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The Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Forestry (M.F.)

The broad Master of Science program allows students to obtain a specialized advanced degree in any of the subject areas within the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture (ATCOFA), including forest management, forest economics, recreation management, wildlife management, agro-forestry, wood science, urban forestry, forest entomology, hydrology, forest ecology, silviculture, and soil science.

Required core courses for a M.S. degree are:

  • FOR 510, Research Methods
  • FOR 517, Biometrics
  • FOR 587, Graduate Seminar

The M.F. degree is a non-thesis program involving coursework from both the ATCOFA and the Nelson Rusche College of Business. The degree requires a minimum of 38 semester credit hours of graduate coursework with no more than 18 semester credit hours earned from the College of Business. This degree is intended for professional foresters with at least five years of experience who wish to further their education in the areas of business, forest management or forest economics. A final comprehensive exam (either written, oral or both) is required during the last semester of enrollment.

For the M.S. degree, depending on a student’s background and the specific program in which he/she is enrolled, the student may be required to complete undergraduate coursework in five subject areas. The Master of Science with a concentration in Spatial Science and the Master of Science with a major in Resource Interpretation do not require the completion of background courses. All other M.S. degree programs and the Ph.D. degree program have a major in forestry. Thus, they do require that the background subject areas be met; this may be done by taking undergraduate courses at SFA or perhaps some courses from the student’s undergraduate program might satisfy parts or all of the requirements. The Graduate Committee, chaired by the major professor, will recommend suitable background courses or provide justification as to how a particular subject area has already been met, subject to approval by the associate dean and dean. Courses utilized as background courses cannot be utilized as part of the 30 hours required for the degree. It is thus very important that the degree plan be developed and approved during the first semester to ensure that those students needing the forestry background take the required courses in a timely and orderly sequence.

The background subject areas (undergraduate courses listed by each category are suggested courses that may be utilized to satisfy that requirement) are:

  • Forest Biology (FOR 209, 219, 240, 313, 349, 454),
  • Forest Resources Inventory (FOR 205, 223, 224, 305, 317),
  • Social Forestry (FOR 251, 252, 351, 451, 457),
  • Forest Ecosystem Management (FOR 347, 390, 409, 411, 448, 450, 458), and
  • Forest Resources Administration (FOR 348, 435, 451).