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Application Checklist

  • A bachelor degrees and/or master’s degrees with minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale)
  • TOEFL/ IELTS  (For all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents). Learn more about testing requirements.

Applicants with bachelor degrees and/or master’s degrees from accredited colleges or universities will be considered for entrance into the CAD 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). 


Scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for Child and Adolescent Development (M.S. to Ph.D., Ph.D. in Human Development). You can include references/recommedations email addresses in your online application, or have them send paper copies directly to the department.

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 do not include any group presentation or papers.

Graduate School Testing Requirements

GRE scores are not required. We join other peer institutions across the country who have eliminated this structural barrier to promote a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive student body.

Letter of Interest and Curriculum Vitae

A letter of interest (3-5 pages) is required by the Department of Human Development and Family Science along with your latest Curriculum Vitae.

Please address the following questions in the letter of interest:

  • 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.

Evidence of English Proficiency 

The Graduate School requires that all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents demonstrate English proficiency to ensure they enter the university with sufficient English skills necessary to function in a graduate program. A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test score is the most common way international applicants demonstrate English proficiency. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 90 (IBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 for admission. Test scores should be sent to us using ETS institution code 5859. See this page if you qualify for a English language proficiency test waiver. 

Applying as an International Student

  • Blacksburg Campus: Prospective residential on-campus international students might be required to submit immigration documents, and other additional materials with their application. Please consult with Graduate Student Immigration Services.

Additional Information/Supporting Material

Applicants are welcome to submit any additional information with application material that would be useful in evaluation of your application.

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. All application fees are non-refundable.

Application Fee Waivers

Veterans and other applicants are eligible for waivers of the application fee. This form includes the eligibility requirements.


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

Submission Deadline for Domestic Application

**Fall: January 5

* Students seeking assistantships for funding should submit all required admissions materials by January 5 for full consideration.

Submission Deadlines for International Application

**Fall: January 5

* Students seeking assistantships for funding should submit all required admissions materials by January 5 for full consideration.

Blacksburg Campus Application Type:

  • Please select an Application Type: First Time Graduate Study or Readmission
  • Please select a Program: Human Development
  • Please select a Option:  Child and Adolescent Development
  • Please select a Degree Type: PHD
  • Please select a Campus: Blacksburg (Main Campus)
  • Please select a Term: Fall



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

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 0325)
155 Otey Street NW
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

 Send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

We are currently able to provide assistantship funding to all graduate students who make timely and satisfactory progress. All Ph.D. students that maintain full-time status and maintain a 3.0 GPA will be offered an assistantship (20 hours of work per week). Assistantships may include research obligations, teaching undergraduate level courses, or other administrative tasks. Students on assistantships receive a monthly stipend, tuition waivers/remission, and health benefits. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application.  No separate application required.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

The Graduate School sends an official offer of admission to applicants upon the recommendation of the department faculty. Admitted applicants who are offered graduate assistantships at Virginia Tech are not required to make a decision to commit to the assistantship offer until April 15. See the assistantships page for more details.

Graduate Admissions

Erika L. Grafsky, Director of Graduate Studies
840 University City Blvd Suite 1
Blacksburg, VA 24060


Application Questions

Graduate Program Coordinator
366 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Program Inquiries

Koeun Choi
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061