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Graduate Policies and Procedures

Graduate students under the tutelege of Jeffrey Marion, Adjunct Professor, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, conduct research on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

Appalachian Trail research

The Graduate Catalog contains an up-to-date list of policies and procedures related to graduate education at Virginia Tech. To help you find specific policies, we have listed them below with links to their pages in the catalog.

Student Life and Related University Policies

University Policies for Student Life

Physical Examination

Medical Insurance Coverage

MEDEX Overseas Evacuation Program

Automobiles and Bicycles


Graduate Application and Admission


International Applicants


Admission Categories and Graduate Student Classifications

Regular Admission

Provisional Admission (Master's only)

Conditional Admission

Non-degree Status

Commonwealth Campus Status

Graduate Certificate Status

Visiting Graduate Student Status

Eligibility of Faculty/Staff for Graduate Degrees

Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses


Enrollment and Registration Procedures

Course Enrollment and Changes in Enrollment

Continuous Enrollment

In Absentia Status

Leave of Absence

Graduate Cooperative Education Program

Change of Campus

Simultaneous Graduate Degrees

Registration at the Time of Examinations and for Degree Completion


Changes of Status

Change of Graduate Program

Candidacy Status Tuition Reduction 


General Academic Information

Grading System

Grade for Thesis/Dissertation/Major Paper

Incomplete, X, NG and NR Grades

Grading System Requirements

Repeating Courses


Graduate Credit

On-line Courses/Independent Study in Absentia/Continuing Education


Academic Progress

GPA Requirements

Probation due to Unsatisfactory Grades

Satisfactory Progress toward a Graduate Degree


Enrollment Limits and Requirements

Full Time Enrollment

Graduate Student Employment/Assistantships

Virginia Tech Employees

Fellowship and Scholarship Recipients 

Graduate Assistantships

Types of Assistantships

Additional Employment for Students Holding a Graduate Assistantship

Academic Eligibility to Hold a Graduate Assistantship


Graduate Degree and Certificate Requirements

General Degree Requirements for Graduate Students

Scholarly Ethics and Integrity

Plan of Study

Justification of ’Old’ Course Work

Supporting Courses

Plan of Study Changes

Change of Thesis Option

Grades on Plan of Study Courses

Repeating Courses on the Plan of Study

Graduate Advisory Committees


Credit Hour Requirements for Degrees and Certificates

Master's Degree

Second Master's Degree

Simultaneous Degrees

Education Specialist Degree (Ed. S.)

Doctoral Degrees

Residency Requirements for Doctoral Degrees

Graduate Certificates



Scheduling Examinations

Examining Committees

Successful Completion of Required Examinations

Final Examination (Master's)

Qualifying Examination (Doctoral)

Preliminary Examination (Doctoral)

Final Examination (Doctoral)

Enrollment and Examinations


Thesis and Dissertation

Master's degrees

Doctoral degrees

Independent Effort

Dissertation Format

Proprietary or Classified Theses and Dissertations

Advisory Committee Approval of the Thesis or Dissertation

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD)

Deadline for ETD Submission

Degree Completion and Graduate School Approval of the ETD

Copyrighting and Microform

Intellectual Property



Procedures for Graduation

Graduation Clearance Procedures

Commencement Participation

Academic Regalia

Degree Conferring Dates



Graduate Student Appeals

The Departmental Appeal

The University Appeals Procedure