Conservation Specialization

Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation

The Department of Environmental Sciences, in conjunction with the Department of Biology, offers an opportunity for students to obtain the Bachelor of Arts or Science in Environmental Sciences with a Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation. Candidates for the Specialization must fulfill all the requirements for the Environmental Sciences major with additional Specialization requirements.


The requirements for the Specialization are as follows:

  1. Four core EBC courses: one in environmental/ecological conservation (EVSC 2220), one in evolutionary/biological conservation (BIOL 3450), population ecology (EVSC 4130) and a 2-credit seminar in conservation (EVSC 4142)
  2. An additional twelve upper-level credits in Environmental Sciences or Biology (see below – these may overlap with your Envi Sci major requirements).
  3. Related math and science courses required are calculus (MATH 1210 or 1310), organismal biology (BIOL 2020 or BIOL 3010) with lab (BIOL 2040), and either chemistry with lab (CHEM 1410/1411) or physics with lab (PHYS 2010 or 2310/2030).

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.

Students who are interested in this Specialization must meet with Prof. David Smith who is the only faculty member who administers the Specialization.  The EBC specialization must be declared in a meeting with Prof. Smith.

Prof. David Smith, 372 Clark Hall, 982-3058,

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