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Language and Culture for the Practice of Science Minor

The Language and Culture for the Practice of Science minor allows students to develop the linguistic tools needed to read, write, and speak about scientific issues in Spanish or French. Through a combination of language, science, and humanities courses, students build on the foreign language skills they developed in high school while integrating scientific reasoning, communication, and culture.

For more information, email Dr. Vinodh Venkatesh for Spanish and Dr. Richard Shryock for French.

Why do it?

The Language and Culture for the Practice of Science minor allows students in the life sciences to develop meaningful and useful language skills and cross-cultural competencies in one of two global languages. Students completing this minor will leave Virginia Tech with the ability to communicate and interact effectively across cultures, positioning them well to succeed in their future educational and/or career goals.

Who is it for?

This minor is targeted towards students in the College of Science, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and will be especially beneficial to those seeking a functional working ability in the sciences in a language other than English.


The 20–22-hour minor in Language and Culture for the Practice of Science includes 6 hours of foundational required courses, 11-13 hours of electives, and a required 3-hour capstone course.

FR 3105-3106: Composition, Conversation, and Grammar
SPAN 3105-3106: Grammar, Composition, and Conversation

FR 3154: French for the Natural Sciences
SPAN 3154: Spanish for the Natural Sciences

Students select 11-13 credits hours of elective courses. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the checksheet (follow this link, click on ‘checksheets,’ scroll down to Minors, and find the Language and Culture for the Practice of Science checksheet).

This minor is hosted by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
1f – Foundational Discourse
1a – Applied/Advanced Discourse
2 – Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 – Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 – Reasoning in the Natural Sciences

Integrative concepts
10 – Ethical Reasoning
11 – Intercultural and Global Awareness

*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed


Dr. Vinodh Venkatesh for Spanish
Dr. Richard Shryock for French