Global MNR

Global_MNR_ImageThe Global Master of Natural Resources (GMNR) degree program is designed for students seeking more extensive global experience in the environmental and sustainable development arenas. The GMNR is a hybrid program that combines online coursework and participation in three International Field Experiences in rapidly developing regions around the world. Flexible scheduling options provide GMNR students an opportunity to customize their program of study to meet their personal and professional goals, as well as their schedule. Through the completion of courses and projects designed specifically for the degree, GMNR students will gain experience working in teams, collaborating with professionals in different cultural contexts, and develop a robust global perspective on natural resource management and sustainable development challenges and strategies at a global scale.

Applying for the Global MNR Program is done through the Virginia Tech Graduate School. Qualified students seeking to pursue simultaneous degrees should contact the MNR Program office for assistance.

  • Completed undergraduate degree
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Completed VT Application for Admission
  • Current resume/CV and Letters of Recommendation
  • No GRE required; TOEFL may be required for international students per Graduate School requirements

The MNR Program accepts Global MNR applications for Fall, Spring and both Summer terms; deadlines are as follows, but we encourage students to apply as early as possible once they have made their decision:

Term Deadline
Fall August 1
Spring January 1
Summer I May 1
Summer II June 1

The application package, which is preferably completed online through the Graduate School website, includes:

  • VT Graduate School application
  • Copies of relevant academic transcripts
    • A scanned official transcript from each degree-granting institution (undergrad and/or graduate) must be uploaded and attached to your application. Do not send transcripts from any institution where you enrolled in classes but did not earn a degree. Make sure your scanned documents are legible before uploading to avoid processing delays and file rejections.
    • DO NOT mail have an official transcripts mailed to the Graduate School until you have received an offer of admission from Virginia Tech.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation can come from any professional or academic source, and should speak to your abilities as a potential student. We discourage personal character references from friends or family members. We encourage you to share some information with your recommendation providers about the program to which you are applying, so they can tailor their recommendation appropriately.
    • We strongly encourage applicants to ask references to complete an online recommendation, and you will be asked to provide names and email addresses for all references in your online application. If applicants choose to have paper letters of recommendation submitted, the letters should be sent directly to:
      MNR Program, Attn: Francesca Megraw, 900 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • $75 non-refundable application fee

It is the student’s responsibility to satisfy all university requirements described in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures section of the Graduate Catalog, as well as any additional requirements of the Global MNR.

Students will receive an orientation package shortly after receiving official notice of acceptance from the Graduate School. At this time, the student will also be contacted to schedule an advising appointment with the Global MNR Program Lead, to be held via phone.

Plan of Study (POS)

The Global MNR is a non-thesis degree consisting of four required core courses (12 credits) and six electives (18 credits). Each student builds a customized Plan of Study (POS) to support individual interests and career goals. Some graduate course requirements may be met through transfer credits from another accredited academic institution in accordance with policies and procedures of the Virginia Tech Graduate School.

A POS must be submitted for to the Graduate School for approval following completion of 21 credit hours. The Global MNR Program Lead assists students with development of a POS and any necessary revisions. The POS details all of the courses a student will take to complete his/her degree program, and must meet the minimum requirements for the degree. All courses on the POS, including supporting courses, are taken for a letter grade (A-F), with the exception of any courses approved for pass-fail or equivalent credit (e.g., NR 5974 Independent Study). All courses listed on the POS count toward the minimum required GPA of 3.0, and must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

Changes to Plan of Study

Once the Graduate School has approved the Plan of Study revisions must be submitted using a Change of Plan of Study (CoPOS) form. See the Graduate School website for more information and detail on POS requirements.

Coursework Hours
NR 5114 Global Issues in Natural Resources (required, IFE #1)
NR 5724 Conservation Ecology (required)
NR 5884 International Environmental Law & Policy (required)
NR 5884 Landscape Systems & Strategies (required)
NR 5954 Study Abroad (IFE #2)
NR 5954 Study Abroad (IFE #3)
Total Graduate Hours Required
Required Coursework

The MNR Program has four required courses (12 credits), intended to provide students with a broad foundation that will support their subsequent elective coursework (see Course Catalog for details). Additionally, Global MNR students are required to participate in a total of three International Field Experiences (IFEs).

  • NR 5114 Global Issues in Natural Resources (includes IFE #1)
  • NR 5724 Conservation Ecology
  • NR 5884 International Environmental Law and Policy
  • NR 5884 Landscape Systems and Strategies
  • NR 5954 Study Abroad (IFE #2)
  • NR 5954 Study Abroad (IFE #3)
International Courses

The required International Field Experiences (IFEs), a defining feature of the degree, is an interdisciplinary team project focused on strategies to advance sustainable development in rapidly urbanizing regions around the world. The IFEs are the only non-virtual component of the Global MNR. These team-based, applied, interdisciplinary experiential-learning opportunities allow students to explore and advance innovative sustainable development strategies being developed in rapidly developing regions of the world. With travel scheduled during academic breaks, the IFE projects include 10-days of fieldwork in one of six global locations – China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, South Africa, and Turkey. Costs include tuition, an IFE fee, and airfare.

Elective Coursework

In addition to the required courses, GMNR students take four elective courses (12 credits) chosen with the help of an advisor to meet their personal academic and professional goals (see Course Catalog for details). Students may also take relevant courses offered by other departments to meet the GMNR degree requirements.

Supporting Courses

Courses numbered lower than 4000, or 4000-level courses not approved for graduate credit, should be listed on the Plan of Study as supporting courses. Prerequisites should be taken as supporting courses.

