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College of Agriculture & Life Sciences


Dean: Alan Grant
Associate Dean & Director of Academic Programs:
Susan S. Sumner
Associate Dean & Director of Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station: Saied Mostaghimi
Dean & Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension:
Ed Jones
Director of Agricultural Technology: Pavli Mykerezi

Hutcheson Hall


    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides an education in the science and business of life. Basic life sciences and animal, plant, and food sciences – not to mention environmental sciences, human health and nutrition, and economic development – are just some of the choices available to you as an undergraduate major. If your ultimate goal is to apply to professional schools such as veterinary medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, and graduate, you will want to explore the excellent pre-health preparation offered in many of the college’s majors. Excellent faculty and academic advisors are eager to work with you. You will also find more than 30 student organizations and nationally-competitive teams in the college. The college offers the educational environment and learning experiences graduates need in order to develop skills for addressing the challenges facing society and the world today. You may work beside scientists in their laboratories or participate in internships with business or industry.

Undergraduate Programs

    The undergraduate program in the college is organized into majors designed for students with widely different interests. These majors permit the student to achieve a satisfactory degree of specialization while providing the fundamentals necessary for continuing professional growth after graduation.

    Undergraduate majors offered:

    Agribusiness Biochemistry Food Science and Technology
    Agricultural Sciences Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
    Agricultural Technology (associate degree) Dairy Science Landscape Contracting
    Animal and Poultry Sciences Environmental Horticulture Applied Economics Management
    Environmental Sciences

    Minors Offered:

    Agribusiness Management Entomology International Agriculture
    Agricultural and Applied Economics Environmental Economics, Management and Policy International Trade and Development
    Animal and Poultry Sciences Environmental Science Leadership and Social Change
    Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Equine Science Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
    Food Science and Technology Dairy Science Horticulture

    Freshman students may enter the college with the designation LFSC (Life Sciences, Undecided). Upon completion of the freshman year, a college major should be selected.

    See College of Engineering for Biological Systems Engineering.


Residential Leadership Community

    The Residential Leadership Community is a themed housing leadership program in which students study leadership while living in a cohort environment. The RLC strives to incorporate the best practices from both philosophies of academia and student activities. The RLC teaches comprehensive historical and social leadership theories and strives to develop communication, time-management, organizational skills, and group skills specific to individual students' majors and career goals through academic and experiential learning. The RLC is founded on a strong sense of purpose to build leaders that are socially responsible, educated in theory, demonstrate leadership accountability, and who grasp a deep understanding of effective leadership behaviors.

Curriculum for Liberal Education and College Core Requirements

    A description of the Curriculum for Liberal Education may be found in the Academics chapter of this catalog or on the Curriculum for Liberal Education website (http://www.cle.prov.vt.edu/). College specific requirements related to the Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE):

    Area 1: Writing and Discourse

    • Placement may reduce the minimum credits required in freshman English but does not change the total credits required for graduation.

    Area 3 - AAEC 1005/1006

    • Majors in the Department of Biochemistry and Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise are exempt from this requirement and may use other approved courses to satisfy Area 3 of the University requirement.

    Area 4: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery

    • Most majors require eight credits each of chemistry and biology with laboratories. Refer to departmental check sheets for exceptions.

    Area 6: Creativity and Aesthetic Experience

    • Satisfactorily complete a one credit hour course approved for the university Curriculum for Liberal Education.

    Students who plan to transfer to Virginia Tech and major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences after two years of community or junior college enrollment are encouraged to complete as many of the curriculum for liberal education courses as possible before they transfer.

The Honors Program

    The University Honors Program is available to students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. These programs provide an enriched environment for qualified students who are highly motivated and possess outstanding scholastic ability. Specific requirements for the three possible honors degrees are available from the honors program and participating departments.

Deans List

    An undergraduate student who attempts at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F option and who earns a 3.4 GPA for either spring or fall semester will be included on the online Dean’s List for that term. Please note: Student will not appear on the online Dean’s List if they are listed in the system as confidential or if they do not have an active permanent address. Questions about omissions from the online list should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar.

Pre-Professional Advising

    Pre-health advising (e.g. pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, and pre-veterinary) is coordinated through the Office of Health Professions located in Career Services.

Honor Societies

    Phi Beta Kappa – Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious honor society dedicated to recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who have exhibited outstanding academic ability in eligible coursework may be eligible for selection to Phi Beta Kappa.

    Phi Kappa Phi - Phi Kappa Phi has chapters on nearly 300 select college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society's mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

    Gamma Sigma Delta - Gamma Sigma Delta is an organization having as its objectives the advancement of agriculture in all its phases, the maintenance and improvement of the relations of agriculture and related sciences to other industries, and the recognition of the responsibilities of those engaged in all aspects of agriculture to humankind. Our Society seeks to encourage high standards of scholarship and worthy achievements in all branches of the agricultural and related sciences as well as a high degree of excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits.


    A number of scholarships are available for outstanding students enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Descriptions and deadlines are available on the Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

Undergraduate Research

    Research opportunities and experiencing the excitement of discovery can play an important part in undergraduate training in science. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences departments offer diverse research opportunities in which students may choose to participate. Individuals interested in undergraduate research should contact faculty members in the departments where they wish to conduct research.

International Study Opportunities

    The Academic Programs Office in the college, in cooperation with the Office of International Research and Development, offers several avenues for students both in and outside the college to gain international knowledge and experience. These study opportunities allow students and faculty to become aware of and develop basic knowledge of food, fiber, and environmental issues in the world. Specific activities include study abroad programs and courses, international internships, formal student exchange programs, seminars and workshops on campus, and courses in the college which focus on international topics. In addition, the minor in International Agriculture is available which involves selecting 18 credit hours of study from a selected list of courses. Students wishing to explore this minor should contact the Office of Academic Programs in the college. All of the departments in the college offer education abroad opportunities and students wishing to explore these opportunities should contact the coordinating advisor in their department.

Career Advising

    Career advising is available from a number of sources. The university offers centralized career services and on-campus interviewing. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences works with employers interested in hiring students with degrees from the college and organizes employer panels and information sessions. Every major has a departmental career advisor who specializes in guiding students from their field towards career success.

    Career Services offers each student a FREE Hokies4Hire account. Undergraduate students who are seeking any type of career-related employment, including internships, co-ops, career-related summer employment, and permanent positions are eligible to use Hokies4Hire. You may upload your resume and apply for jobs in Hokies4Hire. These include jobs with on-campus interviews as well as job postings. Additional information may be found at http://www.career.vt.edu/H4H-OCI/H4HIndes.html.

Internship, Co-op Opportunities and Enrichment Programs

    Students are encouraged to participate in internship and co-op opportunities to gain relevant work experience prior to graduation. Departmental career advisors can help students identify opportunities. In some cases, students can receive credit for qualifying work experience. Enrichment studies include field station opportunities, study abroad and summer laboratory experiences outside the university.

Agricultural Technology Program

    The Agricultural Technology Program offers a concentrated academic experience for individuals pursuing an associate degree in preparation for careers in the agricultural and green industries. Students can specialize in either Applied Agricultural Management or Landscape and Turf Management. Additional information is available at the program’s website at www.agtech.vt.edu. The program handles its own admissions. Applications and inquiries should be addressed to: Brenda French, Admissions Coordinator, 1060 Litton-Reaves Hall (0334), Blacksburg, VA 24061, or call 540-231-7649.

Graduate Programs

    At the graduate level, the college offers educational programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. Complete information on these programs may be found in the Graduate Catalog.