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Prospective Student FAQs

Answers to questions about the application process and admissions to testing, funding, COVID-19 health measures, and other topics

When are admission deadlines (Spring and Fall)?

Each department may have an application deadline earlier than the final Graduate School application deadline for each semester. Check with the department in which you are interested to ensure that your application is submitted and all materials are received by the department's application deadline.

How do I respond to an admission offer?

Email your response to grads@vt.edu to accept or decline admission.

How long do I have to consider the offer?

International applicants must accept their offer by May 15 for Fall applications and October 15 for Spring applications to allow time to process the documents.

Domestic applicants are asked to make their decision early to allow sufficient time to process the application.

Will my admissions letter be emailed?

The admission decision will be sent to the email address associated with your application account. If you have a domestic address, a physical letter will be mailed also. 

Can I defer my admissions?

Yes. However, if funding was provided, the funding may not be available for the future term of admissions.

Will there be an interview?

That depends on the graduate program and degree type.

What are the application fees?

Application fees are listed on this webpage for degree/non-degree applicants.

Can an offer of admission be rescinded?

Yes, per department request.

When is the admission decision typically made?

Department deadlines are as follows:

  • International Applicants 
    • Fall: August 15
    • Spring: January 15
    • Summer I: May 15
    • Summer II: June 1
  • Domestic Applicants
    • Fall: April 1
    • Spring: September 1
    • Summer I: January 1
    • Summer II: February 1

How do I apply?

Steps are provided on the Getting Ready to Apply page

What are the required documents for my applications?

Required documents are listed on the Getting Ready to Apply webpage

How do I submit the documents?

Documents are submitted through the online application. The transcript/TOEFL/GRE are sent through mail. Information is provided on this webpage

How do I check my application status?

Check your application  status on the online application portal.

If I am reapplying, do I need a new application?

Yes, you must submit a new application.

Does VT accept or match Americorps awards or do you offer a fee waiver for members?

We do offer an application fee waiver for Americorps members. Information is listed on this webpage.

How do I submit my transcripts?

Include a scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to the Graduate School after you receive an offer of admission.

Can I apply to more than one program at a time?

Yes, but each application will require an application fee and all steps must be completed for consideration by each program.

Do you have fee waivers for the application?

We provide application fee waivers for the categories listed on this webpage

How do I pay with a credit card?

When submitting an application, the credit card information form will pop up.

If my undergraduate degree is from Virginia tech, do I still need to apply like everyone else?

Yes. You are required to apply. However, the Graduate School will not need a copy of your transcript. Check with your department to see if an official copy is needed for their records.

How can I get the application fee waived?

The Graduate School only grants application fee-waivers for the categories listed on this webpage

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

The number of letters required depends on the program. Check with the program of interest.

Do I submit my own letter of recommendation or have the person who wrote it send it in?

The person provided the recommendation must submit the letter.

When should I request official transcripts from my school?

You should request an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.

Does the Graduate School need both undergraduate and graduate transcripts?

Transcripts are needed from any institution you have attended previously. 

Do you require a standardized test?

The Graduate School does not require entrance tests, but departments may require GRE, GMAT, or subject test scores with your application. Check with the department to which you are replying to determine what you need.

What is the school code?

Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

How do I submit my test scores?

Score submission instructions is included on the How To Apply webpage

Can I still apply if I do not meet the minimum requirement?

Yes, but you must meet the minimum score requirements for TOEFL/IELTS.

What is the required TOEFL/IELTS Test score?

Testing requirements are listed on this webpage

How long are my test scores valid?

The GRE scores are valid for 5 years. TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years.

What are the average test scores of admitted students?

Average scores vary by department. Contact the program director for additional information.

How do I know you received my test scores?

Your online application portal will be updated to reflect receipt of test results.

Can I report the best score in each category?

Yes.

Can I submit my application if my GRE scores will not be ready by the deadline?

Yes, just insert in the date you plan on taking the test.

What graduate programs are waiving the GRE because of COVID-19?

Check with the department in which you are interested to find out if it is waiving the GRE.

What standardized test do you require for international students?

The Graduate School requires TOEFL or IELTS only.

Is there a different application for international students?

No

How do you evaluate the international transcript?

The Graduate School uses the grading scale on the transcript. If there is no grading scale, we use the World Education Service country conversion guide.

How do I determine the GPA if my school system is different?

Check the World Education Service country conversion guide.

If I already have a degree from a U.S. university do I still need TOEFL?

