Virginia Tech® home


Insert your title here

Students looking at computer screen

Students looking at computer screen

We offer the highest caliber of hands-on experience within a small and interactive academic environment where students obtain a personal and unique education. Our faculty members have earned reputations as excellent classroom teachers, forward-looking researchers, and problem solvers.

The department offers two degree programs and two minors focusing on how to optimize the use and manufacturing of renewable and biomaterials and how to design attractive, effective and safe packaging systems for a global marketplace. 

Degree Programs

B.S. in Packaging Systems and Design

Instructor and student observing box test.

Instructor and student observing box test.

The packaging field is a multidisciplinary field in the intersection of science, design, engineering, and business. Packaging students learn how to design packages that are visually attractive, can increase the safety and shelf-life of products, protect the products throughout the global distribution and can be disposed or recycled effectively. 

B.S. in Sustainable Biomaterials

Structure photo

Structure photo

The Sustainable Biomaterials degree at Virginia Tech is one of the most unique programs in the United States that focuses on creating better performing materials with less environmental impact. Biomaterials are used just about everywhere including chemicals, furnishing, automobiles, or even pharmaceuticals.  


There are two academic minors offered by the department focusing on the design of sustainable biomaterials and packaging systems. The minors require the completion of 18 credits of course works. Learn more about the two minors below.


Student receiving award

Student receiving award

We know you’re thinking about college costs — and so are we. Our department offers numerous scholarships to ease the burden of attending Virginia Tech. 

How to Apply

There are many rewarding careers in the science, technology and business of renewable, sustainable, bio-based materials and education in the field of Sustainable Biomaterials. Here is how to apply:

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has the responsibility of offering admission to all freshmen desiring enrollment at Virginia Tech. Please contact this office for admission information and requirements.

Many high school students enter Virginia Tech with Advanced Placement credit. The complete list of AP exam scores required for credit is available from the University Registrar.

We welcome students entering our program from the Virginia Community College System as well as from other four-year colleges and universities. We work closely with Virginia community colleges to ensure that students will make the transition to Virginia Tech with minimum disruptions.  

Because every student's case is different please contact: Dr. Robert Bush or Dr. Audrey Zink-Sharp for more information about transferring into our program.

Declare/Change a Major:

Students within CNRE or other College at Virginia Tech wishing to change their major should follow the following steps: 

  1. Meet with an SBIO academic advisor in to discuss your plans before you begin the change-of-major paperwork.
  2. After you meet with an advisor, you should complete the Change of Major/Minor form and obtain the necessary signatures.
  3. Submit the completed form to Cathy Barker in 138 Cheatham Hall.
  4. Check Hokie Spa in a few weeks to ensure that the changes are correct and to learn the name of your new advisor in CNRE.

Add Minor:

Students wishing to complete a minor in Packaging Science or Wood Science should use the Change Major/Minor Form and submit it to Cathy Barker in 138 Cheatham Hall.

For more information please visit the website of the Academic Programs Office or contact:  Dana McGuire, Academic Advisor for Sustainable Biomaterials, Dr. Robert Bush or Dr. Audrey Zink-Sharp.

Would you like to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about the Packaging Systems and Design degree or the Sustainable Biomaterials degree, contact our academic advising center.

Dana McGuire

Dana McGuire

Dana McGuire

Academic Advisor, Sustainable Biomaterials and Assistant Director of Academic Advising
138 Cheatham Hall