If you are looking for the chance to further your education and collaborate with world-renowned faculty members researching, testing, and designing new pallets, packaging, and unit loads, with the focus of safety, sustainability, and cost effectiveness, CPULD is the place. We offer both master’s and doctoral programs for qualified students.
Being a successful graduate student requires intensive study and original research, so check into your options and make sure you choose the right path for you. You should always first talk with a faculty member in your intended area of study to learn about the current research needed and the assistantship funding availability.
The outline below is meant as general help only; it is not guaranteed to be complete. You are encouraged to research the application process through the Virginia Tech website, or by speaking with a VT admissions advisor, before completing your application to graduate school. We are not responsible for any delay in your application process that may arise by you following only this outline and not checking with the admissions office to ensure your applications completeness.
Everything regarding the application process that is outlined on this page is also available as a PDF download – linked here:
Send a professional letter of intent to the professor(s) that you’re interested in studying under – be sure to include your specific areas of interest and why you think the professor(s) of your choice would be a good fit for your research goals. The entire application process usually goes more smoothly if the professor has a heads-up that you will be applying to study under them.
(For international students applying to Graduate School)
We recommend that you look into what immunizations you will need to travel to the US and study at Virginia Tech. You will want to get these immunizations in your home country on the months-long timeline recommended by your doctor. If you wait until arriving in the US, you will be given the immunizations all at once which can cause unforeseen health problems.
The Educational Testing Service Institution Code for Virginia Tech is 005859 – give them this code when you register and when you take the GRE so that your scores are forwarded to Virginia Tech.
(For international students applying to Graduate School)
The Educational Testing Service Institution Code for Virginia Tech is 005859 – give them this code when you register and when you take the TOEFL so that your scores are forwarded to Virginia Tech.
You will have to include your undergraduate transcripts (showing at least a 3.0 GPA). You must request the official copies of your undergraduate transcripts to include with your application – unofficial copies or printouts from online will not be accepted.
If you’re an international student applying for graduate school…
Your official transcripts will need to be forwarded to Virginia Tech in ENGLISH. You will be required to either have them professionally translated before sending them, OR…
You will need to include up to 3 Letters of Recommendation from previous professors, mentors, or employers basically stating that you’re intelligent, professional, responsible, and would be an asset to the educational program for which you are applying.
The GRE scores for all graduate school applicants must be included. The scores should have been forwarded to VT by the ETS, but also make sure that you include a hard-copy of your test results with the application packet.
For international students applying to graduate school…
The TOEFL scores for all international applicants must also be included in their application packets. The scores should have been forwarded to VT by the ETS, but also make sure that you include a hard-copy of your test results with the application packet.
An application fee of $75.00 will need to be paid either online or included with paper application packets.
If you’re applying via a paper application packet, you will also need to include the printed and filled out paper application which can be found on the VT website under the admissions to graduate school section.
But even if you plan to apply online, it can help the process move smoothly if you print out the paper application and fill it out – this will make sure you have all the information required at your fingertips.
Once you have collected all of the items listed above for the complete application packet, it is time to apply to Virginia Tech’s graduate school.
One way to apply is by mailing/faxing the entire application packet (including transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores, filled out paper application form, and $75 fee) to:
Graduate School Admissions
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Virginia Tech (0325)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
You can also apply to Virginia Tech’s graduate school online: APPLY ONLINE
The Virginia Tech Graduate School can take 2-6 weeks to review your application, and at that point if anything is missing it will be sent back to you without a decision, so be sure that everything requested/required is included.
Once you are accepted into the Virginia Tech Graduate School, the graduate admissions board passes along your accepted application to the proper college / department based on what you’ve indicated that you’re planning as your course of study for your graduate degree.
Each department/college then takes time to review all of the applications accepted by the graduate school and chooses which graduate students will be accepted to study under which faculty members and what sort of financial aid/ assistantships/ scholarships can be offered.
The professor that accepts you as their graduate student will be in charge of contacting you and letting you know that you’ve been accepted to the graduate school, accepted to study in their department, and accepted to study under them specifically. They will also let you know of any financial help that may be offered to you.
This is why it’s helpful to contact the professor of your choice ahead of time. If they are familiar with your name, educational records, and grad school goals, then getting assigned to them will be easier and the whole process (after you’ve been accepted to graduate school at the university level) will go faster.
US Students: Skip forward to the New Graduate Student Checklist section…
International Students: Continue forward with the next section…
It is your responsibility to ensure you have a valid, unexpired, US accepted passport. Passports can be obtained through your home country’s government centers and obtaining one is the first step in the process of being allowed to travel to study in the US.
Once an international student has been accepted into the Graduate School they must supply the following documents before an I-20 or DS-2019 form can be issued. You will need the I-20 or DS-2019 form in order to apply for F-1 or J-1 visa status.
Collect together the following information, documents, and forms.
