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Prospective Graduate Students

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Number 17 Mechanical Engineering Grad Program in the U.S.
Number 18 Nuclear Engineering Grad Program in the U.S.

The Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program seeks to engage outstanding graduate students and faculty researchers to expand the range of knowledge in the mechanical engineering discipline, to further the “hands-on, minds-on” philosophy of the College of Engineering, encourage Ut Prosim and to strive towards excellence as we Invent the Future together.



To be given full consideration for admission and assistantships or fellowships, complete application materials for applications started before the posted deadline must be received no later than 2 weeks after the posted deadlines. The deadlines above are different than the Graduate School’s. The Mechanical Engineering Department’s Admissions Committee and faculty can begin reviewing submitted applications during the application windows to make admission recommendations to the Graduate School.  Virginia Tech undergraduates interested in the Accelerated Undergraduate/ Graduate degree program have earlier deadlines and should meet with one of the ME Graduate Program Coordinators for further details.

For your protection, information on application status cannot be released by telephone, or to third parties.*

The application fee is $75. The fee may be waived by the Graduate School for U.S. domestic students, depending upon financial need. You will need to contact the Graduate School directly. Applications will not be processed unless the application fee is paid.

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In this ASME feature, Eurydice Kanimba talks about her journey from Rwanda to Virginia Tech and IBM.

Applicant Qualifications

The Mechanical Engineering Department is always interested in hearing from students who wish to pursue their graduate studies. We look for academic excellence coupled with a high degree of motivation. If you feel that you fit this description, we encourage you to apply. Students are accepted into the ME Department in competition with students from across the globe. Please do not send e-mails requesting advice on your chances of acceptance, as we do not have the staffing to review these requests. For additional resource information, please reference the Graduate Studies Guide or the  Graduate Catalog.

Out of professional courtesy to other universities, we do not accept mid-program transfers without a letter of release from the current advisor and/or department head. Students applying to Mechanical Engineering must take the general GRE test and students whose native language is not English, must also take the TOEFL. The Graduate School may waive the TOEFL once an applicant completes a degree at an English speaking university. The department cannot waive the TOEFL. The minimum ME target score for applicants is 105 IBT (260 computer based). Keep in mind; departmental test scores are different from the Graduate School’s minimums.

Generally, applicants must have a minimum target grade point average of 3.2 (4.0 scale) or better, for either the B.S. degree program, or the last 60 hours of course work. Students will likely not be competitive with scores below a 150 on the verbal, a 165 on the quantitative, and 4.5 on the Analytical portions of the GRE. Test scores of students recommended for acceptance are often higher, but can be lower. Applicants will not be automatically rejected for lower scores. Research experience and the three letters of recommendation are a significant part of the evaluation of the application.

Required Graduate Application Materials

It is highly recommended that you keep hard copies of all materials you will submit.  Once an application is submitted, it cannot be altered by the ME Department, so be sure all uploaded materials are legible in PDF format. All materials should be submitted on-line and should NOT be mailed to the department. Upload the following documents to the online-application in Adobe PDF format:

  • Transcripts (A copy is acceptable to apply, but an official transcript will be needed with an accepted offer. Please check with the graduate school.)
  • Resume (One page is preferable. Do NOT upload copies of certificates; those should be listed on the resume)
  • Statement of Purpose (2 pages maximum)
  • Publication samples (If applicable)
  • Three letters of reference directly from your referees

The Graduate School can help you with Frequently Asked Questions and should email you within 2 weeks with an application number and instructions on how to set up a guest account. If you do not receive this e-mail, any inquiries about the on-line checklist should be sent to the Graduate School by e-mailing: Please be aware that the on-line status only indicates if the application is complete at the VT Graduate School, not necessarily with the Department.

The ME Department can only recommend admission. Official notification will be sent by the Graduate School. Again, for your protection, information on application status cannot be released by telephone, or to third parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are no minimum requirements. However, the target G.P.A. is 3.2 (4.0 scale). For the GREs, the targets are Verbal 150, Quantitative 165, Analytical 4.5. The TOEFL target is 105, & IELTS is 7. Keep in mind admission is competitive and the entire application package is evaluated.

Official scores and transcripts are required by the Graduate School. Send them to our Graduate School at:

Graduate School
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown(0325)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

All other application materials should be uploaded directly in the online application. For further information, see the Graduate Catalog.

Yes, we admit applicants both Fall and Spring.

A financial aid application is not needed. If you are admitted into the program, your application will be considered for financial assistance in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA). Keep in mind financial aid is competitive. Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) are on faculty sponsored research, so you should contact them with a resume about the possibility of a GRA.

Once all the required materials have been received, the process takes approximately four to six weeks. This timeline does not include mailing time for notification. Estimated date for decisions to be posted is March 15th for complete applications in the US, received by Jan. 15th. Estimated date for decisions to be posted for applicants outside the US is May 15th for complete applications received by Jan. 15th. For your protection, information on application status cannot be released by telephone. Departments can only recommend admission to the Graduate School. You can find out the admission and application status on-line. Check the website periodically. Official notification will be sent by the Graduate School.

Please be aware that the online status only indicates if the application is complete at the VT Graduate School, not necessarily with the Department. You must contact them directly at with questions. Keep in mind, they process thousands of applications & it can take several weeks for them to update the system.

That e-mail does not originate from the ME Department. You will have to go back, as a “Returning Applicant” to send a reminder. Further questions can go to the Graduate School at

Admission decisions come first and then financial aid offers. The deadline for GTA positions is January 15, for Fall semester, but applications must be complete to be considered. Offers normally are sent approximately mid-March. For those admitted for the spring semester, there are extremely limited GTA positions as most offers are for the fall & spring. GRA offers from faculty can be made up to 2 weeks prior to the start of classes.

Yes, the department offers aid to international students but it is very competitive and approximately 15% of admitted applicants are offered aid. Keep in mind that only those with admission are considered.

There are no guarantees you will be granted financial aid if you defer. Your file will be re-evaluated for financial aid amongst all those admitted applicants for that particular semester.

You must provide a brief statement to the department as to why a deferral is justified. The Graduate School will require a $75 re-processing fee to defer for a year and the application will have to be reconsidered with the others. There is no guarantee that the deferral will be approved.

The I-20 will be issued by the Cranwell International Center. You will need to contact them for further information at

Graduate Staff

Corina Sandu

Dr. Corina Sandu
Professor & Associate Department
Head for Graduate Studies
(540) 231-7467

Cathy Hill

Cathy Hill
Graduate Coordinator
Applications, Recruiting, Student Records
(540) 231-7460

Annette Ben-Tzvi

Annette Ben-Tzvi
Graduate Advisor
Applications, Recruiting, Student Records
104 Randolph Hall
(540) 231-3608

Allison Jones

Allison Jones
Program Coordinator,
Northern Virginia Center

(703) 538-3790

Amanda Collins

Mandy Collins
Fiscal Technician
Stipends, Tuition, Fellowships
456 Goodwin Hall
(540) 231-5056