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 creates, integrates, and shares knowledge to enhance:

    • Life sciences, food, and agricultural systems
    • The economic prosperity and life quality of the greater community
    • The stewardship and health of land, water, and air for future generations
    • Student learning through diverse, hands-on, experiential opportunities

    We address current and emerging issues in agricultural and life sciences by building on the land-grant commitment of developing leaders and creating and sharing knowledge through diverse, hands-on applications.

    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences embraces the following core values:

    • Freedom of inquiry
    • Mutual respect
    • Lifelong learning
    • A commitment to diverse and inclusive communities
    • Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)
    • Personal and institutional integrity
    • A culture of continuous improvement
    • Integrated scholarship across the land-grant missions
    • International engagement
    • Interdisciplinary collaboration

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.

    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.

    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.

    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 Economic Management Environmental Science

    Minors Offered:

    Agribusiness Management Entomology International Agricultural and Life Sciences
    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 Turfgrass Management
    Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Food Science and Technology Wetland Science
    Dairy Science Horticulture Viticulture

    Learning Communities:

    Residential Leadership Community Morrill Community Da Vinci-The Biological and Life Sciences Learning Community


Colege-Wide Minors

    The college offers two interdisciplinary minors: Civic Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) and International Agricultural and Life Sciences (IAG). A cross-campus team of faculty, staff, students, and community partners collaborated to develop an undergraduate curriculum for a transdisciplinary and experiential-based Civic Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) minor. This minor provides students with knowledge and skills to identify, examine, and integrate agriculture and food system sustainability philosophies and activities into personal and professional practice.

    The framework for the curriculum was developed around knowledge and core values that embody the definition of CAFS:

    • food security/sovereignty
    • civic engagement/democratic participation
    • strong local economies
    • healthy people/communities
    • collaborative teaching and experiential learning

    Reflecting a growing trend in higher education, the CAFS minor embodies a commitment to developing and strengthening an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable system of agriculture and food systems that relies on local resources and serves local markets and citizens. What makes this minor unique is its commitment to serving the needs of all students using transdisciplinary approaches to curriculum development, collaborative teaching strategies, and experiential learning. It is designed to promote academic enhancement, personal growth, and civic engagement while strengthening the student’s capacity to learn about civic agriculture and food systems through reflection and experiential practice to solve « real-world » problems.

    The minor in International Agricultural and Life Sciences focuses on agricultural issues as they apply to less developed countries. The courses recommended for the minor deal with problems affecting these countries, such as environmental degradation, competition for resources, food security, and economic stability, as well as the role of agriculture in finding solutions to alleviate these problems.

Pre-Professional Advising

    Each year over 45% of our students are admitted to a professional school. 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

    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.

    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."

    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.


    College and departmental scholarships are available for 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

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.

Graduate Programs in Agriculture and Life Sciences

    All College of Agriculture and Life Sciences departments offer graduate degrees at both the Master's and Ph.D. levels. Complete information on these programs including descriptions of graduate courses can be found in the Graduate Catalog.