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The Master of Science in Forestry program offers both thesis and non-thesis options. The 30-hour graduate degree in forestry highlighting forest management, natural resource policy and law and forest economics provides the knowledge to complete the task. We encourage you to realize the power of combining your career and education.

All classes have instructors who are recognized experts in their fields of study. Each instructor will be available for questions and discussion throughout his/her courses. These instructors are real-life practitioners with advanced degrees who are experts in their areas of specialization.

Who should pursue this degree?

Students wishing to pursue this degree should have undergraduate or previous graduate degrees in programs that focus on biological/natural sciences or business/economics/policy. Students without undergraduate degrees in one of those two areas should have experience working in a forestry related field.

Download Graduate bulletin.

College of Forest Resources Handbook

Tuition & Fees

Tuition per credit hour $558.50
Instructional Support Fee per credit hour $25.00

Tuition and fees listed are subject to change and do not include all possible charges. Additional fees may apply. Please refer to the master class schedule for individual course charges.

What are some potential careers?

Doors will be open to jobs in fields such as forestry, conservation science, environmental science and wildlife biology. The program is not designed to provide the skills for a person to become a practicing field forester who manages the forest land base. That requires the coursework in an undergraduate Forestry curriculum.


What are some potential careers?


Program Structure

A student may enroll in selected courses or complete the entire program for a Master of Science Degree in Forestry. This degree requires a minimum of 30 semester hours. The Master of Science Degree in Forestry consists of 10 three-credit-hour courses. Students who wish to pursue a thesis option will require six credit hours of Thesis/Research

All courses are offered on the semester system. The Fall semester begins in August. The Spring semester typically begins in January, and the Summer semester in June. Courses are only offered at specified times. For example, a new student starting the program may only begin in the fall semester by taking one or both courses offered.

Listed below is the tentative course schedule for the Master of Science Degree in Forestry Online Program. This schedule can change. Students should discuss course availability with their lead professor prior to each registration period. The courses are offered only during the semester under which they are listed.

More information about the program structure and policies can be found in the College of Forest Resources Handbook


FO 6123
Forest Ecology

FO 6113
Forest Resource Economics
FO 6323
Forest Resource Management
FO 6213
Forest Biometrics
FO 6463
Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management

FO 6343
Forest Admin and Organization

FO 8112
Graduate Seminar
FO 6353* (Spring 2023, 2026, 2029)
Natural Resource Law
1FO 8143
Advanced Forest Economics
FO 6413* (Spring 2024, 2027, 2030) Natural Resource Policy
2FO 8163
Nonmarket Forest Values
2FO 8333
Silviculture for Multiple Ecosystems Services
2FO 8233
Advanced Forest Inventory
1FO 8433
Ecological Silviculture
2FO 8243
Adv. Forest Resource Mgmt & Planning
2FO 8533
Forest Stand Dynamics
1FO 8443
Int'l Forest Res. & Trade
2FO 8803
Forestry Overview

1 Taught in odd-numbered years e.g: 2023, 2025, 2027 etc.
2 Taught in even-numbered years e.g: 2024, 2026, 2028 etc.


Requirements are:

30 hours coursework (18 hours at the 8000 level) including “FO8803: Forestry Overview” and one course in each of the following categories:

  • Forest Ecology/Silviculture
  • Forest Economics
  • Forest Policy
  • Forest Remote Sensing/Statistics
  • Pass a comprehensive examination

Here is the list of courses:

FO 8803: Forestry Overview

One of the following courses in Forest Ecology/Silviculture

  • FO 6123: Forest Ecology
  • FO 6463: Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management
  • FO 6573: Ecology of Managed Forests
  • FO 8533: Forest Stand Dynamics
  • FO 8333: Silviculture for Multiple Ecosystem Services
  • FO 8433: Ecological Silviculture

One of the following courses in Forest Economics

  • FO 6113: Forest Resource Economics
  • FO 6323: Forest Resource Management
  • FO 8143: Advanced Forest Economics
  • FO 8163: Nonmarket Forest Values
  • FO 8243: Advanced Forest Resources Management and Planning
  • FO 8443: International Forest Resources and Trade

One of the following courses in Forest Policy

  • FO 6343: Forest Administration and Organization
  • FO 6353: Natural Resources Law
  • FO 6413: Natural Resources Policy
  • SBP 8133: Environmental Issues in Sustainable Bioproducts
  • WFA 8463: Human Dimensions of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation

One of the following courses in Forest Remote Sensing or Statistics

  • FO 6213: Forest Biometrics
  • FO 8233: Advanced Forestry Overview
  • Graduate-level courses in remote sensing or statistics

Admissions Requirements

Applications for the degree programs are reviewed two times a year. The application deadlines for those semesters are as follows:

  • Fall Semester – August 1
  • Spring Semester – December 1

The program is NOT designed to provide the skills for a person to become a practicing "on-the-ground" field forester who manages the forest land base. That will require the coursework in an undergraduate Forestry curriculum.

