General Forestry

General forestry is more than just forestry. It can be a pathway to any of our degree programs

Take some time to find your path. 

Tomorrow needs stewards of the environment. It needs professionals with a passion to create a more sustainable future. Do you have a love for nature? An interest in sustainability? Are you wanting to make a difference in the environment through conservation, data science, or policy and aren’t sure where to start? General forestry is the right place to find your path. 

At Michigan Tech, we know establishing your roots takes time. The general forestry option allows you to test the waters before committing to a major that fits. Spend a semester or two exploring natural resources options in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES) without losing money or pursuing a degree that might not be the right fit.

In your first semester, you will take FW 1020 Exploring CFRES Opportunities—a course designed to help you navigate the College and determine which major is the best fit for you. Meet professionals in the field and engage in activities that help you determine degree and career goals. Learn about resources available to you.

Still not sure what degree is the right fit? If you need more one-on-one guidance, your advisor will help choose classes that open a world of opportunities and hone in on your interests while assuring you stay on track to meet degree requirements. The best part? You still get to spend your first semester outdoors. Once you decide, you will be able to transition seamlessly into the natural resource degree program that you choose.

What Will I Study? 

Start your first semester with two field labs in Vegetation of North America and Field Techniques to gain a feel for our management degrees and future careers. If spending a career outdoors is not the right fit for you, you can sample classes in sustainability science, bioproducts, mapping technology, climate change, data science or policy that will also have a positive impact on the environment. 

From the soil under our boots and how erosion and compaction affect plant and animal life, to stream management for clean water, to flying drones to gather canopy data that detects invasive species, we are here to help you find your direction. Study landscape ecology and planning, forest management, policies surrounding endangered wildlife, how humans interact with forests, and more all while gaining professional development in the field like leadership, teamwork, and communication. 

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying general 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

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.

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

Analyzing northern peatlands. Growing woody mass for biofuels. Preventing bird strikes. Using fungi to stop the spread of invasive species. The largest forestry program in Michigan, we offer far-reaching natural resource 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