No.

What is the cut-off for TOEFL and is there flexibility?

The cut off is 90 overall and 20 in each sub-score minimum.

Do I still need to take the TOEFL/IELTS if English is not my second language?

Yes, unless the medium of instruction at your institution is English or you are from a country where English is the official language, such as Australia, Ghana, or the United Kingdom.

If English is my second language, should I be concerned about the English section of the GREs?

Yes, each section should be given serious consideration when preparing for the GRE.

Can international students get a fee waiver?

 Based on this site, only Fulbright and VEF students seem eligible.

What support do you have for international students?

The Cranwell International Center provides a variety of events and services specifically tailored for international students. Many other services, events and activities are available to international graduate students through the Graduate School or other campus departments. International students are eligible for graduate assistantships (teaching, research, or administrative/program support), the primary source of university funding for graduate students.

●      What financial support do you have for international students?

○      International students are eligible for graduate assistantships (GA, GTA, GRA). These are managed by academic departments and programs, and students are considered for assistantship funding after they are admitted into a degree program. More information is available at this webpage. Virginia Tech does not offer fellowships and scholarships specifically to international graduate students.

●      What immigration support do you have for international students?

○      The Cranwell International Center provides immigration advising for all international students. Immigration forms are issued to new students after they are admitted to a degree program and submit all relevant documents to the Cranwell International Center for enrollment in Blacksburg or to the Northern Virginia Center for enrollment in the greater Washington, D.C., metro Area.

●      What services and programs do you have for international students?

○      Both the Graduate School and the Cranwell International Center provide an array of programs and services that support international students’ adjustment to life in the United States and help them become members of the graduate and larger Virginia Tech community.

What financial aid or funding sources are available for graduate students?

You may find a list of sources on the university's financial aid page and the Graduate School's funding webpage.  

How do I know If I am qualified for aid?

Qualification criteria are provided for the different aid programs. Please visit the graduate student webpage on the university's financial aid website for more information.

Can I use FAFSA for graduate programs?

Yes. If you are applying for loans, or specific scholarships or grants, a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is required. You may find more information here

Is there a Fee Waiver for the McNair program?

Yes. An application fee waiver is offered to McNair Scholars with appropriate documentation.

What percentage of the overall cost does the assistantship cover?

The costs covered depend on the contract and funding availability of your program. Please visit your program webpage for additional information.

Can I continue working with my current employer and still get an assistantship?

Graduate students on full assistantships are not prohibited from seeking additional employment (restrictions may apply to international students). Students should consult with their academic advisor and/or assistantship supervisor as applicable regarding the fulfillment of their assistantship and graduate study responsibilities. Students must notify the Graduate School about any additional employment, including the period of employment, name and contact of employer, and job title or short description of duties. Use the online tool for reporting, which you can access via this portal.

With Covid-19, what are the safety measures in place for students?

Information about tours and campus visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Can I apply for both master’s degree and doctoral programs simultaneously?

Yes you can, but remember that you must submit an application and application fee for each program to which you are applying.

Would advisors, current students, or professors be open to prospective students contacting them?

Yes.

If I am not certain what degree to pursue, who should I talk to?

Staff members in the Graduate School Office of Diversity, Recruitment, and Inclusion (ORDI) or Graduate Admissions and Academic Progress (GAAP) are happy to help. Reach them at grads@vt.edu.

Are the program’s cohort-based?

Some are, many are not.

What resources do you have to address graduate students' self-care, mental health, or the overall wellbeing?

Cook Counseling Center provides services for Virginia Tech students. Information on self-care and other provided services can be found here.

While pursuing a master’s degree, can I also take courses for a certificate?

Yes.

Where do typical graduate students live?

On-campus housing information for graduate students can be found here.

Is there healthcare for graduate students that work on campus?

Information on healthy insurance options, enrollment, coverage plans and other related matters can be found here.

What transportation services do you have on campus? Is it walk-friendly?

The latest and updated Blacksburg campus transportation information can be found here. A Blacksburg campus interactive map is available on this webpage. For information about transportation on campuses beyond Blacksburg, reach out to your program.

Is VT graduate experience limited to Blacksburg campus?

No. VT Graduate School programs are offered at several Virginia Tech campuses and facilities throughout the commonwealth of Virginia. Information on various campus can be found here.

My Question is not on this list, who do I talk to?

Please contact the Graduate School at Grads@vt.edu and someone will assist you.

Updated January 27, 2021.