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Degrees & Majors

Choose your academic path

It’s a great feeling when you know what you want to study. Some people seem to have always known what their academic path will be; others take more time and exploration to find the perfect major. Regardless of how straight or winding your path might be, we’ll help you stick to it and get the most out of your academic journey.

Undergraduate majors

We encourage you to explore the majors that interest you in CNRE. Learn more about what you’ll study and why you should consider pursuing each major at Virginia Tech. If you have questions, contact our director of recruitment or sign up for an interest session as part of your campus visit.    

Explore CNRE majors

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    Environmental conservation and society , home

    Study life and social sciences, and learn how to protect the environment while planning and leading outdoor recreational activities, educating the public and getting them excited about conservation, or leading sustainability initiatives.

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    A man crouches in front of a laptop on a work surface in a lab. Two young women stand on either side of him, while a young man sits in a chair just beyond him.
    Environmental data science , home

    Study the application of big data and information science to sustainability and conservation efforts related to forestry, watersheds, climate, and human-environment interaction. Learn about geospatial technology, mathematical and statistical modeling, remote sensing, and database management.

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    Environmental resources management , home

    Study all aspects of managing environmental resources and improving their quality to address global challenges. Learn about managing protected areas, influencing economic policy, and forest and soil productivity.

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    Fish conservation , home

    Study the sustainable management of aquatic animals and ecosystems, including shellfish, endangered species, sport fish, and aquaculture systems.

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    Forestry , home

    Study various aspects of the sustainable management, protection, and utilization of wildland and urban forests for their commercial, environmental, and social values.

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    Geography , home

    Study the patterns and processes connecting places and regions across the globe. Learn about societies and cultures, environmental systems, human-environment relationships, international development, and geospatial science, while utilizing cutting-edge technology.

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    Hokie Storm Chasers looking at a rain storm in the distance.
    Meteorology , home

    Study weather forecasting and atmospheric sciences with a significant focus on using geospatial technology to study how landforms affect weather patterns. Learn to predict severe weather and assess its impacts on both humans and the environment.

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    Packaging systems and design , home

    Study the science behind the third largest industry in the world: packaging. Learn about the design, transportation, storage, and delivery of products with an emphasis on “green” packaging and the recycling and reuse of materials.

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    Sustainable biomaterials , home

    Study how to best utilize renewable resources like wood and other biomaterials to create “greener” products with less environmental impact. This discipline applies science, technology, engineering, and business to sustainable natural resources.

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    Water: resources, policy, and management , home

    Study how we utilize and protect the most important natural resource of all: water. Learn about water science and policy, while acquiring the interdisciplinary training and knowledge needed to address current and future water quality and access challenges.

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    Wildlife conservation , home

    Study the sustainable management of terrestrial species and their habitats, including game and nongame birds and mammals, as well as reptiles and amphibians.

Graduate programs

The College of Natural Resources and Environment offers several different types of master’s degrees as well as doctoral programs. We encourage you to research your options carefully and to get in touch with the contact person in your department as soon as you decide that you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree. More information for prospective graduate students, including information on degree programs and the application process, is also available on Virginia Tech’s Graduate School site.

If you have questions or need more specific information about graduate programs, here are the contacts by department and center:

  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation: Marcella Kelly, associate department head for graduate affairs/graduate program director and professor, 540-231-1734 or makelly2@vt.edu
  • Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation: Jay Sullivan, department head and professor, 540-231-4356 or jsulliva@vt.edu, or Mary Williams, department administrative assistant and graduate student coordinator, 540-231-5483 or mwilliams@vt.edu
  • Geography: Luke Juran, director of graduate studies and associate professor, 540-231-0265 or ljuran@vt.edu
  • Sustainable Biomaterials: Audrey Zink-Sharp, associate department head and professor, 540-231-8820 or agzink@vt.edu
  • Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability: Kieran Lindsey, Program Director, Online Master of Natural Resources, 314-605-8820 or klindsey@vt.edu, or David P. Robertson, Program Director, Executive Master of Natural Resources, 434-258-2236 or davidrobertson@vt.edu

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

Contact: Marcella Kelly, associate department head for graduate affairs/graduate program director and professor, 540-231-1734 or makelly2@vt.edu

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Forestry, non-thesis option

  • Master of Science in Forestry and Forest Products

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry and Forest Products

Contacts: Jay Sullivan, department head and professor, 540-231-4356 or jsulliva@vt.edu, or Mary Williams, department administrative assistant and graduate student coordinator, 540-231-5483 or mwilliams@vt.edu

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Science in Geography

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis

  • Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Technology

Contact: Luke Juran, director of graduate studies and associate professor, 540-231-0265 or ljuran@vt.edu

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Forestry, non-thesis option
  • Master of Science in Forestry and Forest Products
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry and Forest Products

Contact: Audrey Zink-Sharp, associate department head and professor, 540-231-8820 or agzink@vt.edu

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Natural Resources (online)
  • Executive Master of Natural Resources (hybrid)

Contacts: Kieran Lindsey, Program Director, Online Master of Natural Resources, 314-605-8820 or klindsey@vt.edu, or David P. Robertson, Program Director, Executive Master of Natural Resources, 434-258-2236 or davidrobertson@vt.edu