Conservation Forestry Degree Programs

Conservation forestry programs are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and teach the necessary skills to work in the forestry field. Learn about classes commonly offered in these programs, different areas of concentration and certification requirements for working in some states. Schools offering Natural Resources & Conservation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Programs Are Available in Forestry Conservation?

The primary focus of any conservation program is the impact humans and animals have on the environment and each other. This topic falls under a number of program titles, including forest conservation, forestry science, natural resources conservation and environmental science. These programs are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. You'll usually participate in significant lab and fieldwork related to general conservation or your selected field of study, making fully online programs uncommon.

Degree Levels Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees available
Common Undergraduate Course Topics Timber harvesting, hydrology, soil properties, fire management, natural resource conservation
Common Graduate Course Topics Forest ecology, forest genetics, geographical mapping, environmental law, watershed management
Other Requirements Certification is required to work in some states
Median Salary (2018)$27,460 (Forest and Conservation Workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)2% decline (Forest and Conservation Workers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Will I Study in an Undergraduate Program?

Undergraduate majors include general studies in a number of ecology and environmental science topics, such as botany, biological science and marine life. Programs specific to forestry conservation sometimes allow you to specialize your coursework to focus on such areas as resource management, urban development, global forestry or forestry cultivation. Classes in these programs mainly concentrate on policy, sustainability and management of forests and wildlife. Possible course topics include:

  • Tree breeding
  • Timber harvesting
  • Hydrology
  • Soil properties
  • Fertilization
  • Fishery science
  • Fire and habitat management
  • Natural resource conservation

What Does A Graduate Program Offer?

Master's and doctoral programs normally allow you to customize your program to focus on your particular area of interest. Graduate courses offer specialized studies in reforestation, environmental planning, tropical or urban forestry and conservation policy. Many topics you learned in a bachelor's program are reintroduced, offering advanced instruction and additional application through research and practical examination. These advanced lessons could include the following topics:

  • Botanical cellular and molecular biology
  • Forest and range ecology
  • Watershed management
  • Forest genetics
  • Geographical mapping and modeling
  • Environmental law
  • Pollution

How Do I Become Certified?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a few states require you to obtain licensure to become a forester (www.bls.gov). You'll need to earn at least a bachelor's degree, acquire work experience in the field and take a licensing examination. Additionally, the Society of American Foresters offers a voluntary Certified Forester credential that could supplement or replace licensure requirements. If you live in a state that does not require licensing, earning professional certification demonstrates your expertise in forestry and conservation to employers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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