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Online Master’s Degree in Forestry

A master’s degree in forestry prepares students for advanced careers in environmental management. Students in this field need a passion for the environment and preserving and managing the earth’s natural resources. A master’s degree in forestry meets the education requirements for most management positions in environmental and forestry management that require heavy research, analysis, and decision-making skills. Master’s degree programs in forestry, forest management, or environmental management may require 30-60 hours of course credit. Depending on the length of the program, full-time students may need two to three years to complete the degree.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Forestry

Success in a forestry master’s program often requires a strong background in biology, ecology, or environmental science. Classes in a graduate forestry curriculum often cover political, economic, and social issues in forestry management and conservation. Students will also take a number of science and research-focused classes in biology, chemistry, ecology, and more. Students learn proper techniques for analyzing data in order to create solutions to environmental issues directly related to forests. They will also become well-versed in policies and laws that affect forest management in both positive and negative ways in order to advocate for the protection and proper use of forest resources. Common courses in an online master’s degree in forestry might include:

  • Ecological Management of Forest Systems
  • Conservation Biology
  • Forest Health Management
  • United States Environmental Policy
  • Integrating Environmental Sciences and Policy

An online master’s degree in forestry may require a thesis. In this case, students may need to travel to the school’s campus to present their research and thesis to a review board. Some programs may have a non-thesis option for the degree. Other online programs may have workshops, labs, or lectures that take place on campus. Online versions of this degree may focus more on policy and management than scientific research, testing, and field work.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Forestry

A graduate degree in forestry often leads to an advanced career as an environmental scientist or forester. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, foresters can earn approximately $57,000 per year on average, though growth in the field is expected to be relatively slow. While a master’s degree in forestry is not required for these positions, a master’s degree can make for a more competitive resume. A master’s degree can also increase eligibility for management-level positions in the field. Environmental managers often work for government or conservation organizations. Some forestry graduates might also become environmental advocates or lobbyists.

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