Forestry Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Forestry at Michigan Tech prepares you to protect the world's natural resources with others who are just as passionate as you.

Other schools own forests—but ours is right out the back door at the Ford Center and Forest. There isn't a better place to study natural resources than the wild Keweenaw Peninsula, bordered by Lake Superior, blanketed with forests and wetlands (and 218+ inches of snow each winter). First-year students have two outdoor field labs and are all eligible to participate and be paid as Earn and Learn students, acquiring the hands-on knowledge and experience to land a summer job or internship after their first year.

Upon graduation, forestry students are nationally accredited by the Society of American Foresters, putting them a step above the rest when it comes to working for federal agencies, large-scale timber companies, non-profits, and others that require this accreditation.

What is Forestry?

Forestry is silviculture, combined with sustainability, backed by science.

Forestry is determining the characteristics of forested ecosystems and their connections, discovering the value trees hold to landowners, recreational users, and timber companies. Manage the land based on the needs of those directly impacted, as well as those who will be affected in hundreds of years. Assess the soils, water, and herbaceous understory beneath the trees. Study sugar maple dieback on the northern range, warming experiments in tropical forests, the future of Michigan biofuels (and bioenergy development across the Americas), intensive industrial plantation systems, and family forest conservation. Forestry is about managing forested ecosystems for tomorrow.

What will I study?

Study soil science, biometrics, hydrology, and silviculture. Identify the 37 native tree species of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Learn the 152 trees and plants covered in the Vegetation of North America course. As a member of our scholarly community, you'll build strong working relationships with professors and peers in classrooms, labs, and out in the field for work and play. You'll find many opportunities, through social and intellectual interaction, to dive into subjects that matter most to you.

  • Work with communities, the College, and private landowners to develop management plans (industry and recreational) for forested landscapes.
  • Mark and harvest timber.
  • Perform field canopy, arborist, and selective harvest practices. Identify tree pests and diseases.
  • Learn how to use and be proficient in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), land measurement, and remote sensing skills.
  • Put skills and knowledge to work ASAP. After the first year of classes you'll be qualified to find a summer job in your field, and start building your future career.

arial image of the ford center in the fall

"Camp" at the Ford Center and Forest

Spend a semester outdoors at our 3,500 acre forest just 40 miles away from main campus in Alberta, MI. During student's third year, they will live, eat, sleep, and study with peers while living in dorms located right on the property. Get out in the field Monday through Friday for classes such as survey of silviculture, forest health, and wildlife habitat to collect samples, study natural ecosystems, and learn the necessities that will help you attain your natural resource career. Learn more about "camp" - or integrated field practicum - here. 

Be Career Ready

As humans continue to depend on forests for a variety of values, tomorrow’s foresters will need to understand how to manage our lands in an era of climate change and sustainability.

Each year, the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science hosts its own Natural Resource Career Fair. ~20 companies from across the US travel to the college in late fall to educate and recruit employees.

Career Opportunities for Forestry

  • District Forester

  • Urban Forester

  • Forest Consultant

  • Utility Forester

  • Research Scientist

  • Timber Broker

  • Procurement Forester

  • Forest Resource Manager

  • Forest Economist

Michigan Tech Forestry Majors Have Been Hired By

  • Lyme Great Lakes Timberland

  • Department of Natural Resources

  • American Forest Management
  • Fish and Wildlife Service

  • US Forest Service

  • Davey Tree Company

  • Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

  • Green Timber Consulting

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying forestry at Michigan's flagship technological university.

  • 8:1
    student-to-faculty ratio
  • 25
    typical lab size
  • 3.5K
    acres to explore at our residential field camp

Huskies Go To The Woods

Study how the changing climate will affect our future forests at the Ford Forestry Center—our 5,000-acre classroom.

Why Accreditation Matters

As an accredited forestry degree, Michigan Tech assesses student learning to ensure quality for forestry education and continuously improve curriculum and programs.

Student Learning Goals

Students in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science can expect to achieve the following learning goals—which also align with the University's Undergraduate Student Learning Goals:

  1. Develop in depth knowledge of the field of forestry.

  2. Develop a strong set of field skills related to the management of natural resources.

  3. Effectively identify and evaluate sources of information relating to forestry.

  4. Provide alternative solutions to situations or problems in forestry.

  5. Communicate effectively (orally and in writing) about issues related to forestry.

  6. Develop skills that ensure they behave with a high level of professionalism.

  7. Develop the ability to work effectively in teams.

SAF logo

Diverse Ecosystem of Environmental Stewardship

If you have a love for the woods, and a desire to sustain resources for the future, you will feel at home in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES). Our College is a community on a first-name basis, connected by a shared passion for study, research, and work centered on forest health and ecosystem integrity. Similar to Keweenaw’s biodiverse ecosystems, CFRES is a community of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and alumni who learn, lead, and thrive in the unique environment the college has to offer. You’ll notice flags from countries around the world when you step into the door of our atrium. We are a safe space for all who love natural resources, with a commitment to a sense of belonging

3,650 Acres of Research Forest

Michigan Tech’s Ford Center is home to our 3,650-acre forest. Located just over 40 miles from campus, students in their third year get to live, learn, and play in the woods for a whole semester. Learn how to navigate among the trees, count board feet, identify forest pests and diseases, and explore ways to mitigate them. Take a swim in the Sturgeon River while taking water samples, quantify woody and herbaceous plants, design maps, and learn to mark timber.  Spend a couple of hours in the classroom, and the rest of the day outdoors. Work closely with your peers and professors to create management plans that best suit the environment for the changing climate.

Integrated Field Practicum at the Ford Center

The Integrated Field Practicum (IFP) is the cornerstone of natural resource management at Michigan Tech, and stands out among the rest as the only off-campus, semester-long field practicum in the United States. Offered in the Fall and Summer.

4+1 Accelerated Master of Forestry

Earn an accelerated master’s degree with just one additional year of study beyond your bachelor’s degree in forestry. You can start your master of Forestry degree your senior year, allowing you to save time and money on an additional degree. A Master’s degree provides greater opportunity for career advancement and a higher starting salary.

Tomorrow Needs Sustainable Forest Management

Join a community that believes in renewable resources, sustainability, and multiple use forests in a sustainably-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, sustainability, and passion. Graduate with a foundation of knowledge and real-world experience in natural resource management.

Undergraduate Majors

Documenting knapweed in dunes. Analyzing northern peatlands. Growing woody mass for biofuels. Conserving the California Condor. The largest forestry program in Michigan, we offer far-reaching ecological programs with global impact (like the longest-running predator-prey study in the world).

Or, start with our General Forestry option and give yourself time to decide.

"Attending events, and participating in extracurriculars like the Forestry Club, I have had the opportunity to meet industry professionals from all around the region who are MTU alums. These are the people I will be networking with over the course of the next few years, so having them as a resource is invaluable to me and future generations of Tech students."Tristan Walk, forestry