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Finishing Your MS (THESIS) Degree. Unofficial information for graduate students in the CEE department at Virginia Tech READ ALL PAGES. Major Requirements: THESIS. You must have an approved Plan of Study

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Finishing your ms thesis degree

Finishing Your MS (THESIS) Degree

Unofficial information for graduate students in the CEE department at Virginia Tech


Major requirements thesis
Major Requirements: THESIS

  • You must have an approved Plan of Study

  • You must be registered for classes (research, class, or DSS) in the semester you take your final

  • You must apply for your degree (AFD)

  • You must apply to be admitted to the final (ONLINE final exam request form)

  • Following your final exam, you must make your final corrections to your thesis and have your Chairman approve the final version in the ONLINE exam system. Once that approval is completed, you will upload your ETD in the same system you scheduled your final exam

Graduation requirements and commencement deadlines


  • Help is available—[email protected]; (703) 538-8431

Registration two kinds
Registration – Two Kinds

  • Regular – register for class online for three or more hours OR

  • Special – also called Defending Student Status (DSS)

  • You do NOT register online for DSS

  • Go to HOKIESPA and find AFD in the degree menu section. Choose the correct semester

  • Pay the $25.00 fee which is good for one year. If you do not finish your degree in the semester you originally applied, return to HOKIESPA and update the AFD for the correct semester

  • The deadlines for AFD are associated with your name appearing in the commencement bulletin. It can only appear in one semester’s bulletin

  • DSS is more flexible during a summer semester

Dss registration cont
DSS Registration, cont.

  • International students may defend within the first 15 days of the semester OR any time during the semester using DSS, IF your principal activity is other than being an F-1/J-1 student enrolled full-time in pursuit of a degree (i.e., already on OPT or Academic Training). For more information, go to .

  • International students should check with Ruth Athanson or Zelma Harris in the Immigration Office (540) 231-8486 about DSS registration.

Request for final exam
Request for Final Exam

  • Complete the ONLINE form “Request to Admit Candidate to the Final Examination” Your Committee will need to sign electronically

  • You MUST complete the ONLINE exam form TWO WEEKS before your final. Plan extra time for your committee to sign. Use this form for EITHER type of registration

  • SCHEDULE a room ahead of time with [email protected]

  • The final exam form generates an email officially scheduling your final exam. Your final exam card should be signed by your committee ONLINE immediately after your exam.

  • Checkyour Graduate Student Requirement Checklist located in HokieSPA

Electronic thesis
Electronic Thesis

  • The ETD must be submitted through the ONLINE final exam scheduling systemwithin TWO WEEKS following the final exam

  • Step ONE: Student completes final version of the thesis and gains approval from the Chairman and the Committee

  • Step TWO: The Chairman returns to the ONLINE final exam scheduling system and approves the ETD for submission

  • STEP THREE: The student returns to the ONLINE final exam scheduling system and uploads the ETD

  • STEP FOUR: The other committee members return to the ONLINE final exam scheduling system and approve the final version of the Thesis

  • The Graduate School then completes the final approval of the Thesis and awards the degree. NOTE: The Graduate School will contact the student if format corrections are needed


  • HAVE an approved Plan of Study

  • Decide on registration for class—regular or special—and REGISTER

  • ApplyONLINE for your degree

  • Request a final exam ONLINE

  • Defendand confirm with your advisor that you have completed all degree requirements

  • Submit your electronic thesis ONLINE and confirm that the faculty confirmed the submission ONLINE. Check your VT email account to see if changes need to be made to the ETD. Respond accordingly

  • Check your Graduate Student Requirement Checklist on your HokieSPA account


  • AFD – application for degree

  • DSS – defending student status

  • ETD – electronic thesis and dissertation web site

  • Final Form – Request Candidate to the Final Exam form

  • Final Exam – any final work such as an oral exam, project presentation, or a thesis defense