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Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP)

What is a Major in Environmental Policy and Planning?

The Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP) major provides students with an interdisciplinary framework to view environmental problems. Students will obtain the knowledge and skills needed to function as policymakers and planners who can understand complex environmental issues and develop enduring solutions.

Why Study Environmental Policy and Planning at Virginia Tech?

The EPP major builds on the Public and Urban Affairs (PUA) degree core that provides foundational knowledge in policy, planning, governance, and international affairs. The EPP major extends this knowledge through an interconnected sequence of courses that explore environmental policy and planning, land use, and environmental law. EPP students will also develop their expertise by selecting one or more electives from three subject areas: Policy; Planning; and Environment and Conservation.


Careers and Further Study

What can you do with a major in Environmental Policy and Planning?

Jobs Held by Our Graduates

  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Domestic and international Nonprofits
  • Environmental planning Consulting firms
  • Real estate development
  • Private industry

Beyond the Classroom

Experiential Learning

Washington Experience

Students will have an opportunity to study in the National Capital Region through the new Washington, D.C. Semester in Global Engagement or the well-established Washington, D.C. Semester in Leadership through Policy and Governance.

Washington, D.C. is at the center of global affairs. It is home to government agencies, many of the world’s leading think-tanks, numerous international organizations and a range of non-governmental organizations. Here, the most significant policy decisions are debated and made, holding both domestic and international importance.

The Washington Semester in Global Engagement is a unique 15 credit program open to all Virginia Tech majors. The Washington Semester consists of a combination of courses on global affairs, internship opportunities, workshops, seminars, and networking opportunities with DC professionals and policy makers. It offers students the opportunity to experience policy-making firsthand, and explore the wealth of political and cultural opportunities available in the Washington D.C area.

The Washington Semester, Leadership through Policy and Governance extended summer session program offers a unique 11-week immersion into work experience within the nation’s capital. Students will learn about and work on challenging public policy issues that shape communities locally and nationally while obtaining academic credit. Washington Semester Fellows will also attend seminars that enable them to understand their internship from a range of analytical perspectives.

Study Abroad

SPIA offers study abroad courses for EPP majors.


Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs Degree

Environmental Policy and Planning Major Requirements

  • Public Issues in an Urban Society 
  • Public Service Leadership
  • Public Policy Analysis 
  • Legal Foundations of Planning
  • Urban Policy and Planning 

Minor and Elective Hours

Our program gives you the opportunity to build knowledge in another area by pursuing a minor, double major, or cognate.

120 hrs
B.A. Public and Urban Affairs Degree

45 hrs
General Education

54 hrs
Major Requirements

21 hrs


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