Getting Started

Welcome to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation! Immediately prior to the first week of classes in the fall semester (first week of class for spring semester), the department will host an orientation for all incoming graduate students. This will give students the opportunity to meet our faculty, staff, and other students. Before that time, if you have questions regarding your admission, please contact Dana Keith, Emmanuel Frimpong or your major advisor.

Major Advisor

When a student is accepted for graduate study, the department head assigns a major advisor. The major advisor serves as the initial liaison between the student and departmental faculty.

Diagnostic Interview 

Before the student's initial registration, he/she will meet with a committee composed of his/her major advisor and additional faculty members. This interview will evaluate the student's past coursework, future goals, and perception of the fisheries and wildlife disciplines. The committee will recommend first semester courses and suggest other areas based on that analysis.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee should be established by the end of the first semester of residence. The department requires that at least two members of an M.S. committee and three members of a Ph.D. committee be departmental faculty. Each student should confer with his/her major advisor and prospective committee members before the program of study and committee appointments are formalized.

Graduate students should expect active faculty participation on their Advisory Committee. They can expect Advisory Committee members to read and offer constructive comments on briefing materials, plans of research, and drafts of theses or dissertations; attend and participate in a constructive manner in Advisory Committee meetings; and offer guidance outside committee meetings. Should the student, his/her major advisor, and the department head agree that a committee member is not fulfilling these expectations, they may remove that faculty member from the Advisory Committee.

Gym Service

The "recreational sports fees" portion of your student fees allows use of the athletic facilities in the War Memorial Gym and McComas Hall during the fall and winter semesters. An additional fee must be paid by those wanting to use these facilities during summer.. Activities available include a weight room, aerobics, basketball, exercise bikes, stairmasters and rowers. There also is free use of the pool.

Health Insurance

Graduate students need to contact the Insurance and Risk Management Office to obtain forms for health insurance. Coverage begins in August but can be obtained throughout the year at adjusted rates. However, this includes sickness and accident only: dental can be acquired only during August. International students must show proof of health coverage to register for classes.

Parking Permit

Permits may be purchased either online or at the Parking and Transportation Office.  For in–person sales students should bring their Hokie Passport and their vehicle registration. Contact Parking and Transportation at parking@vt.edu or 540–231–3200. 

Student Health Center

The Schiffert Health Center located in McComas Hall provides a health clinic, a women's clinic, and a pharmacy for full time students. 

Student ID

Student ID's can be acquired at the Hokie Passport Office located in the Student Services building.  An account can be set up on your ID that allows you to use it to purchase items (e.g., soda, snack machines,etc) on and off campus.