignments, exams, projects, and other requirements to earn credit and a grade.
The purpose of the Commonwealth Campus Program is to provide educational opportunities to qualified post-baccalaureate students to enroll, on a part-time basis, in selected graduate courses. The Commonwealth Campus may serve as an alternative for: students not wishing to pursue graduate degrees at Virginia Tech, students holding graduate degrees seeking to update their knowledge or skills in their own disciplines, students seeking re-certification for their chosen professions, or students simply wishing to broaden their intellectual horizons. This non-degree program allows individuals to pursue coursework for credit, streamlines the enrollment process, and opens access to the University's faculty and resources.
Students may not earn a graduate degree while enrolled in the Commonwealth Campus Program.
Participation in the Commonwealth Campus Program is open to individuals who hold earned baccalaureate or higher degrees from an accredited post secondary institution. Students enrolled in coursework in the Commonwealth Campus Program will be expected to meet all prerequisite course requirements or to be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge and understanding for courses prior to enrollment. Students needing or desiring to enroll in coursework below the 4000 level to meet prerequisite requirements may do so, but they will be limited to 12 credit hours. These courses must be completed with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If you do not maintain a 3.0, you will be dismissed. Coursework taken below the 4000 level may not be used in a graduate program.
As with all courses, the faculty member teaching the course reserves the right to exclude any student from that course when the student lacks sufficient background or preparation.
Commonwealth Campus students will be required to remain in good academic standing while enrolled in graduate courses at Virginia Tech. Students on probation, on provisional and special admission status, denied regular admission, and those suspended from the University for any reason are not eligible to enroll in courses as Commonwealth Campus students.
The Commonwealth Campus Program does not replace existing Graduate School classifications such as professional certification or visiting student.
Because the Commonwealth Campus Program is designed for part-time study without formal admission to a degree program, international students in the U.S. on student visas are not eligible to enroll in Commonwealth Campus status.
Coursework taken by Commonwealth Campus students will be recorded as any courses taken by a regularly admitted graduate student. Courses taken while students are enrolled in the Commonwealth Campus will be shown on the transcript.
Commonwealth Campus students may enroll in eligible courses on a space-available basis during a designated enrollment period. Courses not available to Commonwealth Campus students will be so indicated in the list of courses for the semester or term. In addition to those courses, Commonwealth Campus students may not enroll in independent study, project and report, research and thesis/dissertation, final examination, field experience, or similar coursework designed for degree-seeking graduate students.
A Commonwealth Campus student may enroll in contract or sponsored courses/programs when the student is approved for participation by the sponsoring agency or organization and when the student meets University requirements for preparation in the program.
Students desiring to enroll in the Commonwealth Campus Program must complete the Graduate School application form prior to enrollment in their first courses. Each student will indicate his or her intention to be classified as a Commonwealth Campus student and the area of study in which coursework is to be undertaken.
Students will be required to submit a copy of an unofficial transcript of their highest degrees attained, indicating the degrees and award dates (minimum of baccalaureate degree) or their diplomas with their application.
Upon submission of the application and supporting documentation, the Graduate School, in consort with the college/department in which the student desires to pursue coursework, will approve/disapprove classification of the student in Commonwealth Campus status. Students will be notified of the decision of the Graduate School and the policies and procedures governing their enrollment in the Commonwealth Campus Program.
Classification in the Commonwealth Campus Program is necessary for any non-degree student wishing to take courses who is not seeking admission to a graduate degree program. Qualified students who wish to enroll in selected graduate courses may do so in this program. Commonwealth Campus students may enroll for up to two courses (six hours) of credit in any semester or term.
Students should continually assess their goals and objectives in pursuing coursework in the Commonwealth Campus Program. Upon reaching the maximum number of courses and credits a student may earn as a Commonwealth Campus student, the Graduate School will require that all students re-declare their intentions to not pursue a graduate degree at Virginia Tech. This must be done by the end of the semester/term in which they will have attempted 12 graduate credit hours in the Commonwealth Campus.
Commonwealth Campus students may utilize certain University services during any semester/term in which they are registered. These services include library resources services, computing, the bookstore, and related services. As with other students not paying the comprehensive fee, Commonwealth Campus students are not eligible for services provided to regularly admitted, degree-seeking students who pay comprehensive fees.
Students enrolled in courses as a Commonwealth Campus student who decide to pursue a graduate degree from Virginia Tech must make formal application for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, students must submit two official transcripts of their undergraduate and graduate records, letters of recommendation, GRE or GMAT scores (if required), and any other materials required by the academic college or department in which admission is sought. Upon receipt of all required documents, the student's credentials will be sent to the department for review and an admissions decision. A transcript of all coursework taken while a Commonwealth Campus student will automatically be included in the credential package.
Commonwealth Campus students making application to degree programs will be required to meet all college, departmental, and Graduate School admission requirements and to submit all supportive documentation, including official transcripts, letters of reference, and scores on standardized tests.
Evaluation of a Commonwealth Campus student will follow regular admission procedures and criteria. Coursework taken as a Commonwealth Campus Student may be reviewed as part of the admission review process, but Commonwealth Campus standing does not afford an applicant any preferential consideration in the admission process.
A determination of the applicability of any courses and credits earned while a student in the Commonwealth Campus will be made following admission. The acceptability of any courses and credits towards a degree is at the discretion of the academic department or program faculty, and their decision is final.
The standard University schedules for graduate tuition and fees will be in effect for students enrolling in courses in the Commonwealth Campus Program. This includes any required course material or laboratory fees, late charges, transcript fees, service fees, etc. with the exception of the comprehensive fee.
Students whose legal domicile is not Virginia will be assessed out-of-state tuition. Students seeking to take courses as Virginia residents must complete the Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates.
Commonwealth Campus students are not eligible to hold any form of graduate assistantship or participate in any fellowship or financial aid programs administered by the University.
Commonwealth Campus students will not be assigned faculty advisors. Commonwealth Campus students needing academic advising, particularly those students anticipating making formal application for admission to degree programs, should seek counsel from the department head or program director in that disciplinary area.
With the exceptions noted above, Commonwealth Campus students are bound by the following University and Graduate School academic and administrative policies: