Virginia Tech® home

George Washington Carver Program for Graduate Students

picture of George Washington Carver

The George Washington Carver Assistantship Program is designed to advance the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences commitment to access, equity, justice, and inclusion, and to enhance the diversity of our graduate student population. The assistantship is available on a competitive basis to nominated students applying for Fall or Spring admission who are U.S. citizens and/or U.S. permanent residents. Students from minority serving institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) are encouraged to apply. The program also invites students to apply who have identities and/or experiences historically excluded from and underrepresented in agriculture and life sciences graduate education including but not limited to the following:

  • Those who manage a disability.
  • Being of a gender and/or sexual orientation identity historically underrepresented in their field of study.
  • Being from the Appalachian region of the United States.

Recipients are students seeking master’s degrees or doctorates who aspire to a career in higher education or in the agricultural or life sciences industries.

The graduate program was established in honor of George Washington Carver, a noted American educator, scientist, innovator, and servant of mankind.

Students who wish to be considered for this assistantship must submit a supplemental application online along with their application materials to the CALS department through the VT Graduate School. Awardees will be recognized as Carver Scholars and will be invited to participate in community and professional activities sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the VT Office of Inclusion and Diversity and its partners.

Application link


The assistantship award recipients receive full tuition and competitive graduate student stipends for their first academic year. Master’s candidates may renew their scholarships for one additional year; doctoral candidates can add two more years. Students are also eligible to participate in funded research projects during the summer months.

The awards are renewable contingent on satisfactory progress in the student’s academic program and availability of funds.

Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien.
  • Be in the final year of an undergraduate program or they must have received their first undergraduate degree no more than five years prior to applying for a Carver assistantship.
  • Be from a group that is under-represented in the chosen field of study or interests.
  • Have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher from their undergraduate studies.
  • Be eligible for admission to a graduate program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.
  • Be willing to participate in and contribute to programs and activities in the college that promote and enhance diversity.
  • Demonstrate superior academic achievement and scholarly abilities.
  • Students interested in an Online Master of Agriculture and Life Science Program are NOT eligible for consideration of this assistantship.

Students who wish to be considered for a Carver Scholarship must complete a three-step process:

  1. Visit the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences website at to determine the department(s) they will apply to.
  2. Submit an application to the Carver program at Please reach out to the Program Director, Dr. Chevon Thorpe, for the gradaute application fee waiver.
  3. Submit an application to the Virginia Tech Graduate School at State that you were recruited by the George Washington Carver Program (CALS) in one of the “Academic and Professional Goals Statements” on the application.
  4. The program director must receive applications by April 30 for fall semester entrance. Students must attend all program events.

The graduate committee of the relevant department will review applications for admission. The following criteria will be used to determine who will receive assistantships:

  • Academic and scholarly achievements as demonstrated by the grade point average.
  • Potential for successful participation in research projects or awards and recognitions.
  • Ability to conduct research in their area of interest.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups of students, staff, and faculty members.
  • Commitment to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Record of extracurricular activities and service to others (individuals, groups, and communities).

Recipients must:

  • Be enrolled and maintain good status as a master’s or doctoral candidate in a degree-granting graduate program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Register as a full-time student for the fall and spring semesters.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic and scholarly performance, progress, and work performance, as determined by the standards of the major department.
  • Submit an academic progress report and meet with their coordinator each semester.
  • While the assistantship is with the student's home department, there are expecations within the Carver Program as well, and the student must adhere to the Carver Program's participation agreement.
  • Adhere to Virginia Tech’s Student Code of Conduct.


Chevon N. Thorpe
Director of Program
Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
1350 Litton-Reaves Hall, Virginia Tech
175 West Campus Drive
(540) 232-8702

Lesley Mitchell
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
110 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6986

Faculty member and student working in lab