Admissions Requirements

To apply to the graduate program, students must submit the Virginia Tech Graduate School online application.

Domestic Application

*Fall: January 5

International Application

*Fall: January 5

*Deadline for admission with full consideration for funding:  January 5

Admissions Requirements

Applicants with bachelor degrees and/or master’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities will be considered for entrance into the ADA focus of the Human Development doctoral program. Students with a bachelor’s degree are admitted to the doctoral track and complete a master’s degree in route to the Ph.D. All applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or 3.5 in the last 60 credits). 

What You'll Need

Official Transcripts

Include a scanned copy of your transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to graduate admissions after you receive an offer of admission.

Department Graduate Testing Requirements

Official GRE is required for the Adult Development and Aging focus of the Human Development program. Please have the testing agency send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for Adult Development and Aging (Ph.D.). You can include references/recommendations email addresses in your online application.

Writing Sample

Please submit one representative sample of your writing which may include a publication, a class paper, or a professional report. Any work submitted should have been completed by the applicant only; please don't include any group presentation or papers.

Personal Statement

A Personal Statement is required by the Department of Human Development & Family Science.

  • Please include a 3-5 page, double-spaced personal statement that describes your background, professional goals, and interest in our department. Listed below are items that you should consider when writing your personal statement:
  • Explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study, in particular, describe how studying Human Development at Virginia Tech will help you meet your educational and professional goals.
  • Discuss how your research, professional, and/or volunteer experiences shaped your interest in pursuing this degree, indicating how your prior experiences will contribute to your studies. Make sure to elaborate on any relevant work history, teaching experience, research experience (e.g., projects, grants, interviewing, testing, coding), clinical or consulting experience, leadership positions, scholarly contributions, achievements, awards, or skills.
  • Describe the vision you have of yourself after completing your degree in terms of your identity as a researcher, educator, and a citizen of your profession. Indicate how you envision yourself being professionally active after you complete your studies at Virginia Tech.
  • Indicate specific faculty research, training opportunities, and content areas that are of interest to you. Discuss possible topics for your thesis or dissertation research.
  • Briefly assess your strengths and weaknesses related to graduate study.
  • You may also choose to explain any special circumstances applicable to your background.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

You will be asked to provide a current resume or CV outlining your most recent experiences or by listing those that are most relevant to your application. The resume should include:

  • Work/Research Experience Research Achievements (including publications, thesis/dissertation, journal or conference papers)
  • Honors/Awards
  • Related Courses/Skills Minors
  • and/or Specialty Areas Professional Organizations/Affiliations

Applying as an International Student

International students might be required to submit TOEFL scores, immigration documents, and other additional materials with their application.

We require a minimum TOEFL score of 90 (IBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 for admission.  Further, TOEFL scores of 20 or greater in Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading subsections are required.  Test scores should be sent to us using ETS institution code 5859.

Additional Information/Supporting Material

In addition to the required supplementary materials, applicants who have participated in a professional publication or presentation may choose to submit those materials with their application.

Interview with members of program faculty

As a part of application, candidates are required to have an interview with members program faculty. If you are shortlisted, a faculty member will contact you by telephone or email to arrange an interview. You will then receive a formal email invitation outlining the format of the interview, giving names of individuals etc.

Applying for Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships

We offer fully funded graduate teaching assistantships for full time enrollment in the program. A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for an assistantship. Check yes, as all of our students are fully funded.

Application Fees

Degree-seeking students must include a $75 fee with their application, though check to see if you qualify for a waiver or reduced fee.

Submission Deadlines

Domestic Application

*Fall: January 5

International Application

*Fall: January 5

*Deadline for admission with full consideration for funding:  January 5

Additional Notes

  • We begin review of applications in January. Students who wish to be considered for teaching or research assistantships will have the best chances for this award if their applications are complete by January. Admissions and assistantships are usually announced in March.
  • To apply to the Virginia Tech Human Development program, select "Human Development" as your major. You will be able to select "Adult Development and Aging Program Area" later in the online form.

To request further information about the program or the application process, please contact graduate programs coordinator.

Pamela Teaster
Adult Development and Aging Area Coordinator
203 Grove Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24061

The official transcripts showing degree conferral should be sent directly from your institution(s) to Graduate Admissions:


Virginia Tech Graduate Admissions

120 Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown

Mail Code 0325p 155 Otey Street NW

Blacksburg, Virginia 24061