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Instructional Design and Technology students come to Virginia Tech from all over the United States and around the world. Our international graduate students have traveled here from Australia, England, Nigeria, Kuwait, Cameroon, People's Republic of China, Republic of China, Korea, and Malaysia. One of the program's many strengths is the opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to work together on research and projects throughout the curriculum.

  • The IT listserve provides a forum for announcements and discussions of interest to our students. To join the IT listserve, contact Lisa Sheppard.

On campus, the Professional Seminar for doctoral students provides a regular opportunity for graduate students to socialize and discuss current issues in IDT. These discussions are enriched by many different perspectives and experiences. To enroll in the Professional Seminar, see your advisor.

Additional information of interest to graduate students:

Travel Grant Information

Travel Grant Information

The Center for Instructional Technology Solutions in Industry and Education (CITSIE) at Virginia Tech provides travel grants to full-time doctoral students enrolled in the Instructional Technology program.

The goals of the travel grants provided by CITSIE include:

1) to provide opportunities for professional development

2) to facilitate professional communication among faculty, students, and support staff

3) to increase exposure of our students and program.

To help reach these goals, CITSIE recognizes the importance of developing professional development opportunities for our students. Although some local opportunities are available, we also thought it important to make funds available for travel to relevant regional and national conferences. Eligible conferences should focus on one or more aspects of instructional technology.


Three conditions to receive full funding:

1. Your proposal must be approved by the faculty

Students are strongly encouraged to first submit their conference proposal to the IDT faculty (through their advisor) before submitting it directly to the conference committee. Once the proposal is cleared by the IDT faculty, students become eligible for travel funds. The funding for travel will only be reimbursed if a student's presentation is then accepted by the conference committee and the student accepts the invitation to attend and present. The maximum amount of funding is $500 per student or $1000 per presentation.  Individual students may receive up to $500 per academic year in conference funding.  Co-presenters can be funded also; however, no more than two presenters will receive full funding for any one presentation.


2. You must present at ProSem before you present at the conference

Schedule the presentation through the ProSem coordinator.


3. You must present at the conference

Should the presentation receive faculty approval, students can be reimbursed for allowable conference expenses if they choose to attend the conference. If IDT faculty reject the conference proposal (even if a conference committee has accepted it), then students will not receive any travel funds.


                Approval for travel funds is neither automatic nor should it be assumed.

                A students' eligibility for funding is contingent on approval of the conference proposal(s) by the IDT faculty, not on the decision of the conference committee.

Partial funding for non-presenters:

Partial funding for conferences is available for students who are not presenting at a conference (typically, approval is only given for those in the first year of residency).

Students who are not presenting, but would like to attend a conference, are eligible for limited reimbursement should their request be approved by IDT faculty. To submit a request, please develop a rationale for attendance (indicating why you would like to attend and what you hope to learn). The request should be typed (double-spaced) and be no longer than 1 page in length (12 pt. font; 1" margins). Students who receive approval will be reimbursed for up to $150. In the event the student applies (within the year) for funds to present an approved and accepted paper, he or she will only be eligible for another $350.00.

Students who receive CITSIE funding to attend a conference without presenting are expected to use it as an opportunity to learn how to successfully present at future conferences. To document this learning, students must write a brief reflective paper summarizing the characteristics of the effective and ineffective presentations they observed and present their reflective summary in ProSem. Schedule this presentation through the ProSem coordinator.


After qualifying for travel funds, but before conference travel, all students must complete a "TRAVEL APPROVAL FORM (TAF)"

You must submit a university TAF, which includes an estimated budget. Only the expenses listed qualify; these include:

  •  Conference registration; Pre-conference workshops
  •  Travel
  •  Lodging
  •  Meals

It is understood that the TAF is a close estimate of costs; not an exact tally.

* Only your signature is required. You DO NOT need to have your department head's signature.

