Conservation Specialization

Environmental and Biological Conservation Concentration

The Environmental Sciences Dept. at UVA offers a Concentration in Environmental Conservation.  This Concentration must be Declared (just as you would a Major or Minor). This is done by working with the Concentration Coordinator.  This assures that all requirements for the Concentration are completed by graduation.


The requirements for the Concentration include:

  1. Four core Conservation Core courses: one in environmental/ecological conservation (EVSC 2220), one in evolutionary/biological conservation (BIOL 3450), population ecology (BIOL 4130) and a 3-credit seminar in conservation (EVSC 4991)
  2. An additional twelve upper-level credits in Environmental Sciences or Biology are required (see below – these may overlap with your Environmental Science major requirements).
  3. Related math and science courses required are calculus (MATH 1210 or 1310), organismal biology (BIOL 2200 with lab), and either chemistry with lab (CHEM 1410/1411) or physics with lab (PHYS 2010/2030 or PHYS 1425/1429).
  4. To declare the conservation, use the DocuSign form Declaration of Major and Minor.
    1. Instead of putting a major on the line, you would just put ‘conservation concentration’. Add to existing major if already declared.

The Conservation Specialization requires 12 upper-level (>2000) credits including at least one course in each of the following areas:

  • Biological Diversity – a course focused on a particular group of organisms (e.g. plants, birds, mammals);
  • Environmental Diversity – a course focused on a particular habitat (e.g. wetlands, oceans, forests, grasslands, tundra);
  • Techniques in Conservation – a course focused on policy, related chemical or physical sciences, statistics, modeling, geo-spatial analysis or field methods;
  • Field Experience – this can be fulfilled with an independent study or field course at a University of Virginia biological or ecological field station (Mountain Lakes Biological Station, Blandy Experimental Farm, Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center), involvement with field-related faculty research in the Environmental Sciences or Biology department, or an internship with a conservation agency or environmental consulting company.

The Conservation Specialization can be completed as part of the B.A. or B.S. degrees in Environmental Sciences provided that all of the respective major requirements are met.  As a Specialization (unlike a Minor or a Major), there are no restrictions regarding the double-counting of credits (Except within the Specialization). The Concentration Coordinator can provide specific information about which courses meet these requirements (given that classes offered each semester may change).

Questions: Please contact or visit the Concentration Coordinator, Prof. Howie Epstein

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at