October 2008

Dates & Deadlines

  • November 7 – Last date for PhD/EdD candidates to defend if they intend to participate in the Fall commencement ceremony
  • November 21 – Last date of PhD/EdD candidates to submit their ETDs if they intend to participate in the Fall commencement ceremony
  • December 1 – Last date for accepting regular and online applications for spring admission; students applying after this date must use the expedited application
  • December 15 – Departments should submit all recommendations for admission to the Graduate School by this date


On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, we will hold a Graduate Program Directors Workshop  an Advising Graduate  Students from 1:00-2:30. This will be held live via webcam from Blacksburg to the National Capital Region.

The Spring gathering of the Graduate Program Directors will be held from 3:00-5:00 on January 27, 2009.  Please hold this date. 

 Annual Call for Proposals: Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees (IPGD)

The Graduate School calls for new degree proposal for inclusion on the Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees (IPGD). The ’08-’09 IPGD is comprised of a list of degree programs that have been pre-approved for full proposal development and selected proposals that remain on the waiting list.  The specific degree, location and time frame are articulated in the IPGD.   The principles and guidelines for the IPGD are attached.

We anticipate that colleges will review and select from proposals generated by their academic units. We would like to receive the college-approved proposals by February 1st so that we can finalize the ’09-’10 update to the IPGD by the end of the Spring 2009 semester.

Please provide the following information (in two pages or less) for degree programs you wish to have considered for inclusion on the plan:

  • Need and Demand for the degree
  • Target audience
  • Faculty resources to be utilized
  • Graduate courses (existing and proposed) underpinning the degree
  • Conformity with the VT Strategic Plan particularly with regard to research emphasis and interdisciplinary nature
  • Source of financial support
  • Anticipated implementation date

The proposed degrees currently listed on the wish list will be considered for pre-approval in this review cycle. Please review the current IPGD "wish list" and indicate those proposals that should be removed from consideration. The current IPGD is attached.

Please send proposals to Karen P. DePauw in the Graduate School by February 1, 2009.

Nominations for Cunningham Doctoral Scholars
As an integral part of our recruitment efforts to attract outstanding doctoral students to Virginia Tech, I am pleased to open the competition for the 2009 Cunningham Doctoral Scholars Program.  Please review the guidelines and timelines available on the Graduate School web site.

Graduate Congressional Scholarship (Spring 2009)
The Graduate School is pleased to announce the availability of a one semester Graduate Congressional Scholarship for students currently enrolled at Virginia Tech. The scholar will be able to participate in the everyday work of Congressman Boucher’s office. While specific duties will depend on the scholar’s experience and interests, as well as the needs of Congressman Boucher’s office, duties will likely include constituent services, special studies, and support of on-going office activities such as telecommunications, science and technology, social issues, labor and education.

The scholarship is open to masters and doctoral students in all fields. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program at Virginia Tech and have completed at least 18 credits of graduate coursework. The ideal candidate should possess excellent writing skills. The successful applicant will receive one semester tuition and stipend up to $15,000 (combined).

Applicants should submit a 250 word statement of career goals, a current resume, and two letters of support, at least one of which must be from a Virginia Tech faculty member in the student’s graduate degree program. Please submit applications or nominations by December 15, 2008 to Dr. Karen P. DePauw, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean of Graduate Education, Mail Code 0325, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Graduate School 2008-09 Student Excellence Awards

The Graduate School is requesting nominations for the following graduate student awards:

  • Outstanding Dissertation in math, sciences and engineering–$1000 award
  • Outstanding Dissertation in social sciences, business, and humanities–$1000 award
  • Graduate Student Service Excellence–$1000 award
  • Graduate Student Teaching Excellence–$1000 award
  • Graduate Man and Woman of the Year– $500 award each
  • Outstanding Graduate Student by college at the (a) master’s and (b) doctoral level–$500 award each
  • Outstanding Graduate Student in Interdisciplinary Programs (doctoral)–$500 award
  • Graduate Man and Woman of the Year–$500 award each  
  • Outstanding Graduate Alumni Achievement Award — presented during the 2009 Spring Commencement ceremony.

