Which Schools Offer a Forestry Degree Program Online?
A degree in forestry prepares you to manage forested lands used for conservation, economic and recreational purposes. Continue reading for overviews of two schools that offer master's degree programs in forestry, as well as a list of schools with related programs.
Online Forestry Degree Programs Overview
Undergraduate forestry degree programs often include hands-on field experiences, so they don't work well in an online format. There are some related online bachelor's degree programs though; Oregon State University offers a B.S. in Natural Resources, and the University of Illinois has a B.S. in Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability. Some distance-learning programs in forestry are available at the master's degree level; continue reading for more details about two such programs.
Important Facts About Online Forestry Degree Programs
|Certificate Levels||Online graduate certificate available|
|Common Courses||Watershed management and water quality, agroforestry, natural resource policy and administration, wildland plants and resources|
|Concentrations||Options may include fish and wildlife management, natural resource policy and management, landscape analysis and urban forest landscapes|
|Possible Careers||GIS systems specialist, silviculturist, environmental or science educator, naturalist, wetlands restoration specialist, timber consultant, field researcher, land-use planner|
|Median Salary (2018)||$61,340 (for conservation foresters)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||6% (for conservation scientists and foresters)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Mississippi State University
Located in Starkville, Mississippi State University offers a variety of distance education opportunities, including its Master of Science in Forestry through its College of Forest Resources. The university is a partner to the Natural Resource Distance Learning Consortium (NRDLC), and this affiliation gives forestry students access to the consortium's wide range of online course options.
Master of Science in Forestry
This fully online master's degree program requires 30 hours of advanced forestry study. Online coursework examines forest procurement, natural resource policy, forest resource economics and forest resource management. You'll explore concepts in harvest scheduling, forest production, forest taxation law and international wood consumption. If you choose to take a course through the NRDLC, the credit will be transferable back to Mississippi State. Although this is a non-thesis program, you will be required to complete a professional paper to demonstrate your mastery of forestry concepts and principles.
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri in Columbia enrolls close to 30,000 students each year and over 300 degree programs, including over 100 that are offered online. Its distance education division, MU Direct, offers an online master's degree program with an agricultural forestry focus.
Master of Science in Natural Resources: Agroforestry Concentration
Agroforestry is a type of land management that involves planting trees on farms to benefit crop and livestock production. This online program is composed of 30 credit hours and requires a professional paper. Coursework includes agroforestry theory, watershed restoration, ecology and agroforestry economics. You may also elect to participate in a 3-credit internship to gain practical experience in the field; this internship may be done in your local area and does not require on-campus attendance at the university.
Explore Your Options
A master's degree program in natural resources may also provide you with the forestry education needed to advance your knowledge and career opportunities. Natural resource programs typically include coursework in the sustainability of forest, fishery and wildlife resources. Universities that offer distance-learning master's degree programs in natural resources include the following:
- University of Idaho
- Virginia Tech
- Utah State University
- Oregon State University