The programs listed below guide students in a systems-approach to working through scientific questions, combining traditional disciplines in novel ways in order to take a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. 

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This unique curriculum is built around student teams attacking problem-oriented exercises while mastering interdisciplinary concepts. Biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and statistics are intertwined in lectures and in labs, to achieve a dynamic understanding of a wide range of fundamental principles within the modern scientific method. Capstone projects include team presentations describing recent advances in fields as diverse as gene delivery, solar energy, drug discovery, and continental drift, to name a few.

ISC labs meet in the dedicated Integrated Science Laboratory, where a variety of modules explore cell biology, chemical kinetics, physics, statistics, photosynthesis, and more, exposing students to state-of-the-art instrumentation and to faculty from across the College of Science.


scieneering

A novel and innovative program focused on interdisciplinary undergraduate studies and research at the intersection of Science, Engineering and Law, Scieneering builds on VT’s strengths in science and engineering and through funding from a prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Grant.

Science and engineering sophomores and juniors enrolled in Scieneering participate in coursework leading to minors in Interdisciplinary Engineering and Science or Science, Engineering and Law and conduct at least three credit-hours of interdisciplinary research mentored by faculty outside their major discipline. Students gain experience tackling real-world, multi-dimensional problems under the direction of a qualified mentor.


neuroscience

The Neuroscience program at Virginia Tech takes a very broad view of Neuroscience considering any interactions that are directed or perceived by the nervous system as Neuroscience. For example, any expression of artistry is generated and perceived by brain circuits, as are emotions, motivation, empathy, passion and compassion. Communications between cells, individual organisms, organismal groups and even societies are governed by brain activity.



Related programs from across the university

The Green Engineering Program at Virginia Tech serves as the focal point of the College of Engineering for considering the environmental impacts of the design, manufacture, and use of engineered products, processes, and systems across all engineering disciplines.  In this capacity, the program:

  • Develops courses and other educational opportunities for students and faculty to learn how engineering fundamentals can be applied to minimize environmental impacts in all engineering disciplines across life cycles
  • Facilitates the interdisciplinary collaboration of Virginia Tech engineering faculty with each other, government, industry, and other academic institutions in the research and development of innovative green engineering technologies
  • Promotes dialogue and collaboration of faculty, staff, and students with local, state, national and global citizens and communities on issues related to green engineering and sustainability   

The Graduate School supports 14 Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEPs) to promote and sustain interdisciplinary graduate education and research at Virginia Tech.  Each IGEP addresses a major fundamental problem or complex societal issue requiring an interdisciplinary team of scholars. More than 120 graduate students are affiliated with the university’s IGEPs. We provide information below, but you also can learn more about them, and their requirements, in the Graduate Catalog. You will find links to individual program pages on the Graduate Catalog on the IGEP webpage.

 

The MSOC minor engages students in a field called medical humanities, which focuses on the meanings and experiences of disease, medicine, and health. Our classes investigate pressing bioethical questions, explore the humanistic aspects of medical practice and research, and seek to understand medicine, illness and health across time periods, cultures, and contexts. The medical humanities provides an essential education about the nature and power of medicine in past eras and contemporary culture.

Virginia Tech’s new Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health program is a research-intensive, multidisciplinary Ph.D. program in the biomedical and health sciences that emphasizes the concept of “translational science” across multiple levels of inquiry.  It brings together students from the life, behavioral, physical, engineering, and computational sciences to consider today’s major health challenges. 

Through an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum that is carefully designed to balance breadth and depth, this new program will prepare the next generation of scientific leaders to make and translate discoveries into preventions, diagnostics, treatments, cures and healthier behaviors.