Ethics Bowl 2010

Graduate students are invited to register by Friday, Feb 26, for the 3rd annual Ethics Bowl organized by the Graduate School. The ethics bowl provides an opportunity for students to test their sense of ethics, communication and critical thinking skills through  considering, discussing and resolving case-study based ethical dilemmas with fellow students and faculty . The event will take place on Tuesday, March 2, 3:00-4:30pm in the GLC Multipurpose Room.

Students may sign up as a team of 3-4, or as an individual and be assigned to a team by the organizers. Teams may include current VT students, faculty or staff, but team leaders must be graduate students. Register here.

Call for Abstracts for GSA Research Symposium

Graduate students are invited to submit abstracts for the 26th Annual GSA Research Symposium that will be held on March 24 in the Graduate Life Center, and the GLC Plaza. Students from the National Capital Region may participate through video-Conferencing. The submission deadline is February 26.

$9500 in prizes will be awarded! The keynote speaker is 2007 Nobel Laureate Dr. Andrew Weaver, a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Visit the symposium website  for more information. If you have questions, please contact the GSA Research Symposium Chair, Ganesh Balasubramanian.

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree programs

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree programs

                            Request for proposals

In accordance with the recent approval of new policy to take effect for Fall 2010 for the accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree programs, “each graduate degree program wishing to offer one or more accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree programs must submit a written description of their program to the Graduate School for review and approval before students may be admitted hereto”.  Below is the text of the resolution for the particulars of the conditions under which the programs can be offered.

In order to allow enough time to admit and enroll students for Fall 2010, the proposals will need to be submitted to the Graduate School by April 1, 2010.  As a reminder, these programs can be within one department, across disciplines, or across colleges.  In your description, please indicate the following:

  • Accelerated program(s) you wish to offer
  • Graduate degrees included – master’s or doctoral degrees or both
  • Admission criteria and application materials required, including but not necessarily limited to student status, minimum GPA requirement, statement of motivation and career objectives, student’s experience and qualifications as reflected in a résumé, a portfolio and/or letters of reference
  • the number of credits to be double counted towards undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Process for identifying potential students and faculty advisors, and mentoring during program
  • Tentative listing of courses that the department expects to be used for graduate plans of study for students in the program
  • Other conditions or aspects of the proposed program as appropriate

Consistent with Graduate School policy, the standards for each program must meet the minimum requirements but can exceed these (e.g., GPA, fewer number of courses to double counted).  These regulations include the following:

  • Students must be accepted into the program prior to the beginning of the semester in which they would enroll in courses to be used on the accelerated program.  Students qualifying for the program must be in the last 12 months of their undergraduate degree
  • A maximum of 12 credits of graded coursework may be used in the program
  • No more than six credits double counted may be at the 4000 level; all others must be offered for graduate credit
  • A grade of B or higher must be earned in each course to be double counted
  • Courses must not be taken pass-fail if a graded option is available

During the spring semester, the Graduate School will modify the forms needed to admit the students to the program to include identification and signature of the assigned advisor and listing of planned courses for the accelerated program to be used on the graduate plan of study.

Please submit your proposal(s) to the Dean of the Graduate School.  Although proposals can be submitted at any time in the future, the April 1st deadline will allow enough time for students wishing to participate beginning Fall 2010.  We will review each proposal and work with you to finalize the documentation.  Approved programs will be listed in the graduate catalog. We plan to maintain a list of approved programs that can be included on our website with links to departmental pages with more specific descriptions. Our staff will also use the approved program descriptions and requirements during the admission process and plan of study approval.

Please contact the Dean or Associate Deans if you have questions or need assistance in this process.  Toward that end, we have scheduled a meeting on February 17th from 8:30 – 10:00 in GLC.  Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies

Resolution 2009-10A

Resolution for Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Programs 

Whereas, the most talented, highest-achieving students are sufficiently prepared, toward the ends of their undergraduate degree programs, to enroll in graduate courses and are well qualified to pursue graduate study, and

Whereas, an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate (UG/G) Program is a program that allows some senior-level required courses and advanced electives that are also appropriate graduate courses to be ‘double-counted’ toward both the undergraduate (UG) and graduate (G) degrees, and is a means by which these high-achieving undergraduates may complete some of the course requirements of a graduate degree, while simultaneously finishing the undergraduate degree, and

Whereas, a significant number of academic units have developed or may someday develop accelerated undergraduate graduate degree programs (henceforth collectively designated UG/G programs) for the purpose of encouraging their best undergraduates to pursue graduate study and enabling them to enter the professional workplace sooner, and 

Whereas, several UG/G programs have evolved and are presently available to students; however their admission procedures and operating policies are so diverse that collective administrative oversight to ensure quality and fairness across all such programs has become intractable, therefore be it

Resolved, that beginning in the Fall Semester of 2010, the Graduate School shall administer all UG/G accelerated programs under a consistent policy umbrella, and be it

 Resolved, that the Accelerated Undergraduate Graduate program (UG/G) shall supplant the present Five Year (Honors) Bachelors-Masters program and the present Open Bachelors-Masters program, effective Fall 2010, and be it

 Resolved, that Dual Student Status, as defined in the Graduate Catalog, is unchanged as an option that allows students, who have satisfied the requirements of their undergraduate degree, to take graduate level courses in their final semester prior to graduation that will count toward a graduate degree, but not their undergraduate degree; and since the purpose is distinct and separate from that of the Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Program (UG/G) and to avoid confusion in administering these programs students may not concurrently have Dual Status while enrolled in a UG/G program, and be it

 Resolved, that university-wide minimum conditions for admission into a UG/G program shall include

1)      the confirmed availability and willingness of a faculty member to serve as the student’s initial advisor for the proposed UG/G program, and

2)      a tentative listing of courses that the student will take that are generally found suitable for use on a graduate Plan of Study, and

3)      a minimum GPA of 3.3, and be it


Resolved, that the academic unit administering the graduate portion of a UG/G program may establish additional admission criteria, including but not necessarily limited to student status, GPA (above the university minimum of 3.3), motivation, career objectives, the student’s experience as reflected in a CV, a portfolio, and/or letters of reference, and be it

Resolved, that admission into a UG/G program must be granted, by the Graduate School and the academic unit administering the program, before an undergraduate student may enroll in courses that he or she intends to apply toward a masters, doctorate, or both, and be it

Resolved, that some courses taken before completion of the undergraduate degree (and applied toward that degree) may be applied also toward the graduate degree of a UG/G program, subject to the following regulations:

1)      At most twelve credits may be used,

2)      All courses used must be numbered at the 4000 or higher

3)      Courses must be taken during the final twelve months of the undergraduate degree,

4)      No more than six credits used may be at the 4000 level,

5)      A grade of B or higher must be earned in each course used,

6)      Courses to be used must not be taken pass-fail if a graded option is available, and be it

Resolved, that each graduate degree program wishing to offer one or more UG/G programs shall submit a written description of their program to the Graduate School for review and approval before students may be admitted thereto.