How To Apply

General information about applying for graduate studies at Virginia Tech is available through the Graduate School. Students should apply through the Graduate School. Department level deadlines and contacts are also available.  This presentation by one of our students explains the difference between undergraduate and graduate school, contrasts the MS (with or without thesis) and PhD degrees, and explains funding options.

General Information

Admission to the Environmental Engineering graduate program normally presupposes graduation from an accredited undergraduate curriculum in civil, chemical, biological systems, mechanical or mining engineering. Minimum requirements for admission are an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the last two years computed on a 4.0 scale. However, admission may be denied for higher qualifications, depending on the number of well-qualified applications received in a given year. In order to be eligible for a graduate fellowship or assistantship, the student should have an overall GPA of about 3.5 or better for the last two years of undergraduate work. It is required that all students submit graduate record examination (GRE) scores for the verbal, quantitative and analytical sections.

Admission to the Environmental Sciences and Engineering graduate program normally presupposes graduation from an accredited undergraduate curriculum in some related field of science such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics or geology. Applied fields, such as soil science, or forestry and wildlife, are also appropriate. Students should have a mathematics background that includes elementary differential equations, although this course can be completed as remedial work while in the graduate program. Admission is competitive among applicants, with minimum GPA requirements for undergraduates of 3.3 or higher, computed on a 4.0 scale, for the last two years of undergraduate work. Submission of GRE scores is required. Applicants with averages between 3.0 and 3.3 will be considered for admission if they have excellent graduate record exam (GRE) scores. Financial assistance is available to well-qualified students.

TOEFL scores of 88 (internet based), 230 (computer based), or 570 (paper based) are expected from international applicants for all programs.

Students applying for admission by transfer from another graduate school will be considered on the same basis as those applying initially. However, students who are not qualified academically for initial admission may, if they are able to subsequently demonstrate satisfactory performance for one or more semesters at some other graduate school, be reconsidered. Students accepted by transfer may have up to six semester hours of course work and thesis credit transferred to a M.S. program, if approved by the student’s advisory committee.

The decision for the type of admittance is based on the following items:

1) Admission Status

Regular Graduate Student Status: A student with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 semester hours may be granted regular admission status. A higher GPA is expected for doctoral candidates.

Dual Status: Seniors within one semester of graduation who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and who require no more than 1 semester of work for their B.S. degree may take graduate courses to satisfy an advanced degree program as dual registrants. These classes may be 4000 or 5000 level, but no more than 6 credits of 4000 level coursework can be used for a master’s degree. In order to apply for the dual program, students must apply and be accepted by the Graduate School in time to meet the acceptance deadlines for the semester during which dual status is desired. Students should apply online for the semester that they will become a regular master’s student (usually the semester following the award of their B.S. degree). An accelerated undergraduate/graduate status form (choose DUAL status) must accompany the application package with the planned graduate level classes. Students may not receive both graduate and undergraduate credit for the same course (except under the UG/G (double count) program).

UG/G (Undergraduate/Graduate) Program: Undergraduate CEE students who have an overall/cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 OR students who have a cumulative VT GPA of 3.3 or better and have  maintained a VT GPA of 3.5 or better in their last 60 hours of coursework are eligible. These students also need to have completed at least 90 credit hours toward their B.S. degree. Students can be in the program for their last two undergraduate academic semesters. Students accepted into the program may “double count” up to 6 credits between their B.S. and M.S. degree programs. These 6 credits may be 4000 or 5000 level. Students MUST earn a “B” or better in these courses. Application information is available in 200 Patton Hall and online.

Students who qulify for the UG/G program are eligible to take dual status classes as well if pre-approved by the faculty and Graduate School. These dual classes may be 4000 or 5000 level, but no more than 6 credits of 400 level coursework can be used for a master’s degree. These dual classes are in addition to the “double count” classes, must be taken in the student’s final semester, and will NOT be part of the undergraduate transcript.

2) Graduate Record Examination

All applicants must submit GRE scores as part of their application.

3) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International students who have not earned a baccalaureates degree from an ABET accredited American university will be admitted only after satisfactory completion of the TOEFL Examination. A TOEFL score of 88 (internet based), 230 (computer based), or 570 (paper based) is considered passing. International students must also submit GRE scores.

4) References

A total of three references are required for admission to graduate school.

5) Personal Statement

A statement detailing the career objectives, preferred type of research, and justification for higher education is required for all applicants.

6) Resume

A resume is required from all applicants.