MF Program Description

The Master’s of Forestry integrates forest ecology and management within an educational program that also emphasizes related environmental fields. 


The Master of Forestry aims to provide: 

  • A knowledge base with breadth in the ecology and management of forest resources and depth in biology and physical sciences, silviculture, forest measurement, and resource policy, economics and administration. 
  • Quantitative and analytical skills of statistics and forest measurement, and a choice among geospatial tools, applied mathematics and quantitative modeling, and decision analysis.
  • Management skills for effective stewardship and planning of forest resources, as well as the ability to work effectively in cross-disciplinary settings with a high degree of professional ethics in the government, non-profit and business sectors.
  • Oral and written skills to communicate management prescriptions and plans to a wide audience and the ability to critically evaluate opposing viewpoints. 

Curriculum Overview

The Society of American Foresters (SAF), the largest professional forestry organization in the United States, accredits the MF degree. SAF mandates coursework to ensure competency in five core areas: forest ecology and biology, measurement of forest resources, forest management, forest policy and administration, and professional ethics. At least one course is required in each of these categories. In some instances, a single course is required; in other cases, students may choose courses from a larger menu of options. Electives within these categories or beyond the core requirements allow students to develop deeper expertise in particular resources (e.g., water, soils, wildlife) or analytic approaches (e.g., finance, geospatial analysis). Field courses provide hands-on practical training in forestry skills while exposing students to working forests in a variety of regional settings. 

Joint Degrees with the MF Program

Students interested in forest ecology and management might also combine the MF degree with a concurrent joint degree in the School’s Master’s in Environmental Management (MEM) program, in any number of complementary programs (Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Environmental Economics and Policy, Energy and the Environment, etc.) or with degrees from other professional schools; joint degrees with the Business School (MF/MBA), Policy School (MF/MPP), Law School (MF/JD) are especially popular. A joint degree requires coordination of coursework across the two programs and may be completed in as few as 5 semesters, or more typically, 6 semesters. See Concurrent Degree Programs for details.