ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Graduate Programs

Graduate Student Life

Student Organizations and Projects

Graduate students are invited to participate in the ECE student professional organizations and projects. Grad students often provide the leadership for these efforts. More information.

Housing, Insurance, International Student Info, etc.

The Virginia Tech Graduate School maintains an up-to-date resource for information regarding grad student life, including housing, international student information, Blacksburg activities, insurance and student services. Please visit the Graduate School Student Information Pages.

On this page:

Required ECE Advisement Orientation Session

This is held one week prior to the first week of Fall Semester classes. All incoming graduate students are expected to attend this meeting. Important information is disseminated at the meeting and any changes in policy are discussed, as well as the discussion of duties and assignments of various assistantship positions.

Computer Accounts and E-mail

All graduate students should obtain a university e-mail account (PID) through Hokie Spa and provide the Graduate Counselor with an e-mail id no later than the ECE Advisement Orientation Session. Many departmental announcements are made via e-mail, such as seminar notices. E-mail should be checked daily in order to receive these announcements for ECE graduate students in a timely manner. E-mail may be read from computers in the university computer labs as well as several sites within the department. Students are responsible for receiving all departmental information distributed by e-mail.

Graduate students may also obtain an ECE Computer Workstation account once their Virginia Tech PID is set up. The workstations offer many computational tools for graduate students that may be used in their classes or research.

Graduate Student Web Pages

Graduate students can gain web server space via the university's filebox system. This can be used to share files, transfer information between campus and home, and to backup important data, and to grant/restrict access to certain people. Any graduate student who creates a public web page can get linked from the departmental web site by sending an email with the URL to Please note that all students must comply with Virginia Tech's policies on computer use the use of the Virginia Tech logo, and the use of the Virginia Tech name.

Study Desks

The ECE Department provides desks, in Whittemore Hall, Durham Hall, Torgersen Hall, and other locations, for as many students as resources permit. GTAs may use, on a shared basis, desks in several rooms which are dedicated for that purpose. Alternatively, those GTAs who have teaching responsibilities in our various laboratories may use desks in those labs if desks are available. Except for the dedicated GTA desks, all other student study desks are reserved for GRA use and are under the control of laboratory, center, or research group directors. Any student seeking use of a desk should see his or her advisor for further information.

All desk assignments are considered to be temporary and are reviewed for continuation at least annually. All graduate student offices are to remain locked at all times. Food products (other than packaged snack-type items) are not to be left in any graduate student office. No use of any tobacco product is permitted anywhere in Whittemore Hall, Durham Hall, or Torgersen Hall.

Locks and Keys

Codes/Keys for graduate students assigned to GTA duties are available from ECE Technical Support, and will allow access to all dedicated GTA rooms. Authorization for issuance of codes/keys for GTAs will be given in the letter of appointment and is forwarded to ECE Technical Support at the beginning of the semester. Authorization for keys to offices in which GRAs have been assigned desks may be granted by the appropriate laboratory, center, or research group director. Issuance of these keys is also under the control of the Director of ECE Technical Support. In all cases, keys must be returned to the director of ECE Technical Support at the time of graduation, termination of the GTA appointment, or any time the authorization for continued use of the desk is withdrawn. If a key is lost or misplaced, a letter addressed to the Department Head must be prepared which fully explains the circumstances of the loss. Based on the facts of the case, authorization of replacement of the key may be granted, but such replacement is not automatic. If a lock change and issuance of new keys are required as a result of the loss, all costs must be paid by the graduate student concerned. Keys for access to the outside doors of Whittemore Hall, Durham Hall, and Torgersen Hall will not be issued. Access after normal working hours and weekends may be achieved by use of the mechanical combination locks installed on three outside doors. The lock combination will be changed periodically and the new combination will be furnished to all faculty and staff members. Graduate students requiring access to the building may obtain the combination from their advisor. The lock combination should not be given to any person who does not have a legitimate need to have access to Whittemore Hall, Durham Hall, or Torgersen Hall.