School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Master of Forestry Curriculum Prior to 2018-2019

Beginning with the 2018-2019 class, all students must submit a Pre-Enrollment and Completion Check Form to the Program Director to ensure SAF accreditation standards are met.  There may be additional courses to the ones listed below that you need to meet these standards, so talk with your Program Director.

The course listing and program requirements changed slightly starting in academic year 2018–19 to continue to meet SAF accreditation standards. 

The following curriculum is for students beginning PRIOR to 2018-2019 academic year. 

Fall Semester (11 credits)

The first fall semester classes include fundamental forest biology, ecology, and field skills in plant identification, orienteering, and forest inventory:

  • FW 5020—Woody Plants of North America (2 credits)
  • FW 3020—Forest Ecology (3 credits)
  • FW 5330—Forest Soil Science (4 credits)
  • FW 5377—Forest and Environmental Resource Management (FERM, 2 credits)

Spring Semester (15 credits)

Spring semester topics include collecting, managing, presenting, and analyzing information that helps make forest management decisions using more advanced tools and problem-solving skills. These classes are a framework for analyzing ecological, social, and financial implications of forest management decisions:

  • FW 3110—Natural Resources Policy (3 credits)
  • FW 3540—Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Natural Resource Management (4 credits)
  • FW 5200—Biometrics and Data Analysis (4 credits)
  • FW 5088—Forest Finance and Economics (3 credits)
  • FW 5800—Masters Graduate Seminar (1 credit)

Final Semester—Integrated Field Practicum (8 credits) FW 5700 Graduate Field Forestry

The third semester is your Integrated Field Practicum (IFP, traditionally called Fall Camp), at the Ford Center 40 miles south of Houghton. Classes begin two weeks before the regular fall semester in August, and are done before Thanksgiving break.

Although students in the Master of Forestry program sign up for only one 8-credit class, FW5700 Graduate Field Forestry, it covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Silviculture—the management approaches foresters use to regenerate and grow productive forests
  • Forest health—an introduction to potential biological agents, like insects and fungi, that can attack trees and endanger forest ecosystems and how to control them
  • Wildlife habitat—focuses on the ecological requirements of wildlife species
  • Land Measurement and GPS—develops GPS skills for collecting spatial information in the woods and incorporating that data into mapping software
  • Timber harvesting—addresses tree-harvesting methods that preserve ecological values and sustainability while providing economically efficient timber harvest to satisfy society's needs
  • Multi-resource assessment—students exercise all the skills they have learned during the Master of Forestry program to develop a management plan for a tract of land