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Forestry Degree

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What is a Forestry Degree?

Forestry is the field of study and employment that deals with the maintenance and well being of forests through the use of techniques, tests, and other measures, to ensure the longevity and health of trees and other plant life.Foresters may also work in the lumber industry, providing assistance in the growth and health of trees for the purposes of lumber, working on large tracts of land in order to maintain a steady and regular supply of wood. Individuals who begin their careers in this field will initially work under the supervision of more experienced professionals, often in outdoor settings for extensive periods of time.

Education Requirements

A degree in forestry prepares individuals to work in forest settings in order to maintain ideal conditions for growth, health, and controlled clearing. Individuals who study forestry will learn about the various ecosystems in place in a given forest type, how such forests grow, and what potential dangers and factors can adversely affect a forest's development. The use of a cross section of sciences, math and business will be necessary in order to successfully complete a program in forestry. Though degrees are available at the associate level, most national level positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree to be considered for employment.

A curriculum in forestry may include:

  • Calculus
  • Geospatial Technology
  • Dendrology
  • Forest Management
  • Wildlife Biology

Employment Opportunities

A career in forestry requires individuals to work outdoors regularly and for extended periods of time. This is especially true in the first few years of an individual's career where experience is gained by conducting tasks and duties under the supervision of more experienced foresters. Foresters will be required to identify the age of trees, possible increases in insect activity, dangerous molds and diseases as well as other factors when considering the health and security of a forest. Most job openings at the national level will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree or an equivalent amount of work experience to be considered for employment. State and local agencies may have little or no requirements past a high school diploma for entry level positions, though this may limit the ability for promotion in the long term.

Commercial foresters will utilize their skills to obtain lumber for various private firms. Such individuals will work with their employer, government agencies, and private lumber growth firms to determine the cost and amount of lumber that is obtainable from a given area, how much extraction is necessary, the effect of cutting down trees, and measuring other environmental factors when considering lumber deals. Commercial foresters on average will earn more than those that work with public agencies.

Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields

Job growth for forestry positions is expected to have little to no growth over the next ten years due to budgetary and fiscal concerns for public positions and organizations which concern themselves with forestry related work. The only expected growth is expected to come from private forests as the demand for work increases. The average salary for all forestry and conservation workers was approximately $33,000 per year.

Individuals interested in forestry may also be interested in forest resources management, forest sciences and biology, and urban forestry.

Additional Resources

National Association of State Foresters is a non-profit organization that has directors of national forestry organizations across the United States as members, which in turn comprises representation for two-thirds of the countries forests, both public and private. The organization was established in 1920 and has served the interests of forestry specialists through programs and partnerships since.

Society of American Foresters is a an organization established in 1900 to advance the field of forestry through technology, awareness, and training. The organization also advances the cause of forestry through accrediting programs in forestry, creating a working body that is educated and competent, and thus able to advance the field.

Top Colleges that Offer Forestry by Number of Graduates

Listed below are the most popular schools in the U.S. that have forestry programs. Schools can be filtered by clicking the drop-down menu below and selecting a state.

Filter Schools by State:

C = Certificate or Award | A = Associate Degree | B = Bachelor's Degree | M = Master's Degree | D = Doctor Degree (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Showing 1-20 of 69 Schools
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as "Virginia Tech," is a leading research institution - ranked 44th in the U.S. for its university research programs.  Virginia Tech is a land-grant institution located in Blacksburg, Virginia on...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,923
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (540) 231-6000

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Studies (B)
  • Environmental Science (B)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B)
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management (B)

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke University, a nonprofit private institution, offers an assortment of program options, allowing students to choose which major is right for them. Located in Durham, NC, the school resides in an urban setting for students to study in. The school's United Methodist affiliation is one of its...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $43,623
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (919) 684-2813

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (M)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (M)
  • Forestry (M)

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Stevens Point, WI

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, a public institution, offers a large number of educational opportunities, allowing students to choose which major is right for them. Located in Stevens Point, WI, the campus offers a rural setting for students to study in. Around nine thousand students...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,505
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (715) 346-4301

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B)
  • Forestry (B)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B)

University of Washington - Seattle Campus

Seattle, WA

Known as the largest college in the northwestern region of the United States, the University of Washington is comprised of three campuses, the largest being UW in Seattle. It was founded in 1861 and now belongs among the top universities in the world. UW is also recognized as a...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,383
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (206) 543-2100

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Studies (M,D)
  • Environmental Science (M,D)
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management (M,D)
  • Forestry (M,D)

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida is located in Gainsville, Florida and is one of the three largest single campus universities in the US.  It is one of three research flagship universities within the State University System of Florida and is the most prestigious school of...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,143
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (352) 392-3261

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Science (B,M,D)
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management (B,M,D)
  • Forestry (B,M,D)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B,M,D)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Carbondale, IL

