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Prospective Graduate Students

Information for Prospective & New Graduate Students

CEE in Guatemala

Prospective graduate students should refer to the information in the dropdown menu under “Prospective Graduate Students.” That will share information about CEE at Virginia Tech, as well as guide you through the application process and required materials needed to apply. Additional resources can be found below:

After reading the department specific information, Please apply online through the Virginia Tech graduate school page

To facilitate the application process, the following information is provided:

1) Our main campus is “Blacksburg.” All degrees and program areas are available at the main campus

2) All degrees are available at our National Capital Region campus, but ONLY the Transportation Infrastructure & Systems Engineering or the Environmental & Water Resources Engineering program areas are available. The CIE (Civil Infrastructure Engineering) interdisciplinary program can be accessed from extended campuses on a part-time basis.

3) CEE has other extended campus sites within the state of Virginia which offer a master’s program. Contact the Graduate Coordinator for more information. We DO NOT offer a full online program for any of our degree programs. Some classes are available online but they are limited.

Graduate Program Contacts:

Environmental and Water Resources:
Dr. Peter Vikesland – Program Coordinator
Dr. Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz, Dr. Kyle Strom, Dr. Erich Hester. and Dr. John Little – Admission’s Coordinators

Geotechnical Engineering:
Dr. Nina Stark – Program Coordinator
Dr. Russell Green – Admission’s Coordinator

Structural Engineering and Materials:
Dr. Roberto Leon– Program Coordinator
Dr. Carin Roberts Wollmann (MS), Dr. Ioannis Koutromanos (PHD) – Admission’s Coordinators

Transportation Infrastructure & Systems Engineering:
Dr. Kevin Heaslip – Program Coordinator
Dr. Kathleen Hancock – Admission’s Coordinator

Construction Engineering & Management:
Dr. Mike Garvin – Program Coordinator
Dr. Farrokh Jazizadeh – Admission’s Coordinator

Interdisciplinary Programs:

Civil Infrastructure Engineering
Dr. Mike Garvin – Program Coordinator
Dr. Farrokh Jazizadeh – Admission’s Coordinator

Sustainable Land Development
Dr. Tripp Shealy – Admission’s Coordinator

4) Please DO NOT send any paper mailings. IF you have materials to add to the application, that cannot be uploaded into the application ONLINE, scan them to the Graduate Student Coordinator.  

5) Click here to see required application materials and scores. All applicants are required to take all three sections of the General GRE.  While our department does not have a minimum required score for the GRE, most admitted applicants have at least a 155 on the Quantitative Section of the exam.  However, decisions to admit are based on a prospective student’s entire application package.

6) Please do not send multiple emails. Staff members cannot give any decisions by fax, phone or email unless the faculty has given express permission. You will be able to check the online system for decisions. The staff cannot estimate how long it will take the faculty to review your application materials and make a decision. Your application will only be in review when all materials have been received by the department.

7) The applications staff cannot answer emails about applications between December 15 and February 1 each year.

8) Read the FAQs for assistantship and financial offer information.

9) International students MUST have a “B” equivalent minimum for admission. Provisional admission is not available to international applicants.

10) Here is the basic process for an application:

  1. You apply and send in the materials
  2. The department staff compiles your application package
  3. When your materials are complete in the department office, it is sent to the CEE faculty for a review
  4. Program area faculty members make a decision/recommendation
  5. The department staff sends the recommendation to the Graduate School office
  6. The Graduate School office makes the final decision and sends you a letter (the decision is online at this point too)

Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Engineering and Management provides opportunities for study in cost estimating, green construction, design and simulation of construction operations, means and methods of construction, contract administration and claims resolution, construction planning and scheduling, and project delivery methods. Research is being conducted in the phases of design, construction, operations, and maintenance of constructed facilities.

For more information about the Construction Engineering and Management Program at Virginia Tech, please visit the program homepage

Graduate Program Contacts:
Dr. Mike Garvin – Program Coordinator
Dr. Farrokh Jazizadeh – Graduate Admission’s Coordinator

Environmental and Water Resources Engineering

The environmental and water resources engineering (EWR) program is concerned with the areas of water and wastewater treatment, water quality modeling and assessment, soil and groundwater pollution, air quality engineering, solid and hazardous waste management, movement of pollutants in surface and subsurface waters, design of hydraulic structures, studies of rivers and hydrologic systems, and water planning and policy analysis.

For more information about the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program at Virginia Tech, please visit the program homepage

Graduate Program Contacts:
Dr. Peter Vikesland – Program Coordinator
Dr. Bill Knocke, Dr. Jason He, Dr. Randel Dymond and Dr. Kyle Strom – dual Admission’s Coordinator

Geotechnical Engineering

The geotechnical engineering program offers opportunities for study and research in diverse areas including foundation engineering, earth dams, landslide stabilization, environmental geotechnics, in situ testing, geotechnical composites, soil-structure interaction, earthquake engineering, surface characterization, ground improvement, computational geomechanics, geosynthetics, geological engineering, and engineering rock mechanics.

For more information about the Geotechnical Engineering Program at Virginia Tech, please visit the program homepage.

Graduate Program Contacts:
Dr. Joseph Dove – Coordinator
Dr. Russell Green – Admission’s Coordinator

Structural Engineering and Materials

The structural engineering and materials program offers students the opportunity to take courses and participate in research that focuses on the analysis, behavior and design of building and bridge structures, and a broad range of subject areas in structural materials.

For more information about the Structural Engineering and Materials Program at Virginia Tech, please visit the program homepage.

Graduate Program Contacts:
Dr. Carin Roberts Wollmann – Coordinator
Dr. Matt Eatherton (MS), Dr. Ioannis Koutromanos (PHD)  – Admission’s Coordinator

Sustainable Land Development

The sustainable land development program will allow students to gain a background and acquire a unique set of skills to enable them to contribute to the sustainable land development needs of the industry including how a new development or redevelopment will contribute to community, regional, and societal needs today and in the future.

Graduate Program Contact:
Dr. Tripp Shealy – Coordinator

Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering

The transportation infrastructure and systems engineering program includes all aspects of planning, operation, design, construction, operation, management and rehabilitation of transportation infrastructure and systems. The program is multimodal, with an emphasis on ground transportation by private automobiles and transit, and air transportation.

For more information about the Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering Program at Virginia Tech, please visit the program homepage.

Graduate Program Contacts:
Dr. Kevin Heaslip – Coordinator
Dr. Kathleen Hancock – Admission’s Coordinator

Civil Infrastructure Engineering

Civil Infrastructure Engineering emphasizes the highly interdisciplinary nature of civil infrastructure projects by drawing on a diverse mix of faculty both within CEE and outside. Projects would systematically address issues of deterioration science, assessment technology, renewal engineering, socio-economic and environmental impact methodologies, and innovative financial vehicles such as privatization, user fees, enterprise zones and independent authorities.

For more information about the Civil Infrastructure Engineering Program at Virginia Tech, please visit the program homepage.

Graduate Program Contacts:
Dr. Mike Garvin – Coordinator
Dr. Farrokh Jazizadeh – Admission’s Coordinator

What degrees do you offer in Civil & Environmental Engineering?

Ph.D./CE, MS/CE, MS/ENE, MS/ESEN. 

What are the minimum requirements to be considered for admission your graduate program?

Admission for graduate study in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech is granted by the Graduate School, upon recommendation of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department through a departmental review committee and/or the Department Head. Admission normally requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited engineering program.

For a regular student status, a student with a Grade Point Average (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 of doctoral candidates; please contact the specific program area of interest for more information.

Occasionally, a domestic graduate student is admitted on provisional status if the GPA for the last 60 semester hours is between 2.75 and 2.99.  Upon completion of no fewer than 9 credit hours of coursework, the Program Area Coordinator and/or Department Head may recommend that the student be admitted as a regular student. Provisional student status is allowed for no more than 12 semester credit hours.  While on provisional status, a student must earn a GPA of at least 3.00.  Students on provisional status are ineligible for financial aid from the department.  International students are not eligible for provisional status.

All other required materials must be provided with the application:

Official Transcript 

UPLOAD a copy of an official transcript to the online application

Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

PLEASE request ONLINE letters of recommendation through the online application. When you are in the application you will see the recommendation section, please follow the instructions. ALL non-electronic letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the department address:VT-CEE department750 Drillfield Dr.200 Patton Hall, MC: 0105Blacksburg, VA 24061

General GRE

All applicants must provide a GRE score.
TOEFL (for international students only) Waivers of the TOEFL score can only be granted by our Graduate School office, grads@vt.edu (not the department office). An IELTS test of 6.5 or better can substitute for the TOEFL. All international applicants must provide a TOEFL score. Our departmental minimum is 90 (internet-based). Further, TOEFL scores of 20 or greater in Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading subsections are requiredPlease do not apply if your score is below the minimumYour application will not be reviewed by the faculty.


What is your university code for me to use on my GRE and TOEFL tests? 

Our university code is 005859. If you have your official scores sent to our university code, the Graduate School and the department will have access to the scores at the same time.

Can the TOEFL be waived (for international applicants only)?

The TOEFL can only be waived by our Graduate School. Many circumstances are an automatic waiver such as students with a conferred degree from a U.S. institution. The IELTS test may substitute for the TOEFL. Email grads@vt.edu for more information.

Can the GRE be waived?

The GRE test is a departmental requirement. Our department does not waive the GRE test.

Sometimes the CEE deadlines are different from the Graduate School deadlines, whose do I follow?

You should be aware of the application deadlines for both. Often our deadlines are not in conflict but appear to be in conflict since they are deadlines for different things. The most misunderstood deadline is the Graduate School’s deadline for admission concerning international students. Each academic semester the Graduate School has a cut-off deadline for international to be admitted so that the paperwork for SEVIS can be completed. Please read carefully. IF the deadline on a Graduate School webpage is about being admitted, then it is too late to apply by that date. Admittance requires that all materials have been received, reviewed and a recommendation given by the faculty. Please see our guideline for deadlines below.

Does your department admit applicants for a spring semester?

Yes, except for the Construction Engineering and Management program area.

See below:

Deadline for international applications for Fall*While the department may accept an international application after this date, there is no guarantee that all processing can be completed in time for the Fall semester. January 15* all supporting materials should arrive byJanuary 31
Suggested application submission for U.S. citizens/permanent residents for Fall January 15
Deadline for international applications for Spring*While the department may accept an international application after this date, there is no guarantee that all processing can be completed in time for the Spring semester.(The Construction Engineering Management program area does not accept any applications for Spring. All other areas do accept Spring applications.) September 1* all supporting materials should arrive by September 30
Suggested application submission for U.S. citizens/permanent residents for Spring.(The Construction Engineering Management program area does not accept any applications for Spring. All other areas do accept Spring applications.) September 15

 

Can I apply if my undergraduate degree is not in Civil or Environmental Engineering?

Yes. Students with non-engineering backgrounds can be admitted for graduate study.  These students will be expected to either complete courses or show proficiency by examination in certain fundamental areas such as mathematics and engineering mechanics.  Specific background course requirements are established by each Program Area within the Department. A table can be found in the appendix section of our Graduate Policies and Procedures.

Can I pursue a degree in your department part-time?

Yes. Part-time students are not eligible for financial assistance from the department. Ph.D. students would have to meet the residency requirements set forth for research. Please see the Graduate Catalog online at www.graduateschool.vt.edu.

How long will it take to complete my degree?

Our master’s program is a 30 hour program. Our Ph.D. program is a 90 hour program. For information about the specific requirements and transfer credit information, go to our Graduate Policies and Procedures.

What is the difference between an M.S. degree and a M.Eng.?

While both programs are 30 hour programs, the exact breakdown of those 30 hours differs. We prefer to admit students to the M.S. program to begin. After the first semester, the faculty will help the student decide which specific program is best for them.

What are program areas?

When applying to our graduate program, an applicant must choose which program area that they want to work within. The applicant’s application is reviewed by the faculty in the program area of choice. If admitted to the graduate program, it would only be to specific area within our department. If a student later wanted to change program areas, the faculty for the new program area would have to review the student’s file.

For Environmental Engineering and Environmental Sciences and Engineering degrees a student will automatically be in the EWR (Environmental and Water Resources Engineering) program area. Civil Engineering degree applicants can choose any one of our program areas. To get more information about our program areas, click here.

What will it cost to be a graduate student at Virginia Tech?

Tuition and fee information can be found at our Bursar’s website. Please look for the correct year and choose “graduate” for Blacksburg campus, or choose “extended graduate” for those at campuses other than the main campus.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Our department offers a variety of financial opportunities. We have many assistantships and many different fellowships available. All applicants are reviewed for possible funding in our department. Applicants that meet requirements for available fellowships are nominated by the faculty. It is important to apply early since financial offers begin many months before the beginning of the semester. Other financial aid might be available through the Scholarship and Financial Aid office.

What is an assistantship?

An assistantship is a contract where a graduate student works for pay. Most assistantships also cover tuition payments related to the amount of hours you are contracted to work each week. A graduate student is considered full time in the department if you work 20 hours per week. For a full time assistant, the department would pay for the base in-state tuition amount, the technology fee, the library fee and the engineering fee in full. Student awarded assistantship from departments not in the College of Engineering may have to pay their own engineering fees.

Graduate Research Assistantships are awarded by individual faculty members who have received research projects (e.g., from government agencies). The availability of GRA’s and the amount of the award varies, depending on the projects that have been obtained and the funds allotted for GRA’s in those projects. Typically, research carried out by a graduate student on a GRA becomes part or all of the research for the student’s thesis or dissertation.

For Graduate Teaching Assistantships, each program area in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is allotted a number of GTA’s to award to graduate students. The amount of the assistantship varies, depending on the duties and number of hours associated with it. The duties may involve grading of homework for courses or supervising an undergraduate laboratory course.

What is a fellowship?

A fellowship is basically income for the student to help with cost of studies. Fellowship pay is not earned income like an assistantship. Many times a fellowship is combined with an assistantship. Sometimes promised income is part assistantship and part fellowship payments. Graduate fellowship payments are must often paid out over the academic year in small bi-monthly payments.

As an out-of-state student, will I become in-state if I have an assistantship?

No, but if you earn $2000 in one semester, the out-of-state portion of the tuition can be complimentary waived by the Graduate School.

How do I become an in-state student?

Graduate students are encouraged to look into in-state status. IT is strongly suggested that you begin this process before the start of the first academic semester. A form and guidelines can be found at our Graduate School website: www.graduateschool.vt.edu. International students are not eligible to become in-state students.

Contacts:

Sarah Hoyle Martin (Blacksburg and NCR Campus)

shmartin@vt.edu

540-231-6069

Degree Options in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Program Areas1 Master’s Degrees Doctoral
Degree
MSCE2 ENE3 ESEN4 Ph.D. CEE
Construction Engineering and Management    
Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering    
Structural Engineering and Materials    
Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering    
Interdisciplinary Programs  
Civil Infrastructure Engineering    
Geospatial Engineering    

1Area of Concentration
2Master of Civil Engineering
3Master of Environmental Engineering
4Master of Environmental Science and Engineering

MSCE

The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Civil Engineering may emphasize any of the major areas of Civil Engineering- construction, environmental, geotechnical, water resources, materials, structures, transportation-or some combination of these. The M.S. Degree can be undertaken with a research orientation (through the preparation of a thesis), or it can be accomplished through a non-thesis path which includes more extensive coursework and may include a project and report.

ENE

The degree program of Master of Science in Environmental Engineering primary emphasis is to give graduates from undergraduate engineering programs intensive training in the various areas of environmental engineering. The Master’s degree is considered to be the first professional degree in environmental engineering. Students with non-engineering degreee are eligible for the degree depending on their academic background and satisfactory completion of background preparatory courses.

ESEN

This non-engineering degree program is intended primarily for students without an undergraduate degree in engineering, but who wish to specialize in the environmental field. This program is particularly attractive to those with degrees in the physical or natural sciences but is generally inappropriate for students with an engineering background. Students must meet certain minimum mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, or computer requirements or take make-up coursework during their program. The curriculum provides much of the same environmental study given to students in the M.S. in Environmental Engineering program but omits the engineering design work that is included in the engineering program.

Ph.D.

In most instances, candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering have satisfactorily completed a Master of Science Degree in either Civil Engineering or in Environmental Engineering. Students may enter this program from other engineering curricula or from areas outside of engineering, as outlined for the Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Such students must make up baccalaureate work as required and other coursework as deemed necessary by their Ph.D. Advisory Committee.

Fall Semester

Deadline for INTERNATIONAL applications for Fall
Apply by January 15. All supporting materials should arrive by January 31
The department must give all decisions to the Graduate School office no later than May 15 for international students.
*While the department may accept an international application after this date, there is no guarantee that all processing can be completed in time for the Fall semester.

SUGGESTED application submission for U.S. citizens/permanent residents for Fall

Apply by January 15 for highest consideration for departmental funding.
The department must give all decisions to the Graduate School office no later than August 15 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Spring Semester

Deadline for INTERNATIONAL applications for Spring
Apply by September 1. All supporting materials should arrive by September 15.
The department must give all decisions to the Graduate School office no later than October 15 for international students.
*While the department may accept an international application after this date, there is no guarantee that all processing can be completed in time for the Spring semester.
(The Construction Engineering Management program area DOES NOT accept any applications for Spring. All other areas do accept Spring applications.)

SUGGESTED application submission for U.S. citizens/permanent residents for Spring

Apply by September 1 for highest consideration for departmental funding.
The department must give all decisions to the Graduate School office no later than January 15 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. 

For more information, please contact the administrator in the specific program area that you are interested in. Click here to find contact information.

Graduate School Link for Application

Required Materials:

1) Transcripts: UPLOAD a copy of an official transcript into the online application. An official paper copy of the final transcript will be required if you attend and enroll for classes at VT.

2) TWO (2) Letters of Recommendation: PLEASE request ONLINE letters of recommendation through the online application. When you are in the application, you will see the recommendation section. Please follow the instructions. ALL non-electronic letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the department address:

VT-CEE department
Attn: Graduate Student Cooordinator
200 Patton Hall, MC: 0105
Blacksburg, VA 24061

**Although the graduate school office lists 3 letters, we only require 2 in our department.

3) A resume and a statement of purpose will be required of you in the electronic application: UPLOAD the resume and Statement of Purpose into the online application.

4) GRE (Please note that our university code to report your scores is 005859): All applicants are required to take all three sections of the General GRE.  While our department does not have a minimum required score for the GRE, most admitted applicants have at least a 155 on the Quantitative Section of the exam.  However, decisions to admit are based on a prospective student’s entire application package. THE GRE REQUIREMENT IS WAIVED FOR APPLICANTS TO FALL 2021.

5) TOEFL (for international students only): Waivers of the TOEFL score can only be granted by our Graduate School office (not the department office). IELTS may be substituted for the TOEFL only if it is above 6.5. You MUST contact our Graduate School offices about this (grads@vt.edu). Please note that our university code to report your scores is 005859. 

All international applicants must provide a TOEFL score. Our departmental minimum is 90 (internet-based). Further, TOEFL scores of 20 or greater in Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading subsections are required. Please do not apply if your score is below the minimum. Your application will not be reviewed by the faculty.

Other required materials:  Please do not send multiple emails. Staff members cannot give any decisions by fax, phone or email unless the faculty has given express permission. You will be able to check the online system for decisions. The staff cannot estimate how long it will take the faculty to review your application materials and make a decision. Your application will only be in review when all materials have been received by the department.

Graduate School Link for Application

Graduate Fellowships and Awards

Graduate Scholarship Opportunities

There are two payroll systems that a Graduate Student can be employed by:

  • Wage Payroll
  • Salary/Stipend (for those on an ASSISTANTSHIP)

Note: Students on both systems can view pay information through the Hokie SPA login, then Hokie Team and pay stub information.

Graduate students on the wage payroll system:

  • Students are hired by individual faculty members
  • Students cannot work until payroll paperwork has been completed by the department
  • To track hours worked, all students must clock in and out using Timeclock. Students will only be paid for hours logged in Timeclock.
  • Missed punches should be reported to the wage payroll coordinator as soon as possible.
  • Pay periods for a student on wages:
    • 1stto the 15th of the month
    • 16thto the end of the month
  • The work week runs 12:01 am Saturday morning to 12:00 midnight Friday.
  • Students should review their hours in TimeClock each week:
    • To detect missed punches
    • To ensure they do not exceed the maximum hours per week governed by law

Graduate students on the salary/stipend payroll system:

  • Students who have assistantship contracts are on this system
  • Students are hired by individual faculty members or program areas
  • Assignments of work are given by faculty to the student. Some students may be required to work over university breaks.
  • A student can be hired as a GRA (graduate research assistant) or a GTA (graduate teaching assistant)
  • A full time work load for a graduate student is 20 hours per week. This is considered 100% of an appointment.
  • Students can be employed for different percentages of an appointment.
  • In most cases, tuition assistance is part of the assistantship contract. The base in-state tuition amount, the technology fee, the library fee and the engineering fee will be paid in the same percentage as the appointment.
  • For out-of-state students, a wavier is available for the difference between the base in-state tuition and the base out-of-state tuition. If a student receives an out-of-state waiver (also called a “UF Graduate Differential”), it does not mean the student is now an in-state student.
  • Students on assistantships must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester (not including classes with an audit grade mode).
  • Pay periods for students who are on this system are:
    • The 10th of the month to the 24th
    • The 25th of the month to the 9th of the next month
  • Students who are on an assistantship are eligible to receive help with insurance premiums if they use the university student health plan. Please see more information at www.grads.vt.edu.
  • The staff contact person for assistantships is: Graduate Student Coordinator

The Via department of Civil and Environmental Engineering currently offers a distance/extended campus option for students who cannot attend our graduate program at the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. CEE welcomes applications for all our graduate degree programs at the extended location known as the National Capital Region campus. However, the ONLY focus available is our Environmental & Water Resources Engineering (EWR) program area. Students completing degree programs in EWR at our extended campus location would be interacting with faculty members and taking courses from the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory site. Courses are typically available during daytime hours. CEE does not offer online options for graduate level degrees or courses at this time.

For information on our extended campus graduate degree programs and application requirements, please contact, Ms. Sarah H. Martin, CEE Graduate Student Coordinator, shmartin@vt.edu, 540-231-6069.