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.

  • 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) is a course-work-based non-thesis degree intended for students pursuing professional careers in the management of forest resources for public, private, and non-profit sectors.  The degree prepares students for positions in governmental or non-governmental agencies such as forest manager, policy analyst, silviculturist, or wildlife manager.  This degree is for you if you desire advanced training in Forestry with a focus on forest management and policy instead of original scholarly research. 
The MF is appropriate for students with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or closely related disciplines.  The MF is integral to the School of Forestry’s Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program that facilitates completion of both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in five years.  The degree is also suitable for students with Bachelor’s degrees outside Forestry who seek training to facilitate a career change to Forestry.  In addition, the MF is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program that provides reduced tuition for students who are residents of other participating western U.S. states. 
The MF emphasizes core training in forest management, ecosystem, and forest social sciences; professional presentations; emerging issues in forestry; electives that provide advanced training in specific skills; and a capstone professional paper that showcases student skills in research/knowledge synthesis and understanding, professional writing, and professional ethnics.

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:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to apply graduate level critical thinking skills to identify, explain, synthesize and solve complex professional forestry problems through acquisition and application of fundamental knowledge of forest ecosystem, forest management & economics, & forest social sciences
  2. Apply an understanding of professional ethics and the interaction between ethics and natural resource management decision-making to the professional paper.
  3. Effectively communicate through written, oral and visual means, a management-oriented professional forestry project, demonstrating the ability to communicate forest management applications to technical and non-technical audiences
  4. Identify, evaluate and synthesize trends and effects in data
  5. Produce new insights, tools, or approaches to forestry and forest management through synthesis.

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
  • This Master’s degree requires 33 units distributed as follows:

    • Core Courses (8 to 9 units)
    • Ecosystem Science (3 units)
    • Forest Management Sciences (3 units)
    • Forest Social Science (2 to 3 units)
    • Additional Core Courses:  9 units
    • Electives: 15-16 units
    Of the 33 units of course requirements, 17 units must be in FOR courses

    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
    Take at least one course from each of the following areas (8-9 units):

    • Forest Social Science

  • Additional Core Courses:
    • 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)
    • Additional electives with approval by your faculty advisor. (15-16 units)
  • 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.