Forestry, Master of Forestry


College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

This non-thesis plan prepares you for a career in forest management, in contrast to a career in research. It is appropriate if you desire advanced training in forestry, but not a research focus.

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology - Emphasis (ending Summer 2020)

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 33
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The Master of Forestry (MF) degree is intended for students wishing to pursue professional careers in the management and policy of forest resources for public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Student Learning Outcomes

Through our non-thesis degree, based primarily on coursework and a project designed with the guidance of your advisor to address a challenge or problem in forestry, our students graduate with the following competencies:

  • A thorough understanding of fundamental knowledge that supports forest management in the areas of forest ecosystem science, forest management sciences and economics, and forest social sciences.  This understanding includes familiarity with major theories, areas of agreement and controversy, significant challenges, and leading edges of forest ecosystem science, forest management sciences and economics, and forest social sciences.
  • An understanding of professional ethics, particularly the ability to examine how ethical issues frame decisions concerning the management of forested land.
  • Ability to effectively communicate in oral presentations, writing, and using posters to forestry professionals and the general public (i.e., technical and non-technical audiences) about major theories, areas of agreement and controversy, significant challenges, and leading edges of forest management science and the practice of forestry.
  • Ability to perform and interpret complex quantitative analyses to evaluate trends and effects in data.
  • Ability to produce new insights, tools, or approaches about forest management based on integration, synthesis, and analysis of knowledge and data; and to succinctly articulate these new insights, tools, or approaches in oral presentations and in polished writing aimed at forestry professionals and the general public.  This competency will be demonstrated by completion of a professional paper.
Emphasis in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology (EECB)

The EECB emphasis provides the opportunity for students in the Forestry M.F. Program to specialize in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. Students completing the EECB emphasis will have the following competencies:
  • A solid understanding of the history and conceptual and theoretical foundations of ecology
  • Knowledge of current and emerging topics in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, and ability to discuss these topics with peers and experts
  • Two of three listed below:
    • Understanding of and ability to use quantitative research approaches in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology
    • Understanding of ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at physiological, population, and community scales
    • Understanding of ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at ecosystem and global scales


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (may be completed concurrently with the program)
      • 15 hours of Forestry coursework
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Statement of research interests
    • All applicants should make contact with potential faculty members in the department BEFORE APPLYING.
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 33 units, as well as any required remedial coursework, chosen with guidance from your faculty advisor. Please note that of these 33 units, at least 17 must be in FOR courses.

    Core Courses
    At least one course from each of the following areas (8-9 units):

    • Forest Social Science
      • FOR 515, FOR 573, FOR 605
      • POS 658, POS 659
      • Additionally, you can use FOR 506, FOR 695 as well as special topics courses offered by the School of Forestry (or other departments), in any of these concentrations, with approval by your faculty advisor.
      • STA 570 or one 3-unit graduate course with significant content in statistics (3 units)
      • FOR 505, FOR 692 (3 units)
      • FOR 689: Please note that this requirement involves preparing a professional paper on a subject related to management as a capstone integrating experience. This paper meets Northern Arizona University's requirement for a written comprehensive exam (3 units)
      • Electives which may include the Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology Emphasis-see below (15-16 units)
  • Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology Emphasis:

    • BIO 577 (3 units)
    • Select one seminar course from: FOR 505, BIO 698 (1 unit)
    • Breadth Courses (6 units): Select one course from each of two of the following groups:
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program

    This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan. Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree. Departments may allow students to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by approving up to 12 units applicable toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year. Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.