April 2004

As this year comes to an end, I would like to say thanks to all who have helped enhance graduate education at Virginia Tech! Our progress is a collective effort and I’m pleased with our accomplishments. So, thanks!

As usual, I’ve included some announcements and updates in this monthly memo. Please share this information with faculty, staff and students in your department.

Commencement is a very special event for our graduate students and the university. This year we will introduce some new features including recognition of the recipients of official graduate certificates, performance of an original musical composition celebrating commencement, and visual reflections on the year. Please encourage graduate students, faculty and staff to attend.


  • Graduate Commencement will be held on May 14 at 3:00pm in Cassell Coliseum.
  • Northern Virginia Center Ceremony will be held May 15 at 8:00pm at George Mason University.
  • Graduate Congressional Fellowship available to work in Congressman Boucher’s office. Please send nominations to Dr. Roger Avery.

Reminder: International Students must be accepted by May 15, 2004 (see March memo).

An addition to the Banner report, SYRB601, allows departments to review and sort the list of applications that are still waiting for a decision. The report provides a data file that you can pull into an Excel file so that you can sort the data by student name, ID, campus, application status and citizenship status. A recently run report showed that there were more than 2000 international applications for Fall 2004 that were waiting for decision at various departments. Please run and review this report and make sure that the admission analysis forms for all international students you wish to accept for Fall 2004 are returned to the Graduate School by May 15, 2004. If you need assistance with how to run the report, please contact

Zelma Harris.

The application fee is good for one academic year. A new application fee will be charged to students who wish to defer their admission for a year or more (e.g., defer from Fall 2004 to Fall 2005).

Recent actions of the Commission on Graduate Study & Policies (CGS&P) & University Council

  • Doctoral candidates must have an advisory committee of at least four faculty members (change from 5 members to minimum of 4).
  • Minimum Master’s degree requirements have been changed as follows. Please note that departmental requirements have not changed and in many instances, departmental requirements will exceed the minimum.
Minimum Total Graduate Credits
Minimum Graded Graduate Credits
Minimum Research Hours
(12 credits of 5000-level or higher)
(15 credits of 5000-level or higher)

1A maximum of 12 credits in 4000-level courses (approved for graduate credit) and 6 credits total in 5974, 5984 and 6984 courses.
2A maximum of 9 credits in 4000-level courses (approved for graduate credit) and 9 credits total in 5974, 5984 and 6984 courses.

  • New wording for requirements for second Master’s degrees as follows:

    The requirements for a second master’s degree are the same as for the first master’s degree: an additional 30-54 hours, depending upon the degree sought. A student working on a second master’s degree may transfer up to 50% of appropriate courses (see the section entitled ‘Transfer Credit’).

  • Addition of description of the manuscript format for presenting thesis or dissertation. The body matter for a manuscript format will vary but generally contains the chapters of the thesis or dissertation, in logical order, each with its own title. Chapter titles may include: Introduction, Literature Review, Chapters 1+ (Title, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion & Conclusions), Overall conclusion, Data summary, Overall model if appropriate (text or illustration if appropriate), Bibliography and Appendices (if needed).
  • For the Department of Accounting and Information Systems (ACIS), the current identification for graduate degrees were changed from General Business, Accounting (GBUA) to Business, Accounting and Information Systems (BACIS)
  • For the Department of Business Information Technology (BIT), the current identification for graduate degrees was changed from Business Management Science (BMSC) to Business, Business Information Technology (BBIT).

Working with SYRB601 Report in Banner

  • In the initial Banner screen, type syrb601, and enter. This will open a Process Control Submission Form.
  • Click in the box below Printer, and the word ‘webdist’ should pop up.
  • Click in the box called Values, and yellow highlighting should appear, with three categories in the right column—Site Code, Major Code and Term Code.
  • In the Site Code box, type which campus you want to review. In Major code, type in your Major Code. In the Term code, type in the relevant term, for ex., 200409.
  • Click in the bottom box marked Submission, and make sure the radio button next to Submit is marked.
  • Last, click on the Save icon in the toolbar. The screen should blip, and then a message should appear in the bottom left hand corner, with Log file: syrb601_XXXXXXX.log List file: syrb601_XXXXXXXX.lis. (The X represents a number value.)

You will get an email message in your mailbox called Report Dist., with a hyperlink embedded.

  • Click on the link, and a page will pop up in your browser from Information Systems and Computing.
  • There should be 4 boxes in the top third of the page—Extract-lad, Report-lis, Status-log, and Status- Logsqr. Under Extract, click on Save.
  • Save the file to your desktop—you can rename it at this point if you wish. The Save File Type As should show as Text File. The file extension will show as .lad.
  • Open a new Excel workbook, and click on File/Open.
  • Find the file that you want to convert to Excel, and click on it, then click Open.
  • An instruction wizard will open to walk through the process.
  • Click Delimited as file type, and enter the number of the row that will begin your file under Start at Row 1, then click Next.
  • In the next screen, click to uncheck Tab and click to check Other. In the box next to Other, enter a vertical line (Shift+ key, above the Enter key). This should show how the file will look in Excel. Everything should line up ok, and if it looks fine, then click Next.
  • If the info still looks ok, then click Finish, and the information should pop into your Excel file. You may need to widen some columns and make others smaller, but the basic information should appear in a workable format.
  • Save the entire file at this time, and make sure it is saved as Excel Workbook.
  • To sort the data, click in the box next to the Header Line. This should highlight the first line. Go to Data/Filter and click on Auto Filter. This will place arrows at the top of each column. Click on the arrow in the column for which you wish to view sort choices. For example, click on Citizenship, choose N, and this will show all non-immigrant international students with outstanding files for your department. If you click on Status, then Out to Department, it will sort and show all files that you need to review.
  • To undo the sort, go back to the top arrow, and choose ALL.