The admission decision for the Ph.D. program is a rigorous process in which candidates are evaluated on the basis of previous academic work, scores on admissions tests, letters of reference, statement of purpose and other factors. Applicants are encouraged to visit the department and meet with the faculty.
The Department ordinarily requires that the candidate take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), but if a candidate has not taken the GMAT but has taken the GRE, the Department will accept the GRE. Since most of our applicants and current students have taken the GMAT, students who have not taken either test are highly encouraged to take the GMAT as it is easier for us to compare students, and this is likely to improve the applicant's chance of admission.
Students recently admitted to the program have an average GMAT over 700 and a masters grade point average of typically greater than 3.5. The average age is 27. We take in students from all over the world and have a diverse program representation. Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 on the paper exam or 250 on the computer exam is required. This requirement, however, is a necessary but not sufficient condition for meeting the expectations of the faculty with respect to a candidate's command of written and spoken English. Non-native English speaking applicants can expect to have at least a telephone interview. A degree from an English-language university is considered an acceptable substitute for a TOEFL but does not assure that language will not be a factor in an admission decision.
All scores (GMAT/GRE, TOEFL) must be sent directly by the examination service to Virginia Tech. Unless specifically requested, copies of scores are not accepted. (Institutional code for reporting of scores is: 53B-XS-59).
The committee places a heavy emphasis on the applicant's training in quantitative methods needed for graduate level economics and quantitative courses in the first year. Students currently in the program scored an average of the 94th percentile on the quantitative portion of the GMAT or GRE.
Application for admission to the doctoral program in finance may be made for the upcoming fall semester. All application materials should be received by the Graduate School by January 15. The program committee will begin reviewing the files on February 1 and admission decisions are usually made by mid-March. All students are required to be knowledgeable of and conform to the requirements of the Virginia Tech Graduate School.
Please note: A candidate often asks before applying if he/she is qualified for admission or what his or her chances of admission are. We are generally unable to answer that question. They only time we can answer the question is if the qualifications are such that there is no reasonable chance of admission. If your GMAT is below 600 and your grade point average is below 3.00, there is no reasonable chance of admission. If you do not meet these minimum requirements, you will not be admitted. If you do meet the requirements, you may still not be admitted, but you have a possibility of admission. Except in circumstances that we decide upon, we do not do any pre-evaluations of candidates. In addition, all students start the program only in the fall semester.