During the application process, a prospective student should identify one of the concentration areas described below that best matches his or her interests and professional goals. Each concentration has a coordinator who can help answer more specific questions; please contact the coordinator directly.

Increasingly, individuals within the agricultural and life sciences are asked to train others on new techniques or equipment, develop programming that engages the public, or communicate new concepts in a variety of different settings to a diverse group of people.

The Education concentration is designed for individuals desiring to advance their teaching/learning, leadership, extension and communications skill sets in this dynamic and evolving field. This in-depth program will provide concrete strategies for assisting individuals and communities with diverse needs and interests, and providing them with the abilities to acquire and retain the information shared, including youth and adult program management, program curriculum design, STEM integration in agriculture education, and service to international service and partnerships. 

This program is designed to advance your position as an agricultural leader, educator, and communicator. 

Graduates can also look forward to pursuing careers in these occupational roles:

  • Cooperative extension agents
  • Public school educators
  • Post-secondary instructors
  • Corporate consultants
  • Community program managers, coordinators, and program evaluators

Faculty

Courses

Number Title Offered
ALCE 4884 Youth Program Management

Spring (even years)

Summer I (odd years)

ALCE 5014 Non-formal Teaching and Learning Summer II
ALCE 5044 Program Curriculum Design in ALCE Summer I
ALCE 5054 STEM Integration in Ag Education Spring
ALCE 5074 Foundations in ALCE Fall
ALCE 5104 Research Application in ALCE (rm) Spring
ALCE 5114 Serving International Agriculture and Education Spring (even years)
ALCE 5154 Community Partnerships and Volunteerism Summer II
ALCE 5204 Evaluating Extension & Outreach Programs Fall
ALCE 5904 Project and Report All

Concentration Coordinator

  • James C. Anderson, II
    Assistant Professor & Director of Distance and Graduate Education
  • 214D Litton-Reaves Hall
    Mail Code 0343
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
    540-231-2608
    540-231-3824 (Fax)

Description

The Environmental Science concentration will provide students with the knowledge and skills to solve real-world environmental issues. As a student in this program, you will interact with faculty and professionals in the field. Working through hands-on activities you will gain a greater understanding of environmental science theory and practical application. This tailored educational experience will position you to effectively and strategically lead in this field. 

Graduates can look forward to pursuing careers in the following sectors:

  • Environmental science fields, including the areas of advocacy, law, policy, and regulation (national and international levels)
  • State and federal regulation agencies (Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, to name a few)
  • Natural resources and conservation
  • Renewable energy and green industry
  • Health department
  • Non-profit
  • Municipalities
  • Horticulture

Faculty

Courses

Number Title Offered
CSES 5114 Soils for Professionals Spring and Summer I
CSES 5604 Environmental Science Concepts for Professionals Summer I
CSES 5864 Advanced Wetland Soils and Mitigation

Fall (odd years)

Summer I (even years)

CSES 5874 Reclamation of Disturbed Lands Fall (even years)
BSE 5404 Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Fall
CSES 5904 Project and Report All

Concentration Coordinator

  • Matthew J. Eick
  • (540) 231-8943
  • eick@vt.edu
  • 185 Ag Quad Lane
    236 Smyth Hall
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

Description

The Food Safety and Biosecurity concentration will build on a student’s knowledge of food safety, security, sanitation, and microbiology. It is designed for individuals interested in the microbiological safety of food, water and the environment, including the development and enforcement of laws and regulations affecting food production and processing, the implementation of food safety management programs, and the biosecurity of food supplies in developing countries.

Students will graduate from the program equipped to adapt and innovate to solve problems, as well as master the capacity to critically analyze and question knowledge claims in food safety and biosecurity. They will also gain the ability to evaluate the (potential) impact of legal and regulatory issues on food quality, safety formation, process development, and international trade.

Graduates can look forward to pursuing careers in the following sectors:

  • Medical and health services manager
  • Agricultural manager
  • Food scientist and technologist
  • Plant manager
  • Quality control manager
  • Agricultural inspector
  • Agricultural science technician
  • Food science technician

Faculty

Courses

Number Title Offered
ENT 5624 Animal and Plant Biosafety and Biosecurity Spring (even years)
FST 5034 Good Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices Spring (even years)
FST 5044 Global Food Laws and Regulations (ia) Fall (even years)
FST 5614 Food Safety and Security Spring (odd years)
FST 5624 Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation Fall (odd years)
PPWS 5044 Biotechnology in Agriculture and Society Fall (even years)
FST 5904 Project and Report All

Concentration Coordinator

Description

The Leadership Studies concentration prepares individuals with interdisciplinary skills to be well-rounded agricultural professionals, developing leaders, educators and communicators to lead, teach and communicate about current agricultural issues facing society today. 

