Virginia Tech has signed new memoranda of understandings with Virginia State University and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) defining accelerated pathways to its master’s programs in computer science and computer engineering.

Both schools are participating in Virginia Tech’s accelerated undergraduate/graduate programs in computer science and computer engineering. The program enables qualified students at their institutions – including students not currently majoring in computer science or engineering – to take courses toward a Virginia Tech graduate degree as part of their school's degree.

The program aims to reduce time — and therefore cost — to complete a graduate degree and facilitate an early transition into Virginia Tech’s Master of Engineering in computer science or computer engineering and the Master of Science program in the same areas. All of these programs are offered in Northern Virginia – where the university is growing student capacity leading up to the 2024 opening of the graduate-focused Innovation Campus – and in Blacksburg.

“As Virginia Tech and our partner institutions focus on recruiting and developing tech talent across Virginia, this program creates pathways for students looking to advance their careers in the sought-after fields of computer science and computer engineering,” said Cyril Clarke, executive vice president and provost. “We are proud to collaborate with Virginia State and VMI to further opportunities for our graduates and serve the technology capacity and expertise needs of our commonwealth.”

Students at the partner schools apply to Virginia Tech’s master’s programs during their junior year of college. They are able to earn their master’s degree in as little as one year after completing their bachelor’s degree.

Virginia State University is a land grant institution and a public, historically Black college and university (HBCU) in Ettrick. Founded in 1882, Virginia State developed as the country’s first fully state-supported, four-year institution of higher learning for Black Americans.

Virginia Military Institute is a public senior military college in Lexington. It was founded in 1839 as America's first state military college and is the oldest public senior military college in the United States. VMI has identified a number of courses eligible for transfer credit into Virginia Tech’s master’s programs, including 400-level courses in Advanced Network Security, Database Design and Development, Artificial Intelligence, and Secure Software Engineering.

“VMI is excited to partner with Virginia Tech to offer this opportunity for cadets to complete a graduate degree in computer science or computer engineering in as little as one year after graduation from VMI,” said Robert Moreschi, deputy superintendent for academics and dean of the faculty. “Employers across the commonwealth highly value VMI graduates, but in the increasingly competitive marketplace for technical talent, this partnership affords cadets the opportunity to accelerate their career development.”  

Partnering with HBCUs and schools with diverse undergraduate populations is important to Virginia Tech as the university looks to expand opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields. This is especially true at the Innovation Campus, which has a stated goal of becoming the most diverse graduate technology campus in the country.

Other partner universities include Christopher Newport University, Hollins University, James Madison University, Radford University, and the University of Mary Washington.

If you are interested in partnering with the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and College of Engineering, please contact Dannette Gomez Beane.

Share this story