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Ecosystems for Human Well-Being Minor

Ecosystem services are critical to the survival of humans throughout the world, and the complex links between environmental change and human health are influenced by societal and cultural di­fferences. The Ecosystems for Human Well-Being minor examines the connection between ecosystems and the services they provide to communities, cultural impact on the environment, and the pathways associated with human and animal health risks.

Why do it?

This minor will allow students to examine the world from multiple perspectives in the context of a critical global and ethical issue: the planet’s life support systems. Students can fulfill Pathways General Education requirements in the social sciences, natural sciences, and the humanities, while taking additional courses that will prepare them for their future careers.


The 18-hour minor in Ecosystems for Human Well-Being includes one 3-hour required introductory course, one 3-hour required mid-level course, 9 hours of electives, and a required 3-hour capstone course.

Based on their majors, interests, and personal career goals, students select 9 credits hours of elective courses from across three areas: Environment, Health, and Culture. Students choose one course from each area for a total of 9 credit hours. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the Registrar checksheet (follow this link, click on ‘checksheets,’ scroll down to Minors, and find the Ecosystems for Human Well-Being checksheet).

Who is it for?

The Ecosystems for Human Well-Being minor is appropriate for students from numerous disciplines across campus, and especially students with an interest in the “One-Health” concept. Students in STEM fields such as Environmental Science, Biological Science, and Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise will find this minor applicable to their future careers. It may also interest students in Population Health Sciences who would like additional environmental science content, and non-STEM majors seeking to fulfill their Pathways requirements in the natural sciences.

This minor is hosted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 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 
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