Online Forestry Degree Programs

Explore your options for online degree programs related to forestry, including programs in areas like natural resources. Check the prerequisites for enrolling in an undergraduate or graduate degree program with forestry coursework. Discover how online programs work, review the courses you might take, and get career info for the forestry field. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Levels of Online Study Are Available to Forestry Students?

Online programs in forestry are very rare. However, there are online programs in related fields--such as fisheries and wildlife, ecology and natural resources--are more widely available through associate's, bachelor's and master's degree options. In some cases, you may be able to select a concentration or a minor in forestry.

The associate's degree programs are designed so that credits can transfer to advanced studies, such as a bachelor's degree program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 4-year degree is typically considered the minimum education level a person must pursue to become a forester or conservation scientist. Prerequisites for undergraduate programs are simply a high school diploma or the equivalent.

A master's degree can help job candidates stand out among baccalaureate graduates. At this level, you may be able to find more options for concentrating in forestry in particular. Prerequisites for the master's degree programs include holding a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. You must also submit to letters of reference from people who can evaluate your academic performance. Your GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are required, as is a statement of purpose that indicates why you want to earn the master's degree in forestry.

Degree TypesAssociate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in related fields are available online
Online AvailabilityClasses may be offered online along with hands-on internships and field experiences; some schools offer hybrid classes in the field
Common Course TopicsTree classification, policy enforcement techniques, ecology and conservation, animal reproduction
Possible CareersForester, park ranger, policy maker
Median Salary (2018)$61,340 (Conservation Scientists and Foresters)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)6% growth (Conservation Scientists and Foresters)

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

How Do Online Programs Work?

Undergraduate degrees in forestry can be completed entirely online, though some courses are also offered in a hybrid format, allowing you to complete some components online and some in person. You may have to complete an internship and field experiences. In the master's degree programs, some courses are offered online and some must be completed in person. These Web-based courses are usually asynchronous, so there aren't any scheduled class times. You also have to write a thesis for a master's program in forestry.

What Courses Will I Take?

Your core courses pertain to caring for the forest, protecting animal inhabitants and preventing possible threats. On one hand, you study management and policy enforcement techniques--while on the other, you study the sciences and discover the types of plant and animal growth that are natural to certain habitats. Elective courses can be tailored to address one particular career focus or area of interest, such as fisheries or animal reproduction.

Designed as transfer programs, associate's degree programs include mostly general education courses but include forestry electives. Bachelor-level courses address how humans affect ecosystems, environmental ethics and national park preservation skills. At the graduate level, topics include:

  • Managing the forest ecosystem
  • Tree classification
  • Preventing, detecting, suppressing and managing forest fires
  • Types of soil
  • Ecology and conservation

How Can I Use This Degree?

With an undergraduate degree in forestry, you can become a forester; this job includes such duties as making maps of forests and detailing paths or creating forest policies. You could also become a park ranger and enforce such policies, protecting both the wilderness and those visiting it. With a master's degree in forestry, you can help develop plans to manage and protect the forest or create and oversee fire-prevention programs. You could also help control soil erosion, tree diseases and flooding.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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