The Virginia Tech Graduate School begins the academic year with a slate of activities to welcome new and returning students. The calendar includes orientations, workshops, meals and socials, with opportunities to learn about the supports and services the Graduate School provides, and how to navigate life as a graduate student on the Blacksburg campus.

The Graduate School expects about 7,000 students in 2015-16, with about 50 percent pursuing master’s degrees, 44 percent studying for doctorates, and 6 percent enrolled in certificate or other professional programs. The Graduate School anticipates about 29 percent of the students to be international, hailing from more than 20 countries across the globe. Approximately 70 percent of graduate students will attend classes on the Blacksburg campus.

Welcome week starts today, with most activities taking place in the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown. Events include:

  • Aug. 17 – Graduate Teaching Assistant workshop, 1-5 p.m., in Colonial Hall in Squires Student Center and in the Graduate Life Center auditorium.
  • Aug. 18 – Graduate Teaching Assistant workshop, 8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. in Colonial Hall in Squires Student Center and the Graduate Life Center auditorium.
  • Aug. 18 – Student health insurance sign-up in the Graduate Life Center lobby
  • Aug: 19 – Underrepresented student luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., in the Graduate Life Center multipurpose room. The Graduate School hosts this luncheon for students who identify as members of under-represente​d minorities, with opportunities to network and talk with fellow students, faculty, administrators, and staff.
  • Aug. 19 – Graduate Student Assembly Welcome Back BBQ, 5-8 p.m. at the University Club. Meet the officers for the coming year and visit with Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw and new and returning students.
  • Aug. 20 – Health insurance sign up, 2 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center lobby
  • Aug. 20 – Make yourself at home, 4:30-6 p.m. in Graduate Life Center multipurpose room. Connect with faculty, staff, students and resources that can help you succeed at graduate school and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Aug. 21 – Graduate student orientation, 9-11 a.m. in the Graduate Life Center auditorium. Learn from the dean, faculty, staff and students what is expected for a successful graduate career.
  • Aug. 21 – Health insurance sign up, 10 a.m. in the Graduate Life Center lobby.
  • Aug. 27 – Ice Cream Social sponsored by the Graduate Student Assembly in the Graduate Life Center reading room from 3:30-5 p.m. This event kicks off the Fall Semester Graduate Life Center Café series of Thursday afternoon gatherings for refreshments and conversation in the reading room.

Several of the events require sign-ups or registration. Visit the Welcome Week webpage for more information and links to registration and sign-up forms. More events following Welcome Week also are listed.