Send or deliver to:

Terry Davis 
144G Smyth - 0488

IMPORTANT: Do not submit a travel approval form before your proposal has been approved by the IDT faculty. You should include a copy of the cover page of your conference proposal with an original faculty signature to prove eligibility.

Even for students funding their own trip, a TAF is still required.





I am a co-presenter. Am I still eligible for the full amount?

Yes. Co-presenters can still apply for the maximum amount. However, no more than two presenters will receive full funding for any one presentation. If there are 3 or more presenters, students may want to divide the maximum of $1000 per presentation among the presenters.

I am not presenting at all; I simply want to attend the conference. Am I eligible for travel funding?

Only students in their first year of residency (or those who get approval by faculty) are eligible to attend a conference without presenting. They will be eligible for up to $150.00. This is not separate from the $500 limit. See "Partial Funding" above for more information.

I am a part-time student. Can I apply for funding?

No. The funds will only be awarded to full-time students in residence at Virginia Tech



What kind of proposal must I give to faculty?

You must provide a substantial portion of the potential work. Although a conference proposal committee may only require a proposal that allows simply an outline or short descriptive paragraph, what you provide to the I.D.T. committee should demonstrate significant work accomplished (not significant planned work). A paper, poster, or presentation need not be completely finished, but should bear all indications of imminent completion.

What happens if my proposal is already accepted by the conference but not approved by the faculty?

Whether or not you receive funding depends on approval by the IDT faculty at Virginia Tech. If they approve what you have submitted, you are eligible for funds. If the faculty does not approve, you will be expected to fund your own trip.

Can I submit a proposal for more than one conference?

Yes. Remember, however, that a student is only eligible for $500 for the year. Whether the student wants to use all of the funds for one conference, or split it up over many, is left to the student's discretion.

May I submit a proposal after I have attended a conference?

No. Only students whose proposals are pre-approved by IDT faculty are eligible for funding.



How much funding will I receive and how often can I receive it?

Eligible applicants may receive up to $500 per fiscal year. The amount received will be based on allowable expenses.

When do I receive the money?

Travel grant funds are issued as reimbursements. There is no money offered "up front."

If I receive money from other University sources to travel to one of the conferences, can I also receive grant money? 
Travel funds are available from various sources, including the Graduate Student Assembly. These funds may be combined with CITSIE travel grant funds to cover the expenses of conference travel. However, the total funds you receive cannot exceed 100% of the approved travel expenses.

If I receive a doctoral research grant from the School of Education (and travel funds from it), am I still eligible for the travel grant?
 Yes.  A recipient of the grant can still receive the full allotment of travel funds.

I do not plan to attend any conferences this year. Can my allotment of travel funds be carried over for the future or added to future allotments?

No. Any funds allotted for the current fiscal year can only be used within the year and at no other time.



Can I select any conference?

The only eligible conferences are those related to topics and fields in instructional/educational technology (Including but not limited to: AECT, SITE, ISPI, IVLA, AERA, EERA, NECC, VSTE, EDUCAUSE).


Travel Approval Form:

What must I do to fill out the TAF and then get reimbursed?


  •  Conference registrations and pre-conference workshops: 

Prices are listed in conference materials. Extras like special division dinners, etc. are not reimbursed. 

  • Travel:

If students fly, a receipt for the air ticket (that includes the price of ticket) must be submitted in order to receive reimbursement. If a student takes a cab or shuttle from the airport, s/he must request a receipt in order to be reimbursed. 

For travel in a personal vehicle (where the student drives), there is a state rate per mile (ask Terry for current rates). For people who ride, there is no compensation. Parking expenses, cab fare, and tolls are eligible expenses to claim. It is understood that this cannot always be predicted on the TAF.  Remember, keep receipts (you may have to ask for them in some cases). Parking and traffic violations are not covered.

If the student drives a university-owned vehicle, s/he is generally issued a university credit card for fuel (keep receipts and submit to the Motor Pool upon return). Should a student use his/her own credit card or cash for fuel for the VT vehicle, they MUST keep receipts, or no reimbursement is given.