Eligibility and nomination requirements vary for each award; please see http://www.graduateschool.vt.edu/academics/honors_awards/graduate_awards/  for details. Nominations must be submitted by February 6, 2009, unless otherwise stated. Award winners will be notified by letter. All awards include a monetary prize and a plaque or certificate. Winners and their advisors will be recognized at the awards banquet during Graduate Education Week in March 2009.

Please spread the word to all students and faculty so outstanding graduate students and alumni can be recognized. All of these above prestigious awards provide recognition and cash awards for selected graduate students.


New VT 4XXX-5XXX Con-Joint Class Numbering Process
The Registrar’s Office had just tested the latest version of Banner 8.0 and has given the graduate education community a new numbering option for all proposed con-joint classes. The Registrar’s Office will now implement a fifth character to all proposed 5XXX con-joint classes. The addition of the character “G” will now appear behind all 5XXX con-joint classes. Thus all con-joint classes now can have the same number as their 4XXX counterpart via the simple addition of a trailing “G”. For an example, the proposed con-joint class, AHRM 4314’s con-joint partner will be numbered “AHRM 5314G”. This will also allow departments to have greater numbering flexibility as it will increase the class numbers available to individual departments. Individual departments that already have submitted proposed con-joint numbers will have the class numbers adjusted by the Registrar’s Office during the “Fast Track Review” process. As always, any graduate class numbering questions for any proposed undergraduate and graduate level classes should be directed to the Registrar’s Office and Mr. Marvin Foushee, Associate Registrar.

Final Transcripts

We have notified students, who have yet to submit their Final Official Transcripts – verifying prior degree work has been completed and that their degree was conferred, that their records will be blocked for future enrollment for the Spring 2009 term until they are received.  Many students believe that the official documents submitted for admission’s consideration are what is needed, but in fact most of these transcripts do not show degree confirmation.  Departments should review any transcripts they have on file to see if they have received the final version of the transcript.  If departments have a recent transcript (received after May 1, 2008), they should forward it to the Graduate School.  Students who have earned VT undergraduate degrees do not need to provide official transcripts.

Commencement Participation

Graduate students, especially Doctoral candidates, should confirm their participation in the upcoming Fall ceremony.  Attendance confirmation can be done electronically through HokieSPA. under "Degree Menu, Graduate Student Degree Menu" option.

In order to be eligible to participate in the hooding ceremony during commencement, doctoral candidates must complete all requirements, including Graduate School APPROVAL of the ETD by December 12, 2008. The deadline allows us to prepare diplomas so that it can be presented on stage.

Education Specialists, Master’s degree, and graduate certificate graduates are all eligible to participate in the ceremony prior to the final completion of their degree requirements.

Changes to Plans of Study (POS)

Recently, there has been some confusion in regard to the timing of when changes to Plans of Study are required.  Once a POS has been approved by the Graduate School, any additions or deletions to coursework necessitate the filing of a Plan of Study Change form.  Changes to Committee structure should be done through the submission of the Change of Committee-Advisor form.  Student’s whose approved Plans of Study indicate that a course will be taken during one term, but in reality are taken in a different term, do not require any change to the Plan of Study.

Graduate Program Director or Department Head Signature on Plans of Study
Recently we have been seeing newly entered Plans of Study without departmental program signatures by one of these individuals who are the responsible parties for program oversight. Please return to having a Graduate Program Director or Department Head signature on Plans of Study.

Returning Graduate Students working on Thesis or Dissertation
When students have been out of enrollment and resume work on a thesis or dissertation, faculty advisors should require the student to be Readmitted and enrolled for the minimum enrollment of 3 credits. This enrollment  reflects the investment of faculty time spent on working with the student to get the thesis/dissertation ready for defense and is expected under the Continuous Enrollment policy.