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) is public research university. It is located in Carbondale, Illinois on a large, picturesque campus. SIUC ranks among the top universities in the U.S. It offers undergraduate degrees in a comprehensive range of academic subjects...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $11,528
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (618) 453-2121

Programs Offered

  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B,M)
  • Forestry (B,M)

Yale University

New Haven, CT

About Yale University, located in Hartford, Connecticut, was founded 1701 through “An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School” which was passed by the then Colony of Connecticut to...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $42,300
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (203) 432-4771

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Studies (M,D)
  • Environmental Science (M,D)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (M,D)
  • Forestry (M,D)

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT

UM is a public university that has a large selection of majors and degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Missoula, Montana, in a predominately urban area. Approximately sixteen thousand students enroll at UM yearly.Here is a list of some of the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $5,985
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (406) 243-0211

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B,M,D)
  • Environmental Studies (B,M,D)
  • Forestry (B,M,D)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B,M,D)

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI

About Michigan Technical University, a public four year research institution located in Houghton, Michigan, was founded 1885 as the Michigan Mining School. The school was established by Jay Abel Hubbell...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,353
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (906) 487-1885

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Science (B,M)
  • Forestry (B,M)
  • Forest Sciences and Biology (B,M)
  • Forest Resources Management (B,M)

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

MSU provides a variety of educational opportunities for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in Mississippi State, Mississippi and publically funded. As a land grant institution this school is one of the larger public institutions in the state of...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,264
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (662) 325-2323

Programs Offered

  • Forestry (B,M)
  • Wood Science and Wood Products, Pulp and Paper Technology (B,M)
  • Forest Technology (B,M)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B,M)

University of Missouri - Columbia

Columbia, MO

The University of Missouri (MU), known by students, faculty and locals as "Mizzou," is located in one of America's best college towns: Columbia, Missouri. Mizzou offers more than 280 degrees and many academic programs that are highly ranked including writing, journalism,...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,257
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (573) 882-2121

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B,M,D)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B,M,D)
  • Forestry (B,M,D)

Reedley College

Reedley, CA

About Reedley College, located in Reedley, California, was founded in 1926 as Reedley Junior College. Originally the school shared space with Reedley High School, eventually getting a dedicated building...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $1,140
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (559) 638-3641

Programs Offered

  • Forestry (C,A)

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University was established in 1869 and stands as the flagship campus of the Purdue University System. About 270 programs are offered at the main campus in West Lafayette together with regional campuses located in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Westville, and Hammond in Indiana....

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,900
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (765) 494-4600

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B,M,D)
  • Forestry (B,M,D)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B,M,D)

Humboldt State University

Arcata, CA

Humboldt State University, a public institution, offers a variety of educational opportunities, allowing students to choose which major is right for them. Located in Arcata, California, it resides in a rural setting for students to study in. HSU has a yearly student enrollment of around seven...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,135
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (707) 826-3011

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B)
  • Environmental Science (B)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B)
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management (B)

University of Maine

Orono, ME

UMaine provides a variety of program options for students to guide them in their growth and development. The school is located in Orono, ME and publically funded. As a land grant institution this school is among larger public institutions in the state of Maine. Enrollment at University of Maine...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,594
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (207) 581-1110

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Science (B,M,D)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B,M,D)
  • Forestry (B,M,D)
  • Forest Sciences and Biology (B,M,D)

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

The University of Georgia (UGA) is a highly diversified research university located in Athens, Georgia.  There are many international students at UGA, as well as nationals and locals from within the state of Georgia. The UGA offers...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,842
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (706) 542-3000

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B)
  • Environmental Science (B)
  • Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism (B)
  • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management (B)

The University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

The University of Tennessee (UT) is considered a "research-intensive" institution of higher learning that promotes excellent education, research and public service.  The university co-manages the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Department of Energy's largest science...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,092
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (865) 974-1000

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (B,M)
  • Natural Resource Economics (B,M)
  • Forestry (B,M)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B,M)

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NC State) is ranked in the top 50 U.S. public universities, and number three in the U.S. among public universities that receive funding for research.  Research is a foundation of the academic culture at NC State, and 70...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,788
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (919) 515-2011

Programs Offered

  • Environmental and Wildlife Management (M,D)
  • Environmental Science (M,D)
  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (M,D)
  • Forestry (M,D)

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA

About California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, is a public, four year institution that was established in 1901. The school was originally a vocational high school, which changed when it...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $8,043
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (805) 756-1111

Programs Offered

  • Natural Resources Management and Policy (B,M)
  • Forestry (B,M)

Stephen F Austin State University

Nacogdoches, TX

Stephen F Austin State University is a public university that has a large number of degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Nacogdoches, Texas, in a predominately rural area. SFASU has a yearly student enrollment of over 13,000.A list of some of the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,928
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (936) 468-2011

Programs Offered

  • Environmental Science (B,M,D)
  • Forestry (B,M,D)
  • Forest Resources Management (B,M,D)
  • Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management (B,M,D)

Source: IPEDS Survey 2008-2011: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.