  • Lodging:

The state also approves lodging up to a certain amount. Generally, a higher rate is accepted should one stay at a conference hotel. However, if the student is staying with others, s/he should ONLY list the amount that s/he expects to pay on the TAF - not the total for the room. 

IMPORTANT: If sharing a room, students should BE CERTAIN to tell the hotel reception personnel to first ensure that a student's individual room charges appear on a SEPARATE BILL. Whether the student pays by cash, check, or credit card, a valid receipt must be issued so that it can be presented with other receipts after returning from the conference. A hotel bill must accompany a receipt if it is issued separately.

Room charges, such as movies and long distance calls are not eligible for reimbursement. Internet charges can possibly be reimbursed if the student shows it is for the purpose of his/her graduate assistantship (such as an ITMA grader).

  • Meals:

Students do not have to keep receipts for meals, as a state rate determines how much you are reimbursed. The rate changes depending on the city to which one travels and how much of the day is actually spent traveling. Therefore, simply keep track of the time and day you left and time and day you return (provide this information to Terry).

Generally, one can expect around $30.00 for a full day.

(for questions or suggestions only)

Dr. John Burton

540-231- 7020

144 Smyth, 
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0488

Campus Links

Campus Links

  • Graduate School
    Main page for Graduate studies at Virginia Tech
  • SOE Graduate forms
    Plan of study and other School of Education graduate studies specific forms.
  • Student Financial Information
    Several Forms of financial assistance are available to graduate students, including: grants by federal agencies; fellowships; scholarships (awarded by corporations, foundations, and individuals); and teaching and research assistantships (awarded through departments).
Living in Blacksburg

If you have been accepted and you are on your way to Blacksburg, another concern is WHERE you will live. You have a couple of options: on-campus or off-campus housing. One option is not necessarily less expensive than the other. The best way to make this decision is based on your budget and your own preferences. On-campus housing for graduate students is limited at the moment (although more units are coming available within about 2 years' time). Please investigate the following links:

You may need furniture and other amenities when you arrive. There are a least three "thrift" stores in the local area that sell used clothing and furniture at a very low price. The best way to get your needs met is to establish friendships as soon as possible. The residents of Blacksburg and the Virginia Tech community are very friendly and can make your stay here comfortable.

Childcare information can be found through the Hokie Wellness. We hope you will find these resources to be helpful in your planning.

To learn more about the Blacksburg community and surrounding community, see the Blacksburg Electronic Village or Montgomery County, VA websites. Also check Directions to Virginia Tech.

Resources for International Students

We extend a warm welcome to all prospective students living outside the United States. Our international students have always been a great asset to our program. Whether you have just begun your search for graduate school opportunities in the U.S. or if you have already started the process, we hope this page can point you to useful resources. The information available through the following links will help ensure a smooth transition to life in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA!

An invaluable resource to all members of the international community in Blacksburg is the Cranwell International Center. Cranwell has an extraordinarily helpful and friendly staff that is well aware of international students (and their families) needs.

The Graduate School provides very important information for international students at the International Graduate Student Services page (such as SEVIS-related information). Be sure to thoroughly read the information located there.

Assistantships and Expenses

All students coming to graduate school have obvious questions about how they will pay for school, housing, and so on. For detailed assistantship information, including the stipend amounts, visit the Funding section of this web site. Visa regulations, in most cases, prevent the student from working off-campus. See the Grad School's International Graduate Student Services page for visa information.

Financial aid and funding

All students coming to graduate school have obvious questions about how they will pay for school, housing, and so on. Graduate students have access to several types of funding.

In addition to the links provided here, visit the Current Funding Opportunities at graduate school and Funding Throught the Graduate School for additional sources of potential funding.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available for Instructional Design and Technology doctoral students. Students who are interested in an assistantship should notify their advisor of their interest as soon as possible. A separate application is not required.

