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Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program

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The Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program was developed to provide engineers and other qualified individuals with strong science backgrounds with an opportunity to pursue a program in graduate studies leading to a master’s degree in engineering.

This year, VCU School of Engineering celebrates its 30-year involvement in the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program. Read more.

Program details

The CGEP is a consortium of state universities providing televised graduate engineering courses and master’s degree programs via NETWORK.VIRGINIA, a statewide ATM network. The telecommunications system allows two-way video and audio communications between faculty members teaching resident classes and students in “receive classrooms” throughout the commonwealth. All classes are recorded so students may view classes at a later date.

In the Richmond-Petersburg area, classes meet at the VCU School of Engineering. For more information, please visit the statewide CGEP website.

Curricula

The program is delivered by interactive televised classes from Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University and VCU. Regional academic centers provide “receive classrooms” and support services to students taking televised courses. Classes are received directly at a number of classroom sites at company facilities as well.

The following are master’s degree engineering programs that are offered through CGEP.  Some programs are online and others are televised from the noted universities:

  • Chemical engineering (UVa)
  • Civil engineering (UVa and Virginia Tech)
  • Computer engineering (Virginia Tech)
  • Computer science (VCU)
  • Electrical engineering (UVa and Virginia Tech)
  • Engineering administration (Virginia Tech)
  • Engineering management (ODU)
  • Engineering modeling and simulation (ODU)
  • Engineering physics (UVa)
  • Engineering (VCU)
  • Materials science and engineering (UVa)
  • Mechanical engineering (UVa)
  • Systems engineering (UVa and Virginia Tech)

In addition to the televised/online courses, elective courses are available at VCU in applied mathematics, statistics, chemistry, physics, operations research and computer science.

Nondegree-seeking students

Qualified individuals who wish to take a particular engineering course may enroll without pursuing a formal graduate program of study as a nondegree-seeking student. Admission will be based on the suitability of the individual’s academic background and the availability of classroom space.

Program advising

Individuals pursuing a formal graduate degree are assigned a program adviser by their own university. Additional coordination is provided by James E. Ames IV, Ph.D., the director and coordinator of the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program at VCU.

Transfer of graduate credits

Students must take at least 50 percent of their courses from the school from which they will receive their degree. Transfer of all credit from courses offered from the other cooperating institutions is subject to prior approval by the student’s graduate program adviser.

Class registration

Registration deadlines for the courses are outlined in the VCU Academic Calendar. Most classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday. Generally, classes meet once per week for 150 minutes or twice per week for 75 minutes each. Students may register for televised engineering courses before the first class meeting, during the first week of class or through advance registration.

Admission procedures

Each candidate should complete the program application, provide three letters of recommendation and have two official transcripts of academic records from all universities and colleges previously attended sent to the university that will award the master’s degree. The Graduate Record Examination is required for all Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and VCU programs. GRE scores must be sent directly to the university that will award the degree.

Contact information

James E. Ames IV
Program director
Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program
Virginia Commonwealth University
Phone: (804) 827-7000
Email: jeames@vcu.edu
Leena Joseph
Director of graduate studies
VCU School of Engineering
Phone: (804) 828-1087
Fax: (804) 828-9866
Email: josephl@vcu.edu