Master of Forestry


Forests are managed for a broad variety of goods and services, in an increasingly complicated context of changing climate, land use pressures, global markets, and conflicting cultural values. Our aim is to train foresters to work effectively on the emerging frontiers in forest management, conservation, and policy, with a skillset grounded in practical field skills and augmented by cutting-edge tools in such fields as geospatial analysis, multi-resource assessment, and finance.


As accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF,, the curriculum for the MF includes coursework toward five core competencies: forest ecology and biology, measurement of forest resources, forest management, forest policy and administration, and professional ethics. Within these categories, students customize their course selections to emphasize particular resources (e.g., forest hydrology, wildlife) or analytic approaches (e.g., geospatial analysis, finance). Field trips are an essential element of the curriculum, especially featuring the Duke Forest adjacent to campus.

MF students receive in-depth training in: 

• Forest measurement skills (forest inventory; habitat assessment; wildlife sampling)
• Data analysis (growth and yield modeling; geospatial analysis; statistics)
• Forest economics and finance

Snapshot: Employment Profile for MF Alumni

   • 100% of MF grads were hired within approximately 6 months of graduation.
   • 100% are in a job related to the environment.

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> View: Complete overview with employment profiles for all concentrations


Students graduating with the MF degree work in a variety of sectors: private/industrial forestry, state and federal agencies, nonprofits such as land trusts that steward working forests, and in private consulting. Concurrent degree students who complement the MF with a MEM degree are especially competitive in the job market.


Find out if our program is right for you. Feel free to contact us with questions.
•  Full Program Description
•  Prerequisites & Required Courses
•  How to Apply


Welcome to the family! Here are some resources to get you started. 
•  Participating Faculty
•  Before You Arrive
•  Student Advising
•  Curriculum Planning Worksheet
•  Master’s Projects


•  For students incoming Fall 2018 >
•  For students incoming Fall 2017 >
•  For students incoming Fall 2016 >
•  For students incoming Fall 2015 >
•  For students incoming Fall 2014 >



“From climate change to biodiversity conservation, and water quality to renewable energy, forests are connected to just about every leading environmental issue. Forests are also economically important, providing sustenance and livelihoods in lower-income countries and jobs and investment returns in higher-income countries. Innovative financial models developed for timberland are now being extended to other important forest values. With a Master of Forestry at the Nicholas School, you can gain the skills and experience to be a leader in the ever-evolving forest sector—like generations of Duke foresters before you.”

Jeffrey Vincent
MF Program Co-Chair
Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management
(919) 613-8025

Ram Oren
MF Program Co-Chair
Nicholas Professor of Earth System Science
(919) 613-8032