Application Requirements

Degree requirements

Applicants who wish to pursue a graduate degree in the Physics Department at Virginia Tech must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) from an institution of recognized standing.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation should be submitted, preferably through the online application system, via email directly from your references to minimize loss and delay (see How to apply).

Personal Statement

During the online application process you need to write a short essay about your personal goals and your reasons for choosing to come to graduate school.

Required Tests

  • GRE general test
  • GRE physics subject test
  • For international students we require the TOEFL. The graduate school's minimum TOEFL score is 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet-based test). (see the Graduate School's application website for more information)

GPA requirements/Transcripts

The Graduate School requires your complete academic record (transcripts from all colleges you have attended). The minimum GPA for admission is 3.0. The Graduate School calculates your GPA based on your last 60 undergraduate credit hours. Exceptions may be made for students who have also earned significantly higher GPAs in graduate programs (minimum graduate GPA of 3.4, minimum 15 credit hours).

International students

The following guidelines apply to undergraduate programs outside the U.S.:

  • British-patterned education: bachelor's degree with honours
  • French-patterned education: degree or diplome requiring four years of post-baccalaureate study
  • Germany: minimum three to four years of post-secondary study (Vordiplom plus one year)
  • Other European countries: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study
  • Middle East: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study
  • Canada: three-year bachelor's degree from Quebec, four-year bachelor's degree from all other provinces
  • Latin America: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study
  • India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal: bachelor's degree in engineering, master's degree in all other fields
  • Philippines: five-year bachelor's degree or four-year bachelor's degree plus one year of graduate work
  • Other Asian countries: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study

Students who are unsure of the U.S. equivalency of their degree(s) should consult a reputable credential evaluation service. ALL applicants for admission to the graduate program are required to take the GRE general and Physics tests. International students whose first language is not English are also required to take the TOEFL test.

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University 
Department of Physics MC 0435, 850 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061 
Phone: (540) 231-6544; Fax: (540) 231-7511