USA Today College recently ranked Virginia Tech as the nation’s best for studying natural resources and conservation. “We are proud of our efforts that contributed to this ranking,” said Dean Paul Winistorfer. “For many years various professional studies and groups had been rating both our undergraduate and graduate programs at or near the top. It is nice to finally have a major media organization recognize our educational program as the best in the country.”

USA Today looked at a variety of categories (each with a different number of ranked colleges): top ranked (based on quality of majors, where Virginia Tech is best), value of major, annual number of graduates, percentage of U.S. total in the field, related major power index, starting and mid-career salaries, best value for the money, annual number of graduates from online, percentage of program online, largest percentage of college’s students in program, and friendliness to veterans.

The college has emphasized the science of sustainability as its core brand to shape its curricula. Doing so will help meet the needs the USA Today rankings report deems necessary for a sustainable planet. “Our students come to us because of our academic excellence and uniqueness,” Winistorfer said. “Our program is at the nexus of climate, energy, air, and water issues that impact production of food and material needs for human society. Healthy ecosystems produce healthy economies. They are all interdependent.”