Prospective Students

Prospective Students 2017-01-21T00:00:44+00:00

Welcome to your future!

Our students want to make an impact in the world. They know that the same-old approach is not going to move the needle on the world’s mega-problems.

Become the next generation of passionate public servants and researchers. Get the skills you need by collaborating with people across disciplines and experiencing real decision making in learning lab environments.

We welcome your questions on how you will start your journey with the School for Public and International Affairs. Please contact us with any questions.

Learning about SPIA
Time Commitment
Daily Life at SPIA
Alumni and Career Planning

Learning about SPIA

I need to speak with someone to ask questions. What are my options?

If you are able to travel to Alexandria or Blacksburg, Virginia, come to an Info Session. You will have an opportunity to meet with SPIA staff, faculty and alumni at these sessions.

If it is not possible to attend an Info Session, please send a question via our Info Request form and we’ll get the right contact to respond.

I would like a campus tour. What are my options?

In Alexandria, we do not have regularly scheduled campus tours. Instead, we encourage you to attend one of our Info Session events.

In Blacksburg, you can schedule a campus tour via Virginia Tech’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. You can also take a virtual tour of the Blacksburg campus.

In Richmond, please send a request for a visit via our Info Request form.

I have a specific topic in mind for my master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. How can I reach out to SPIA faculty to understand more about how I could work on that topic?

Current students will meet with their advisors and/or capstone and dissertation committee chairs to discuss topics. If you want to receive feedback on your idea before applying to be a student at the School of Public or International Affairs, please send a note via our Info Request form.


Do I have to fill out a full application to take any course at SPIA?

Yes, you will have to apply and be admitted for a degree program, certificate program, Commonwealth Campus (non-degree), or visiting student.

What elements make up my application?

All elements are considered by the Admissions Committees as part of the application: Goal Statement, GPA and transcript, professional experience, letters of recommendation.

For PGG/UEDP and PAPA/PhD: GRE scores and/or other recognized aptitude tests (CPAP only) are also considered.

Where do I send my application?

Applications for all Virginia Tech degree programs, certificates, Commonwealth Campus, are online. All supporting documents, copies of official transcripts, goal statements, are uploaded to your online application. Letters of recommendation should be submitted online as well.

If recommenders are unable to submit their letters online, please contact Myriam Lechuga, (for Alexandria).

If I am not sure what my undergraduate GPA is, what should I enter on the online application?

You should enter your best GPA estimate, or check the website of your college/university to see if you can access an unofficial transcript with your GPA. You can also leave the GPA box blank and proceed with the rest of the application.

The Virginia Tech Graduate School will determine what your official GPA is from the application copy of your transcript as part of the application process.

Where do I send my transcripts?

The process of uploading official transcripts (not web-based) to the online application is intended to eliminate the need for applicants to mail in your transcripts, as our departments will be able to review your application based on your uploaded transcripts.

If you are offered admission, you will be required to provide an official copy of your transcript(s) upon the awarding of your degree and posting to your transcript prior to your enrollment at Virginia Tech.

For Alexandria and Richmond students, the official transcripts showing degree conferral should be sent directly from your institution(s) to:

Graduate Student Services Office
Graduate Admission and Academic Progress
Attn: Corinne Julien
Virginia Tech/Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road, Rm. 409
Falls Church, VA 22043

For Blacksburg students, the official transcripts showing degree conferral should be sent directly from your institution(s) to:

Virginia Tech Graduate Admissions
120 Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Mail Code 0325p
155 Otey Street NW
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Time Commitment

What are the options in terms of attending part-time or full-time?

In Alexandria, most students are part-time or certificate students so all our classes are scheduled for the afternoon and evening. Professors aim to be flexible about work travel, although it is important to keep up with your class commitments.

Many certificate courses are also offered online via Adobe Connect and Webex.

You can switch from full-time to part-time easily, depending on your changing commitments.


I was awarded a scholarship from SPIA. Where can I see information about that scholarship and its impact on my payments to Virginia Tech?

You can track your scholarship and other financial information on Hokie SPA.

I am currently an out-of-state student. Can I qualify for in-state tuition next year?

You can apply to be an in-state tuition student.

Here’s a tip when you are filling out this form. If you live in northern Virginia and want to do this process in person, you can bring the form and required documentation to Virginia Tech’s office in Falls Church called The Northern Virginia Center.

Daily Life at SPIA

Where will I attend classes?

Classes are held at three campuses:

  • 1021 Prince Street, Alexandria, Virginia
  • 140 Otey Street, Blacksburg, Virginia
  • 2810 N Parham Rd, Richmond, VA (MPA Only)

In most cases, students follow a course of study at one location.

Do you offer courses in the summer?

The Public Administration (CPAP) degree and certificate programs offer classes in the summer semesters. For Urban Affairs and Planning and Government and International Affairs programs that varies by Program and year.

I would like to live on campus. What are my options?

There is no University housing in Alexandria or Richmond.

There are a variety of housing options in the Alexandria/NCR Metro Area.

What is the parking situation at the Alexandria campus?

There is metered parking on the streets of Old Town, and private and public parking garages throughout the city. SPIA students can park in the Virginia Tech buildings above ground parking after 6:00pm.

What is the parking situation at the Blacksburg campus?

Visit the Virginia Tech parking website.

Are there childcare options at any campus?

We don’t provide childcare assistance in Alexandria (or Richmond?)

In Blacksburg, visit the Virginia Tech Graduate Student Child Care website.

What student benefits can I access with my part-time or full-time tuition payment?

  • discounted software
  • access to a computer lab
  • some businesses give student ID discounts

Alumni and Career Planning

How does SPIA help with career planning and advancement?

The Virginia Tech NCR center has a career fair for alumni.

In Blacksburg, there is a career office.

What programs exist for SPIA alumni to network after graduation?

Visit our Alumni page for the latest info about how alumni are networking and collaborating.

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