Virginia Tech® home

Expectations for Graduate Education, Graduate School

A photo of the Alumni Hall entrance to the Graduate School (with the columns and portico) in the spring, under a blue sky

The Graduate School is responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of graduate education throughout the university.  As such, the Graduate School works in partnership with the faculty, program chairs, and department heads to maintain and further the high quality of graduate education at Virginia Tech.  In addition, the immigration advisors at Cranwell International Center provide immigration information and support to international students.

Progress Toward Degree

It is expected that the Graduate School will:

  • Review the plan of study submitted by each graduate student to ensure that the plan contains sufficient credits to obtain the desired graduate degree.
  • Monitor graduate students’ progress toward degrees and regularly inform students of their progress.
  • Maintain comprehensive data on student completion rates, time to degree, placement in professional employment, and attrition.

Research and Ethics

It is expected that the Graduate School will:

  • Develop graduate training programs which best serve the interests of both faculty and graduate students at Virginia Tech.
  • Provide support to departments, programs, and units to develop high quality graduate programs that excel in research, teaching, and community service.
  • Facilitate, wherever possible, development of interdisciplinary research and training programs which push the boundaries of current disciplinary fields and agendas.
  • Administer the Graduate Honor Code.
  • Provide guidance on ethics and scholarly integrity

Teaching and Training

It is expected that the Graduate School will:

  • Ensure that individual graduate programs offer a curriculum of graduate instruction to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for the broad array of postgraduate careers they may wish to pursue.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the graduate program conform to the highest academic standards and provide mechanisms of redress when they fall below those standards.
  • Ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place, both centrally and in individual degree programs, to aid in successful inclusion of international students to academic life in the U.S. and at Virginia Tech.

Professional Development

It is expected that the Graduate School will:

  • Help develop support services in the Graduate School and communicate about services provided by other programs at Virginia Tech (e.g., the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the TLOS Professional Development Network, and the Graduate Education Development Institute) that enhance the professional, academic, and scholarly interests of graduate students.
  • Provide courses and opportunities for graduate students to better prepare themselves for academic and nonacademic careers (e.g., preparing the future professoriate, preparing the career professional).
  • Provide education and training for graduate students who serve as GTAs.
  • Assist with additional education programs and opportunities including interdisciplinary research and education, ethics and scholarly integrity, global perspectives, and civic engagement.

Assistantships and Financial Support

It is expected that the Graduate School will:

  • Provide guidance on financial and other mechanisms to support students in their pursuit of graduate degrees.
  • Communicate opportunities for graduate students at Virginia Tech, including scholarships, assistantships, grant opportunities, employment opportunities, and nominations for graduate-student awards.
  • Refer international graduate students to Cranwell International Center for assistance in the maintenance of their student visa status.


It is expected that the Graduate School will:

  • Promote a collegial climate for graduate education through academic, social, and community programs.
  • Establish an environment in which members of diverse communities feel welcome and honored.
  • Maintain a comprehensive description of the goals and expectations of individual graduate programs.
  • Provide clear and appropriate avenues of redress whenever particular faculty members’ or students’ experiences fall short of the expectations articulated in this document.