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Application Information

Domestic Applicants

Applying For Deadline
Fall January 15th
(To be considered for full funding)
Spring October 1st

International Applicants

Applying For Deadline
Fall January 15th
(To be considered for full funding)
Spring September 1st

How to Apply

The Completed Application Includes

  • Virginia Tech Graduate School on-line application form
  • A non-refundable application fee of $75  ( for information on fee waivers, please click here )

Academic Transcripts

  • Upload a scan of original Official transcript(s), scanning all pages including the backs of all pages, from each institution from which you have earned or will earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. Transcripts must come from your institution's Registrar's office. Please be sure your scans are legible.
  • Engineering Education does not require former and current Virginia Tech students to submit Official transcripts; however, we do require that you log into HokieSpa and download your web-based academic record and upload it as a transcript at the time of application.
  • If you are not a former or current Virginia Tech student, please do not upload your institution's web-based academic record or a document stating it is not an Official transcript.
  • Until you have received an offer of admission from Virginia Tech, please do not mail your official transcripts to Virginia Tech.
  • Upon enrollment at Virginia Tech, you must have official transcripts mailed to our Graduate School.

Three Letters of Recommendation

  • All letters of recommendation must be completed through the online process as part of your application. When in the online application, enter the recommendation section and follow the instructions.

Statement of Purpose

  • The statement of purpose articulates and demonstrates an applicant’s specific qualifications and what that applicant’s end goal might be once their work is completed. (This document is submitted only through the online application.)

Required Scores

  • Starting Fall 2019, the Virginia Tech Engineering Education Department DOES NOT require the GRE.
  • TOEFL/IELTS - International Students Only
    • Waivers of the TOEFL or IELTS scores can only be granted by the Graduate School, not the department. All international applicants must provide official TOEFL or IELTS scores. Our department minimum for the TOEFL is 230 (computer based), 570 (paper based) or 89 (internet based). Our department minimum for the IELTS is 6.5, with no score below 6.5 in each of the sub-sections. Scores are good for two years from the date of testing to the date of application submission. TOEFL/IELTS scores are not required if the applicant has graduated from a US institution or from a non-US accredited institution where English is the official language of instruction. TOEFL/IELTS scores are not required of US permanent residents and US naturalized citizens. Please do not apply if your score is below the minimum. Your application will not be reviewed by the faculty.

Apply for Admission


An emerging field in engineering. It builds on a long history (100+ years) of educators sharing best practices. The field is now expanding and becoming a rigorous research field in which evidence-based studies explore issues of how people learn. In other words, we still share good teaching practices, but those getting PhDs in Engineering Education are focusing on scientifically understanding how and why successful learning and teaching approaches work.

Admission for graduate study in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech is granted by a departmental review committee and/or the Department Head. Admission normally requires a bachelor's degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited engineering program. We require the equivalent of a Master’s degree in a technical engineering discipline. Some students come into our PhD program directly from completing a Bachelor’s degree and work on a Master’s in engineering at Virginia Tech while working towards their PhD. Some students come from just completing their Master’s degrees, and some come from working in industry. We require a GPA of 3.0 or higher, official academic transcripts, three letters of reference, official TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable), and a statement of purpose explaining your background, your career goals and your interest in teaching and research.

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.

Occasionally, a 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 course, the Graduate Committee 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. International students are not eligible for provisional status.

We require credits from our department and credits from the School of Education—this is an interdisciplinary degree. A minimum of 90 credits beyond the Bachelor’s degree is required, consisting of: Dissertation: 30 credits minimum (counts towards the 90 credits); Engineering Education Qualifier Courses: 8 credits; Practical Applications in Engineering Education: 3 credits; Seminar: 5 credits; and Specialization Courses: 36 credits.

Specialization Courses need to collectively align, and should include one quantitative and one qualitative course in social science research methods. Specialization courses should consist of:

  • Engineering cognate: 12 credits
  • Social Science cognate: 12 credits
  • Electives: 12 credits 

Milestones include: passing qualifier exams; selecting an advisor, completing a plan of study and forming your committee; preliminary exam; dissertation proposal defense; and dissertation defense.

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 requirements will be set by the Graduate Committee.

Yes. For application dates for the upcoming academic year, please visit the Applications page for deadlines. However, due to course sequencing, students are strongly encouraged to begin the PhD in a fall semester.

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.

The TOEFL can only be waived by our Graduate school. Many circumstances are an automatic waiver such as graduating from a U.S. university. Email for more information.

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 for residency information.

We pledge funding to incoming graduate students in the form of a teaching or graduate assistantship for 2 years with satisfactory academic degree progress.  The assistantship will provide tuition and a monthly stipend.  Students easily find funding for the duration of the doctoral program through fellowships, or assistantships within or outside of our Department.

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 he or she works 20 hours per week.

For a full-time assistant, the department would pay for in-state tuition and the academic fee in full. 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, in engineering 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 Engineering Education 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.

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. Other times a fellowship can cover expenses on the student's behalf. An example would be the payment of the comprehensive fees in a semester. In cases as these, the fellowship is paid directly to the university.

Graduate students are encouraged to look into in-state status. A form and guidelines can be found at our Graduate School website. International students are not eligible to become in-state students.

The character and size of our program enables optimal support to our students as they seek employment in today's job market.  Our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be competitive for employment in a variety of careers.  Our graduates are prepared for success.  We have a 100% employment rate among all graduates.