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Appalachian Cultures and Environments Minor

The Appalachian Cultures and Environments (APCE) minor provides students with an understanding of the places, cultures, histories, artistic expressions, ecologies, and politics of the Appalachian region historically and currently. Courses within the minor examine socioeconomic and environmental conditions in Southwest Virginia, and Appalachia more broadly, and illuminate ways in which Appalachian places and issues are inextricably linked to global places and issues.

For more information, call 540-231-5033 or email the Director of Appalachian Studies, Dr. Emily Satterwhite.

Why do it?

The minor develops critical and analytical skills and a deeper understanding of the Appalachian region valuable in a wide variety of ­fields, including engineering, agriculture, communication, education, environmental sciences, the arts, geography, health, law, public history, public policy, and social work. Students completing this minor will acquire hands-on learning experiences that will enhance their employment opportunities.


The 18-hour minor in Appalachian Cultures and Environments includes a 3-hour introductory course, 12 hours of elective courses, and a 3-hour capstone course.

Pathways diagram of minor

APS/HUM 1704: Introduction to Appalachian Studies
APS/HUM 4414: Issues in Appalachian Studies

Based on their majors, interests, and personal career goals, students select 12 credit hours of elective courses from across ­five areas of study. One course must be at the 3000-level or higher, and at least one must be a Pathways course. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the Registrar checksheet (follow this link, click on 'checksheets', scroll down to Minors, and find the minor checksheet you're interested in).

Who is it for?

This minor is valuable to STEM-H students, allowing them to complete the distribution requirements in discourse, humanities, social sciences, design and arts, and equity less likely to be met in their major. Additionally, this minor serves students wishing to enrich their knowledge of Appalachia and their understanding about issues of equity and identity related to the region in which they were raised and/or currently live.

See what our students are saying

“There are a lot of connections between my major in wildlife conservation and my minor, Appalachian Cultures and Environments. By being part of a Pathways minor, it provides context for the work I’ll be doing with the wildlife and people of this area and provides a deeper connection for me to the land, which can only improve my ability to be successful.”
-Cecile Trivigno '22

Photo Gallery

This minor is hosted by the Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
1a - Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
5f - Foundational Quantitative and Computational Thinking
6ad - Critique and Practice in Design and the Arts
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States
*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed

Integrative Concepts
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural and Global Awareness