Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Interfaces of Global Change
Interdisciplinary Academic Programs
This building houses the Fralin Biotechnology Center, which is an interdisciplinary research center at Virginia Tech whose purpose is to bring scientists from different disciplines together under one roof to solve some of biology more complex challenges.
207B Fralin Hall (0346) Virginia Tech Blacksburg VA 24061
Fralin Biotechnology Center
Degree(s) Offered:
IGEP Degree in Interfaces of Global Change
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Aug 01
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The Graduate School
Fralin Biotechnology Center

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Graduate Program Director : William Hopkins (Dr. William Hopkins)

Interfaces of Global Change Introduction

The five greatest anthropogenic threats to global health and biodiversity include habitat loss, pollution, climate change, disease, and the introduction of non-native species.  Although there is considerable research on each of these individual global threats, much less is known regarding how these factors interact with one another.  For example, how can climate change affect the distribution of invasive species that are important vectors of disease? These types of interactions are critical because all habitats experience the simultaneous pressure of two or more of these threats.  Looking to the future, a more interdisciplinary understanding of these anthropogenic factors is necessary to inform public policy, minimize further environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, and to promote sustainable solutions to the greatest environmental challenges of the 21st century.

The Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) program is an interdisciplinary graduate education program designed to address the multidimensional aspects of global change. Funded by the Virginia Tech Graduate School, this program is one of several Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEPs) on campus that address a major fundamental problem or complex societal issue requiring an interdisciplinary team of scholars. Participants (PhD Fellows) will enter the program at the beginning of their graduate studies and continue to participate throughout their time at Virginia Tech.

The goals of the IGC IGEP are to provide each PhD Fellow with a broad perspective on:

  • How the five major global changes interact to impact biodiversity and environmental health
  • The societal causes and consequences of these ecological problems
  • The role that science can play in resolving these issues by informing sound environmental policy

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP is not a degree-granting program. Rather, it will provide PhD students with a unique intellectual focus and training. Our goal is for each IGC Fellow to gain depth in their specific scientific area of expertise (e.g. biology or engineering), while simultaneously gaining breadth in the multifaceted realm of global change and the science-policy interface. Students still receive their PhD degree from their home department, but they will participate in a slightly different curriculum that will focus on global change.

Our core faculty members represent a diversity of scientific and societal perspectives as well as a community of scholars spanning all stages of their academic career.  We represent 21 departments and 8 colleges on campus, and one off-campus center, with strong inclusion of both the sciences and social sciences. Reaching across so many academic units is required to achieve our vision for interdisciplinary training.

Colleges and Departments

  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Agriculture and Applied Economics
  • Biochemistry
  • Entomology
  • Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science
  • Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences
  • Horticulture

  College of Engineering

  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Science

  College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

  • Department of History

  College of Natural Resources and Environment

  • Fish & Wildlife Conservation
  • Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
  • Geography
  • Virginia Water Resources Research Center

  College of Science

  • Biological Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • School of Neuroscience
  • Statistics

  College of Architecture and Urban Studies

  • School of Public and International Affairs

  College of Business

  • Business Information Technology
  College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Department of Population Health Sciences

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
 This is not a degree granting program

Facilities Introduction


207B Fralin Hall

The Interfaces of Global Change program is an interdisciplinary graduate program that draws faculty and graduate students from 8 colleges on campus. The main office is located in 207B Fralin Hall.