Engage in the Science of Sustainability as a conservation biologist, forester, wildlife refuge manager, public affairs specialist, intelligence analyst, natural resource policy advisor, outdoor recreation planner, ecologist, urban forester, production manager, environmental consultant, GIS/remote sensing specialist, science teacher, meteorologist, environmental educator, packaging engineer, or international wood products consultant— just to name a few career positions. Managing and utilizing our natural resources requires talented, responsible and well-educated people.

The world’s population uses and consumes products and food every day that come from the Earth’s forests, waters and land. We all depend on these resources, and we must sustain them for the future. Prepare for a rewarding career vital to the Earth's future.

The programs in the College of Natural Resources and Environment are ranked among the best in the country. Our programs address both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Discover how you can prepare for a career that is personally gratifying, environmentally responsible, and directly beneficial to society.

High School Preparation & Admission to the College

A challenging college preparatory curriculum is your foundation for success in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Specifically, you must present a minimum of 18 units, including four units of English, three of math (including algebra II and geometry), two units of social science (including history), and two units of lab science (chosen from biology, chemistry, or physics). Three additional college preparatory units are required, and the balance of the credits are your choice. Additional science and math classes are encouraged.

Students should keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements for admission to the university.

In addition to your transcript, SAT or ACT (plus writing) scores are required of freshman applicants.

Curriculum & Opportunities

The College of Natural Resources and Environment offers eight majors, many ranked among the top in the nation. The majors are located in four departments.

  • Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
    • Fish Conservation Major
      • Marine Fisheries Conservation option
      • Freshwater Fisheries Conservation option
    • Wildlife Conservation Major
  • Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
    • Forestry Major
      • Forest Operations and Business option
      • Forest Resource Management option
      • Urban Forestry option
    • Environmental Resource Management Major
      • Environmental Resources Management option
      • Watershed Management option
    • Natural Resources Conservation Major
      • Conservation and Recreation Management option
      • Environmental Education option
      • Natural Resources Science Education option
    • Environmental Informatics
    • Water: Resources, Policy, and Management Major
  • Department of Geography
    • Geography Major
    • Meteorology Major
  • Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
    • Sustainable Biomaterials Major
      • Sustainable Enterprise track
      • Creating Sustainable Society track
      • Sustainable Residential Structures track
    • Packaging Systems and Design Major

Faculty & Facilities

Students in the College of Natural Resources and Environment have access to a wide variety of research laboratories and facilities.

Cheatham Hall houses fully equipped laboratories for studies in the physiology, nutrition, and genetics of trees, fish, and wildlife. Wood chemistry laboratories are also maintained for the analysis of wood and its components.

The Thomas M. Brooks Forest Products Center is one of the most sophisticated forest products labs in the United States. Dedicated to national and international research needs, it houses research laboratories, an experimental dry kiln, facilities for composites manufacturing, and advanced testing equipment for wood physics, mechanics, and processing research.

The Center for Bear Research is an approved site for research on captive black bears.

The Freshwater Mussel Culture Laboratory is the leading facility for research and production of imperiled freshwater mussels.

The Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center is a 710-acre research and education center located in Virginia’s Piedmont region less than two hours away from campus. It is equipped with a laboratory, greenhouse, shade house, aquatic research ponds, and field sites.

The Fishburn Forest is a 1,300­-acre teaching and demonstration forest close to campus. In addition, many field labs take advantage of the thousands of acres of public US Forest Service lands nearby. For a complete list of facilities, students should contact the individual departments.

Freshman Curriculum

Most entering students in the College of Natural Resources and Environment participate in a common first-year curriculum that includes courses in biology, chemistry, English, calculus, and a First Year Experience class. This time allows students to get acquainted with the different options and to develop career interests and goals before deciding on a professional plan of study.

Geography freshmen take English, mathematics, a science of their choice, and a selection of introductory Geography courses.