More than 100 graduate and professional programs representing universities from across the country will be on hand for the Virginia Tech Graduate and Professional Schools Fair on Monday, Sept. 23, from 4:30-7 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center located at 290 College Ave.

The event is free for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, or community members to attend, especially those considering the pursuit of a master’s, doctoral, or professional degree or certificate.

“This event yields recruiters from the top schools in the country because they know the caliber of students they are getting at Virginia Tech,” said Dannette Gomez Beane, director of the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives in the Graduate School.

Beyond top recruiters being on campus, the event provides critical information, especially to undergraduates, to ensure they take the courses and extracurricular activities that graduate programs expect to see before they apply.

“It is important for juniors and sophomores to come out to this event to begin to research the needed credentials and to begin to prepare for application,” said Beane. “Even if a student isn’t considering going straight into graduate school, it is important they begin to think about if they ever intend to return for another degree because the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework is what is often used in admissions decisions no matter when they decide to apply.”

Guests of the event can talk with recruiters about each individual program. In addition, there will be broader informational sessions to get an early start on the graduate school application process.

The Graduate Student Assembly hosts the event as a fundraiser for the organization, but also to serve undergraduate students on campus.

“The members of the Graduate Student Assembly know personally the hard work that goes into finding a school and program that fits your academic pursuits, and then getting the requirements and credentials to be a competitive applicant,” said Shaimaa Abdallah of Alexandria, Egypt, president of the Graduate Student Assembly and doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering. “We hope this fair will help simplify some of the information collection part of the process.”

Space is no longer available for schools interested in sending recruiters. For a list of participating schools, visit the Graduate Student Assembly website.