Transfer Credits

Students may be able to transfer up to 12 graded credit hours from previously taken relevant graduate coursework completed at an accredited institution. To be accepted, transfer credits must meet the following criteria: 1) grade of B or better; 2) earned while the graduate student was in good standing; and 3) be acceptable for graduate degree credit at the “home” institution. Grades of S or P are not acceptable unless the course is only offered on a pass/fail basis.

All transfer courses must be acceptable to the student’s advisory committee and must have been completed within the time limits prescribed for satisfying degree requirements. Credits are transferred when they are entered on the Plan of Study and approved by the Graduate School. Transferred courses count only as credit hours and are not included in calculation of the GPA.

The Graduate School must receive official transcripts for transfer coursework, and transfer credit may not exceed the established minimum.


In some instances, a course substitution may be necessary or warranted. This option should be discussed with your graduate advisor.

GMNR required courses are closed — students must reserve space in each class through the Plan of Study advising process. Once space has been reserved for a specific semester, the student will be force-added to the required course roster(s).

Students can enroll themselves in any open elective courses offered by the MNR program during Course Request Periods and Add/Drop Periods.

Students should contact the MNR Program office for assistance with enrollment or changes to enrollment. Faculty cannot add or drop students from their rolls, and cannot add or drop a student by including or removing his/her name on the final grade sheet.

Around the middle of each semester, a timetable of courses is posted for the next semester. The timetable is subject to change until the start of the semester, but includes important information. Students self-register for courses online, with the exception of closed required courses, by logging in to HokieSPA. There are two opportunities to register for courses: the Course Request Period (semester prior), and during the Add/Drop Period.

VT designates a one-week time period during the prior term to allow entry of enrollment requests for a future term (see Dates for Course Request). Student requests are entered via HokieSPA using the course request number (CRN) listed in the timetable. Submission of a course request does not guarantee enrollment in any course. Departments will adjust (add or delete) sections based on course demand and resources. If you miss the course request period, you may register for classes during the Add/Drop Period.

Students may develop or adjust their course schedule (as space permits) during the Add/Drop Period via HokieSPA. It is important to be aware of the deadlines for dropping courses to avoid grade and financial penalties. See the Registrar website for more information.

If a course is closed or full, a student may request a force-add. Requests should be made directly to the MNR Program office, and the Online MNR Program Lead will make the determination.

Tuition and fee rates for all Virginia Tech programs administered by VT’s Office of the Bursar [see current tuition and fee schedule]. The College of Natural Resources & Environment (CNRE) has a special rate for graduate students in the Global MNR (listed as “MNR on-line”).

Financial aid is available to students in the form of loans. Most students opt for the Federal Stafford Loans to cover the cost of attending the program. For more information on financial aid options, please visit Virginia Tech’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

The Graduate School maintains a strict schedule of requirements and procedures relating to submission of the degree conferral application, scheduling a final review by the advisory committee, and payment of fees. It is the student’s responsibility to meet these requirements by the deadlines provided by the Graduate School. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this set of procedures and deadlines.

  1. Submit the Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral and fee via HokieSPA by the appropriate deadline.
    Commencement Deadline
    Fall October 1
    Spring March 1
    Summer I June 1
    Summer II August 1
  2. Complete ESS process through the Graduate School by the appropriate deadline for that semester.
  3. Ensure all coursework and other requirements are complete.

Students anticipating completion of a degree must file an Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral (ADFCC) to obtain a diploma, and to have their name included in the Commencement Bulletin. The fee for the AFDCC is $25. The ADFFC Conferral form should be submitted electronically through HokieSPA in accordance with the schedule posted on the Graduate School website.

Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region commencement ceremony and graduating Global MNR students are encouraged to attend. This ceremony and reception is usually held on the Sunday of Spring graduation weekend.

Master’s students who have completed, and those nearing completion, are encouraged to participate in commencement. Those who have not completed all the requirements by the deadline must get permission from their advisors to participate in commencement. However, diplomas are not issued until all degree requirements are met. Graduates planning to attend commencement must confirm their attendance through HokieSPA. Master’s academic regalia may be purchased from the bookstore and are required for participation in university graduation ceremonies.

List of Forms for VT Graduate Students Forms you may need as a graduate student of Virginia Tech
VT Graduate School Policies, forms, student resources, ombudsman, etc.
VT Honor System Graduate honor policy
VT Library E-Resources, journal databases
ILLiad Interlibrary loan and off-campus book lending service
VT Computing Email, virus protection, student rate software
VT Financial Aid Loans, FAFSA, scholarships
VT Bursar’s Office Tuition, fees, billing
VT Registrar Transcripts, registration, credits
HokieSPA VT administrative portal (bill pay, transcript, etc.)
Scholar Online course & project platform
Webmail VT Online web email server (not permanent)
Summer II 2014
  • 07/08 Classes Begin
  • 08/14 Classes End
  • 08/15 Exams Begin
  • 08/16 Exams End
Fall 2014
  • 08/09 Drop/Add reopens for Fall 2014
  • 08/25 Classes Begin
  • 08/29 Last Day to Add classes
  • 09/01 Labor Day (Classes Meet)
  • 10/01 Deadline to apply for Fall Graduation
  • 10/03 Last Day to Drop classes
  • 10/10 Fall Break Begins
  • 10/12 Fall Break Ends
  • 11/22 Thanksgiving Holiday Begins
  • 11/30 Thanksgiving Holiday Ends
  • 12/10 Classes End
  • 12/11 Reading Day
  • 12/12 Exams Begin
  • 12/18 Exams End