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Biodiversity Conservation Minor

The Biodiversity Conservation Minor considers how earth's resources are being depleted at an increasing rate and pushing environmental systems to the brink of an environmental crisis. Students will explore how overutilization of animal and plant populations, loss and degradation of habitats in the U.S. and across the world, and pollution are all impacting the biological diversity of the planet.

You can sign up for the Biodiversity Conservation Pathways Minor in 138 Cheatham Hall.

Why do it?

In addition to professional natural resource and environmental managers, there is a need for an informed populace who can understand and contribute to the conservation of biological diversity within the context of their chosen profession.

In this minor, students will take courses that help them gain a global and ethical perspective of environmental issues and discover that economics, policy, and social factors must be considered for effective management of declining resources and wild populations of animals. The capstone class (see video below) will contribute to developing their inquiry and problem-solving abilities, which will serve them well in whatever professional path they follow.

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For senior Murari Parasu, the biodiversity conservation minor has given him a crucial perspective on his major in sustainable biomaterials.

"The biodiversity conservation minor has provided a very important dimension to my learning. Sustainability doesn’t include one thing: you have to consider how actions impact our lives, our future societies, and the natural world, including wildlife and the environment as a whole. They’re different, fast-moving parts, but it’s an important consideration for sustainability work.”
- Murari Parasu


The 18-credit hour minor in Biodiversity Conservation includes 6 hours of required courses and 9 hours of elective courses selected from three categories: one from the human dimensions area, one from the natural resources area, and another one from either area, as well as a 3-hour capstone course.

Pathways diagram of minor

FREC 1004: Digital Planet
FIW 2114: Principles of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
FIW 4114: Biodiversity Conservation

Students select 9 credit hours of elective courses, ranging from Human Dimensions of Fish & Wildlife, to American Environmental History, to Wildlife Field Biology, to Fish Ecology, to Environmental Silviculture. 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?

The Biodiversity Conservation Minor will encourage interaction by students from a diversity of majors who have a common interest in conserving biodiversity, becoming better informed on issues, and considering solutions to loss of biological diversity. It is for students from the biological and life sciences areas (e.g., from CALS and COS) who desire additional depth specifically in biodiversity issues and conservation, as well as students from other programs such as engineering, business, or the humanities who have a particular interest in natural resources and environmental conservation.

Photo Gallery

This minor is hosted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
2 - Critical Thinking in Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
5f - Foundational Quantitative and Computational Thinking
6d - Critique and Practice in Design
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