School of Integrative Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Minor in Conservation Studies

The minor in conservation studies is designed for undergraduate students who wish to augment their main academic program with conservation studies taught in an experiential manner. There are two options by which students can complete the minor: the Semester whose focus is on “Conservation, Biodiversity and Society” or the Semester that focuses on “Wildlife Ecology and Conservation”. Both Semesters are grounded in natural science, and offer a collection of five interdisciplinary courses that combine public policy, sociology, conflict resolution, and global awareness with hands-on experience. Students are in residence at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, and are taught by Mason faculty, Smithsonian scientists and practitioners.

The minor is available only to students who enroll in either of the Smithsonian Mason Semesters, semester-long residential programs held at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA. The Semesters are offered jointly by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science under the auspices of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation.

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation: A Vision for Training the Next Generation from SMSC on Vimeo.


All students have opportunities to

  • conduct independent research
  • engage in globally-related activities through coursework and language study at Mason and abroad
  • participate in many forms of public service
  • prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities


Print Friendly and PDF