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Application Checklist

What are we looking for when we make our admissions decisions?

  • Undergraduate B.S. or B.A. degree, preferably in the humanities or design disciplines (e.g., American Studies, Architecture, Area Studies, Art History, Classics, Communication, Folklore, History, History of Design, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Landscape Architecture, Political Science, Religion and Culture)
  • A strong undergraduate GPA, ideally 3.5 in-major undergraduate, 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA.
  • Strong GRE scores, ideally at least at the 60th percentile on the Verbal sub-test and 40th percentile on the Quantitative sub-test.
  • Degree applicants with work or internship experience in a related field will be given special consideration.

Please note that these requirements have some flexibility; in accordance with the Graduate School’s philosophy of Holistic Admissions, we consider applicants as people, not numbers. Consequently, we sometimes admit students with lower GPAs or GRE scores when those scores are offset by other factors, including:

  • Community engagement/service
  • Demonstrated leadership
  • Personal/professional ethics
  • Documented achievements
  • Research and scholarship
  • Social, economic, and physical challenges, or other barriers

Accelerated B.A.-M.A. Program

Undergraduate majors in the the program in Art History and the Department of Religion can pursue an accelerated program for the M.A. in Material Culture and Public Humanities. Once accepted, students may double-count 12 credit hours toward undergraduate and graduate degrees (each credit hour counts toward both degrees at the same time).


Applicants must have:

  • junior status and be entering their last 12 months of undergraduate work
  • attained in-major GPAs of at least 3.5 (overall 3.0)
  • completed the formal application to the Graduate School

Students must be accepted into the M.A. program prior to the beginning of the semester in which they enroll in courses to be counted toward the accelerated program.


  • A maximum of 12 credits of graded coursework may be counted for both undergraduate and graduate work
  • No more than 6 of the double-counted credits may be at the 4000 level. All others must be offered for graduate credit
  • A grade of B or higher must be earned in each course to be double counted
  • Courses must not be taken pass-fail if a graded option is available

Applicable courses include all 4000-level offerings in the program in Art History and the Department of Religion and Culture.  All other double-counted units must come from the 5000-level Material Culture and Public Humanities courses.


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 M.A. in Material Culture and Public Humanities. You can include references/recommedations email addresses in your online application.

Graduate School Testing Requirements

Official GRE is optional for  M.A. in Material Culture and Public Humanities. Please have the testing agency send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

Writing Sample Guidelines

Provide one writing sample that illustrates your potential for research. This could be a solo-written class paper or term project, published work, or work product that demonstrates your analytical and writing abilities. Please do not exceed 20 double-spaced pages.

Letter of Interest and Curriculum Vitae

letter of interest (250-500 words) is required by the Department of Communication along with your latest Curriculum Vitae.

Letter of Interest Guidelines:

  • Why do you want to undertake graduate work  at Virginia Tech?
  • Why do you qualify to pursue a graduate degree at Virginia Tech?
  • If you have a concentration or area of interest in mind, briefly outline your interests in this area.
  • What graduate faculty members are you interested in studying with and why?
  • What do you expect to contribute as a student and subsequently as a member of the profession?

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. 

Priority deadline: February 15 for consideration for funding

Final deadline:  August 1

Blacksburg Campus Application Type:

  • Please select an Application Type: First Time Graduate Study or Readmission
  • Please select a Program: Material Culture and Public Humanities
  • Please select a Degree Type: M.A.
  • 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.

Our program in Program in Material Culture and Public Humanities has a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships available for students applying for full time study on the Blacksburg Campus. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application. No separate application required.

Visit Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid

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.

When will we let you know if your application has been accepted? 

Usually within 10 business days for our admissions decision. We try to finalize our funding decisions by March 1 (for those who have submitted applications by February 15 for consideration of funding).

Graduate Admissions

Aaron Ansell, MCPH Program Director
101 Major Williams Hall

Michelle Moseley-Christian, MCPH Program Director
351F Henderson Hall

Application Questions

Amanda Timcik, MCPH Program Specilalist
206 Major Williams Hall

Program Inquiries

Aaron Ansell, MCPH Program Director
101 Major Williams Hall

Michelle Moseley-Christian, MCPH Program Director
351F Henderson Hall