April 2006


  • Graduate Education Workshop for graduate program directors, coordinators, and staff is scheduled for May 1st from 10:00 a.m. until noon in the GLC auditorium. The workshop is designed to provide an overview of changes in policies and procedures, update progress in graduate education at VT and to invite dialogue about the future. Everyone is welcome to attend.
  • The Graduate Commencement ceremony in Blacksburg will be held at 3:00 pm in Cassell Coliseum on May 12, 2006.
  • The National Capital Region Spring 2006 Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be held at 1:00pm on May 14, 2006, at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University.
  • GTA Workshop will be the afternoon of Monday, August 14 and the mornings of Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16, 2006.
  • Deadline to accept international students currently residing outside the U.S. is May 15
  • Photos from Graduate Education Week have been posted

Graduate Life Center and Graduate School Move

The entire Graduate Life Center complex will close on May 17th for renovations and upgrades during the summer months. The facility will reopen in early August. During the first few days of August 2006 the Graduate School offices in Sandy Hall will close and we will move our entire operation into the mezzanine and second floors of the former Alumni Hall. After we’re all settled in the GLC complex, please watch for the announcement of our Grand Opening during the fall semester.

Initial Announcement about Awards

The Virginia Tech Preston Society offers two Master’s thesis awards annually. For 2007, the categories include (a) Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and (b) Humanities and Fine Arts. The winners of the Preston Society awards are then forwarded to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) as our nominees for the 2007 CSGS Master’s thesis awards. Although the details of the nomination process will not be available on the web until late summer, please begin to think about deserving nominees from among the spring and summer graduates.

Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees (IPGD)

The Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees is designed to advance the academic agenda for graduate education at Virginia Tech and to meet the goals outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan. The plan, updated annually, includes the identification of new graduate degrees to be added to our existing degree offerings. Attached is a copy of the latest update to the IPGD. The pre-approved status gives the departments the "go-ahead" to start developing the proposal for submission through university governance.

Annual Progress Review Reminder

Spring is the time for conducting the Annual Progress Reviews for graduate students (Presidential Policy 229). Please conduct these reviews, share with the graduate students, and please send us copies of these reviews. It would also be useful to have a summary of the departmental review procedure and a summary of the results. Anne McNabb will be following up with each department about the review process.

Commission on Graduate Studies & Policy (CGS&P)/University Council

In order to implement the revised policy regarding staff and administrative faculty entering graduate degrees, the commission recently approved the following procedure.

1. As a component of the graduate application, a potential student, graduate advisor, and supervisor/department head will sign the Graduate School Application Supplemental Form that specifically addresses potential conflicts of interest, time, and commitment between the student and employer. Successful applicants will:

a. Satisfy all admission and program requirements;
b. Submit a preliminary plan of study with a stated timeline and department/program approval;
c. For those entering a PhD program, make arrangements for satisfying doctoral residency requirements with their employer;
d. Conduct thesis/dissertation research that is distinguishable from work that is part of the employment responsibilities;
e. Abstain from service on university committees dealing with curricular decisions and policy/procedures for graduate education;
f. Avoid situations which may create a conflict of interest including those which could arise from pursuit of a degree in one’s own unit and those which are directly administratively related to the staff member’s unit of employment. Employment supervisors will abstain from chairing and/or serving on the candidate’s graduate thesis/dissertation advisory committee; and
g. Reach a common understanding concerning the relationship between job responsibilities and the required academic study.

2. Requests for admission to the Graduate School for staff and A/P faculty will be reviewed by the Graduate School using guidelines provided. On behalf of the Commission, appeals will be considered by the Graduate Student Appeals sub-committee of the Commission for Graduate Studies and Policies.

Tracking progress of the Graduate Curriculum Committee

To help facilitate tracking the progress of proposed graduate courses, certificates and new degree proposals, the Graduate School has prepared a table titled: "2005-2006: GRADUATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE COURSE REVIEW RECORD". Current and prior year information may be viewed online.

The table is updated regularly, so that you will be able to determine the status of academic proposals moving through the Graduate Curriculum committee (GCC) and university governance system.

Drops & Withdrawals Clarification

Electronic "withdrawals" from individual courses within the drop period are done by the student within the published deadlines for the semester. This process is identified as Drop and the course does not appear on the student’s transcript. The tuition refund rules are on the Bursar’s webpage.

Withdrawals from courses after the drop period are identified as Graduate Withdrawal. These carry a WG designation on the transcript but do not affect the GPA. This process requires the use of the Graduate Course Withdrawal Form which must be signed by the student, the instructor, and the student’s advisor or departmental graduate coordinator and be approved by the Graduate School. This WG designation is a new category approved by the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies and the University Council earlier this academic year. Withdrawals from courses after the semester is over are not permitted.

Withdrawal of registration for the semester requires the Student Resignation/Withdrawal Form from the Registrar’s office. To drop all classes for the semester by the first day of classes, only the student’s signature is required. To withdraw from all classes after the first day of classes, the student must officially "resign" or withdraw. This requires a graduate dean’s signature. Withdrawal/resignation from all courses for the semester will result in the designation of WG for the semester and the removal of the courses from the transcript. Retroactive resignations or withdrawal after the semester is over are not permitted.

Graduate School Forms

The forms required for transactions with the Graduate School are posted on the Grad Homepage under Academics, Form. Please do not use modified versions of these forms