Students seeking full admission into the forestry program should apply as a classified student. Non-degree seeking students wishing to take classes offered through the Online Forestry program should apply as an Unclassified student.

An applicant for admission to graduate study must hold a bachelor's degree from a fully recognized four-year educational institution that has unconditional accreditation with appropriate regional accrediting agencies. They must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Master of Science in Forestry program.

Regular admission to graduate study in the program requires a minimum grade point average (last four semesters of undergraduate work) of 3.00/4.00. When a student is deficient in one of the criteria cited, the student's application, nevertheless, may be considered for admission based on the strength of other materials contained in the student's application.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are NOT required for entry into this program.

Attention International Students

International students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score greater than 550. Detailed information regarding international applications can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Questions regarding international applications can be addressed to the Office of the Graduate School at

  • ETS is providing home testing for the TOEFL iBT test, and MSU is encouraging students to take advantage of this testing option. For those students applying who have taken the TOEFL within five years of the semester they plan to enroll and are unable to access the TOEFL iBT test from home, we will accept your previous test scores.

Admission Options

Domestic/International Classified Admissions

  1. Submit online application. You will choose Master of Science in Forestry as your Program of Study and Online Education as your campus.
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
  5. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
    • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  6. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
    Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
  7. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor


FO 6113 - Forest Resource Economics
Three hours online. Basic principles of forest resource valuation; economics applied to production, conversion, marketing and consumption of forest products and benefits.

FO 6323 - Forest Resource Management
Three hours online. Three hours lecture and laboratory. Application of quantitative decision making techniques to stand-level and forest-wide management problems. Topics include land classification, forest production, optimal rotation analysis, and harvest scheduling.

FO 6353 - Natural Resource Law
Three hours online. A comprehensive study of the laws relating to natural resources with emphasis on tort law, contract law, property law, business organization, administrative law and environmental law

FO 6413 - Natural Resources Policy
Three hours online. Current topics relating to natural resources policy which affect management decisions and practices in the public and private sectors of natural resources use.

FO 6573 - Ecology of Managed Forests
Three hours online. This course seeks to provide students with a broad, non-technical overview of the underlying ecological and silvicultural concepts that are associated with the sustainable management of the major forest types in North America.

FO 6683 - Intro to Urban Forestry
Three hours online. Addresses urban forest management issues and opportunities as well as educational extension/outreach program strategies within the urban forest context.

FO 8111 - Graduate Seminar
One hour online. Review of and discussion of current forestry issues. Presentation of student reports.

FO 8143 - Advanced Forest Economics
Three hours online. Application of current theory and techniques of economics in forestry. Emphasis is on the use of quantitative tools to improve decision-making in forest resource management.

FO 8163 - Nonmarket Forest Values
Three hours online. The course will deal with the valuation or nonmarket, non-timber outputs or amenities derived from the forest.

FO 8211 - Graduate Seminar
One hour online. Review of and discussion of current forestry issues. Presentation of student reports.

FO 8243 - Advanced Forest Resource Management & Planning
Three hours online. Emphasis is on the assessment of multiple-use alternative. Data needs, resource trade-offs, and economic and policy implications are discussed.

FO 8293 - Master of Forestry Professional Paper - For non-thesis option students only
For Master of Forestry students only. Demonstration of ability to compile, synthesize, and evaluate information, and to effectively communicate analyses and conclusions.

FO 8443 - International Forest Resources & Trade
Three hours online. A study of the world's wood consumption, marketing arrangements, community forestry, and forestry in economic development.

FO 8571 - Emerging Issues in Forest Ecosystems
One hour online. This course seeks to introduce students to some of the pressing topics/issues surrounding forest ecosystems and conservation.

See More


For more about these individuals and others, see their full stories.

Ron Taylor standing in front of a mountain range and body of water

"The program at Mississippi state has some great core courses in management planning and economics but also allows you to explore a variety of electives in many areas of interest. The staff provided prompt and great feedback with practical exercises that allow one to work online productively from a distance."

Ron Taylor, RPF

"Throughout my course of study I really enjoyed the interaction with the professors. All of them were very understanding and flexible working me as I juggled my studies with a full time job. My work in the industry for so many years provided me with a great foundation from which to begin my education and research. I found that the information I was learning increased my understanding of forestry and built up my confidence in my forestry skills."

Nathan Gatlin
Nathan Gatlin standing on a rooftop in a urban environment

Contact Information

Photo of Mindy Wolfe

Mindy Wolfe

Enrollment & Onboarding Coach

  • General Program Questions
  • Assistance with Admissions Process & Requirements
Headshot of Mark Jimerson

Mark Jimerson

Retention & Engagement Coach

  • Current Student Inquires
  • Academic & Support Services Assistance
Filler image for conacting the department or college

Susan Blanton


  • Administrative Assistant
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Dr. Heidi J. Renninger


  • Associate Professor