pic of mussel release

Experiential Learning Requirements

Experiential learning is where you differentiate yourself from other students and become highly competitive for jobs and paid positions in graduate school.

Frimpong w/student

You will do things like:

  1. Gain practical, hands-on experience in a conservation related field
  2. Demonstrate the ability to formulate hypotheses, collect data, perform quantitative analyses
  3. Gain real-world perspective on how complex cultural issues relate to natural resource conservation and management
  4. Effectively report results in written form.

Steps Toward Completing the Experiential Learning Requirement

    Planning for the experience—this is done with your academic advisor

  1. Investigate various options for YOUR upcoming experience, including summer internships and jobs, possible research projects, study abroad, etc.  Then make an appointment with your advisor to discuss your various ideas.
  2. After speaking with your academic advisor and agreeing on an experience prepare a short proposal (250 – 500 words) explaining your experiential learning opportunity.
    1. If you do not know who your advisor is, you can look it up on HokieSPA or visit the advising center in room 138 of Cheatham Hall.
  3. Complete the Experiential Learning Partnership Agreement form, sign the form, and obtain signatures from: 1) employer/instructor (i.e., the person overseeing your experiential learning on a daily basis), 2) your assigned academic advisor (i.e., the person you go to get advice on your schedule and other things academic).
    1. Your employer/instructor and advisor are the same if you are doing research with your academic advisor.
  4. Turn the form and description of your experiential learning into the department office in room 100 of Cheatham Hall for the Department Head’s Signature.
  5. Enroll in the appropriate course (FiW 2974 [Independent Study], 3954 [Study Abroad], 3964 [Internship], 4974 [Independent Study], or 4994 [Undergraduate Research]) to receive credit.
    1. Complete the appropriate form:
      2. FIELD STUDY / INTERNSHIP REQUEST (only select FIW 3964)
      4. Authorization to Study Abroad
    2. After signing the form yourself, have the employer/instructor and your advisor sign the form. If you are doing an internship the instructor is the person you are working for during the internship.
    3. Submit the appropriate form to the Department Office in room 100 of Cheatham Hall.
    4. Note that you will receive a grade of Incomplete in the course until you complete the below.
  6. Upon completion of your experiential learning:
    1.  Complete Student Evaluation of Experiential Learning Project.
    2. Have your employer/instructor complete Employer/Instructor Evaluation of Student Performance.
    3. Write a 2 to 3 page report on your experiential learning project including reflection on the value of the experience to your training as a fish or wildlife conservation major.
    4. Submit a, b, and c from above to the department office (Cheatham Hall, room 100).




Dana Keith
Assistant to Department Head
Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Cheatham Hall, RM100, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-5573
Fax: (540) 231-7580


Dr. Sarah Karpanty 
Graduate Program Coordinator 

Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Cheatham Hall, RM150, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-4586
Fax: (540) 231-7580
Email: karpanty@vt.edu


Stephanie Hart, Director
The Advising Center
Cheatham Hall, RM138, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-5482
http://cnre.vt.edu/students Email: cnre_students@vt.edu