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The Loret Miller Ruppe Program in Forestry

If you’re interested in pursuing an advanced degree in forestry, and you have a passion for helping and serving others, look no further than Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps Master’s International program in Forestry. It’s a truly original educational experience, combining focused study, international service, research in Michigan Tech’s state-of-the-art labs, and an intensive Fall Camp in our own 5,500-acre research forest.

Study Locally, Learn Globally

Peace Corps is the largest international employer of forestry and natural resource specialists. No matter what your preferred area of research, our program is customizable to you. Choose from one of three degree tracks—a Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS), a Master of Forestry (MF) or a Master of Science (MS) in Forestry, Applied Ecology, or Forest Ecology and Management—and gain your foundational education. Then, receive your Peace Corps placement and travel abroad, using your knowledge to serve the people and meet the needs of your host country.

Course Work and Prerequisites

Prerequisites

Required

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Coursework in college-level chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, or related disciplines
  • 3.0 GPA and GRE General Test. (We will consider students with lower GPAs/GRE scores who are very strong in other areas.)

Desirable

  • College-level statistics course work
  • Proficiency in a foreign language, particularly French or Spanish

Course Schedule

Students in our program have three degree options: Master of Geographic information Science; Master of Forestry (MF); or a Master of Science (MS) in Forestry, Applied Ecology, or Forest Ecology and Management. MF students spend three full semesters on campus (fall, spring, fall) before leaving for their Peace Corps service, while MS and MGIS students typically spend two semesters on campus (fall and spring) before leaving for their Peace Corps service. Coursework during the summer semester is optional.

MASTER OF FORESTRY

* (Indicates a required course)

Fall semester, year one

  • FW3020 Forest and Landscape Ecology *
  • FW3330 Soil Science *
  • FW5020 Identification and Biology of Forest Vegetation *
  • FW5376 Advanced Forest and Environmental Resource Management *
  • FW5800 Master’s Graduate Seminar (can take upon return for Peace Corps instead) *

Spring semester, year one
This semester may be adjusted based on your background of study.

  • FW3110 Natural Resource Policy
  • FW3540 Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resource Management
  • FW5032 Integrative Forest Inventory and Data Analysis
  • FW5088 Advanced Forest Economics and Finance
  • FW5770 Rural Community Development and Planning and Analysis *
  • FW5710 Trees in Agricultural Systems *

Fall semester, year two

  • FW5700 Graduate Field Forestry *
  • SS5201 Cultural Dimensions of International Immersion and Research *

Peace Corps Service

  • FW5730 International Forestry Practicum (1 credit per semester) *

Returned from Peace Corps

  • FW5720 International Forestry Seminar *
  • FW5800 Master's Graduate Seminar (if not taken previously) *
  • Electives

MASTER OF SCIENCE

* (Indicates a required course)

Fall semester, year one

  • FW5700 Graduate Field Forestry OR FW5701 Graduate Field Applied Ecology *
  • SS5201 Cultural Dimensions of International Immersion and Research *

First Spring semester

  • FW5760 Graduate Tropical Forestry *
  • FW5710 Trees in Agricultural Systems *
  • FW5770 Rural Community Development and Planning and Analysis *

Either:

  • FW3540 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resource Management *

or

  • MA2720 Statistical Methods (if have not had college-level statistics course) *

or

Summer, Track A or Track B

  • MA2720 Principles of Statistics (if have not had college-level statistics course) *

Peace Corps Service

  • FW5730 Field Work in International Forestry (1 credit per semester) *

Upon return from Peace Corps

  • FW5550 Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management (if FW3540 not taken) *
  • FW5800 Master's Graduate Seminar (if not taken in first spring semester) *
  • FW5720 International Forestry Seminar *
  • Electives (or FW5999 Graduate Research in Forestry)

Master of Geographic Information Science

Students in the MGIS PC program will spend two to three semesters on campus before leaving for their Peace Corps service. 

Required courses

PCMI Required Classes (3 cr):

  • SS 5201 Cultural Dimensions of International Immersion and Research (1 cr)
  • FW 5770 Rural Community Development and Planning and Analysis (2 cr)

Introductory GIS (4 cr)

  • FW 5550 Geographic Information Science and Spatial Analysis (4 cr)

Advanced spatial topics (8 cr)

  • FW 5554 GPS Field Techniques (2 cr)
  • FW 5555 Advanced GIS Concepts and Analysis (3 cr)
  • FW 5556 GIS Project Management (3 cr)

Remote Sensing (3-4 cr)

Communications (2 cr)

  • FW 5801 Masters Seminar in GIS (1 cr x 2, or add 1 cr FW5800 or equivalent)

Spatial Statistics (3 cr)

One credit per semester for each semester overseas.  Seven credits earned per student over the course of 27 months.  

Total credits:  30

Depending on the student’s background, additional courses may be selected together with the PCMI Coordinator to ensure a set of thematic classes that fit with the students’ professional and Peace Corps interests. For example, students seeking placements in environment or agriculture sectors are advised to take FW 5760 Graduate Tropical Forestry (1 cr) and FW 5710 Trees in Agricultural Systems (2 cr).