About

Nestled in the New River Valley, Virginia Tech and its surrounding communities offer a wealth of activities for people of all ages.

Whether you are outdoorsy or a homebody, you will find there is always something to do or see in Blacksburg. The campus is in close proximity to the Jefferson National Forest and the New River, so there is ample opportunity for hiking, kayaking, fishing, camping, and tubing. One sight that is a must see is the Cascades waterfall- in the winter, when it is completely frozen! Blacksburg loves outdoor festivals.

Yearly events include Fork and Cork, the Brew Do, Steppin' Out, and the Summer Solstice Fest. Additionally, downtown hosts a weekly farmers' market year-round, with a second market on Wednesdays from late spring through early autumn.

For art and music enthusiasts: Virginia Tech's Moss Arts Center regularly hosts exhibits and performance art, including plays, symphonies, modern music, and dance. Also, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. hosts Art Walks the first Friday of the month during February, April, June, October and December.

Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff really take the university's motto "Ut Prosim" (That I May Serve) to heart. We have the largest collegiate Relay for Life, and each spring, thousands of students participate in The Big Event, a one-day community service blitz servicing the New River Valley. It is no wonder that Princeton Review ranked Virginia Tech #5 in "Quality of Life" and # 1 in "Their Students Love These Colleges" in 2018!

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Program Requirements

Bachelor's degree requirements:
Bachelor's degree in Physics with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in physics/math during the last two years of undergraduate study or, if the Bachelor’s degree is in a subject other than physics, 18 semester hours in intermediate mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, excluding general physics, are required.

Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Not Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

We have a very active Society of Physics Students chapter, which hosts events throughout the year including: bi-weekly coffee and donuts with faculty and staff, potluck picnics, and an end-of-the-year variety show called Chez Robeson. Other student groups include the Astronomy Club.

Our Graduate Physics Student Society (GPSS) recently reorganized and are working to make our graduate program more inclusive. A few of their recent activities have included forming qualifying and prelim exam prep groups, as well as organizing various social activities to encourage graduate students to mingle with other students, faculty, and postdocs outside of their research groups. This past Fall, the group hosted its first annual chess tournament. They even continued their movie nights online during the COVID pandemic.

Additionally, the department's female students, faculty and staff members make up Ladies of Robeson, a group dedicated to inclusion of females in the department. Activities have included movie nights, bowling, potluck lunches, and discussions with prominent female speakers.

The department hosts weekly seminar and colloquia series, during which students have a chance to mingle with faculty and guests over a cup of coffee or tea.

In addition to departmental events, our graduate students are encouraged to engage with our Graduate School. These activities include wine socials hosted by the Graduate Student Assembly, Guac Talks with the dean, barbecues during Welcome Week and Graduate Education Week, and other social events throughout the year. The Graduate School also hosts a number of groups, including ones for students with children.