April 2005



  • CollegeNET has released a beta Administration Systems. When you sign on to your administrative page you will see an option to use the new system. Feel free to take a look at their new interface. The old system will still be available for about a month, after which the new system will be switched to production. Please give any feedback to

    Jeremy Sippel so that we may pass it along to help CollegeNET make this as reliable as possible for us.
  • The online Admissions Analysis process, developed by Administrative Information Systems in cooperation with the Graduate School, will be released to production on Monday, May 2, 2005 . This new process will streamline the flow of AA “forms” to and from departments, eliminating the paper AA form altogether. In order to gain authorization to make program admission recommendations you must attend a training session. Your department head must inform the Graduate School of the employees that will utilize this process to record the departmental recommendation decisions. Initial training was offered on April 28 and 29, 2005, with additional sessions to occur once each semester, pending demand.
  • Please ensure that all online admission analysis decisions for international students whom you wish to accept have been processed before May 15, 2005.
  • The Fall 2005 deadline to accept international students residing outside the United States is May 15. Since the visa application process may take 3 to 4 months, we must allow sufficient time for students to make all their arrangements. International students are expected to arrive in Blacksburg no later than August 15 and participate in the mandatory international student orientation on August 18. Any exceptions for specific international students must be discussed with an immigration advisor (Zelma Harris or Ruth Athanson) in the Graduate School . You may send an email to

    igss@vt.edu with details about the student’s situation. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis after evaluating the applicant’s chances of receiving the immigration paperwork and applying for a visa in time to arrive by August 15.
  • A banner report, SYRB601, allows departments to generate a list of all applicants that still are awaiting a decision.
  • If a student wishes to decline an offer for Fall 2005, please notify the admissions office. Request for deferral must be made to us by the department and will not be processed upon a student’s request. An application fee will be charged to those students deferring from Fall 2005 to Fall 2006. (Application fee is good for one academic year).


Blacksburg: The Graduate Student Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, May 13, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

Check-in will begin at noon and end at 1:00 p.m. Doctoral and master’s candidates will receive additional instructions at this time. Certificate awardees will be asked to stand and be recognized during the ceremony.

Please visit the Virginia Tech Commencement website for check-in times, caps, gowns, and other related materials.

If you need additional information, please contact our office at 540/231-4669.

Doctoral candidates will receive their diplomas on stage. Education specialist and master’s diplomas and certificates will be available until 6:30 p.m. after commencement in the Graduate School, Sandy Hall for those finishing by the published deadlines. A photo identification is required for pick up.

National Capital Region: The 25th Commencement Ceremony in the National Capital Region will be held at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Virginia, at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, May 15, 2005 .

Commencement Speaker: Claire Fraser, Ph.D.
President and Director
The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR)

A reception in the main hall will immediately follow the ceremony. Invitations are now available at the Graduate Student Services Office or the Resource Center in the Northern Virginia Center .

Information for Degree Recipients: The deadline for applying for a degree through the online system has passed, however, students may still apply with a paper AFD if all requirements are completed. You also need to check with your department to determine if it requires any additional forms for graduation.

If you are planning to attend the commencement ceremony, please complete the attendance form available on Hokie Spa and submit it online.

Any questions about commencement should be directed to the Graduate Student Services Office at 703/538-8321 or by e-mail to gsso_ncr@vt.edu. Many other questions (invitations, academic apparel, photography, etc.) are answered on our Commencement Page.

Graduate Life Center
Beginning June 15, departments may reserve meeting rooms in the Graduate Life Center for regularly scheduled meetings. Contact information will be e-mailed to departments in June.

GTA Workshop
The 15th Annual GTA Workshop (Phase I) will be held August 15-17, 2005. The workshop will consist of Plenary sessions 1:00-5:00 on Monday August 15, concurrent sessions on teaching and learning 9:00 to 12:00 on Tuesday and sessions on e-Resources 9:00 to 12:00 on Wednesday. Phase II offerings will be in September. All new GTAs are expected to attend the Workshop and enroll in GRAD 5004 (P/F; 1 cr) (CRN 92944). Please share this information with your incoming graduate students.

Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees
In keeping with our planning process for graduate education at VT, I’ve attached a copy of the 2005–2006 Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees (IPGD). You will see the list of degree proposals that have been “pre–approved”, the wish list of future degree proposals, and a working timeline for implementation. For those degree proposals that have been “pre–approved”, faculty should work within their college structure to develop the full proposal for institutional review.

Changes in Policies/Procedures
[ February 16, 2005 ] The Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies approved a change in the deadline for ETD submission policy from:

Deadline for Submission
Final version of the thesis/dissertation/major paper (ETD) must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School no later than two weeks after the successful completion of the final examination. If this deadline cannot be met, a request (by e-mail is preferred) for an extension should be sent to the dean of the Graduate School by the advisor.


Deadline for Submission
The final version of the electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than two weeks after the successful completion of the final examination. If this deadline cannot be met, the advisor must send a request for an extension (e-mail is preferred) to the dean of the Graduate School . Late submission of an ETD (other than with an approved extension) will require the student to be enrolled.

It was noted that major papers, or project and report, are a distinctly different publication and do not need to follow the ETD publication route.

[ March 2, 2005 ] The Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies approved a change to Policy memo 230 [Awarding of the Graduate Certificate] as follows:

Be it further resolved that proposals to offer graduate certificates should include the following:

1. Rationale and need for graduate certificate. Target population to be served.

2. Identification of admission requirements. Graduate certificate programs must have admission standards that are similar to related graduate degree programs.

3. Identification of course requirements. Graduate certificate programs must use approved graduate coursework. At least two-thirds, including all core courses, must be graded on an A-F basis. Graduate certificate requirements must include a minimum of 9 Virginia Tech graduate course hours. A maximum of 33% of the course credits may be at the 4000 level.

4. Identification of members of the faculty associated with the graduate certificate program.

Imaging System
The Graduate School Imaging System RFP is in the final steps. We are hopeful that the Office of Information Technology Acquisitions (ITA) and university Legal Council will finish within the next couple of weeks. The ETA given by ITA is within the next four weeks.