In keeping with the global dimensions of Virginia Tech's research mission, many faculty and graduate students are engaged in research partnerships with scholars from numerous other countries. Students who engage in research while living in other countries can gain valuable disciplinary expertise as well as deep understanding of cultural dimensions of research that are essential for fruitful global endeavors. This certificate provides a means of recognizing students' efforts and accomplishments in gaining background knowledge required for successful international research collaborations and in conducting research abroad.

Eligible Students

  • Virginia Tech master's and doctoral students from multiple disciplines who are US citizens, including US permanent residents, seeking specialized research experiences in another country
  • international Virginia Tech master's and doctoral students from multiple disciplines who are seeking specialized research experiences in a country other than the US and countries where they have studied before – must confirm visa requirements
  • students seeking degrees at universities in other countries who enroll at Virginia Tech as guest students for the purpose of gaining specialized research experiences in the US

Admission Requirements

  • Meet Graduate School criteria: Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better and English language proficiency
  • Students enrolled in Virginia Tech degree programs must also meet the admission criteria for their programs

Course Requirements

(minimum of 9 credits; these credits may be listed as part of the degree Plan of Study where permitted by program degree requirements)

  • GRAD 5404, Research in International Contexts, 3 credits, graded A-F; 
  • 3-credit elective focusing on knowledge and research expertise required to prepare for the international research abroad experience, must be graded A-F;
  • 3 or more credits of 5904, 5994, or 7994 based on research conducted abroad in collaboration with a scholar abroad, graded EQ by a Virginia Tech faculty member who serves as instructor of record for the credits (3 credits requires a minimum of 6 weeks of full-time research work abroad).

Faculty Oversight

The Graduate Certificate in International Research Abroad is managed by the Graduate School with respect to admission and certification of completion of requirements.

Participating departments should designate a faculty coordinator for the certificate. The student's major professor or other Virginia Tech faculty member will assist the student in identifying the elective course and establishing an international research collaboration, and will serve as instructor of record for the research credits.

The Graduate School convenes an advisory committee composed of faculty members with international research expertise to provide annual review of certificate requirements and resolution of admission or completion matters.

The following is an initial list of participating faculty. The list will be expanded to include representatives of other colleges:

  • William Huckle, Associate Dean, Graduate School
  • Sam Easterling, Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Muhammad R. Hajj, Associate Dean, Graduate School; Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
  • Tim Long, Associate Dean for Research and International Outreach, College of Science; Professor of Chemistry
  • Scott Midkiff, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer; Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering