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Frequently Asked Questions about Admission to the Higher Education Program

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: January 15th.


Q: Is the GRE test required?

A: GRE Scores are NOT required for applicants to the M.A.Ed. program.

GRE scores ARE required for those applying to the Ph.D. program. The School of Education requires that all candidates for admission submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination. Please note, however, that there is no minimum required score for admission to the program. THE HED Ph.D. admission committee considers GRE scores along with all other application materials when making an admission recommendation.


Q: What is the GPA requirement?

A: The Master’s criterion includes an earned GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study.

The criteria for Ph.D. admission include an earned GPA of 3.30 (on a 4.0 scale) on previous graduate work, a Master’s degree in counseling, student affairs, or a closely related field, and at least three to five years of successful professional experience in student affairs or higher education administration.


Q: Should I include a personal or goal statement in the Graduate School application?

A: Yes. The personal statement, focused on your academic and professional goals, gives the committee a much stronger sense of your academic and personal growth to date and your career aspirations. Sharing such information helps us determine if there is a good fit with the learning goals of the VT-HED program and the strengths of the faculty. Please submit a personal statement as part of the Graduate School application. While the Graduate School application provides several key questions that should be the focus of your statement, you may tailor the statement as needed or desired to share information that you want the admissions committee to have.


Q: How do I apply and interview for GA positions?

A: Upon receipt of your application materials, program faculty will review your file and determine whether further consideration is warranted. The program invites potential candidates whose application files have been completed by January 15 to an Interview Weekend that is generally held on the last weekend in February or the first weekend of March. Prior to Interview Weekend, you will be provided job descriptions of anticipated GA positions for the academic year. You will be given instructions on how to submit your resume, personal statement, and cover letter to open GA positions through an on-line system, HOKIES4HIRE. You will sign up on line, in advance, for GA interview slots with those supervisors who have indicated an interest in your application. The GA interviews must be scheduled at times that do not conflict with pre-scheduled admissions interviews held the same weekend.


Q. How and when are admissions recommendations made?

A: Subsequent to the Interview Weekend, HED faculty will consult with GA supervisors to make a final decision about the candidate’s admission and GA status. The program faculty will contact the candidate indicating whether admission has been recommended. Some applicants may be identified for admission by HED faculty, but not immediately offered one of the GA positions available during Interview Weekend. The faculty continue to work in subsequent weeks to identify other GA positions available on campus and to refer these potential admitees to GA supervisors for phone interviews. Thus several additional placements and admission confirmations may take place after the initial wave of offers.


Q: How many students receive graduate assistantship positions?

A: In recent years, all admitted full-time students received graduate assistantships (GA) or graduate research assistantships (GRA). Admission to the program is generally offered as a package with an offer of admission and a GA position. The GA position provides a monthly stipend and covers tuition. The offices of representative assistantships for students appear below.

Opportunities for Doctoral Students

  • Higher Education Program Office
  • Office of Assessment and Evaluation
  • Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness
  • Office of the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
  • Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
  • Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid

Opportunities for Master's and Doctoral Students

  • Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity
  • Department of Recreational Sports
  • Multicultural Programs and Services
  • Office of Career Services
  • Office of First Year Experiences
  • Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Office of Housing and Residence Life
  • Office of Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program
  • Office of New Student and Family Programs
  • Office of Student Engagement and Campus Life
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Pre-College and Pipeline Initiatives
  • The Student Success Center
  • University Academic Advising Center