Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Undergraduate Education


Forestry Major

The Forest Resources Management Option emphasizes the biological and social sciences needed to make sound management decisions concerning regeneration, growth, protection, management, and sustainability of forest ecosystems.  Graduates pursue careers in the forest industry, public agencies, non-governmental agencies, and private forestry companies.

The Forest Operations and Business Option prepares students for an active role in assuring that the sale, harvest, and conversion of standing timber to products is done in an efficient, economic, safe, and environmentally sound manner. Graduates pursue careers in forest industry, national and state forest services, forestry consulting firms, and the equipment industry.  

The Urban Forestry Option is a multidisciplinary degree program focusing on the management of forest resources in cities, towns, and other urbanized environments.  Students take classes in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Affairs and Planning to customize a blended curriculum that supports their career goals. Graduates pursue careers in municipal forestry, commercial tree care, utility vegetation management, urban environmental consulting, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations.    

All of the options under the Forestry Major are accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF), the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States.

Download brochure (pdf)

Natural Resource Conservation Major

The Conservation and Recreation Management Option prepares students to be the managers, planners, and program administrators who deal with today’s complex conservation challenges. Courses in ecological, natural, and social sciences, planning, tourism, and business management, are combined with a deep understanding of recreation resources. Graduates pursue careers in government and non-government organizations as well as commercial recreation and green businesses.

The Environmental Education Option offers a balance of natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to give students a well-rounded base of knowledge about the natural world. Graduates pursue careers in nature education, environmental interpretation, resource education, and communications, or they may pursue licensure for an elementary education career.

Download brochure (pdf)

Environmental Informatics Major
Environmental Informatics applies information science to the management of natural resources.  It includes aspects of geographic information, mathematical and statistical modeling, remote sensing, database management, knowledge integration, and decision making. The need for professionals trained in technical and analytical approaches to environmental problems is rising dramatically.

Brochure (pdf)

Environmental Informatics in the News

Environmental Resources Management Major

Students receive a solid background in a wide variety of environmental issues, including forest resources, soils, water, environmental law, policy and planning, and environmental economics. Graduates pursue careers in public agencies, private industry, and firms that deal with forested wetland protection, endangered species, the urban-rural interface, and sustainability. Students are encouraged to pursue minors in Watershed Management, Urban Forestry, Forestry or others to provide in-depth expertise in a given area.

Water: Resources, Policy, and Management Major

Virginia Tech’s bachelor of science degree in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management addresses the protection and development of water resources by providing the interdisciplinary training required to meet water challenges  and opportunities now and in the future. The degree will be overseen by an advising committee with representatives from five colleges.

Brochure (pdf)

Water: Resources, Policy, and Management in the news

Minors in Forestry, Urban Forestry, Recreation, and Water

The Forestry minor is ideal for those in related natural resource fields such as wood products, fisheries, wildlife, and recreation who would like to broaden their ability to work with forest-related issues. Expertise is gained in ecology, forestry fundamentals, tree identification, and land measurements.

The Urban Forestry minor is especially suited to students majoring in environmental resource management, forestry, horticulture, landscape architecture, urban planning or other related fields who wish to develop expertise in managing forest resources in urbanized areas and learn to address the specific challenges related to trees in the built environment.

The Recreation minor in Natural Resource Recreation emphasizes the tools and perspectives needed to manage and maintain high quality recreation resources and experiences with emphasis on the ecology of the setting, the psychology of recreation experiences, and the management science behind trails, parks, scenery and facilities management.

The Watershed Management minor integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and 10 departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making. By working with a faculty advisor, students can also select additional courses that will allow them to pursue careers in positions such as hydrologists or water quality managers with the USDA and other state and federal agencies.

Undergraduate Brochure
Major Checksheets
Major Checksheets- (click on the link and you are redirected to University Registrar. Scroll down to College of Natural Resources and Environment and click. Find your major and/or minor and then choose your year in order to go to the correct checksheet) 
Minor Checksheets
Minor Checksheets - (click on the link and you are redirected to University Registrar. Scroll down to College of Natural Resources and Environment and click. Find your major and/or minor and then choose your year in order to go to the correct checksheet)


The Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (FREC)at Virginia Tech is one of the top programs in the United States dealing with forestry and natural resource management and conservation. Our exceptional education, research, and outreach programs are diverse and approach critical natural resource issues from many perspectives.  Our undergraduate degrees focus on using the latest research and technology to manage and conserve our forests and natural resources wisely for the benefit of society. From the management of protected areas and economic policy to forest soil productivity, urbanization, and genomics, we seek to discover new knowledge and technology to address global challenges.

Small class sizes and faculty dedicated to teaching afford FREC students the chance to get to know their professors personally. Wide varieties of academic and professional opportunities are available through undergraduate research, student organizations, and public outreach programs organized by the faculty.

About Us

Contact Us

About Cheatham Hall 


FREC Strategic Plan


2015 FREC Annual Report


Fall 2016 FREC Newsletter

View Archive Newsletters 


FREC Career Book


FREC Course Cards

FREC YouTube Videos

FREC Undergraduate Checksheets

Undergraduate Brochure (pdf)

Graduate Brochure (pdf)