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Candidacy Status Tuition Discount

In recognition of the largely independent nature of the work performed by doctoral students who are in the research and dissertation phase of their studies, starting Fall 2021, students who have passed their preliminary exam and completed all  the required course work on their plan of study are eligible for the candidacy status tuition reduction when they meet each of the conditions listed below. In 2021-22 the tuition discount is 10% and will eventually increase to up 66% as approved by University Council resolution and pending evaluation of the program.


  1. have completed four (4) semesters of doctoral level enrollment and successfully passed the Preliminary Examination (identified as "doctoral candidate") before applying for this status
  2. enroll full-time solely in research & dissertation (7994) hours (9-18 credits/semester)
  3. do not enroll in any graded or P/F course work (exceptions for enrollment in a course other than research credits must be approved by the dean of the Graduate School)
  4. request the reduction in no more than four fall and spring semesters (not necessarily consecutive) within a period of up to three academic years (six fall and spring semesters)

This rate reduction cannot be applied retroactively to prior semesters and will not be applied until approved by the Graduate School. Requests must be submitted each semester prior to the last day to add classes.

Impact on Financial Aid: Financial aid awards will be reevaluated and may be reduced for students who receive financial aid and are approved for reduced tuition under candidacy status. Depending on the timing of the candidacy status approval, this reduction may result in an outstanding balance on the student's account. 


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Visit our Candidacy Status Tuition Discount FAQ page for answers about frequently asked questions (must be logged into your VT Google account to access this resource).