College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2021-2022


Forestry, Master of Science in Forestry

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Master of Science in Forestry (MS) degree is intended for students wanting to pursue a research- and thesis-based Master’s degree that provides direct experience with original scientific research aimed at advancing scientific understanding of forest ecosystems and their management.  The intensive research core of the MS prepares students for doctoral programs in Forestry and related disciplines, and for careers that require experience and skills in planning, executing, and interpretation of original research in Forestry.  These careers include positions such as research assistant/technician, forester, wildlife biologist, policy analyst, and forest health specialist.  The MS is appropriate for students with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or closely related disciplines.
The MS emphasizes training in research methods and statistics; original research development and implementation; quantitative analysis; professional presentations; emerging issues in forestry; electives that provide advanced training in specific skills; and a final thesis that showcases the student’s skills in original research, quantitative analysis and interpretation, and writing.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the MS will have 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 ecosystems and human management of forests
  2. Select, implement and interpret appropriate methods and statistical analyses for a research project
  3. Apply an understanding of professional ethics to forest research and professional activities
  4. Design a forestry research study including planning, organizing, scheduling and executing the project, with guidance
  5. Effective written communication about forestry research
  6. Effective communication about forestry research in oral and poster presentations.
Emphasis in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology (EECB)
The MS includes an optional multi-disciplinary emphasis in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (EECB).  The EECB emphasis provides a structured curriculum for students wanting to focus on ecology and conservation biology within the context of forest science.  The course requirements of the EECB are designed to be taken as elective hours within the MS degree.  Students completing the EECB emphasis will have the following competencies in addition to those described above for the MS degree:
  • Demonstrate the ability to synthesize and discuss the history and conceptual and theoretical foundations of ecology
  • Demonstrate the ability to discuss current and emerging topics in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, and ability to discuss these topics with peers and experts including two of three listed below:
    • Demonstrate the ability to use quantitative research approaches in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology
    • Demonstrate an understanding of ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at physiological, population, and community scales
    • Demonstrate an understanding of ecology, evolution, and conservation biology at ecosystem and global scales

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