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Masters FAQ

How should I contact potential faculty advisors?

It is important to contact faculty to gauge their interest in being a potential M.S. thesis advisor.  Visit faculty profiles and their personal websites to identify faculty with common research interests.  You will be asked to provide at least one faculty as a potential advisor in your “Academic & Professional Goals Statement.”  Faculty will inform you if they are recruiting a new student and if they are interested in considering your submitted application alongside other applicants seeking their supervision.  Thus, the applications process is competitive based on both the pool of applicants and advisor fit.  If you are unable to identify a potential advisor then contact Graduate Director Dr. Andrew Ellis.  It is difficult to gain acceptance without an advisor as we strive to be a student-centered program with strong mentoring relationships.

I am an international student, can I apply?

International students are encouraged to apply and given full consideration.  Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships provide tuition remission and a stipend for international students.  Note that the English proficiency requirement can be waived in cases of English as a national language and/or English as medium of instruction at your undergraduate institution.  If admitted, international students work closely with the Cranwell International Center, which provides a liaison to assist with the visa process.  Due to the potential for visa delays outside of our control, it is important for international students to submit applications by the priority deadlines. 

Can I apply for admission to begin in the spring semester?

We prefer to admit students in the fall semester due to course scheduling, funding availability, and intended program design.  However, applications are accepted to begin in the spring.  It is best to contact Graduate Director Dr. Andrew Ellis to discuss opportunities for a spring semester start.

I don't have a degree in geography, can I seek admission to your program?

Geography is an inherently diverse and interdisciplinary field, so students are not required to have an undergraduate degree in geography.  Some of our most successful students have entered with degrees from allied fields.

Are GRE scores required?  

GRE scores are not required. 

What are the application deadlines?

To receive full consideration for Graduate Teaching Assistantship positions, applications must be submitted by January 15 (Fall semester start) or October 15 (Spring semester start).  We consider applications submitted after the deadlines, but they will not receive priority for funding.

Where can I go for additional information on applying to graduate school at Virginia Tech?

Many questions about applying can be answered by reviewing Virginia Tech’s Graduate School website.