We view an Assistantship as an opportunity for students to gain valuable professional experience. Generally, students will not be employed as Graduate Assistants for more than two years of their doctoral program. A variety of employment opportunities exist. Students may be employed as lab assistants, instructional designers or developers, or in other support positions. Typically, students should not stay in one position for more than one year. Master's stsudents are not typically funded.

Generally, an assistantship provides a stipend and covers tuition. It does not pay for university fees (for a full-time student, fees are about $450 per semester) or books. For detailed assistantship information, including the stipend amounts, visit the Graduate Assistantship page. Most new doctoral students enter at Step 7.

If you get an assistantship (from any department), you will receive a formal letter outlining the terms of work. Graduate School regulations limit students on an assistantship to working 20 hours per week. In addition, they require that students on an assistantship be enrolled for 12 hours each semester.

It is important to note that not all students who are accepted receive an assistantship in Instructional Technology. Typically, all Graduate Assistantships are filled by Doctoral students.

Should you get accepted without an assistantship, you can still come to Virginia Tech.

Students needing financial assistance who do not receive employment through Instructional Technology are are encouraged to pursue other funding opportunities. Graduate students in the IT program may take an assistantship outside the Department or College or get a wage job on-campus. In most cases, international students can not take a job off-campus due to visa regulations. International students should see the Grad Schools' IGSS page for visa information. Other types of financial aid such as loans and fellowships are available through the Univeristy Graduate School.


Since the instructional technology program is housed within the School of Education, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, students should check the following links to determine if there are any scholarships for which they are eligible:

Conference Travel

GSA Travel Fund Program

The Travel Fund provides Virginia Tech graduate students with funding for travel, accommodation, and meal expenses so that they may present their research at professional conferences, symposiums, and other similar events. Any graduate student who has a research paper or poster accepted for presentation or such an event is eligible to apply for the funding.

The maximum award a student can receive is $300. Funding for TFP is distributed during two cycles per year: Cycle I (July 1 to December 31) and Cycle II (January 1 to June 30).

Travel fund details can be found at

A.E.C.T. Conference Scholarships

Each year, A.E.C.T. sponsors selected I.T. graduate students who have been gone through an application process. Full conference fees are paid, as is lodging. Travel is partially funded. Students also receive a monetary scholarship. Students who sign-up to volunteer at the annual conference may also have their conference fees paid. See the AECT site for details on each.

Honor code and writing assistance

The Virginia Tech Honor Pledge is: "I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment."

This pledge applies to all work submitted at Virginia Tech! Every student who is admitted to Tech has pledged to abide by the Honor Code. The admission application states this, and by signing it, each student agrees to the Honor Code. Violations of the Graduate Honor Code include cheating, plagiarism, falsification, and academic sabotage. It is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with the requirements of the Honor Code.

Writing Tips

General assistance with writing

Writing resources for non-native English speakers



An internship can be a valuable capstone experience for students. It provides an opportunity to translate their hard-earned knowledge into useful skills for the world of work.

Internship Benefits

There are two primary benefits of participating in an internship. Because many jobs require practical experience, internships can provide that experience in a setting that is (hopefully) supportive. In an ideal situation, students would be mentored by a professional who would provide guidance as students engage in job-related tasks. Also, for the employer, internships can serve as a device for recruiting potential employees. Employers have an opportunity to see students’ professional efforts and evaluate their skills and students have a chance to evaluate the employer’s setting as a potential place of employment.

Potential Challenges

There are also some potential disadvantages to participating in an internship. Students may be assigned tasks that are not directly related to their professional development. As students consider internship possibilities, they should inquire about general and daily job responsibilities so they will have an idea of what will be expected of them. Students should be provided with a written description of job specifics and responsibilities. Another factor for students to consider is the time they will be away from the program. Please keep in mind that these challenges are based on a variety of factors. Many students have had very positive experiences that have assisted them in gaining employment.

The following information is provided to help both students and employers get the most from the internship experience. Students should discuss the options thoroughly with their advisors to insure that an internship experience will benefit them and their career goals.