Submit these documents to the Graduate School (submit the packet of documents via ONE method only – and only after receiving official notice of acceptance into the Graduate School):
Allow 2-3 weeks for Virginia Tech to process these immigration/financial documents. After receiving the above immigration documents, Virginia Tech will issue you an I-20 or DS-2019 form – which is legal proof that you have been accepted to study at a US university – this certificate / form is what you’ll use to apply for a student VISA through the US State Dept. If you did not include everything required the packet will be sent back to you without a form being issued.
After Virginia Tech, a SEVP-approved school, accepts your enrollment, you will be automatically registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
You will need to fill out the DS-160 form online and print out the last page (the bar code page) of the form to keep with you during the VISA application process.
After you receive the I-20 / DS-2019 form, AND register for SEVIS, AND pay the SEVIS-901 fees, AND have a DS-160 form printed… then you will need to apply for a student VISA through the Department of State.
The steps for applying for a VISA can vary based on what country you’re traveling from – it’s suggested that you contact the US embassy in your home country and follow their specific instructions. But, in general, the process is as outlined below.
Allow three to four months for your visa application, interview, and approval process from the date you receive the I-20 or DS-2019 form from your university and fill out the DS-160 form.
Once you’ve received approval of your VISA and you travel to the US you will be issued an I-94 Form which must be kept with your passport, I-20/DS-2019 form, DS-160 form, and F-1/J-1 VISA.
As an international graduate student, you will be expected to purchase health insurance while you’re a student at Virginia Tech. Documentation proving health insurance coverage must be submitted by all international graduate students before the start of each academic school year. The requirements for this insurance can be found on the VT website.
Once you arrive in the US, you will have to complete the mandatory immigration check-in process. All new international graduate students are required to check in with International Graduate Student Services (IGSS) to satisfy immigration requirements.
Immigration Check-In is completed online through the IntlHokies portal.
An immigration advisor will contact you if anything is missing and will guide you through completing the check-in if this happens – OR the advisor will contact you to inform you that it’s all been received and approved.
As an international graduate student you will be expected to complete an immigration orientation designed specifically for international students coming to the Virginia Tech Graduate School (this is in addition to the New Graduate Student Orientation that is required of all students).
At least 30 days prior to classes the immunization records / medical questionnaire form must be submitted to the Graduate School. There are many immunizations that are required of any student attending classes on campus. Info about this process can be found through the VT health center. The immunizations records / medical questionnaire form that must be submitted is found here.
The form/records can be submitted through the health center’s secure online portal, hand-delivered to the Health Center in McComas Hall, or mailed to:
Medical Records Department
Schiffert Health Center (0140)
McComas Hall – Virginia Tech
895 Washington Street, SW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
You will need to create a Personal Identifier – your PID. This will be your access to everything online at Virginia Tech. It will be your email address, provide you with cloud storage while you’re a student here, will allow you to register for courses, and will basically be connected to everything you do from now on at the Virginia Tech campus.
It is recommended that your PID be a combination of your first and last names and, if needed, your birth year, but it can be anything you choose. It cannot be changed once it’s created – make sure it’s what you want and is completely correct before submitting it.
Contact your academic department and start a conversation with the faculty member who you’ve been assigned to. This faculty advisor will be able to help you outline a class schedule for the entire time you’re attending graduate school at Virginia Tech.
All students are expected to register for classes and pay tuition and fees prior to the start of each semester.
Classes are registered for, and payment is submitted through, the HokieSPA portal.
You will need to apply for and collect your student ID card, which is called your Hokie Passport, through the Hokie Passport office, 100 Student Services Building, Virginia Tech.
All graduate students are expected to participate in a New Graduate Student Orientation where you will learn more about the expectations the Graduate School has of you, discover resources that will help you throughout your graduate student career, meet the Dean of Graduate Studies, and find out how to get involved in campus life here at Virginia Tech.
Information on the Virginia Tech Graduate School can be found here: Virginia Tech Graduate School
Information regarding the various graduate degrees and programs offered are listed here: Grad School Programs
Information regarding the various classes and coursework that can be taken are listed here: Graduate Level Classes
The processes outlined on this page for applying to the Virginia Tech Graduate School have all been summarized or expounded upon from the application processes described here: Graduate School Application Processes
All Virginia Tech Graduate School application deadlines can be found here: VT GS Application Deadlines
After you’ve been accepted to the graduate school, you will need to take many steps to prepare for coursework, research, and life as a VT grad student: New Student Checklist
Links for every step on that checklist have been compiled here: New Student Links
What is expected of you as a graduate student at Virginia Tech is outlined here: Expectations of New Graduate Students
All of the policies and procedures surrounding being a graduate student are outlined here: New Grad Student Policies
Any form you may need during your graduate school career can be found here: Grad School Forms
Find clubs, organizations, and student groups centered around your interests as well as advising centers, mentoring networks, and health and wellness offices linked here: Student Groups