August 2008

Graduate School Forms Revised February 2008:

     Last fall and spring, the Graduate School conducted an extensive review of all its old forms.  As a result of this review, all forms have been revised effective February 2008.   Beginning this semester, the Graduate School will only accept  the new Graduate School Forms.  Please visit the web site below to see and download all the revised forms that are appropriate to your needs.

Please purge your files of the old forms.  Thanks for your cooperation.

Personnel changes

     The Graduate School is pleased to welcome four new staff members to the Graduate Admissions & Academic Progress area.  They are IdaLinda Harrington, Joli Huyhn, Jennifer MacDonald, and Shelton Norwood. 

     The Graduate School also welcomes Dr. Manuel Pérez-Quiñones, Associate Dean in Residence and Director of the Office of Graduate Student Diversity Initiatives.

Faculty gathering

    On September 10, 2008, the Graduate School will hold its first gathering for faculty, graduate program directors, and departments.  The topics will include NRC doctoral assessment study, discussion of policies & procedures, interdisciplinary graduate education, and more

4000 level course update

     Colleges and departments have reviewed the 4000 level classes that historically have been approved for graduate credit.  To date, departments have requested that N=231 classes at the 4000 level will now become a con-joint class.  Departments also have identified N=22, 4000 level classes that they now want to move from 4000 completely to 5000 without a 4000 level counterpart.  There also are N=352 4000 level classes that will remain at the 4000 level and require no further action.  

      A sub-committee of the Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC), which includes representation from the Registrar’s Office, Graduate School and all colleges, will be reviewing all these classes the week of September 1.  The sub-committee will finalize a “fast track" process to swiftly and easily process the con-joint classes.  It will also discuss how to address those classes that desire to now become new 5000 level classes.

     The first formal meeting of the GCC for the 2008-09 academic year is scheduled for Thursday, September 11, 2008 where this review process will formally begin.  All colleges should make sure their appointed GCC faculty representative is clearly informed of the desires of their respective academic units.

Deadlines & Timelines

September 12 – Students must defend by this date in order to qualify for DSS.

Defending Student Status (DSS): The one (1) credit DSS Status was designed for students who had a completed thesis/dissertation ready for defense in one semester but could not arrange to schedule that defense until the beginning of the next semester (typically because of faculty schedules that are beyond the student’s control).

Please see other dates and deadlines for degree completion at:

October 1 – Students must submit their Application for Degree indicating they wish to be a fall 2008 Graduate

October 15 – Deadline departments should recommend admission for spring International applicants

December 1 – Last date for accepting regular and online applications for spring admission; students applying after this date must use the expedited application

Graduate School IT Wiki – Documentation

     The Graduate School is introducing its IT  Wiki.  Our Wiki will be your source for documentation of GLC space technology as well as for Graduate Student systems that we develop as well as for Banner usage.  Feel free to look around.  We’ll announce significant updates in the Graduate Coordinators meetings.

ETD Resources and Discussion Forum

     The Graduate School has created a new Blackboard course for ETD Resources and Discussion. This forum is open to all Virginia Tech graduate students and is intended to assist students as they work to complete their thesis or dissertation.

     To enroll, login to Blackboard using your username and password. Select the courses tab. In the course search box on the top left search for "Graduate School." VT Graduate School ETD Resources and Discussion will be listed in the search results. Select "enroll" to the right of the description. Submit the verification page. If you have any questions please contact Janice Austin.

William Preston Society Master’s Thesis Awards Nominations Due Friday, September 19, 2008

     The William Preston Society is comprised of former members of the Board of Visitors, the current president, and past presidents. The thesis award is given to a graduate student whose master’s thesis presents the best original research with potential to benefit all people.  Three awards are given each year, but the disciplines rotate each year. For the 2008-09 academic year, the Preston categories will be for the Humanities and Fine Arts (1) and the second category will be for Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering (1).  There also is a third award category reviewed at the same time for the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.  It is a titled "Innovative Application of Technology in a Master’s Thesis" (1).

     Preston Thesis Award winners are selected in the fall by a committee convened by the Graduate School Associate Dean.  Winners also are recognized at the fall semester William Preston Society Weekend awards banquet and automatically become the VT nominees for the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools annual Master’s Thesis Award competition.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Secured theses are not eligible for consideration for the award ,
  • Nominees must have completed their thesis in the last academic year including summer.
  • Only one nominee per department.

Nomination Requirements (to be submitted by the student’s department)

  • 12 copies of a letter of nomination (including quality, relevance and significance of the research);
  • 12 copies of the 1-2 page abstract and ETD access information for the thesis;
  • 12 copies of the nominee’s 1-2 page abbreviated CV;
  • 12 copies of a letter of endorsement from the major professor.

Call for Nominations: Deadline for 2008-09:  Friday, September 19, 2008 at 4 PM in 119 Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown

     Successful candidates will be notified and will be invited to provide a brief overview of his/her thesis at the William Preston’s Society annual meeting. Awards will be presented at this meeting.