Students will gain the expertise necessary to lead in a diverse and multicultural environment. Programmatic emphasis is placed on leadership in a global society, problem solving, and the role of agricultural professionals as agents of change in our communities throughout the world. 

The leadership concentration can prepare people for jobs such as cooperative extension agents, leadership roles in education, corporate consultants, project managers, and program director and coordinators. 

Faculty

  • James C. Anderson, II
  • Curtis R. Friedel
  • Eric K. Kaufman
  • Rick Rudd
  • Megan Seibel

 

Courses

Number Title Offered
LDRS 5454 Leadership Foundations for Diverse Contexts Summer II (even years)
LDRS 5464 Leadership in a Global Society (ia) Spring
LDRS 5534 Cognition, Problem Solving, and Change Fall (even years)
LDRS 5544 Leading Teams through Change Spring (even years)
LDRS 5554 Leading Social Change Summer I (even years)
LDRS 5904 Project and Report All

Concentration Coordinator

  • Eric K. Kaufman
  • Associate Professor
  • (540) 231-6258
  • (540) 231-3824 (Fax)
  • ekaufman@vt.edu
  • Honors Residential College (0920)
    Ambler Johnston, Ste 1319A
    Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Description

The Plant Science and Pest Management concentration will prepare students in agriculture-related roles to have a broader understanding of the diverse industry, including issues concerning production, business, economics, communication, pest management, and regulations.  

You will gain a sophisticated understanding of this interdisciplinary field with specialized skills in areas such as weed science, plant pathology, and crop management. 

Graduates can look forward to pursuing careers in the following sectors:

  • Private industry, including several career paths:
    • Golf course management
    • Farm, orchard, and vineyard management
    • Grounds managers, landscape or park management
    • Agriculture consulting
    • Agriculture-related suppliers and manufacturers (seeds and planting material, pesticides, fertilizers, equipment)
  • Government and soil conservation service agencies, including  United States Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Education, teaching (high school and technical college)
  • Green industry professionals (greenhouse and nursery growers, garden center managers/personnel)
  • Extension agents

Faculty

Courses

Number Title Offered
ALS 5214 Information Systems and Research in Life Sciences (rm) Spring (odd years)
ENT 5234 Managing Arthropod Pests

Spring (even years)

Summer I (odd years)

HORT 4324 Greenhouse Management Fall and Summer I
HORT 5474 Advanced Studies in Urban Forestry Ecosystems Spring
HORT 5514 Plant Nutrition Fall
HORT 5654G Viticulture Fall
HORT 5764G Advanced Vegetable Crops Spring
HORT 5784G Advanced Vegetable Seeds Spring
PPWS 5044 Biotechnology in Agriculture and Society Fall (even years)
PPWS 5204 Principles of Plant Disease Management Spring (even years)
PPWS 5214 Diseases of Crop Plants Fall, Spring, Summer I
PPWS 5704 Weed Science and Management Fall (odd years)
PPWS 5904 Project and Report All
ENT 5904 Project and Report All

Concentration Coordinator

Quick Links

In-state and out-of-state tuition

$750 per credit hour

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Coordinators

Education

James C. Anderson, II
Assistant Professor & Director of Distance and Graduate Education
540-231-2608
540-231-3824 (Fax)
jcanders@vt.edu
214D Litton-Reaves Hall
Mail Code 0343
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Environmental Sciences

Matt Eick
Professor
540-231-8943
eick@vt.edu
185 Ag Quad Lane
236 Smyth Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Leadership Studies

Eric K Kaufman
Associate Professor
540-231-6258
540-231-3824 (Fax)
ekaufman@vt.edu
Honors Residential College (0920)
Ambler Johnston, Ste 1319A
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Linked in

Food Safety and Biosecurity

Joe Eifert
Associate Professor
540-231-3658
540-231-9293 (Fax)
jeifert@vt.edu
401-B HABB1 (0924)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Plant Science and Pest Management

Anton Baudoin
Associate Professor
540-231-5757
abaudoin@vt.edu
Plant Path Physiology & Weed Sci
170 Drillfield Dr 417 Price Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061